Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Juan Pierre: King of Contact%

96 players stole at least 10 bases last year. That means that in a twelve-team league, it would be possible for each team to have 8 hitters steal over 10 bases. That sounds like a lot of players.

But how many of those steals are "clean;" how many of those stolen base threats have a decent chance of scoring runs and hitting for average? Nobody wants 10+ steals if they are attached to a part-time player who struggles to hit over .260 (yes, I'm talking about you, Bonifacio).

Well, here are the players who had a contact%* of over 83% in 2009:
*Total percentage of contact when swinging at all pitches.
93.2% Juan Pierre (1.00)**
93.0% Dustin Pedroia (1.64)
90.4% Robinson Cano (.48)
89.9% Denard Span (.79)
89.6% Todd Helton (1.22)
89.6% Martin Prado (.61)
89.0% Erick Aybar (.56)
88.7% Ichiro Suzuki (.45)
88.7% Shane Victorino (.85)
88.5% James Loney (1.03)
88.4% Jacoby Ellsbury (.66)
88.0% A.J. Pierzynski (.46)
87.8% Brett Gardner (.65)
87.3% Elvis Andrus (.52)
87.0% Yadier Molina (1.28)
86.9% Ryan Theriot (.55)
86.2% Julio Borbon (.54)
85.2% Asdrubal Cabrera (.49)
85.0% Nyger Morgan (.54)
84.2% Chris Coghlan (.69)
83.9% Alcides Escobar (.22)
**Eye (also known as Batting Eye), which is defined as walks divided by strikeouts, is in parenthesis. This metric is considered by some to be a good measure of a player's strike zone judgment. The very best MLB hitters have batting eye ratios over 1.00. Eye ratios of less than 0.50 are indicative of a free-swinging approach to hitting and poor strike-zone judgment. Players with eye ratios of .70 or better have a greater probability of maintaining a high batting average than players with eye ratios of .50 or less.

Here are some players that didn't break 83% contact% in 2009:
82.7% Andrew McCutchen
81.9% Everth Cabrera (.52)
80.6% Michael Young
80.2% Rajai Davis
79.4% Franklin Gutierrez
79.4% Howie Kendrick
79.3% Dexter Fowler
78.9% Michael Bourn
77.5% Matt Wieters
77.4% Carlos Gonzalez
76.0% Drew Stubbs

(I know that not all the players listed will steal 10+ bases, but I included them for one reason or another.)

All of this makes me feel pretty good about the hitters on the top list. That is, until I saw that Nate McLouth had a contact% of 84.1% in 2009 and batted .256 on the season.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is Yadi-eh Molina Canadian?