Batted Ball Stuff, and More Felix Worship
If you’ve been reading the blog for long, you know that I often express my love for two things; batted ball statistics and Felix Hernandez. It’s been awhile, so let’s do some catching up.
Studes has two articles, one a week old and one current, that are just full of awesome information using graphs of batted ball data. You really should read both articles, but in case you’re in the mood for a summary:
He shows that there’s a direct correlation between batter strikeouts and the value of their fly balls, displaying the trade off hitters must make when deciding what type of swing to employ.
He also relates this to pitching, showing that strikeout pitchers generally give up weaker fly balls than contact pitchers, thus having the overall effect of lessening the value of the outfield flies against them. Groundball pitchers are just the opposite though; usually, when they give up a flyball, it’s a mistake, so the run value of their outfield flies allowed is higher than the average.
There’s also stuff in there on relief pitchers and batting average on balls in play and a really neat new chart of displaying a pitcher’s performance. With a little bit of goading on my part, he put up this chart for King Felix, and it’s a perfect segue into more love for Felix.
Look at that chart. 67 percent of all batted balls against Felix in the majors last year were grounders. If someone got bat on ball, there was a 2 in 3 chance that it was a worm burner. The major league average is just 44 percent. In fact, if you look at outcomes as a percentage of batted balls, Felix is off the charts on all three of the main categories. He gave up outfield flies on just 17 percent of batted balls, compared to 31 percent for the league average. His LD% was 14 percent compared to a 21 percent league average.
I heart King Felix.