Wednesday, August 15, 2007

profiling - part 2

If you joined us Monday, you may recall that we learned that Craig Biggio has been hit a lot of times by starting pitchers, starting right handed hitters, starting right handed hitters between the ages of 24 and 30, and starting right handed pitchers between the ages of 24 and 30 and between 6'0 and 6'4. There are 16 pitchers currently on the rosters of the teams left on the Astros schedule who fit that profile. Biggio has been hit more often by pitchers who are 26 years old than any other age, and more often by pitchers who are 6'2" than any other height. There is one pitcher left on those rosters who is a starting right hander, 26 years old, and 6'2" - Shawn Hill of the Nationals. And, just because that's the kind of season it's been, Shawn Hill looks like he's set to pitch the day before the Nationals' 4 game series with the Astros next week, meaning he won't pitch against them.

But that's okay - he's actually been hit more times by 6'1" 28 year olds than by 6'2" 26 year olds. (And besides that, Shawn Hill is Canadian, and Biggio has never been plunked by a Canadian). Jason Marquis and Joel Pineiro are 6'1 and 28, and starting right-handers on the Astros upcoming schedule (and not Canadian), but Marquis turns 29 on August 21st and his team won't face the Astros until August 31st. Joel Pineiro, though, is 6'1 and 28 and currently listed as a starter for the Cardinals. They have seven more games against the Astros.

But still, there are many more criteria we can use to identify those pitchers who fit the profile of the ones who have plunked Biggio in the past. One slightly counterintuitive approach is looking at how many times they've already plunked Biggio. He's been plunked 213 times by pitchers who have never plunked him before - nearly 75% of his total. So, oddly, it would seem Biggio is more likely to be plunked by someone who hasn't plunked Biggio than by someone who already has. The average pitcher who hits Craig Biggio with a pitch has hit Craig Biggio 0.38 times before that time they hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. There are 22 starting right-handers who have never plunked Biggio on the rosters of the Astros remaining opponents. Biggio's been hit 103 times by starting right handers who have never plunked him before. There are 21 starting right-handers who have never plunked Biggio on teams that will still face the Astros this year. 13 of them are between 24 and 30 years old, and between 72 and 76 inches tall.

Another key distinguishing feature of pitchers who have plunked Biggio is experience - Biggio has been hit 36 times by pitchers in their 2nd and 3rd year (each) in the majors. The average Biggio plunker has 5.6 years of major league experience, but he's been recorded 55.8% if his HBPs against pitcher with 5 years in the majors or less. 9 right handed starters on teams the Astros will still face have 5 years or less in the majors, have never plunked Biggio, and are between the ages of 24 and 30 and between 6'0" and 6'4".

One last notable fact, for today, about pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch is that a large number of them debuted in the majors at age 22. He's been hit more times by pitchers who debuted at 22 than by pitchers with any other debut age. There is only one right handed starter currently on the roster of a team the Astros still have to play who debuted at 22 and hasn't plunked Biggio before - Ian Snell of the Pirates. He's also 25 years old, in his 4th year in the majors, and he's never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch before - but he's only 5'11 - 1 inch to short to fit this profile. If we expand this a bit and look at pitchers who debuted between the ages of 22 and 24, that would cover the pitchers who threw 57.5% of Biggio's past plunks. There are 6 pitchers on teams who still play the Astros this year who are right handed starters, between 6'0 and 6'4", between 24 and 30, with 5 years or less of experince, who have never plunked Biggio and debuted in the majors between age 22 and 24. They are Canadian Shawn Hill, Lance Cormier of the Braves, Claudio Vargas and Dave Bush of the Brewers, John Maine of the Mets and Anthony Reyes of the Cardinals - but only one of those 6 was born in the state that has contributed nearly twice as many plunks to Biggio's total than any other state or country. That's Dave Bush, and he's from California. Californian's have plunked Biggio 42 times.

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