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Why no one will hit .400 ever again

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  • #61
    Originally posted by dominik View Post
    .
    A 35+ HR guy with under 13% Ks or so might only need a .385 babip to hit 400..
    Name the players from the last several decades who had this in a single season, Dominik.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Floyd Gondolli View Post

      Name the players from the last several decades who had this in a single season, Dominik.
      Using 35+ HR and under 13% K, Pujols comes to mind. In 2006 Pujols hit 49 HR's with just 50 K's (7.9%) in 634 PA's. Pujols "only" hit .331 because he had a .292 BABIP. That seems so strange.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

      Comment


      • #63
        For fun I took the best BA for each month of Jose's Altuve's last four seasons to see what kind of BA he would he have.

        April: .367 (36/98) 2015
        May: .357 (45/126) 2014
        June: 420 (42/100) 2016
        July: .485 (48/99) 2017
        Aug: .375 (45/120) 2015
        Sept: .367 (36/98) 2014

        Total: 252 hits, 641 AB's

        BA : .393

        Five more hits would get Altuve to a .401 BA.
        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-13-2018, 09:58 AM.
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post

          Using 35+ HR and under 13% K, Pujols comes to mind. In 2006 Pujols hit 49 HR's with just 50 K's (7.9%) in 634 PA's. Pujols "only" hit .331 because he had a .292 BABIP. That seems so strange.
          Low K-rates tend to correlate with low BABIP. Trout is a good case in point. Last year he had the lowest K-rate of his career, but also the lowest by far BABIP. In September, his K-rate dropped all the way to 12%, probably his best ever month in that regard, but his BABIP was also probably a monthly low at just .216.

          Why? You can reduce your K rate by not being selective and going deep into counts, but rather by swinging at anything in the zone. But if you do that, contact tends to be worse than if you only swing at a pitch you really like, and hence a lower BABIP. Last year, Trout had a higher Z-swing rate, and a higher contact rate than in 2016, but his LD rate and hard hit rate were down.

          He's picking up where he left off last year, too. He hasn't struck out yet in ST, but his BABIP I think is .200. Small sample size, of course, but this is a definite trend. This doesn't mean he isn't getting better. His O-swing rate has dropped dramatically since he was a rookie, and his Z-swing rate has increased. But his LD rate was a career low last year, and only as a rookie was his hard hit rate lower.

          This of course is another reason why it's so hard to hit .400. Two of the prerequisites, a low K-rate and a high BABIP, tend to be inversely correlated, i.e., K-rate and BABIP tend to be directly correlated.
          Last edited by Stolensingle; 03-12-2018, 11:23 PM.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

            Low K-rates tend to correlate with low BABIP. Trout is a good case in point. Last year he had the lowest K-rate of his career, but also the lowest by far BABIP. In September, his K-rate dropped all the way to 12%, probably his best ever month in that regard, but his BABIP was also probably a monthly low at just .216.

            Why? You can reduce your K rate by not being selective and going deep into counts, but rather by swinging at anything in the zone. But if you do that, contact tends to be worse than if you only swing at a pitch you really like, and hence a lower BABIP. Last year, Trout had a higher Z-swing rate, and a higher contact rate than in 2016, but his LD rate and hard hit rate were down.

            He's picking up where he left off last year, too. He hasn't struck out yet in ST, but his BABIP I think is .200. Small sample size, of course, but this is a definite trend. This doesn't mean he isn't getting better. His O-swing rate has dropped dramatically since he was a rookie, and his Z-swing rate has increased. But his LD rate was a career low last year, and only as a rookie was his hard hit rate lower.

            This of course is another reason why it's so hard to hit .400. Two of the prerequisites, a low K-rate and a high BABIP, tend to be inversely correlated, i.e., K-rate and BABIP tend to be directly correlated.
            low Ks can be bad for babip because you put bad pitches in play with two strikes but with trout I think the reason is his increased FB rate. FBs produce more HRs but the babip on them is like 150 since homers don't count for babip and they rarely fall for other hits.

            I think it is more that because at 18,% his K rate is better than average but not super low, miggy routinely had 350 babips with a 15-18% K rate.
            Last edited by dominik; 03-13-2018, 02:37 AM.
            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


            • #66
              Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

              Low K-rates tend to correlate with low BABIP. Trout is a good case in point. Last year he had the lowest K-rate of his career, but also the lowest by far BABIP. In September, his K-rate dropped all the way to 12%, probably his best ever month in that regard, but his BABIP was also probably a monthly low at just .216.

              Why? You can reduce your K rate by not being selective and going deep into counts, but rather by swinging at anything in the zone. But if you do that, contact tends to be worse than if you only swing at a pitch you really like, and hence a lower BABIP. Last year, Trout had a higher Z-swing rate, and a higher contact rate than in 2016, but his LD rate and hard hit rate were down.

              He's picking up where he left off last year, too. He hasn't struck out yet in ST, but his BABIP I think is .200. Small sample size, of course, but this is a definite trend. This doesn't mean he isn't getting better. His O-swing rate has dropped dramatically since he was a rookie, and his Z-swing rate has increased. But his LD rate was a career low last year, and only as a rookie was his hard hit rate lower.

              This of course is another reason why it's so hard to hit .400. Two of the prerequisites, a low K-rate and a high BABIP, tend to be inversely correlated, i.e., K-rate and BABIP tend to be directly correlated.
              So it seems that you are saying that Trout is trading strikeouts for weakly hit outs thus lowering his BABIP?
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

              Comment


              • #67
                Nomar went 235 for 598 (.392) during a stretch from 1999-2000. This might be the type of guy who can bat .400: good hitter's home stadium, low strikeout rate, free swinger with some pop. I'm kind of surprised a guy like Vlad never approached .400. Of course, he would have had he played in Colorado.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Earlier I mentioned Todd Helton's 2000 season.

                  Thru 518 PA
                  .399538 BA (173 for 433)
                  .491 OBP
                  .725 SLG
                  .386 BABIP
                  30 HR
                  77 BB
                  41 K


                  Helton's BABIP was well below .400. At this point Helton's season was looking like Hornsby's 1922 and 1925 seasons. Hornsby had a .392 BABIP in 1922 (.401 BA) and a .385 BABIP in 1925 (.403 BA).

                  Hornsby 1922: .401/.459/.722
                  Hornsby 1925: .403/.489/.756
                  Helton 2000: .400/.491/.725
                  Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-13-2018, 10:57 AM.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                    Earlier I mentioned Todd Helton's 2000 season.

                    Thru 518 PA
                    .399538 BA (173 for 433)
                    .491 OBP
                    .725 SLG
                    .386 BABIP
                    30 HR
                    77 BB
                    41 K


                    Helton's BABIP was well below .400. At this point Helton's season was looking like Hornsby's 1922 and 1925 seasons. Hornsby had a .392 BABIP in 1922 (.401 BA) and a .385 BABIP in 1925 (.403 BA).

                    Hornsby 1922: .401/.459/.722
                    Hornsby 1925: .403/.489/.756
                    Helton 2000: .400/.491/.725
                    The main difference being that Hornsby was hitting at his normal level, while Helton wasn't. Barring a shortened season he wasn't going to maintain it. There were probably ten or fifteen guys around in 2000 who could have hit .400 playing at Coors; Helton wasn't one of them.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by dominik View Post

                      low Ks can be bad for babip because you put bad pitches in play with two strikes but with trout I think the reason is his increased FB rate. FBs produce more HRs but the babip on them is like 150 since homers don't count for babip and they rarely fall for other hits.

                      I think it is more that because at 18,% his K rate is better than average but not super low, miggy routinely had 350 babips with a 15-18% K rate.
                      Yes, Trout's FB% has been trending up while his BABIP has been trending down year to year, though his highest FB rate was in 2014, when his BABIP was still pretty high, about .350.

                      Miggy shows that you can reduce your K rate without affecting BABIP, I have to admit that. In his early years, 2003-08, his K-rate was 19.1% and his BABIP was .346. In his prime years, 2009-16, his K-rate dropped to 15.2%, while his BABIP stayed the same, .348. And his FB rate also remained constant during this period, 36.3% for the early years, 36.1% for the prime years.




                      Comment


                      • #71
                        From the Baseball Analysts website.

                        What Would It Take to Hit .400 in the 21st Century?

                        By Al Doyle
                        September 20, 2011

                        Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941, making him the last player to reach or exceed the .400 level over a full season. Hall of Famers Rod Carew (.388 in 1977), George Brett (.390 in 1980) and Tony Gwynn (.394 during the strike-shortened 1994 season) were the only serious contenders since then, which raises a logical question: Has hitting .400 become baseball's impossible dream?

                        Obviously, a player would need to catch every possible break to reach this ultimate achievement today. Four factors have turned a once rare feat into something that may be unattainable. First, let's blame diligent and hard-working groundskeepers.

                        When was the last time you saw a bad-hop hit at the major league level? What was once a periodic part of the action is virtually extinct. The modern field of dreams is much more than sod from a local farm that gets cut and watered as needed. Baseball groundskeeping has become a science of its own, with sophisticated drainage and heating systems employed to keep customized turf in prime condition. The lack of a fluke hop or two can turn a historic .400 campaign into a near miss .390-something season.

                        Scouting is also light years beyond what could have been imagined in the past. Spray charts display every ball hit by batters, and advance scouts pick up helpful information before each series. Using Gwynn as an example, what if the master of hitting to all fields was known to pull the ball against a certain pitcher? That tidbit wouldn't sneak by a sharp-eyed scout, and it would be known to the opposition.

                        Gloves that were once compact enough to be stuffed into back pockets have grown to the point where making one-handed catches of small dogs wouldn't be a problem. The modern hand basket takes away numerous hits each season, and that won't change in the future.

                        There are no late-inning breathers for 21st century hitters, and it goes beyond flame-throwing closers. Left-handed hitters can count on seeing lots of brief appearances from LOOGYs over the course of a season, and righty swingers get to deal with some nasty middle relievers who can make life tough.

                        If it was very difficult to reach the .400 mark prior to 1941, what are the chances of achieving such a feat now? Microscopic might be overstating the odds, but here is what it would take to get the job done in the post-steroids era.

                        Left-handed hitters only need apply to be the next Mr. .400. We're talking about a feat that has almost zero margin for error, and lefties are going to get a few extra hits by being closer to first base, not to mention the advantage of seeing fewer curves and breaking balls than righty swingers.

                        It won't take Michael Bourn's wheels to be a .400 hitter, but any serious candidate needs to have better-than-average speed to beat out a few infield hits or bunts over the course of the season. Carew, Brett and Gwynn were fast enough to pass this test.

                        Speaking of speed, the slashing Astroturf choppers of the 1970s and 1980s would have been lousy candidates for the .400 club. The most important ability needed to reach that lofty level is to consistently hit the ball hard - and I'm not talking about home runs.

                        Anyone who aspires to hit .400 needs gap power or better. That keeps the outfielders deep enough to allow for some bloop singles and humpback liners to plop for hits. If the outfielders cheat in to cut off singles, they're going to get burned with plenty of doubles and a few triples.

                        While they were both known as line drive maestros, Carew and Gwynn posted better than normal power numbers in their signature seasons. Carew had career highs in hits (239), HRs (14), RBI (100), doubles (38) and triples (14) in 1977. Gwynn came through with 12 homers, 64 RBI and 35 doubles in 419 at-bats. With 165 hits in just 110 games, Gwynn was on an incredible 243-hit pace over 162 games in 1994.

                        Brett absolutely smoked the ball in 1980, as he had 66 extra base hits (33 doubles, 9 triples and 24 home runs) in just 449 at-bats - or one per 6.8 ABs - while playing half his games at spacious Kauffman Stadium. His 118 RBI were a career high in just 117 games played, and Brett's 175 hits nearly duplicated Gwynn's pace.

                        Doubles are going to be a significant factor for the potential .400 hitter. The ultimate mark in batting average can be reached with 12 to 20 homers, but piling up doubles is a very reliable indicator of hitting at a consistently high level. That applies to contact hitters and big boppers alike. If you need more evidence, compare just about any Hall of Fame slugger's doubles column to seasons by Dave Kingman and other one-dimensional swing-from-the-heels types who hit .230 or less or Wade Boggs and Pete Rose to other hitters with similar home run totals.

                        Since hitting .400 is going to come down to catching enough breaks to turn a mind-blowing .380 to .390 season into a historic event, a lot of subtle factors, flukes and incremental improvements will come into play.

                        The serious .400 prospect will need to bump up his walk total from previous seasons - at least enough to lay off some bad pitches that would normally become outs. He doesn't have to become the next Eddie "The Walking Man" Yost, but pitchers are going to be inclined to nibble and work off the corners when dealing with a red-hot hitter. Better to take a walk or wait for a fat pitch than to chase marginal stuff.

                        A modest or better reduction in strikeouts is absolutely essential. An out may be an out in many situations, but putting the ball in play more often means greater opportunities for hits, and every swing counts in the chase for .400.

                        Brett featured a very rare combination of power and contact hitting in 1980, hitting 24 bombs with just 22 strikeouts. Gwynn fanned just 19 times in 419 ABs (a typical number for him) when he hit .394 in 1994, while Carew's 1977 totals (55 Ks in 616 ABs) were better than his career average.

                        What would keep a superior hitter from reaching .400? Despite Carew's 155 games played and 694 plate appearances in 1977, having the durability of Cal Ripken would be a detriment. The length of the season guarantees some slumps and tough stretches over 162 games, so here's how such a highly unlikely feat could happen.

                        Anyone with over 550 plate appearances won't hit .400, and you can carve that in stone. Playing even 140 games out of 162 is extremely wearying (plus the pesky odds against hitters really win out in the long run), so this honor won't go to a baseball ironman.

                        Since it takes 502 plate appearances to qualify for a batting title, a position player would need to start 115 or more games to be eligible. That probably wouldn't be enough to lead the league in any other offensive category except on-base percentage, but an abbreviated schedule works to the advantage of the serious .400 candidate.

                        Nudging over 502 plate appearances with a maximum of 550 means 115 to 128 starts depending on where the next .400 swinger hits in the order. Our potential Mr. X (short for exceptional) will almost certainly bat third, although leadoff is also a possibility. Missing at least 35 games means a stretch or two on the disabled list - and that can be a big boost in the run to .400.

                        Let's give Mr. X a minor injury just before the end of spring training and 15 days on the DL. Looks like he'll miss his team's opening road trip through the blustery northeast, where cold weather reduces batting averages. If X is in the National League this season, it also means he doesn't have to face the Phillies' formidable rotation. Bummer! (sarcasm off). Instead, X gets some rehab at-bats in the balmy Florida State League to regain his timing.

                        How is the interleague schedule this year? Does the National League candidate face the rag-tag Royals staff, or does he battle it out against the Rays rotation? Does the American Leaguer feast on the Pirates, or does he struggle against Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and the rest of the Giants staff at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park? Such incidents and flukes will make much of the difference in reaching .400, and they will be noticed only in hindsight.

                        The hit machine goes down shortly before the All-Star break for 20-plus days on the DL. That means he won't be hounded by hordes of reporters who would have ignored most of the other All-Stars to ask about his .396 average. Mr. X.'s absence and injury bug cuts the hype considerably, and any mentions of a .400 season downplays the possibility of it taking place. The lack of constant media exposure for now is one less hassle for Mr. X. Poor numbers (2 for 11) in his three-game minor league rehab stint also adds to the skepticism.

                        Like many players, our guy is a hot-weather hitter, and he'll be well rested for late July and August games in humid places such as St. Louis, Cincinnati, Texas (Dallas) and Kansas City. During his second stretch on the DL, the .400 candidate missed games started by two pitchers whom he struggled against at a 2 for 17 (.118) and 5 for 26 (.192) clip.

                        Mr. X goes 2 for 4 in his return to the lineup - but it would have been 1 for 4 if the opposing team's Gold Glove second baseman had been in the lineup instead of on the DL to make a nifty grab on the hard grounder X slashed in the hole for a single. The Gold Glover's replacement is sure-handed, but lacks the world-class range of the everyday player. These are the kind of under-the-radar positive factors that are needed in the race for .400.

                        Although the national media will camp at Mr. X's door eventually, playing in a smaller or more distant market will reduce the pressure for awhile. The trio of Carew, Brett and Gwynn made their quests for .400 in Minneapolis, Kansas City and San Diego, all far removed from the New York media machine. The team's media relations director senses the possibility of history in the making, and he proactively makes plans to limit X's access for interviews and other distractions.

                        His good fortune puts Mr. X in a reflective mood. The breaks in his favor have far outweighed the frozen ropes that became outs so far this year. There was the wind-blown fly ball that landed in the second row of the bleachers in early May, the pair of popups that fell between the infielders and outfielders in June, more seeing eye grounders that trickled past infielders than normal. Can he continue to defy the baseball odds for the rest of the season, or will the pattern even out? If everything doesn't turn out exactly right until the final at-bat, Ted Williams will remain secure as the last player to hit .400.

                        http://baseballanalysts.com/archives...would_it_t.php


                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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