Well, I certainly believe walking or hitting batters is a bad thing, but the more strikes thrown, the fewer walks are possible. And if a pitcher can get rid of a batter without getting into a 3 ball count, a walk is impossible. One thing I have my program track is 3 ball counts. I’ve noticed that the teams who’d pitchers stay out of 3 ball counts, which can also be expressed as pitching to contact, sure seem to be the most successful on a game by game basis. I haven’t run any numbers to prove/disprove that, but I’m watching that pretty closely during games, and a high number of 3 ball counts usually is ties to problems.The point is ... it's not about getting batters to "hit the ball", it's about "not walking them". Not walking them is THE skill. Getting them to hit the ball ISN'T.
And it seem that that holds true no matter what the level. Take a look at the link. Doc3.pdf
The top game was the StL/Cle game yesterday, the middle game was out team’s final playoff game, and the bottom one was a random LLI Majors game I score a few weeks back. See if you can tell which team won/lost based on nothing but those pictures.
Heck, college and pro ball isn’t immune from scorer deficiencies, which is why personally I like to see RBAs(Reached Base Averages) that include all PAs and treat reaching base in any manner as a positive.IO sure as heck wouldn't use BA at the HS or youth levels, not given the disparity in scorekeeper and defense quality. What's an error and what's a hit is highly dependent, as is the disparity in team defense.
Free passes are valuable at any level because there is no defense against them, other than to have the pitcher throw more strikes.Since walks at youth levels are so valuable, OBP should be king of youth baseball.
It almost sounds like you advocate throwing lots of pitches in an attempt to keep the bat batters from hitting the ball. Sounds bass ackwards to what the current philosophy is, where its to conserve pitches by getting the batter out by hitting the ball.Same here. My overall intent is to get people to look at the situation and not see "allowing batters to hit the ball" as being a "good skill". It's not for the vast majority of pitchers., plus many of them aren't doing it by choice. But, it's the lack of walks that is the real benefit.
Which is preferable? A pitcher gives up 3 walks to 3 leadoff batters or 3 singles to 3 leadoff batters.