Team Walk Rates: Another Look

About 5 weeks ago I looked at the Phillies walk rates as individuals and as a team. I concluded that the team was fairly hackish, and that the players who weren't hackish were mostly from outside the organization (Abreu, for example). The bench was littered with hackers, and 'young' hitters Utley and Howard were OK, but nothing exciting. This basically meant that some guys had good eyes, some had decent eyes, but many players were swinging at balls. How has one month affected these rates and what does this say about the offense? Let's look at them and how they've changed:

Pat Burrell .192 -.009
Danny Sandoval .188 (3 walks in 16 AB)
Ryan Howard ..144 +.044
David Dellucci .108 +.039
Chase Utley .087 -.009
Jimmy Rollins .085 n/c
Abraham Nunez .079 +.037
Shane Victorino .057 +.015
Mike Lieberthal .047 +.035
Aaron Rowand .045 +.009
Carlos Ruiz .045 +.019 (2 walks in 44 AB)
Chris Coste .031 +INF
Chris Roberson N/A (0 walks in 26 AB)

What the traded ended with:
Bobby Abreu .268 -.014 w/ Yankees: .102

David Bell .099 -.008 w/ Brewers: .070

Sal Fasano .036 n/c w/ Yankees: N/A (0 in 16 AB)
So 8 guys improved their walk rate, 1 didn't change, and 2 saw theirs decline. Ryan Howard saw the biggest improvement, but David Dellucci and Abe Nunez also improved a lot. It's just too bad that the rest of Nunez's offense hasn't improved a lick. It looks like Utley is a bit of a free-swinger, which is OK if the guy can hit 320. If he can't consistently do that, he might need to lay off some more pitches. Rowand's still a hacker, but he does get hit a lot (16, compared to 17 walks). Looks like a decent improvement by the team by roughly looking at it, but how do the Phillies compare with the rest of the league? Anything that changes by .001 or .002 will simply be listed as n/c(teams w/ winning records in bold):

Red Sox .120 -.004
Reds .115 -.003
Yankees .113 -.008
Athletics .112 n/c

Nationals .110 +.012
PHILLIES .106 +.004
Dodgers .105 -.003
Astros .103 -.003
Indians .098 -.004
Mets .097 +.007
Cardinals .097 +.003
Padres -.097 n/c

Rockies .096 n/c
Blue Jays .095 - .007
Giants .095 -.007
Twins .094 n/c
Braves .094 n/c
Diamondbacks .094 -.006
Brewers .094 n/c
Royals .092 +.004
White Sox .091 -.005
Rangers .091 n/c
Marlins .091 -.005
Devil Rays .087 n/c
Pirates .086 n/c
Orioles .085 +.005
Angels .084 n/c
Tigers .074 -.003
Cubs .074 +.004
Mariners .071 -.003

So the Phillies have improved, with the Nationals and Mets having the greatest gains. The Yankees and Giants had the greatest losses, but the Yankees were so high that it was bound to go down some. It's interesting to note that of the 15 highest team walk rates, 9 of them have a winning record, in comparison with 5 of the bottom 15. I would say that there is a bit more to that than just pure random luck, and that the more patient teams tend to swing at better pitches and score more runs, and thus win more games. The Tigers are still near the bottom in patience, but they win with pitching. It will be interesting to see how this translates into the postseason, because I don't see them winning the World Series that way, let alone a series.

The Phillies have improved their patience as a team, and their runs scored has jumped up significantly in the last month. Actually, since the all-star break they are first in the majors leagues in runs. They are combining power with patience, and that is displayed by a guy like Ryan Howard, who has hit batshit crazy since the break (355 avg/ 500 OBP/776 SLG). Just imagine if Dellucci could have played CF for this team, we could have kept Abreu and had the most patient team in the league.

I think all of this shows that the offense is on track and hitting, and now it's up to the pitching to do its part. As evidenced by the Reds series, it's not there just yet.