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  • Balls in Play on the 1st Pitch

    During a discussion a few weeks back, I had occasion to generate ANOTHER stat. I just sent it along to our coach with the following note.

    Take a look at this. ballsinplay1stpitch.pdf

    I got in another one of those philosophical “discussions” a few weeks back, and we got to talkin’ about putting the ball in play on the 1st pitch. I generated what you see for the batter, then it dawned on me that it would work for the pitchers too, so I ran it for them as well.

    I know a lot of folks think that’s looking too deeply into the numbers, but its interesting as H*** to me. It sure looks like Nico, JQ, and Mike were making lots of $$$$$ out of that 1st pitch for the batters. And unless I’m wrong, its pretty easy to see why Matt had such a great season. Not only did he get them to swing early in the count, when they put the ball in play it was $$$$$ in the bank for us.

    I think most of us that watched what went on last year knew instinctively what was going on, but this kinda proves it, and I like that.


    Since this is the 1st time I’ve allowed it to be seen in its final format. I’m open to comments and/or questions.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  • #2
    Originally posted by scorekeeper View Post
    During a discussion a few weeks back, I had occasion to generate ANOTHER stat. I just sent it along to our coach with the following note.

    Take a look at this. [ATTACH]118733[/ATTACH]

    I got in another one of those philosophical “discussions” a few weeks back, and we got to talkin’ about putting the ball in play on the 1st pitch. I generated what you see for the batter, then it dawned on me that it would work for the pitchers too, so I ran it for them as well.

    I know a lot of folks think that’s looking too deeply into the numbers, but its interesting as H*** to me. It sure looks like Nico, JQ, and Mike were making lots of $$$$$ out of that 1st pitch for the batters. And unless I’m wrong, its pretty easy to see why Matt had such a great season. Not only did he get them to swing early in the count, when they put the ball in play it was $$$$$ in the bank for us.

    I think most of us that watched what went on last year knew instinctively what was going on, but this kinda proves it, and I like that.


    Since this is the 1st time I’ve allowed it to be seen in its final format. I’m open to comments and/or questions.
    To be totally honest I do not understand the math in this situation. How can you calculate a stat that has more variable than the specific one you are looking for? I do not see how you can calculate a batting average for one pitch, when a batter could see an infinite amount. Can you please show the way you came up with a batting average for Spencer Jemes of .364? He had 58 plate appearances (So we know he saw 58 first pitches), he was hit by 1 pitch (Making at-bats 57), he got on only 4 times.

    My math is 4 / 57 = .070 BA.

    Am I absolutely reading this form wrong? Please assist me in seeing the logic.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MD Diamond Sports View Post
      To be totally honest I do not understand the math in this situation. How can you calculate a stat that has more variable than the specific one you are looking for? I do not see how you can calculate a batting average for one pitch, when a batter could see an infinite amount. Can you please show the way you came up with a batting average for Spencer Jemes of .364? He had 58 plate appearances (So we know he saw 58 first pitches), he was hit by 1 pitch (Making at-bats 57), he got on only 4 times.

      My math is 4 / 57 = .070 BA.

      Am I absolutely reading this form wrong? Please assist me in seeing the logic.
      Nevermind, I see how you did it. However, do not forget to subtract the "HBP on 1st Pitch" from "PAs". This will give you the official at bats. This would give Spencer Jemes a .192 for his "BIP on 1st Pitch Avg". This is just my recommendation. Overall, it is something that I am going to sit down and think about, now that I understand how to navigate through the stats.

      Comment


      • #4
        Your totals are messed up.

        The team hit 50/121 .413 on first pitches not .053.

        2nd, more useful would be dividing 1st pitch avg by season avg. That JQ hits for a higher average on 1st pitches than Tanner isn't surprising if JQ is a better hitter than Tanner.


        Lastly, sample size. The most 1st pitch at bats was 18. That's not really enough at bats to say anything.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by filihok View Post
          Lastly, sample size. The most 1st pitch at bats was 18. That's not really enough at bats to say anything.
          18 is the "BIP on 1st Pitch" not the at-bats. 105 is the highest number of at-bats ("Total PAS" - "HPB on 1st Pitch").

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MD Diamond Sports View Post
            18 is the "BIP on 1st Pitch" not the at-bats. 105 is the highest number of at-bats ("Total PAS" - "HPB on 1st Pitch").
            It's his thing not mine, but I think the 105 at bats are the total number of at bats. And the 18 is the highest number of at bats that ended on the 1st pitch. If so, then 18 at bats (ending on the 1st pitch) isn't really enough to draw any conclusions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by filihok View Post
              It's his thing not mine, but I think the 105 at bats are the total number of at bats. And the 18 is the highest number of at bats that ended on the 1st pitch. If so, then 18 at bats (ending on the 1st pitch) isn't really enough to draw any conclusions.
              I understand what you are saying.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MD Diamond Sports View Post
                To be totally honest I do not understand the math in this situation. How can you calculate a stat that has more variable than the specific one you are looking for? I do not see how you can calculate a batting average for one pitch, when a batter could see an infinite amount. Can you please show the way you came up with a batting average for Spencer Jemes of .364? He had 58 plate appearances (So we know he saw 58 first pitches), he was hit by 1 pitch (Making at-bats 57), he got on only 4 times.

                My math is 4 / 57 = .070 BA.

                Am I absolutely reading this form wrong? Please assist me in seeing the logic.
                You are correct, as in all stats, there are loads of variables. But if you look at the top, you’ll see the math. His .364 isn’t his BA, its his BA on balls he put into play on the 1st pitch only. His “BIP on 1st Pitch Avg, is computed using his total PAs, and shows his average of putting balls in play on the 1st pitch.

                They are two different things. One shows how often he put the ball in play on the 1st pitch, and the other shows how often the ball in play was a hit.

                Of course there are all kinds of ways these things could be looked at, and I don’t doubt there may be “better” ways. But this was in response to a discussion dealing specifically7 with 1st pitch BIPS.
                The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd like to know what the average is for the 2nd pitch, 3rd pitch, etc. Not to give you more work, but I don't get it. Is the limited data suggesting not to swing at the first pitch because the 3rd pitch has a higher BA?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MD Diamond Sports View Post
                    Nevermind, I see how you did it. However, do not forget to subtract the "HBP on 1st Pitch" from "PAs". This will give you the official at bats. This would give Spencer Jemes a .192 for his "BIP on 1st Pitch Avg". This is just my recommendation. Overall, it is something that I am going to sit down and think about, now that I understand how to navigate through the stats.
                    Oops. I answered you 1st post before I read the 2nd. No big deal though. It never hurt me to explain something like that. If I can’t do that, I shouldn’t be producing the stat.

                    As for OABs, that’s a good discussion. If you look at the BIP on 1st Pitch, you’ll see the HBPs aren’t included. I did that because the ball wasn’t put into play. I wasn’t trying to compute the average of how many times anyone reached base safely on the FP, but as you can see, I’ve added that just in case it wasn’t clear.

                    ballsinplay1stpitch.pdf
                    Last edited by scorekeeper; 01-15-2013, 09:41 AM.
                    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If your BABIP on the first pitch is not significantly higher than your BA you are swinging at pitches you shouldn't be swinging at.

                      every LL coach tells you that you only swing the first pitch if it is right down the pipe. how could this not lead to a high BABIP?
                      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by filihok View Post
                        Your totals are messed up.

                        The team hit 50/121 .413 on first pitches not .053.

                        2nd, more useful would be dividing 1st pitch avg by season avg. That JQ hits for a higher average on 1st pitches than Tanner isn't surprising if JQ is a better hitter than Tanner.


                        Lastly, sample size. The most 1st pitch at bats was 18. That's not really enough at bats to say anything.

                        NICE CATCH! And thanx!

                        I got in a bit of a rush and forgot to update the calculation in the totals.

                        I’m not understanding why dividing 1st pitch avg by season avg would be more useful. The major purpose was to show how everyone fared on 1st pitch BIPs, not to determine who was the better hitter. I have literally dozens of metrics showing JQ is by far the best hitter our program’s ever had, I really don’t see the need for another one. But, I’m willing to have my mind changed.

                        Sample size is always a matter of contention, and I guess I’ll never be able to change anyone’s mind who’s idea of an adequate sample size comes from MLB players. But the truth is, even an average ML player gets more PAs in 1 season than most HS players get in an entire Varsity career. I can’t do anything about that, other than to say, the numbers are what they are, and since we’re only comparing players on our team, in my mind the numbers are valid.

                        Now if you’d like to see how those reports look on our historical numbers, i.e., numbers that include all players since the program began in 2007, here they are.

                        ballsinplay1stpitchall.pdf
                        The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by scorekeeper View Post
                          Oops. I answered you 1st post before I read the 2nd. No big deal though. It never hurt me to explain something like that. If I can’t do that, I shouldn’t be producing the stat.

                          As for OABs, that’s a good discussion. If you look at the BIP on 1st Pitch, you’ll see the HBPs aren’t included. I did that because the ball wasn’t put into play. I wasn’t trying to compute the average of how many times anyone reached base safely on the FP, but as you can see, I’ve added that just in case it wasn’t clear.

                          [ATTACH]118774[/ATTACH]
                          I totally understand the .pdf now. However, one thing I would like to see is how many players swung at first pitch. It would be a better stat if instead of calculating all At-Bats you could narrow it down to 1st Pitch Swings. This would eliminate the variable 1st Pitch Balls. I think it would also give you a better representation of just 1st Pitch. You would be able to throw out unneeded At-Bats that the 1st pitch was not hittable. However, I know that this data is not on a score book. It would need to be specially recorded. This is just my idea on how to improve it for future use. Other than that it looks good.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scorekeeper View Post
                            NICE CATCH! And thanx!

                            I got in a bit of a rush and forgot to update the calculation in the totals.

                            I’m not understanding why dividing 1st pitch avg by season avg would be more useful. The major purpose was to show how everyone fared on 1st pitch BIPs, not to determine who was the better hitter. I have literally dozens of metrics showing JQ is by far the best hitter our program’s ever had, I really don’t see the need for another one. But, I’m willing to have my mind changed.
                            Well...we don't know that.

                            For one player hitting .300 on 1st pitches might be good. For another player hitting .300 might be bad. That's where the 1st pitch/season would come in handy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
                              I'd like to know what the average is for the 2nd pitch, 3rd pitch, etc. Not to give you more work, but I don't get it. Is the limited data suggesting not to swing at the first pitch because the 3rd pitch has a higher BA?
                              I was wondering if anyone would ask about that. You’re my kind of guy!

                              I’ve done several different things on the different pitches, and doing this one really wouldn’t be all that tough, but it would take a bit of time. In the meantime while I’m contemplating how or whether to do it, got to each of the links below. You can look around all you like, but to get to something more on point, do a find “battle”. You’ll find two parts to each different situation. The 1st shows each pitch and what happened, and the 2nd does a calculation of BA and OBP. The bigdifference is, they don't break out the numbers individually.

                              Don’t be too surprised if the numbers don’t coincide perfectly between them and this new thing though. Those “battle” were set up more than 15 years ago, and are done slightly differently than now because of new abilities I have.

                              http://www.infosports.com/scorekeepe.../batting12.pdf
                              http://www.infosports.com/scorekeepe...itching12a.pdf
                              The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                              Comment

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