Oh, my. Billfer at Detroit Tigers Weblog has created something that is going to kill my productivity. It started when he took a detailed look at how working deeper into counts affects a batter’s success. Pretty innocuous so far, right? Billfer then followed up with the mother lode. Yep, you can download the spreadsheets that generate charts for each team and each player from 2006.
You can find out some fascinating stuff from these. For example, when Ryan Howard’s at-bats lasted seven pitches in 2006, he walked or struck out two-thirds of the time. When they lasted eight pitches, he walked or struck out nearly three-quarters of the time. But if they went to nine or more pitches, forget it: Howard hit the ball out of the park in two-thirds of those at-bats. Sure, it’s a small sample, but I can just imagine him standing up at the plate after pitch eight, saying to himself, “Okay, you had your chance; now we do it my way.”
You know how many players there were in the league last year? I will be geeking out on this for a very long time.