Saturday, May 03, 2008


I recently found you can find data on batter swings on Fangraphs. You can access an explanation here. I looked up Pedro Feliz, because he is a very perplexing hitter. He has a reputation for being a free swinger and his stats suffer. But he doesn't seem to strike out excessively (10.1% this season). Having watched him this year, it seems like he takes a lot of bad swings. Anyway here is some data.

Oswing% is the percentage of pitches swung at outside the strike zone. Zswing% is the number of pitches swung at within the strike zone. Swing% is the overall swing percentage. Ocontact% is the contact percentage on pitches outside the strike zone. Zcontact% is the contact percentage on pitches within the strike zone. Contact% is the overall percentage.

Here are Feliz's numbers for 2008 with last year's MLB averages in parentheses.

Oswing%: 24.67 (25.0)
Zswing%: 62.35 (66.6)
Swing%: 44.69 (45.9)
Ocontact%: 67.57 (60.8)
Zcontact%: 92.45 (88.2)
Contact%: 86.01 (80.8)

Feliz is making contact this year at a high rate compared to last year's MLB average. He also makes contact at a higher percentage of balls outside the strike zone. This backs up what I've seen, primarily he puts balls in play on what I would call bad swings. This might explain why his BABIP, which is an awful .200 this year, is almost always below average (.269 lifetime). I've also noticed his line drive percentage is below average and his infield flyball percentage is above average. I'm guessing it's because of those bad swings on balls outside the zone.

As for pitches/plate appearance, Feliz sees a very low 3.18, which is the worst among qualified 3B in the NL. This help explains the low number of strikeouts. Of course, Chipper Jones sees only 3.21 P/PA, and he's batting .417 with a 1.155 OPS, so I don't know how to figure that one out.

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