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How do you know what "type" of hitter a player is?

Sep 30, 2013
415
0
I’m looking for a way to determine what kind of hitter a players is. For example: are they an aggressive contact hitter who’ll swing at a lot of pitches but makes a lot of contact, or a patient hitter who doesn’t swing at much, but when they swing they drive the ball hard?

I know the current thinking is that a GOOD coach would just be able to tell one type of hitter from another and then make correct personnel decisions based on that gut feeling, but I’d like to see if it couldn’t be done a bit more scientifically, so I’m also looking for a way to measure it.
 
Mar 20, 2014
893
16
Northwest
Detailed stats would tell a lot of the story IMO. I also like to see the attitude of the player - are they going up to the plate with "swag" and an aggressive attitude?
 
Sep 30, 2013
415
0
Detailed stats would tell a lot of the story IMO. I also like to see the attitude of the player - are they going up to the plate with "swag" and an aggressive attitude?
Well, the player’s attitude can’t be determined by any stat I know of, but for sure there are tons of different stats to use to tell the story. Which ones would best tell you as the coach, which of your players were the most aggressive or patient hitters?
 
Jun 27, 2011
5,089
0
North Carolina
I’m looking for a way to determine what kind of hitter a players is. For example: are they an aggressive contact hitter who’ll swing at a lot of pitches but makes a lot of contact, or a patient hitter who doesn’t swing at much, but when they swing they drive the ball hard?
I'm curious to hear what kind of stat might be used to change a coach's strategy. Let's take aggressive vs. patient. I might use that info (pitches taken, SO/BB ratio, etc.) to come up with theories about whether a hitter wouldn't be more effective being more or less aggressive. But as far as batting order and who makes the lineup and who doesn't, it's almost entirely about bottom-line production - do you get on base, do you hit for average, do you hit for power? Give me OBA, BA and slugging, and what else do I need?
 
Mar 20, 2014
893
16
Northwest
Well, the player’s attitude can’t be determined by any stat I know of, but for sure there are tons of different stats to use to tell the story. Which ones would best tell you as the coach, which of your players were the most aggressive or patient hitters?
With the score book that I like to use (Glovers) you can actually write the pitch number in the balls and strikes boxes. That can tell you what number pitch a particular swing is - does this batter wait for a first strike to go by before they swing, are they patient if the first three pitches are balls, etc. I think that this can paint a picture of the batter's patterns at the plate. I have also been involved in teams that keep a second set of stats on their batters that shows in more detail what types of pitches they swing at (do they consistently swing and miss at low and outside? etc.). Stats can get as detailed as you want them to get. I don't pay as much attention to BA as I do SLG and OBP - I think that they are a better indicator of a batter.

And like I said before - stats are great but attitude is everything at the plate. You have to add that to the stats.
 
Jul 23, 2014
195
16
I'm not sure, I'd say 30 ABs or so would start revealing some tendencies. Of course, just watching the players over the course of 30 ABs would give you a pretty good indication of how aggressive versus patient they are.
 
Sep 30, 2013
415
0
I'm curious to hear what kind of stat might be used to change a coach's strategy.
Depends on what kind of “strategy” you’re talking about. Among others, there’s a strategy for setting a batting order, and there’s a strategy for choosing a pinch hitter.

Let's take aggressive vs. patient. I might use that info (pitches taken, SO/BB ratio, etc.) to come up with theories about whether a hitter wouldn't be more effective being more or less aggressive.
Do you really look at pitches TAKEN? If you do, do you also get a report on what count they occurred? What software do you use for your stats?

This is something I threw together last week. It’s pretty easy to see which players hit the ball the most when they swing, and which make the least contact when they swing. It’s also pretty simple to see which hitters are up there look to swing rather than watch the pitch.

View attachment pitchtypes5.pdf

If you had whatever stats you felt were necessary to make the determination as to whether or not a hitter would be more “effective” by changing, what would you use to determine effectiveness?

But as far as batting order and who makes the lineup and who doesn't, it's almost entirely about bottom-line production - do you get on base, do you hit for average, do you hit for power? Give me OBA, BA and slugging, and what else do I need?
I don’t necessarily disagree, but many coaches are beginning to use Runs Created, since it’s got a higher correlation to runs then any of the other ”slash” stats.
 
Sep 30, 2013
415
0
With the score book that I like to use (Glovers) you can actually write the pitch number in the balls and strikes boxes. That can tell you what number pitch a particular swing is - does this batter wait for a first strike to go by before they swing, are they patient if the first three pitches are balls, etc. I think that this can paint a picture of the batter's patterns at the plate. I have also been involved in teams that keep a second set of stats on their batters that shows in more detail what types of pitches they swing at (do they consistently swing and miss at low and outside? etc.). Stats can get as detailed as you want them to get. I don't pay as much attention to BA as I do SLG and OBP - I think that they are a better indicator of a batter.
I used a Glovers when I still used paper and pencil, and that was one of the biggest reasons.

Can you post an example of a metric you use that would show batter tendencies the way you described them? I’m always looking for stats that show tendencies like that, and I’d love to steal that one. ;)

I’ve always been leery of charting pitches, which is why I refuse to do it. Even a great
“charter” is seldom very accurate unless they stick with 4 zones. And even though many people believe it’s easy to determine pitch type, there’s an error rate in it that I’ve just never been comfortable accepting. But I know a lot of people do it.

And like I said before - stats are great but attitude is everything at the plate. You have to add that to the stats.
Actually, it’s funny you mentioned that. Several years back I added the ability to factor attitude into the stats. I had the coach give me an “attitude” number from 1 to 10, then when I computed say a BA, multiplied the BA but the number multiplied by 10 to get a percentage, then showed them both. So, if 2 players had a BA of .350, but one had an attitude of 6 and the other a 9, the 1st would show an aBA of .210 while the other was .315.

I thought it was a pretty cool way for the coach to impose what he was seeing on the numbers, but it drove the parents batshi* crazy, so I ended up doing away with it. :(
 

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