Monday, August 13, 2007


With only 45 Astros games remaining in the career of Craig Biggio, it's about time that we start applying all that we've learned over the past 3 seasons of research regarding who exactly has been plunking him all these times. Perhaps, if we start trying to pull together the various pieces, we can create a picture of who is going to throw those 3 plunks he needs to reach 288 and the all time record.

The most obvious feature of a would be Biggio-plunker, is that he's a pitcher - Biggio has never been plunked by a position player filling in at the pitchers spot. The next most obvious trait for those who have plunked Biggio is throwing right-handed. 80% of Craig Biggio 285 career plunks have been thrown by right-handed pitchers. And, starting pitchers have thrown 200 of Biggio's 285 plunks - about 70.2%. Joining those criteria together, there are 155 of of Biggio's plunks that have been thrown by right-handed, starting pitchers, but all but 12 of Biggio's HBPs have been thrown by someone who was either right-handed OR the starter.

Another feature we can look at is the pitcher's age. We know that the average age of pitchers who have plunked Biggio is about 28.5 and the median age is 28. But, Biggio has been plunked the most times by pitchers who are 26 years old. In case you haven't seen it recently here are Biggio's career HBPs split by the age of the pitcher who threw them:

Pitcher age - HBP:BGO
20 - 1
21 - 4
22 - 14
23 - 17
24 - 23
25 - 26
26 - 33
27 - 20
28 - 28
29 - 24
30 - 25
31 - 18
32 - 19
33 - 12
34 - 6
35 - 2
36 - 2
37 - 1
38 - 2
39 - 4
40 - 2
41 - 2

As you can see, about 63% of Biggio's plunks have been thrown by pitchers between the ages of 24 and 30. In all, Biggio has been plunked 19 times by 26 year old right handed starters. He's only been hit 20 times by left handers 29 or older (including starters and relievers).

Obviously though, we can't construct an accurate profile of pitchers most likely to plunk Biggio without looking at the pitchers' height. Biggio has been 57 times by pitchers listed at 6'2" tall, and 81% of his plunks have been thrown by pitchers between 6'0 and 6'4". Pitchers within that range of heights AND between ages 24 and 30 have accounted for nearly half of Biggio's career HBPs. Starting right-handed pitchers between 24 and 30 years old and between 72 and 76 inches tall have plunked Biggio a total of 70 times - and 65 of those were thrown by pitchers whose name was not Pedro Astacio.

This isn't much to go on so far, so we'll have to try to narrow this search for the next three plunks a little more in days to come.


At 8/14/2007 04:42:00 AM, Anonymous JD said...

I love the profiling. So what you need to do is use age, handedness, starter/reliever, height, and whatever other factors you want (how about the number the pitcher wears?) and then apply the most likely (6'2, age 26, RHP, SP, etc.) to current NL pitchers who are on teams on Houston's remaining schedule. There's a pitcher out there who is most likely to hit Biggio and I wanna know who he is!

Love the site. If you're looking for a player who is the next likely HBP king candidate, check out Aaron Rowand's HBP numbers. His HBP/PA rate and age make him a guy who can challenge if he can stick around another 10 years.


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