Monday, November 29, 2010
Keep Kicking Until it Stops Moving
Never one to shy away after stealing a good idea, I thought I'd take the count breakdown idea from the post below and re-purpose it. Instead of looking at pitchers and how they handle counts, why not look at how hitters are pitched by count?
Travis Snider is the candidate at the front of my mind because Travis Snider is the most important batter on the team. Sort of.
The development of Travis Snider is near the top of the "Things Crucial to the Fate of the Franchise" list. Not at the top, but near. What better way to learn how Snider is developing than to examine how he is pitched.
You might notice some tweaks to last week's version of the below graph. All the offspeed pitches are grouped at the bottom. I chopped out a few pitches which barely registered, generally pitches with the word "knuckle" prominently involved. I grouped the sinkers and two seamers, feel free to cast insults in the comment section.
Call me crazy, but learning American League pitchers treat Travis Snider the same way when the count is 0-1 as 1-1 worries me. Isn't 1-1 the biggest pitch of the at bat? I'm moderately shocked he sees that much junk in a 1-1 count. Could this be the window into a tortured soul?
Aside from that, does anything jump out? When pitchers are ahead of Snider, he sees a pretty even mix of breaking balls/offspeed and fastballs. Enough to keep him guessing, we can assume. Lots of heat in full counts, interestingly enough.
One thing I came across as I "researched" this post was Snider faced only eight 3-0 counts all season. Eight! That says, to me, if you throw Travis Snider as strike, he will swing at it. Though he walk rate was down in 2010, Snider's career shows he will walk, so that's good.
While this exercise hardly helps project Snider into 2011 and beyond, it shows me how hard being a big league hitter must be. While Cito's "Have a Plan" approach works for some, I worry over simplifying something staggeringly complex won't work for all. But what does. Anyway, let me know what you think about this in the comments, if you feel obliged.
Data courtesy of Joe Lefkowitz, image courtesy of The Fox is Black