In Thursday's Stat Notes we looked at Ben Revere's plate discipline stats, and noted that while he sees a lot of strikes, he has among the lowest swing rates in baseball. Unfortunately, he is more likely, relative to the league, to swing at balls outside the strike zone (65th lowest out of 180), than in it (1st lowest).
Another even more interesting case of plate discipline, and at the other end of the spectrum in many respects, is Ryan Howard. Here is where he ranks in those same stats, out of the 173 qualifying hitters in the majors:
- 23rd fewest pitches seen in the strike zone (42.0%)
- 24th highest in the % of all pitches swung at (52.2%) -- his previous high was 49.1%
- 12th highest in the % of pitches in the strike zone that he's swung at (75.0%) -- career high is 75.5% in 2009
- 31st highest in the % of pitches out of the strike zone that he's swung at (35.7%)
He also has some of the LOWEST contact rates in MLB:
- 2nd lowest contact rate overall (63.8%) -- career low is 64.7% in 2007
- 21st lowest contact rate in the strike zone (79.4%) -- about his career average
- 2nd lowest contact rate on pitches outside the zone that he's swung at (39.8%) -- he's ranged from 35.2% (2006), to 53.7% (2011) throughout his career.
So Revere sees lots of pitches in the zone, rarely swings, and usually makes contact.
While Howard sees few pitches in the zone, usually swings, and rarely makes contact.
Pitching (and Defense)
The Phils have given up the 3rd fewest unearned runs in the NL, so while they're only 12th in ERA, they're slightly better in total runs allowed, ranking 9th.
I was going to say next here, that the low number of unearned runs should not be taken to mean that the Phillies have played good defense, but in trying to prove that point, the stats are conflicting at best:
- 3rd in the NL in Defensive Efficiency, which is calculated as the % of balls in play that are converted into outs
- 4th in Total Zone runs saved
- 9th in BIS' Defensive Runs Saved, essentially at the league average
- 11th in Fangraphs' UZR
(they're also 3rd in the one stat that's least useful, but which is most likely to be quoted by the broadcast team: fielding percentage)