Thursday, July 12, 2007

batting stats by season plunk totals

In the interest of helping to advance the theory posted by this anonymous commenter yesterday, below are the cumulative batting stats for all major league players since they started counting HBPs, grouped by season plunk totals. As you can see below, their have been 15 times when a player has had more than 30 HBPs, and those batters combined for a .310 average and a .412 on-base percentage. Meanwhile, combined batting average for the 50,419 seasons in which a player didn't get hit at all is a mere .235.

Hughie Jennings batted .401 the year he got hit 51 times, and Craig Biggio batted .309 during his 34 plunk season. Don Baylor had 35 plunks in 1986 while only batting .238, but he did have 31 homers. In Jennings 51 plunk year, he racked up a .472 OBP despite only walking 19 times. Of the 15 times a batter has been plunked over 30 times in a season, that batter has hit better than .300 in 8 of those seasons.

In general, people who get hit by a lot of pitches appear to have much better batting averages, slugging percentages, and on-base pcts then people who don't get hit. (Of course OBP includes HBPs in the calculation, so that will always go up with more plunks).

Season HBP
total AB
over 30157,8080.3100.4120.4300.842
21 to 306131,1710.2880.3790.4230.801
11 to 20740362,0450.2830.3670.4310.797
6 to 1033171,544,0580.2790.3530.4210.774
1 to 5251147,703,2210.2680.3350.3930.728

This might look a little different if a minimum at-bats filter were applied.


At 7/13/2007 01:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I feel like I am a part of history now. Thanks for the numbers!

At 7/14/2007 01:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well back in the old days the pitchers used to hit power hitters on purpose a lot more. now you get tossed for that

lisa gray
the astros dugout

At 7/16/2007 03:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, unfortunately a sample size of 15 is statistically irrelevant, little more than luck. but it's fun to think about.

At 7/16/2007 04:00:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

well sure it's small compared to the 0 group, but the relevant sample size, I think, is the 7,808 ABs, not the 15 seasons they occurred in (at least for the batting average and slugging columns - it would be AB+BB+HBP+SF for the OBP column).

On the other hand, I purposely made the groups like that so they'd show a nice increase in batting average as the plunks went up.

But, if you pick a number, the average hits per at bat in season when a better had more plunks than your number will probably be higher than the average hits per at bat in season when a better had fewer than that many plunks. That's not to say that it's any proof that there's a trend that will continue into the future, it's just a demonstration of what has happened in the past.

At 7/16/2007 10:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you can probably derive that plunks come from three sources:

#1. The pitcher just randomly throws a wild pitch that hits the batter. His grip on the ball slips, and *bonk*.

#2. The pitcher decides to brush the hitter off with a hard inside pitch and the batter doesn't bail out of the box. The pitcher is not going to do this if the batter is hitting poorly very often. This is probably where most plunks come from. The pitcher is sending a message, the batter responds by taking the pitch.

#3. The pitcher intentionally throws a pitch to hit the batter. This is probably pretty rare, and a no-name .160 batter is not going to ever get thrown at intentionally.

#2 and #3 both seem to be scenarios where a good batter is much more likely to get hit. Pitchers resort to this kind of tactic when they are failing to fool the batter with their standard pitches. They are either trying to screw with the batter's head, or bonk it maliciously. They are a lot more likely to do that against somebody they fear will get a hit on them, possibly for extra bases.

Anonymous poster out.


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