Posts Tagged ‘foul ball friday’

Leaders in foul balls allowed

Friday, July 12th, 2013

So far this year, Justin Verlander has allowed more foul balls to be hit off him than any other pitcher in the majors. He also leads in the category of foul balls in two strike counts, with 178. Below are the top 50 pitchers in the majors, through yesterdays game, in foul balls allowed. The number in parenthesis is the foul balls hit against them in two strike counts.

Justin Verlander – 438 (178)
Cliff Lee – 424 (175)
Cole Hamels – 415 (161)
Matt Harvey – 412 (161)
Chris Tillman – 401 (163)
Jon Lester – 397 (168)
Clayton Kershaw – 395 (147)
Shelby Miller – 391 (168)
Lance Lynn – 389 (146)
Gio Gonzalez – 380 (162)
Madison Bumgarner – 379 (142)
Jordan Zimmermann – 371 (133)
Jeff Samardzija – 371 (131)
Matt Cain – 368 (153)
Ian Kennedy – 365 (142)
Jason Hammel – 365 (140)
Adam Wainwright – 361 (138)
Homer Bailey – 361 (161)
R.A. Dickey – 359 (149)
James Shields – 359 (124)
Max Scherzer – 357 (136)
Philip Hughes – 356 (156)
Justin Masterson – 353 (141)
Derek Holland – 351 (143)
Felix Hernandez – 349 (131)
C.J. Wilson – 349 (148)
A.J. Griffin – 347 (133)
Bartolo Colon – 341 (116)
Ryan Dempster – 340 (133)
Travis Wood – 340 (136)
Hisashi Iwakuma – 339 (126)
Mat Latos – 335 (143)
Miguel Gonzalez – 334 (128)
Matt Moore – 333 (122)
Eric Stults – 332 (121)
Mike Minor – 332 (139)
Yu Darvish – 330 (132)
Jeremy Hellickson – 329 (132)
Julio Teheran – 328 (139)
Jose Quintana – 325 (136)
Wade Miley – 324 (120)
Patrick Corbin – 324 (121)
Ubaldo Jimenez – 322 (134)
Tom Milone – 322 (114)
C.C. Sabathia – 322 (109)
Tim Hudson – 321 (109)
Bud Norris – 320 (115)
Wade Davis – 317 (130)
Jeremy Guthrie – 317 (133)
Kyle Kendrick – 316 (105)
Hyunjin Ryu – 316 (127)

Here are the foul balls allowed standings by team:
Orioles – 2597 (1013)
Phillies – 2548 (970)
Nationals – 2533 (950)
Tigers – 2511 (977)
Red Sox – 2506 (978)
Diamondbacks – 2468 (902)
Mets – 2441 (889)
Rockies – 2437 (907)
Rays – 2434 (980)
A’s – 2421 (919)
Cardinals – 2415 (940)
Marlins – 2409 (898)
Indians – 2408 (981)
Reds – 2407 (977)
Rangers – 2404 (919)
Twins – 2367 (892)
Giants – 2357 (893)
White Sox – 2328 (960)
Padres – 2321 (903)
Yankees – 2320 (861)
Braves – 2316 (889)
Angels – 2316 (893)
Dodgers – 2314 (872)
Astros – 2314 (856)
Mariners – 2295 (815)
Cubs – 2277 (826)
Royals – 2272 (870)
Blue Jays – 2250 (848)
Pirates – 2241 (818)
Brewers – 2194 (810)

(note: foul ball outs are not included in this list, mostly because they’re hard to distinguish from pop-outs in MLB.com’s playbyplay data)

2013 Foul Ball leaders

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Here are the batters who have hit the most foul balls during their plate appearances this season:
Miguel Cabrera – 288
Jacoby Ellsbury – 285
Starling Marte – 275
Adam Jones – 275
Dustin Pedroia – 272
Jay Bruce – 270
Brett Gardner – 269
Shin-Soo Choo – 266
Robinson Cano – 266
Torii Hunter – 266
Brandon Belt – 262
Justin Morneau – 261
Carlos Gomez – 259
Carlos Gonzalez – 258
Starlin Castro – 256
Dominic Brown – 251
Victor Martinez – 248
Chris Davis – 248
Adrian Beltre – 247
Matt Holliday – 247
Alexei Ramirez – 246
Howie Kendrick – 245
Frederick Freeman – 244
Melky Cabrera – 243
Joey Votto – 243
Elvis Andrus – 242
Mike Napoli – 242
Paul Goldschmidt – 242
Josh Hamilton – 241
Gerardo Parra – 240
Alfonso Soriano – 239
Dexter Fowler – 238
Alejandro De Aza – 238
David Wright – 238
Josh Donaldson – 236
Jed Lowrie – 231
Brandon Phillips – 231
J.P. Arencibia – 230
Pablo Sandoval – 229
Miguel Montero – 226
Matt Carpenter – 226
Daniel Nava – 225
Mark Reynolds – 225
Jimmy Rollins – 224
Alex Gordon – 223
Ian Desmond – 221
Carlos Santana – 220
Anthony Rizzo – 220
Yadier Molina – 220
Alcides Escobar – 219

And, here are the batters who have hit the fewest (200 PA minimum):

Chase Utley – 103
Jeff Keppinger – 110
Tyler Flowers – 118
Maicer Izturis – 119
Yonder Alonso – 119
John Jaso – 123
Omar Infante – 123
Pedro Florimon Jr. – 125
Alberto Callaspo – 125
Matt Kemp – 126
Ben Revere – 126
Angel Pagan – 127
Josh Rutledge – 128
A.J. Ellis – 128
Michael Bourn – 130
A.J. Pollock – 130
Lance Berkman – 131
Kurt Suzuki – 131
Russell Martin – 135
Justin Smoak – 136
Shane Victorino – 136
Carl Crawford – 136
Troy Tulowitzki – 137
Ruben Tejada – 139
Drew Stubbs – 140
Welington Castillo – 141
Aaron Hicks – 142
Adam Lind – 144
Ike Davis – 146
Marcell Ozuna – 146
Chris Young – 147
Jason Heyward – 147
Cody Ross – 148
Conor Gillaspie – 148
Chris Iannetta – 148
Chris Denorfia – 149
Josh Reddick – 150
David Ortiz – 150
Carlos Beltran – 150
David Freese – 150
Chris Johnson – 150
Ryan Zimmerman – 150
Eric Young – 151
Carlos Quentin – 152
Michael Saunders – 153
Placido Polanco – 153
Adeiny Hechavarria – 153
Raul Ibanez – 154
Rickie Weeks – 155
David DeJesus – 155
Lyle Overbay – 155

Foul Ball All Stars

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Here’s how this year’s All Star rosters would look if position players were selected by who hit the most foul balls. Which is obviously ridiculous, because they SHOULD be selected by who gets hit by the most pitches.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

CATCHER
A.J. Pierzynski (CWS) – 238
J.P. Arencibia (TOR) – 211
Kurt Suzuki (OAK) – 175

FIRST BASE
Adrian Gonzalez (BOS) – 299
Prince Fielder (DET) – 223
Carlos Pena (TB) – 221

SECOND BASE
Ian Kinsler (TEX) – 277
Kelly Johnson (TOR) – 245
Gordon Beckham (CWS) – 230

THIRD BASE
Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 263
Mike Moustakas (KC) – 253
Adrian Beltre (TEX) – 249

SHORT STOP
Derek Jeter (NYY) – 286
Jhonny Peralta (DET) – 234
Cliff Pennington (OAK) – 230

LEFT FIELD
Alex Gordon (KC) – 250
Josh Willingham (MIN) – 214
Dayan Viciedo (CWS) – 188

CENTER FIELD
Adam Jones (BAL) – 266
Curtis Granderson (NYY) – 248
Alejandro De Aza (CWS) – 228

RIGHT FIELD
Josh Reddick (OAK) – 295
Jeff Francoeur (KC) – 289
Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) – 247

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz (BOS) – 228
Kendry Morales (LAA) – 210
Billy Butler (KC) – 206

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CATCHER
Buster Posey (SF) – 251
Miguel Montero (ARI) – 227
Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – 202

FIRST BASE
Frederick Freeman (ATL) – 282
Joey Votto (CIN) – 216
Yonder Alonso (SD) – 214

SECOND BASE
Brandon Phillips (CIN) – 251
Danny Espinosa (WSH) – 247
Dan Uggla (ATL) – 240

THIRD BASE
Hanley Ramirez (MIA) – 291
Chase Headley (SD) – 257
Chris Johnson (HOU) – 229

SHORT STOP
Dee Gordon (LAD) – 260
Ian Desmond (WSH) – 251
Starlin Castro (CHC) – 241

LEFT FIELD
Ryan Braun (MIL) – 270
Matt Holliday (STL) – 248
Alfonso Soriano (CHC) – 229

CENTER FIELD
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – 240
Michael Bourn (ATL) – 236
Angel Pagan (SF) – 223

RIGHT FIELD
Hunter Pence (PHI) – 224
Jason Heyward (ATL) – 226
Jay Bruce (CIN) – 205

DESIGNATED HITTER
Mike Morse (WSH) – 82 (34 as DH)
Jim Thome (BAL) – 61 (30 as DH)
Jason Giambi (COL) – 68 (22 as DH)

Foul Free Streaks (Foul Ball Friday)

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Yesterday, Corey Hart hit a foul ball. That doesn’t sound like news, but yesterday was the first time he’d hit a foul ball since May 31st, so he was 0 for June in foul ball hitting. He snapped a streak of 22 consecutive plate appearances without fouling a ball out of play. And that’s kind of weird.
So, here’s where that streak ranks on the list of consecutive plate appearances without a foul ball since 2005:

Streak Batter Dates
27 Will Rhymes (DET) 09/18/2010-09/29/2010
27 Jason Bartlett (MIN) 09/03/2007-09/11/2007
26 Conor Jackson (ARI) 06/05/2007-06/14/2007
26 Scott Hatteberg (CIN) 04/22/2007-05/02/2007
26 Bobby Abreu (PHI) 06/17/2005-06/23/2005
25 Jose Lopez (SEA) 04/17/2008-04/23/2008
25 David Eckstein (SLN) 05/04/2006-05/09/2006
24 Ruben Tejada (NYN) 09/21/2010-10/01/2010
23 Travis Hafner (CLE) 07/06/2011-07/14/2011
23 Gary Bennett (SLN) 08/16/2006-08/27/2006
22 Corey Hart (MIL) 06/01/2012-06/07/2012
22 Jonny Gomes (WAS) 07/10/2011-07/30/2011
22 Sam Fuld (TBA) 04/08/2011-04/14/2011
22 Chipper Jones (ATL) 04/07/2008-04/13/2008
22 Alexi Casilla (MIN) 08/15/2007-08/21/2007
22 Travis Lee (TBA) 08/16/2006-08/22/2006
22 Conor Jackson (ARI) 05/03/2006-05/12/2006
22 Moises Alou (SFN) 04/23/2005-04/27/2005

Foul Ball Friday

Friday, May 11th, 2012

2012 Foul Ball team leaders through May 10

Red Sox 890
Diamondbacks 842
A’s 839
Braves 833
White Sox 825
Phillies 823
Rangers 821
Tigers 820
Giants 816
Mariners 813
Blue Jays 794
Cubs 792
Nationals 786
Brewers 780
Cardinals 779
Mets 776
Angels 771
Orioles 765
Yankees 762
Dodgers 759
Pirates 749
Reds 746
Astros 729
Indians 728
Rays 727
Padres 723
Rockies 722
Royals 712
Twins 706
Marlins 667

2012 foul balls against (by pitching team)

Orioles 902
Tigers 837
Rays 830
Braves 827
Red Sox 823
Mariners 809
Pirates 802
Giants 799
Royals 796
Cubs 792
White Sox 788
Diamondbacks 787
Reds 783
Rangers 782
Padres 778
Yankees 773
Marlins 772
Brewers 769
Dodgers 763
Mets 761
Nationals 758
Phillies 755
Indians 750
A’s 745
Astros 735
Blue Jays 732
Rockies 728
Cardinals 713
Angels 710
Twins 696

Foul Ball individual leaders (season totals)

Frederick Freeman 137
Josh Reddick 134
Derek Jeter 120
Ryan Braun 117
Dustin Pedroia 114
Alexei Ramirez 112
Adrian Gonzalez 109
Michael Cuddyer 108
Cliff Pennington 107
Danny Espinosa 107
Emilio Bonifacio 107

Plunk rates by foul balls allowed

Friday, May 27th, 2011

There’s been a trend for a while now, that batters like to “work the pitch count”, and hit a lot of foul balls to tire out the opposing pitcher. It might not be a real trend – it might just be something baseball announcers like to talk about, or praise a batter for “battling”, and taking a lot of pitches in a plate appearance. Or, it might just be clever marketing by the guys who buy ad space on those scrolling signs behind home plate. They probably slip a few bucks Dustin Pedroia to foul off a lot of pitches so their sign will stay on TV longer. But anyway, it kind of makes you wonder if hitting a lot of foul balls does anybody any good… and in my case, it makes me wonder if pitchers who give up a lot of foul balls are more likely to plunk someone.

On the plunk rate thing, the results are inconclusive – here are the HBP rates groups by the number of foul balls the pitcher had given up so far in that game, at the time of the HBP. (For 2011 game data, through May 26)

Fouls PA per HBP Total PA
0 to 4 112.2 26477
5 to 9 135.7 13570
10 to 14 127.8 9327
15 to 20 132.0 5015
21 to 25 131.1 1835
26 to 30 125.0 375
31 to 35 N/A 65
35 to 40 N/A 2

So… they hit batters the most before they’ve given up 5 foul balls, and then… well there’s not exactly a clear trend there, but it’s all pretty close. I think we can safely say that at least this year, hitting a lot of foul balls off a pitcher doesn’t make that pitcher more likely to hit someone. The total HBP rate this year is one plunk per 122.1 batters, at the moment.

But what about individual batters? Do all their foul balls get annoying and make the batter hit them as the game goes on? Here are the rates by the batters total fouls hit during the game:

Fouls PA per HBP Total PA
0 126.6 17217
1 117.7 14471
2 119.3 10258
3 94.3 6411
4 172.0 3784
5 108.4 2167
6 378.4 1135
7 312.5 625
8 151.0 302
9 147.0 147
10 or more 149.0 149

It looks like hitting 3 foul balls will increase your likelihood of getting an HBP, but any fouls you hit after that are going to make you fairly unlikely to be plunked.

While we’re at this, how does that work for fouls in a single plate appearance? Here are the rates base on the foul balls hit in each plate appearance:

Fouls PA per HBP Total PA
0 121.3 32377
1 115.5 15128
2 112.6 6078
3 291.0 2037
4 171.0 684
5 243.0 243
6 or more 0.0 119

So a batter with three foul balls in a plate appearance gets hit once per 291 times, but a batter with three foul balls hit in the game gets hit once every 94.3 plate appearance… kind of makes you think there might not be any connection at all between these stats… but lets brush that aside.

And now, here’s the batting stats other people might care about. Below are the popular offensive numbers, grouped by number of foul balls hit in the plate appearance.

Fouls PA OBP SLG AVG OPS PA per HR
0 32377 .350 .447 .285 .797 37.10
1 15128 .287 .330 .219 .616 55.00
2 6078 .255 .268 .179 .523 65.40
3 2037 .265 .285 .178 .550 56.60
4 684 .297 .277 .181 .574 57.00
5 243 .346 .354 .212 .699 48.60
6 or more 119 .294 .337 .192 .631 29.80

Of course the problem with hitting a lot of foul balls, is that the batter is spending a lot of time in 2-strike counts, so it kind of makes sense that hitting a lot fouls is not healthy for your offensive numbers. If you’ve already hit two foul balls (or have two strikes) you can help your cause a little bit by fouling off a couple of more pitches – but you’re not going to help it much. If you can get from 2 fouls to 5 fouls you can pull that situational OPS up from .523 to .699. And that’s only a few points below the league average.

Oh right, but the benefit of hitting lots of fouls is supposed to be evident later in the game when you’ve worn the pitcher down. Lets see how well that works – Here’s the opponents batting numbers based on the number of fouls a pitcher gives up in a game:

Fouls PA OBP SLG AVG OPS PA per HR
0 to 4 26477 .326 .381 .251 .707 46.50
5 to 9 13570 .314 .391 .247 .705 41.80
10 to 14 9327 .310 .397 .249 .707 38.70
15 to 20 5015 .318 .384 .252 .702 50.70
21 to 25 1835 .310 .402 .249 .712 38.20
26 to 30 375 .323 .465 .282 .788 31.30
31 to 35 65 .200 .323 .161 .523 21.70
35 to 40 2 .500 .500 .500 1.000 N/A

If you take a look at that table of numbers, you’ll notice… that they pretty much don’t change. Look at the OPS column – it barely changes until you get into the tiny sample sizes. The overall league OPS this year is .707, and the opponents OPS based on the number of foul balls the pitcher has given up barely moves from that number. So what’s that supposed to mean, that managers are just SO good at watching pitchers pitch counts that they pull them out before they give up so many foul balls that they start to struggle?

If anyone is getting tired and starting to struggle after all these fouls, it looks more like it’s the batters.
Here are the batters offensive numbers, split by the number of foul balls they’ve hit in the game:

Fouls PA OBP SLG AVG OPS PA per HR
0 17217 .343 .441 .281 .784 37.00
1 14471 .311 .375 .245 .685 46.80
2 10258 .308 .371 .237 .679 42.00
3 6411 .311 .354 .233 .665 52.10
4 3784 .289 .331 .217 .620 58.20
5 2167 .333 .378 .238 .711 45.10
6 1135 .301 .326 .221 .628 59.70
7 625 .306 .368 .230 .674 N/A
8 302 .325 .338 .241 .663 N/A
9 147 .231 .242 .152 .474 N/A
10 or more 149 .295 .290 .198 .585 N/A

Here are the league leaders this year, in unnecessarily tiring themselves out by hitting so many foul balls:

Batter Total Fouls Fouls with 2 strikes
Dustin Pedroia 194 94
Jeff Francoeur 183 68
Brandon Phillips 181 62
Melky Cabrera 177 58
Paul Konerko 174 72
Neil Walker 170 64
Drew Stubbs 169 65
Torii Hunter 165 67
Curtis Granderson 164 78
Hunter Pence 163 62
Daric Barton 162 81
Adam Jones 161 66
Jason Kubel 158 70
Dexter Fowler 158 57
Aubrey Huff 157 53
James Loney 157 50
Johnny Damon 156 56
Frederick Freeman 154 62
Ichiro Suzuki 154 55
Cliff Pennington 153 77
Alex Gordon 153 60
Matt Kemp 153 60
Adrian Gonzalez 153 44
Jay Bruce 153 47
Joey Votto 151 60

Foul ball friday – 2010 foul ball report

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Here it is two days into July, and you probably have no idea who’s leading the league in hitting foul balls.  You’ve probably already filled out your 25 all-star ballots without that key piece of information.  60,105 foul balls have already been hit and you probably don’t even know that Dustin Pedroia leads the league, having hit 301 of them.   Pedroia has hit 0.5% of all foul balls hit in the majors this year, even though he certainly does not account for 0.5% of total major league players, by weight.  As far as we know.

But before we get to the individual leaders, here’s a quick breakdown of foul balls by batter and pitcher hand:

vs RHP vs LHP Total
batter hand fouls fouls per pitch fouls fouls per pitch fouls fouls per pitch
R 23,458 0.175 11,767 0.172 35,225 0.174
L 20,193 0.173 4,687 0.170 24,880 0.172
total 43,651 0.174 16,454 0.172 60,105 0.173

It seems that right handed batters have hit about 1% more foul balls per pitch than lefties this year, and right handed pitchers have given up about 1% more foul balls than left handed pitchers. So, if you’re a fan of increasing souvenir baseballs hit into the stands, you’ll want to push for more right handers in the game, but if you’re one of those people who thinks the games are taking to long, you should advocate more lefties, since less foul balls should mean a shorter game.

Anyway, here are the 2010 league leader in foul balls.

2010 foul ball leaders (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Dustin Pedroia 301 342 625 1482
Ichiro Suzuki 279 353 619 1334
Joey Votto 269 328 626 1291
Jorge Cantu 268 332 640 1312
David Wright 265 341 620 1391
Derrek Lee 263 335 596 1433
Daric Barton 261 354 561 1562
Kelly Johnson 258 328 597 1391
Garrett Jones 257 330 610 1329
Mark Teixeira 256 352 585 1400
Brandon Phillips 256 358 659 1304
Jose Guillen 252 331 624 1285
Jhonny Peralta 251 302 589 1212
Chris Coghlan 251 324 568 1316
Nick Swisher 251 312 562 1280
Robinson Cano 249 337 596 1177
Adam Lind 247 322 598 1239
Cliff Pennington 245 296 523 1216
Shin-Soo Choo 243 351 599 1397
Gaby Sanchez 243 312 565 1182
Jeff Francoeur 241 293 588 1031
Michael Young 241 358 634 1299
Adrian Beltre 241 315 599 1189
Denard Span 240 365 556 1425
Prince Fielder 240 353 617 1353

*Plate appearances, for this purpose, may include situations where a runner was put out to end an inning, but the batter had already taken some pitches, or hit some foul balls.

And, here’s a bunch of other stuff you might want to know, in case you’re interested in the fact that Johnny Damon is 15th in foul balls by left handed batters or that David Wright has hit the 5th most fouls against right handed pitchers, or that Daric Barton has hit the most left handed foul balls against right handed pitchers with 205.

2010 Foul leaders by Right Handed Batters (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Dustin Pedroia 301 342 625 1482
Jorge Cantu 268 332 640 1312
David Wright 265 341 620 1391
Derrek Lee 263 335 596 1433
Brandon Phillips 256 358 659 1304
Jose Guillen 252 331 624 1285
Jhonny Peralta 251 302 589 1212
Gaby Sanchez 243 312 565 1182
Adrian Beltre 241 315 599 1189
Michael Young 241 358 634 1299
Jeff Francoeur 241 293 588 1031
Kevin Kouzmanoff 238 326 620 1160
Rickie Weeks 237 374 617 1480
Martin Prado 236 367 581 1441
Austin Jackson 236 301 543 1218
Derek Jeter 235 360 602 1258
Jayson Werth 232 308 544 1359
Cody Ross 232 316 583 1230
Albert Pujols 231 347 571 1382
Dan Uggla 231 331 601 1451
Adam Jones 230 325 624 1196
Matt Kemp 227 341 624 1399
Marlon Byrd 225 321 581 1080
Michael Cuddyer 223 320 567 1173
Torii Hunter 222 323 562 1265

2010 Foul leaders by Left Handed Batters (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Ichiro Suzuki 279 353 619 1334
Joey Votto 269 328 626 1291
Daric Barton 261 354 561 1562
Kelly Johnson 258 328 597 1391
Garrett Jones 257 330 610 1329
Chris Coghlan 251 324 568 1316
Robinson Cano 249 337 596 1177
Adam Lind 247 322 598 1239
Shin-Soo Choo 243 351 599 1397
Prince Fielder 240 353 617 1353
Denard Span 240 365 556 1425
Juan Pierre 236 343 519 1289
Carl Crawford 234 324 578 1181
Nyjer Morgan 234 333 544 1289
Johnny Damon 230 302 524 1258
Carlos Pena 229 323 592 1277
Skip Schumaker 226 289 510 1088
Justin Morneau 225 325 552 1254
Todd Helton 223 281 495 1245
Colby Rasmus 223 275 508 1141
Nick Markakis 221 342 530 1397
Josh Hamilton 216 329 629 1156
Jason Heyward 216 304 523 1276
Adam Dunn 214 327 585 1325
Adrian Gonzalez 212 339 594 1345

2010 Foul leaders vs Right Handed Pitchers (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Dustin Pedroia 225 255 474 1093
Jose Guillen 210 268 512 1035
Jorge Cantu 208 251 481 981
Daric Barton 205 254 419 1152
David Wright 199 262 473 1067
Kelly Johnson 194 243 439 1042
Chris Coghlan 193 232 430 963
Rickie Weeks 191 281 481 1132
Adrian Beltre 189 232 444 865
Brandon Phillips 189 265 480 978
Joey Votto 189 219 429 873
Derrek Lee 186 236 417 1007
Jeff Francoeur 186 223 456 788
Skip Schumaker 185 241 427 894
Martin Prado 185 266 434 1042
Dan Uggla 182 251 471 1113
Johnny Damon 180 229 400 959
Colby Rasmus 179 217 404 909
Kevin Youkilis 178 246 409 1063
Mark Reynolds 178 248 490 1046
Jhonny Peralta 177 216 414 843
Juan Pierre 176 257 389 955
Mark Teixeira 176 237 395 958
Cody Ross 176 235 442 951
Jose Bautista 176 256 422 1096

2010 Foul leaders vs Left Handed Pitchers (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Robinson Cano 105 122 225 440
Ichiro Suzuki 104 126 226 501
Garrett Jones 104 120 242 479
Justin Morneau 101 122 231 481
Chase Headley 95 116 214 437
Carl Crawford 91 110 208 417
Shin-Soo Choo 86 131 229 512
Carlos Pena 83 105 205 399
Jeff Baker 82 88 178 330
Denard Span 82 123 192 505
Xavier Nady 81 80 170 341
Mark Teixeira 80 115 190 442
Delmon Young 80 88 178 314
Nick Swisher 80 114 182 460
Joey Votto 80 109 197 418
Austin Jackson 79 82 159 335
Josh Hamilton 78 106 217 397
Jay Bruce 78 103 191 402
Derrek Lee 77 99 179 426
Adam Lind 77 89 183 348
Dustin Pedroia 76 87 151 389
Prince Fielder 75 115 211 426
Nick Markakis 75 103 174 429
Cliff Pennington 75 75 145 316
Chone Figgins 74 110 174 466

2010 Foul leaders – RHB vs RHP (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Dustin Pedroia 225 255 474 1093
Jose Guillen 210 268 512 1035
Jorge Cantu 208 251 481 981
David Wright 199 262 473 1067
Rickie Weeks 191 281 481 1132
Adrian Beltre 189 232 444 865
Brandon Phillips 189 265 480 978
Derrek Lee 186 236 417 1007
Jeff Francoeur 186 223 456 788
Martin Prado 185 266 434 1042

2010 Foul leaders – RHB vs LHP (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Chase Headley 95 116 214 437
Jeff Baker 82 88 178 330
Xavier Nady 81 80 170 341
Delmon Young 80 88 178 314
Mark Teixeira 80 115 190 442
Nick Swisher 80 114 182 460
Austin Jackson 79 82 159 335
Derrek Lee 77 99 179 426
Dustin Pedroia 76 87 151 389
Cliff Pennington 75 75 145 316

2010 Foul leaders – LHB vs RHP (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Daric Barton 205 254 419 1152
Kelly Johnson 194 243 439 1042
Chris Coghlan 193 232 430 963
Joey Votto 189 219 429 873
Skip Schumaker 185 241 427 894
Johnny Damon 180 229 400 959
Colby Rasmus 179 217 404 909
Mark Teixeira 176 237 395 958
Juan Pierre 176 257 389 955
Will Venable 175 210 420 860
Ichiro Suzuki 175 227 393 833

2010 Foul leaders – LHB vs LHP (as of 7/1/10)

Batter Foul balls Plate Appearances* Total Swings Total Pitches
Robinson Cano 105 122 225 440
Garrett Jones 104 120 242 479
Ichiro Suzuki 104 126 226 501
Justin Morneau 101 122 231 481
Carl Crawford 91 110 208 417
Shin-Soo Choo 86 131 229 512
Carlos Pena 83 105 205 399
Denard Span 82 123 192 505
Joey Votto 80 109 197 418
Josh Hamilton 78 106 217 397
Jay Bruce 78 103 191 402

Races to watch on the final weekend of 2009

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Most of this year’s playoff races have been over for a long time, with the exception of a couple of teams torturing their fans by refusing to clinch their divisions, but there are some statistical races of note that could still come to exciting conclusions in these last three games, if you’re willing to care about some things that maybe not everyone is excited about.

First, and possibly most importantly, is the American League Most Plunkable Player race. Chase Utley has the NL locked up, but the AL race looks like this:
Kelly Shoppach – 18
Brandon Inge – 17
Shin-Soo Choo – 17
Kevin Youkilis – 16

It might be tough for Youkilis to take 3 plunks in meaningless games while resting for a playoff chase, so he’s probably not going to do catch Shoppach. Brandon Inge, on the other hand, is still trying to clinch a division title for the Tigers, so he might be doing whatever it takes to get on base. So there could be an exciting finish there.

And, since this is Friday, lets look at the foul balls race. Brian Roberts is leading the American League, and has the overall lead with 553 foul balls this year. He’s got a commanding lead over 2nd place AL foul ball hitter Carl Crawford who has 517. But in the NL, Andre Ethier, Todd Helton and Pablo Sandoval are all close with 532, 530 and 523. Just for fun, imagine a world in which suddenly people cared about this and Todd Helton went out on Sunday with the sole purpose of winning the NL Foul Ball title. Like when David Robinson wanted to beat Shaq for the scoring title in 1994 and scored 71 points. Just Todd Helton out there fouling balls off all afternoon. How long would the other team put up with that before just throwing at him or walking him? Could he work through three relief pitchers in one plate appearance? Would the sports pundit world have to tranquilized by a special team of government operatives sent out to save the industry from itself?

Another close one you might not have noticed is the Sacrifice Fly race in both leagues – in the NL, Bengie Molina has a slim lead with 11 sac flies, but Todd Helton and Casey Blake are right behind him with 10. In the AL, Orlando Cabrera, Marlon Byrd and Nick Markakis are all tied with 10. So there could be an exciting moment this weekend when one of these guys has a runner on third and is desperately hoping his foul ball to center field comes down on the warning track for a title winning sacrifice fly instead of just one more unimportant home run. It could happen.

On the pitching side of things, Dave Bush is just one plunk ahead of Johnny Cueto for the National League plunking title with 15 hit batters, so that could lead to some excitment with both scheduled to pitch on Saturday. On the AL side, Joba Chamberlain leads the league with 12 plunks, but Kevin Millwood and Matt Garza have 11, and Tim Wakefield, Ervin Santana, Ricky Romero, and AJ Burnett have 10 each.

Back in the generally unheralded batting statistics, Ryan Howard looks to have locked up the 2009 NL title for total swings of the bat with 1371 so far. Mark Reynolds is next with 1247, so he probably can’t catch Howard unless he goes on a foul ball tear like Todd Helton is planning. In the AL, Aaron Hill has swung his bat 1,266 times this year, which sounds tiring, but he’s only 37 swings ahed of Derek Jeter. Jeter has an outside show at catching Hill. Back in the National League, Ryan Howard has more swings but he trails Mark Reynolds by 15 whiffs. Reynolds has swung and missed a league leading 460 times, while Howard has whiffed 445 times. They’re both far ahead of American League leader Carlos Pena who has missed 346 times but isn’t far ahead of Russel Branyan’s 337 misses. Reynolds leads qualified batters with a miss percentage of .369 – he misses the ball with 36.9% of his swings, while his closest competitor, Ryan Howard misses at a .325 clip. Chris Davis leads the AL in miss rate at .364, and probably won’t be caught by Miguel Olivo who has missed at .355. On the other end of that same idea, Placido Polanco has led the American League this year, making contact with 93.71% of his swings, though Marco Scutaro is right behind him at 93.67% so that’s race could go to either of them. In the NL, Luis Castillo has made contact 93.63% of the times he’s tried to, with Juan Piere right behind him at 93.57%. Dustin Pedroia is fifth overall in the majors, and has a shot to catch the AL leaders with his contact percentage at 93.41%.

In the statistical category I call BACON, Ichiro Suzuki still has a chance to be the first player in Bacon history to break .900. Though Bacon history only goes back to 2005, because that’s all I’ve done with it. Ichiro made it until this week before going hitless in two consecutive games. In the past 5 seasons, no other players has had fewer than 3 instances of back to back hitless games. That’s just some amazing consistency there. In the NL, there is a tight race for the top BACON among qualified batters (500 plate appeances, about) – Felipe Lopez and Hanley Ramirez are both at .796 right now, and Albert Pujols is right behind them at .786.

And one last thing to watch for is whether or not Jeff Weaver will plunk anyone to catch Tim Wakefield for the most plunks of the 00s. Wakefield has hit 107 batters from 2000 to 2009, and is likely done for the season unless someone poisons the rest of the red sox staff and no one else can pitch or something. Weaver may get an opportunity in any of the final games, and has hit 106 batters. He would probably have an easy win in this category if he had played at all in 2008.

Foul balls by… home run difficulty?

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Wednesday, I put up a post about rating plunks by difficulty, and what batters have had the most HBPs by difficulty. The theory being that we could rank plunks by how frequently the thrower of each plunk throws plunks, and then add up the scores to see which batters have been hit the most by the pitchers who don’t hit that many batters. So, reader KL Snow was intrigued by that, but more interested in applying the same method to home runs. The only problem is, I’m not a huge fan of home runs and usually try not to write about them, but I do like to answer questions when people take the time to leave a comment and ask them. Home runs just still have a certain ‘roidiness surrounding them, aside from their being somewhat overrated as a stat in the first place, and generally taking too much focus away from HBPs. So, in a very confusing compromise, here’s a post about home runs by difficulty, badly disguised as a post about foul balls.

As we know, lots of people are good at hitting foul balls. And some batters are good at hitting home runs. But it’s a lot easier to hit home runs off some pitchers than others, and some pitchers hardly ever give up homers. So what happens if we can find a way to confuse the matter rate home runs by difficulty for those batters who have hit the most foul balls? Or look at who has hit the most foul balls among those who have hit the most difficult home runs?

There are a lot of factors that go into the difficulty of the home run, and among the top of the list are the ball park and the weather. But we’ll ignore those for now and just look at which pitchers have given up homers at the highest rate this year. If we take each homer and assign it a score based on the pitchers’ Batters Faced per Home Run Allowed, we can add those up for each batter and get their total home run difficulty. So, since Carlos Marmol has given up only 1 homer to the 324 batters he’s faced, that homer is worth 324 points to the guy who hit it (John Baker). Chris Sampson has given up 2 homers to the 248 batters he’s faces, so those homers are worth 124 points each – although both were to Alfonso Soriano so he gets 248 points for the 2 of them. Zack Greinke has given up 11 homers to 860 batters, so each of those homers is worth 78.18 points to the batters who have hit them. And, since Braden Looper has given up 37 homers in his 859 batters faced this year, his homers are only worth 21.86 difficulty points to the batters who hit them. Makes sense, right?

Here are the home run difficulty scores for the top ten foul ball hitters this season, and their HBPs, just because:

Batter Foul Balls Home Run Difficulty Home Runs HBP
Brian Roberts (BAL) 535 519 15 2
Todd Helton (COL) 509 530 14 2
Carl Crawford (TB) 509 502 14 8
Pablo Sandoval (SF) 505 871 22 4
Andre Ethier (LAD) 501 1055 31 13
Derek Jeter (NYY) 501 580 17 4
Aaron Hill (TOR) 481 1060 33 5
Ryan Howard (PHI) 477 1784 42 6
Shin-Soo Choo (CLE) 475 569 17 15
Jayson Werth (PHI) 472 1275 34 8

And here are the top 20 batters in home run difficulty, with their foul ball and HBP totals as a side order:

Batter Home Run Difficulty Home Runs Average HR difficulty Foul Balls HBP
Mark Reynolds (ARI) 1988 43 46.23 422 4
Ryan Howard (PHI) 1784 42 42.49 477 6
Prince Fielder (MIL) 1651 42 39.3 447 9
Albert Pujols (STL) 1620 47 34.47 390 9
Adam Dunn (WSH) 1448 38 38.1 444 4
Adrian Gonzalez (SD) 1432 39 36.72 432 5
Carlos Pena (TB) 1326 39 34 375 9
Raul Ibanez (PHI) 1298 33 39.32 332 4
Jayson Werth (PHI) 1275 34 37.51 472 8
Chase Utley (PHI) 1247 31 40.24 393 23
Evan Longoria (TB) 1237 31 39.89 399 8
Derrek Lee (CHC) 1226 35 35.03 380 3
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) 1220 31 39.36 392 2
Russell Branyan (SEA) 1219 31 39.34 377 9
Mark Teixeira (NYY) 1217 37 32.88 388 11
Kendry Morales (LAA) 1213 31 39.14 410 2
Dan Uggla (FLA) 1202 30 40.06 406 ="center">7
Justin Morneau (MIN) 1194 30 39.8 401 3
Jason Bay (BOS) 1166 36 32.39 354 9
Paul Konerko (CWS) 1145 28 40.89 350 10

As you can see, Mark Reynolds is leading the league in home run diffuculty, by a pretty wide margin (but he’s not in the top 20 in foul balls, and has only 2 HBPs). His most difficult plunk was off Joel Pineiro, who has only given up 7 homers while facing 815 batters. Reynolds is also the only batter to homer off of Cristhian Martinez, Boone Logan, and Josh Wilson, although only two of those rate as difficult, because Josh Wilson has only faced 10 batters this year. Reynolds has the highest average difficulty per homer of any batter with 15 or more homers, but he has 43. He also has struck out 208 times this season, breaking his own single season strikeout record, and he’s the only batter ever to strike out 200 times in a season, as well as the only batter to strike out 200 times in back to back seasons, so he’s got that going for him.

Among the top 20 batters in total difficulty, Prince Fielder has the highest score on a single homer. He hit the only homer this season off Blaine Boyer, and Boyer has faced 230 batters. That’s the third highest difficulty score of this season behind John Baker’s homer of Carlos Marmol (324 batters faced per homer), and Ryan Sweeney’s homer off Robinson Tejada (269 batters faced per homer).

Albert Pujols leads the majors with 47 homers, but he’s kind of feasted on cupcakes, relatively speaking. He’s tied with Jason Bay for the most home runs off pitchers who give one up more often than once every 30 batters, with 18 each. Pujols most difficult homer scored just 58.8 points, off Sean Green.

As you can see from the next list, Mark Reynolds also leads the league in home run difficulty among those with at last 400 foul balls hit:

Batter Home Run Difficulty Home Runs Average HR difficulty Foul Balls HBP
Mark Reynolds (ARI) 1988 43 46.23 422 4
Ryan Howard (PHI) 1784 42 42.49 477 6
Prince Fielder (MIL) 1651 42 39.3 447 9
Adam Dunn (WSH) 1448 38 38.1 444 4
Adrian Gonzalez (SD) 1432 39 36.72 432 5
Jayson Werth (PHI) 1275 34 37.51 472 8
Kendry Morales (LAA) 1213 31 39.14 410 2
Dan Uggla (FLA) 1202 30 40.06 406 7
Justin Morneau (MIN) 1194 30 39.8 401 3
Michael Cuddyer (MIN) 1138 29 39.25 418 3

But, Chase Utley leads the league in home run difficulty among players with at least 10 HBPs (which is really the standard all stats should be qualified by – if you haven’t been hit by ten pitches, your season just shouldn’t count):

Batter Home Run Difficulty Home Runs Average HR difficulty Foul Balls HBP
Chase Utley (PHI) 1247 31 40.24 393 23
Mark Teixeira (NYY) 1217 37 32.88 388 11
Paul Konerko (CWS) 1145 28 40.89 350 10
Andre Ethier (LAD) 1055 31 34.03 501 13
Brandon Inge (DET) 1047 27 38.79 383 17
Ryan Braun (MIL) 1044 29 36.02 416 12
Clint Barmes (COL) 1015 23 44.14 456 10
Josh Willingham (WSH) 884 23 38.45 315 12
Kevin Youkilis (BOS) 813 25 32.51 411 14
Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD) 662 17 38.91 391 10

And lastly, just because it might be interesting, here are the ten lowest average difficulty scores among players with 30 or more homers:

Batter Home Run Difficulty Home Runs Average HR difficulty Foul Balls HBP
Miguel Cabrera (DET) 913 31 29.45 451 5
Aaron Hill (TOR) 1060 33 32.12 481 5
Jason Bay (BOS) 1166 36 32.39 354 9
Mark Teixeira (NYY) 1217 37 32.88 388 11
Carlos Pena (TB) 1326 39 34 375 9
>Andre Ethier (LAD) 1055 31 34.03 501 13
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) 1027 30 34.23 415 2
Nelson Cruz (TEX) 1101 32 34.41 305 2
Albert Pujols (STL) 1620 47 34.47 390 9
Derrek Lee (CHC) 1226 35 35.03 380 3

Andre Ethier, Ryan Braun and Clint Barmes are the only players this season with at least 10 plunks, at least 400 foul balls hit, and over 1000 total home run difficulty points.

(all stats are through September 24th)

More foul balls by pitchers – or less foul balls by pitcher

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Last week I confidently wrote that I was going to post the major league pitching leaders in the category of foul balls allowed, and that I fully expected no one to care about that. But, it turns out that commenter KL Snow (from Brewcrewball) almost cared about it, but was more interested in which pitchers give up the fewest foul balls.

So, here are the ten pitchers who have given up the fewest fouls this year, with a minimum of 500 batters faced:

Pitcher Fouls Total Pitches Total Batters Faced
Tim Wakefield (BOS) 280 1841 528
Jason Berken (BAL) 291 1834 501
Fausto Carmona (CLE) 309 1973 513
Ervin Santana (LAA) 331 2058 544
Micah Owings (CIN) 343 2010 521
Brad Bergesen (BAL) 343 1864 519
Joba Chamberlain (NYY) 346 2480 645
Francisco Liriano (MIN) 347 2187 579
Derek Holland (TEX) 349 1964 538
Scott Richmond (TOR) 350 2043 528

And here are the ten pitchers who have the lowest number of foul balls, as a percentage of their total pitches thrown (fouls/total pitches):

Pitcher Fouls as pct of pitches Fouls Total Pitches Total Batters Faced
Joba Chamberlain (NYY) 13.95% 346 2480 645
Livan Hernandez (WSH) 13.98% 378 2704 732
Trevor Cahill (OAK) 14.44% 410 2840 729
Ryan Dempster (CHC) 14.61% 401 2744 729
Jason Marquis (COL) 14.71% 424 2883 824
Bronson Arroyo (CIN) 15.04% 462 3071 842
Tim Wakefield (BOS) 15.21% 280 1841 528
Chris Carpenter (STL) 15.60% 371 2378 674
Fausto Carmona (CLE) 15.66% 309 1973 513
John Lackey (LAA) 15.68% 395 2519 686

Now obviously, some of those foul balls count as strikes, so lets see what happens if we exclude the strikes and just look at non-strike fouls – or foul balls hit with 2 strikes in the count. Here are the pitchers who have given up the fewest non-strike fouls:

Pitcher Non-strike fouls Total Pitches Total Batters Faced
Jason Berken (BAL) 87 1834 501
Tim Wakefield (BOS) 96 1841 528
Ian Snell (SEA) 108 2222 572
Ervin Santana (LAA) 113 2058 544
Jeff Suppan (MIL) 114 2401 658
Brad Bergesen (BAL) 114 1864 519
Francisco Liriano (MIN) 117 2187 579
Todd Wellemeyer (STL) 118 2019 542
Aaron Cook (COL) 120 2243 628
Fausto Carmona (CLE) 123 1973 513

And, non-strike fouls as a percentage of total pitches:

Pitcher Non-strike Fouls as
pct of pitches
Non-strike Fouls Total Pitches Total Batters Faced
Jason Marquis (COL) 4.30% 124 2883 824
Livan Hernandez (WSH) 4.62% 125 2704 732
Ryan Dempster (CHC) 4.63% 127 2744 729
Trevor Cahill (OAK) 4.65% 132 2840 729
Jason Berken (BAL) 4.74% 87 1834 501
Jeff Suppan (MIL) 4.75% 114 2401 658
Ian Snell (SEA) 4.86% 108 2222 572
Joba Chamberlain (NYY) 5.08% 126 2480 645
Yovani Gallardo (MIL) 5.15% 161 3125 776
Bronson Arroyo (CIN) 5.18% 159 3071 842

So those guys are all pretty good about not throwing a lot of pitches that get wasted or fought off and don’t count for anything, except an increase pitch count. While we’re here, we might as well see who gets the most pitches fouled off after two strikes.
Here are the league leaders in non-strike fouls:

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Pitcher Non-strike fouls Total Pitches Total Batters Faced
Scott Baker (MIN) 319 2884 733
Justin Verlander (DET) 302 3434 868
Max Scherzer (ARI) 277 2855 695
Randy Wolf (LAD) 276 3027 792
Cliff Lee (PHI) 251 3299 901
Jon Lester (BOS) 241 3136 780
Cole Hamels (PHI) 236 2866 742
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 230 2808 657
Ricky Nolasco (FLA) 229 2714 705
Doug Davis (ARI) 222 3137 802

And, the leader in non-strike fouls as a percentage of total pitches:

Pitcher Non-strike Fouls
as pct of pitches
Non-strike Fouls Total Pitches Total Batters Faced
Scott Baker (MIN) 11.06% 319 2884 733
Max Scherzer (ARI) 9.70% 277 2855 695
Randy Wolf (LAD) 9.12% 276 3027 792
Scott Kazmir (LAA) 8.89% 208 2339 583
Justin Verlander (DET) 8.79% 302 3434 868
Ricky Nolasco (FLA) 8.44% 229 2714 705
Cole Hamels (PHI) 8.23% 236 2866 742
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 8.19% 230 2808 657
Johan Santana (NYM) 7.84% 202 2575 702
Brad Penny (SF) 7.80% 209 2681 672

(And, because I feel the need to say something about people getting hit by pitches,)
Jorge De La Rosa leads the league in giving up non-strike fouls in plate appearances where he eventually hit the batter, with 6. He’s hit 7 batters, but he gave up 6 non-strike fouls to those batters he plunked – the most he gave up in a single plate appearance was 4. On April 25th, Rockies rookie Matt Daley gave up 5 non-strike fouls to Casey Blake before getting tired of that game and hitting him. That’s the most this season, in a single plate appearance that resulted in a plunking.