11/3/2012 11:09 PM

I've never known how to calculate results taking this attribute into account.  I'm especially curious now that I just promoted a player with a ridiculously low rating: whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx.  Barry Walker, as you see has a "push/pull" rating of 1, which I think means that, as a left-handed batter, he is pretty much guaranteed to hit the ball to left field every time.

Has anybody been able to isolate this attribute well enough to figure out how it affects stats?  I imagine one possibility is that someone who goes the other way may see a spike in batting average, to the detriment of power, while a dead pull hitter might have more power but a lower batting average...but that's just a guess.  Anybody know?

11/4/2012 1:08 AM
I believe it had more to do with where the ball goes (along with velocity), than any direct affect on stats.

Maybe a fast hitter prone to hitting balls to the left side of the diamond might see a few more infield hits, but I think it's more that it's not truly random where on the diamond the ball is hit.
11/4/2012 1:42 AM
Isn't a low push/pull number a pull hitter?  Wouldn't that mean that a lefty batter would hit'em all to RF?
11/4/2012 2:05 AM
Posted by shobob on 11/4/2012 1:42:00 AM (view original):
Isn't a low push/pull number a pull hitter?  Wouldn't that mean that a lefty batter would hit'em all to RF?
This is correct.
11/4/2012 10:09 AM
Oh yes, I see you are right about him being a pull hitter.  

So from what I am gathering from iain's post is that the rating is not particularly useful in scouting prospects or signing FA's (except in Fenway, right?), but it could be useful in game-planning on a game-to-game basis.  If I, say, platoon two players and we come up against a team with really weak fielders on the right or left this might affect my decision on whom to play.  But generally, I guess its impact is slight.
11/4/2012 11:55 AM
Yes, I would use this info in the playoffs, or if I'm in a dogfight for a playoff spot, but otherwise, it's white noise to me.
11/4/2012 10:13 PM
Will pull hitters hit into more DPs if they face high velocity pitchers who pitch them outside?
11/5/2012 12:51 AM
I suppose you are making a joke.  Fair enough.
11/8/2012 6:13 PM
Only the pitching outside part. Is it possible that pull hitters do better against low velocity pitchers? or that high velocity pitchers give up more HRs? So much of this game is unknown.
11/11/2012 2:32 PM
From my experience... Extreme pull hitters with power will hit more HRs. It makes sense because they are dealing with shorter LF and RF fences, than those who hit the ball up the middle a lot.

Now the rest of this is not an exact science but I have seen a handful of hitters where it was the only thing that could explain their production:

Exteme push RH hitters who have a push/pull of 75+ tend to hit higher than they should against their RH counterparts. For instance, say a guy is a RH batter with a RH split of 60. Say his contact and power are both 60 as well. He looks like a .250ish hitter with limited pop. But for some damn reason I have seen guys like this excel if their push/pull is extreme (either way). This guy might hit .285 againt righties and you have no other way to explain it, other than he is shooting the ball to RF (where defense tends to be poor) or between 2B and 1B, which is usually much easier than shooting the ball between SS and 3B (where the defensive ratings tend to be better).

Guys with a mid range push/pull of 49-51 tend to hit higher than they should, no matter what. It makes sense. If a guy continually hits the ball up the middle...pitcher's are normally poor defenders and only the best 2B/SS defenders can rob a hit up the middle. I played a little slow pitch softball in my day and hitting middle was always where games were won. CFs have more ground to cover so they may be sitting 350 feet deep at the time of the pitch. In RF and LF they may be playing 300 feet deep. Hitting middle works in real life and I have seen players that can only have their production explained by a 50 push/pull. Their ratings look average across the board... like 60/60/60/60/60 and for some reason a guy who looks like he should hit .250, is again hitting .285 consistently.

I can't back any of that up by studies because I just don't have the time, but I have seen enough "unexplainable" guys to make me feel like there is something to this.

I have also found that extreme pull hitters  WITH POWER (15 or less push/pull) aren't effected as much by splits either. If they have 90 power and a push/pull of 7 (for example) it doesn't seem to matter that much that they have a 47 split against RH pitchers. They still seem to hit a ton of balls over the fence against those righties.

I think where this becomes most useful is in free agency. You have to take the ballpark into effect for sure, but occasionally you will find that guy who consistently hit .250 in Burlington and he looks like he would be lucky to hit .250 in any park. If you look deeper you will normally find one of two things are the reason...speed or push/pull. And it might make you take the gamble on a player that no one else wants, because his core hitting stats look average at best. Take that .250 Burlington hitter and put him in an average park and he hits .285.

Anyway, I'm done. Disregard all of it. I changed my mind. It's all cosmetic. Push pull doesn't matter. ;-)
11/11/2012 2:35 PM
Oh and BTW... extreme push hitters (90+) hit a lot of homeruns too if they have power. Same thing...they are dealing with squeezing balls inside foul poles that sit 350 feet away rather than trying to blast a ball 430 feet. All of this is just from my experiences. I'm sure someone has done an official study on it, but it's not me.
11/11/2012 7:33 PM
I think you are wrong about the push/pull rating.  Low number means pull, high number means spray hitter, not push.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong about that.
11/11/2012 7:36 PM
I mean, as someone who plays slo-pitch as well, I observe that there are pull hitters, and then there are guys who hit the ball all over, including push.
11/12/2012 12:16 AM
One of my teams plays in San Francisco, which has a big outfield, except for a short RF porch. I look for left-handed, extreme pull hitters with power for my bench. Hopefully they'll be good for a few pinch hit HRs. 
11/12/2012 9:23 AM
Posted by shobob on 11/11/2012 7:33:00 PM (view original):
I think you are wrong about the push/pull rating.  Low number means pull, high number means spray hitter, not push.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong about that.
You are wrong.

0 = dead pull and 100 = other way.

50 = spray.
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