FanPost

"Mistake pitches"

Throughout this season one of the main complaints I have heard about our hitters other than the inability to hit for power is our inability to hit "mistake pitches" Something like a middle middle fastball. One hitter who I've commonly seen been mentioned in this regard is Tork. So me being the nerd I am immediately went to baseball savant to try and get some numbers on this.

In order to make this data as easy to understand for people who don't know a lot about statcast take a look at this image:

This is an image of statcasts attack zones. It is a way of grouping pitches by location. The green dotted line represents the actual dimensions of the strike zone whilst the solid shapes each represent a particular section of the zone or outside of it. For this little search of mine I focused on the sections labeled as the "Heart" of the zone. In particular I also looked at the sections 4-5-6 which are the areas that most would consider to be "middle-middle". Now that I've explained what exactly I'm looking at I decided to look at Tork's data because that is the player I've heard a lot of complaints about. I did searches for pitches that were: Swung at or Fouled off and were also some type of fastball (4-seam, 2-seam, Cutter, Sinker). This is because the easiest type of "mistake" pitch to identify for me was a middle middle fastball right where the hitter likes it. So with that being said here are Tork's charts:

This chart is the outcome of all the pitches that were in attack zones 4-5-6 that Tork swung at that were fastballs. You can see that the grand majority of the time he fouls them off (55.3% of the time) he's only gotten a hit ONCE and he's put 8 others into play. He is also whiffing 21.1% of the time on these! Now that being said and done here's another chart for Tork this time for all pitches in the "Heart" of the zone that where fastballs that Tork swung at:

Now you can see that the results are still similar to the previous chart. He's gotten more hits but he's fouling off these pitches over half the time. He's also still whiffing 19% of the time which is strange. These are mistake pitches no? Aren't they supposed to get corked (Torked?). It is worth noting that this is still a pretty small sample size so I'm not 100% sure how much these stats actually mean especially when you consider maybe some of these pitches and results were the result of good pitch sequencing but this data at the very least does seem to support the idea that there is something wrong with his swing.

The idea for this fanpost was to simply just look at Tork's numbers to comfirm what many people in the gamethreads had been saying but during the process of gathering this information I decided to do these tests for the entire team with the same parameters to see if we as a team are really missing all these mistake pitches. So here's the results:Imagen

So here's our results for the entire team this time if we look at attack zones 4-5-6 as earlier. Similar results albeit less extreme than Torks... now here's the chart for the "heart" of the plate:

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So there you go... pretty identical it seems. But how do we compare to other teams? I made this quick little chart to show all teams in MLB this season here is for pitches in attack zones 4-5-6. The further to the right and the higher the more pitches the team fouled off:

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Here you'll notice that we're much more middle of the pack ish. This was kind of surprising to me but how about the entirety of the heart of the zone?

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In this chart it looks like we're still in the upper part but we're not a massive outlier here. It seems like we do it more than average but certainly nothing to suggest that we're a massive outlier.

Alright stick with me because this mess of text is about to end soon okay! I decided to do one last chart this time to compare Tork against the league average to see how he stacked up. I only made one for the heart of the zone pitches for this one because of sample size problems:
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Alright there we got something useful! Among players with minumum 50 qualified pitches Torkelson is definetly fouls off more than the average hitter. So there... Nerd stuff over. Thanks for reading!



TLDR; Tork does foul off more "mistake pitches" by a decent margin but the team as a whole doesn't particularly.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.