2007 batted ball profiles: pitchers

Last week, I presented THT’s batted ball profiles for some of the most surprising batters in the majors. This week, let’s talk about this year’s most surprising pitchers.

As a reminder, a version of these tables will be published in this year’s Hardball Times Annual, for every batter or pitcher who appeared in the major leagues. These particular tables are based on the format I used two years ago on my Baseball Graphs site. The key difference is that these run values are based on the absolute number of runs, instead of runs above or below average.

Our first example is a pitcher who’s had quite a comeback this year. How has Brad Penny done it? By giving up the fewest runs per outfield fly in the majors (just .03).

Penny, Brad

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 590 0.16 0.36 0.03 34% 19% 43% 8% 19% 8% 23.7 28.6 4.6 -1.8 4.0 59.9 3.9
2005 738 0.16 0.39 0.06 29% 20% 47% 9% 17% 6% 26.3 43.5 16.1 -2.0 1.4 84.1 4.3
2006 813 0.19 0.40 0.05 33% 20% 43% 10% 18% 8% 36.1 48.1 12.6 -1.2 5.1 100.0 4.7
2007 681 0.03 0.39 0.03 28% 21% 49% 3% 17% 9% 4.5 39.3 6.9 -0.6 6.9 55.5 3.1
Avg. 706 0.14 0.39 0.04 31% 20% 46% 8% 18% 8% 21.9 39.7 9.9 -1.3 4.3 74.0 4.0
vs. MLB -0.02 -0.01 0.02 0% -1% 2% -3% 1% -2% -3.1 -2.2 5.7 0.5 -1.3

Of course, the flyball giveth, and the flyball taketh away. Ervin Santana‘s collapse this year wasn’t so much caused by giving up more outfield flies, but worse outfield flies. And his performance with line drives took a nose dive, too.

Santana, Ervin

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2005 583 0.15 0.45 0.06 38% 19% 37% 10% 17% 9% 25.0 36.6 9.0 -2.6 7.9 76.3 5.0
2006 846 0.15 0.30 0.06 40% 17% 38% 9% 17% 10% 37.4 32.2 14.2 -2.5 12.1 92.7 4.2
2007 526 0.25 0.39 0.07 40% 20% 35% 15% 17% 9% 37.8 29.8 9.9 -1.9 6.6 83.0 6.0
Avg. 652 0.18 0.37 0.06 39% 19% 37% 11% 17% 9% 32.8 32.1 10.9 -2.3 9.2 83.0 4.8
vs. MLB 0.02 -0.03 0.04 8% -2% -7% 0% 0% 0% 9.8 -6.6 7.0 -0.6 4.1

Tim Hudson has had a resurgence in Atlanta. As you can see, his groundball rate has jumped up quite a bit. And, oh yeah, fewer home runs per outfield fly.

Hudson, Tim

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 793 0.19 0.32 0.04 20% 18% 59% 6% 13% 7% 24.1 34.9 16.6 -1.9 7.8 81.0 3.9
2005 817 0.17 0.40 0.04 19% 21% 59% 12% 14% 9% 19.7 49.9 15.5 -0.8 12.6 97.2 4.5
2006 959 0.22 0.43 0.05 22% 18% 58% 14% 15% 9% 33.8 56.4 20.3 -1.8 14.5 123.9 4.9
2007 726 0.11 0.37 0.02 20% 17% 63% 5% 15% 7% 12.2 35.6 8.5 -0.2 4.2 59.8 3.1
Avg. 824 0.18 0.38 0.04 20% 18% 59% 10% 14% 8% 22.2 44.0 15.3 -1.1 9.8 90.1 4.2
vs. MLB 0.02 -0.01 0.02 -11% -2% 16% -1% -2% -1% -7.0 -4.8 10.4 1.0 3.3

Josh Beckett has just been dominant, with the third-fewest runs given up on balls not in play (in other words, strikeouts and walks). The league leaders in that category are C.C. Sabathia (-7.9) and Johan Santana (-6.7).

Beckett, Josh

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 654 0.17 0.45 0.05 32% 17% 46% 11% 23% 9% 23.6 32.6 10.1 -2.2 3.6 69.4 4.0
2005 729 0.14 0.39 0.03 31% 22% 43% 9% 23% 9% 21.3 41.4 6.0 -2.4 3.7 70.3 3.7
2006 868 0.26 0.33 0.04 34% 17% 45% 17% 18% 10% 54.2 36.1 10.3 -2.3 10.9 109.5 4.8
2007 629 0.19 0.42 0.05 32% 15% 48% 6% 24% 5% 26.3 27.4 10.0 -2.4 -5.3 55.7 3.4
Avg. 720 0.19 0.39 0.04 32% 18% 45% 11% 22% 8% 30.7 34.5 9.0 -2.3 3.3 75.5 4.0
vs. MLB 0.03 -0.01 0.02 1% -3% 2% 0% 5% -1% 5.2 -8.2 4.7 -0.4 -2.4

The great Brandon Webb actually hasn’t had his extreme groundball mojo working this year, and his increased walk rate has offset his increased strikeouts. But he’s kept the fly balls in the park, and the impact of his line drives has been down.

Webb, Brandon

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 933 0.34 0.37 0.03 17% 17% 64% 16% 18% 14% 34.9 39.7 12.9 -1.1 26.4 112.3 4.6
2005 943 0.30 0.39 0.04 15% 19% 65% 17% 18% 6% 31.9 50.4 16.5 -0.7 1.6 98.9 4.0
2006 950 0.27 0.40 0.02 15% 17% 66% 13% 19% 6% 29.1 47.9 11.3 -0.8 -0.7 87.8 3.5
2007 758 0.19 0.35 0.03 20% 19% 60% 8% 21% 8% 20.2 33.9 8.5 -0.5 2.5 65.3 3.3
Avg. 896 0.28 0.38 0.03 17% 18% 64% 14% 19% 9% 29.5 42.9 12.2 -0.8 6.6 90.6 3.8
vs. MLB 0.12 -0.02 0.01 -14% -3% 20% 3% 2% -1% -2.2 -10.3 6.9 1.5 -0.5

For those wondering how Jason Marquis has recovered the magic in Chicago, look no further than his groundball rate.

Marquis, Jason

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 874 0.27 0.38 0.03 24% 19% 56% 15% 16% 9% 41.7 45.1 12.0 -1.2 12.1 110.5 4.8
2005 868 0.20 0.38 0.03 29% 17% 51% 14% 12% 9% 39.3 44.3 9.6 -1.7 14.3 104.8 4.6
2006 870 0.22 0.43 0.05 36% 17% 43% 14% 11% 10% 54.3 48.9 13.8 -2.4 20.7 134.4 5.9
2007 670 0.20 0.37 0.02 31% 16% 50% 12% 13% 11% 30.8 28.9 5.3 -0.8 16.0 79.5 4.5
Avg. 821 0.22 0.39 0.03 30% 17% 50% 14% 13% 10% 41.9 41.7 10.3 -1.5 16.1 108.1 5.0
vs. MLB 0.07 -0.01 0.01 -1% -4% 6% 3% -4% 0% 12.8 -7.0 5.5 0.6 9.6

How about El Duque! Incredibly low line drive rate.

Hernandez, Orlando

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 359 0.13 0.43 0.03 37% 21% 35% 7% 23% 11% 11.1 20.5 2.7 -1.7 4.7 37.1 3.9
2005 568 0.17 0.47 0.02 33% 22% 39% 12% 16% 11% 23.4 41.8 3.7 -2.3 11.2 78.4 5.2
2006 699 0.23 0.41 0.05 41% 19% 34% 12% 23% 10% 41.6 36.0 8.1 -2.5 6.8 89.1 4.8
2007 530 0.17 0.36 0.01 41% 12% 41% 10% 21% 11% 24.8 14.8 1.9 -2.3 6.9 45.6 3.3
Avg. 539 0.18 0.42 0.03 38% 18% 37% 11% 21% 11% 24.5 26.8 4.2 -2.1 8.1 61.2 4.3
vs. MLB 0.02 0.02 0.01 7% -2% -7% 0% 4% 1% 5.4 -5.2 1.0 -0.7 3.8

So, here’s a question: What’s been wrong with Chris Capuano this year? According to the batted ball stats, his walk rate is up from last year, and the impact of his ground balls has been higher this year. Key stat: only 67% of his ground balls have been fielded for outs; the major league average is 75%.

Capuano, Chris

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 385 0.32 0.39 0.04 36% 19% 38% 18% 21% 11% 29.9 19.3 4.2 -1.8 5.5 56.5 5.6
2005 949 0.18 0.36 0.09 35% 21% 38% 13% 19% 11% 41.5 50.3 21.0 -4.0 15.8 124.4 5.0
2006 936 0.18 0.44 0.04 36% 20% 40% 11% 19% 6% 45.3 61.2 10.5 -2.6 -0.3 115.7 4.7
2007 562 0.22 0.42 0.09 32% 20% 44% 11% 20% 10% 26.8 31.5 14.8 -1.6 6.3 76.8 5.2
Avg. 708 0.21 0.41 0.06 35% 20% 40% 13% 19% 9% 34.4 38.8 12.1 -2.4 7.0 89.6 4.8
vs. MLB 0.05 0.01 0.05 4% -1% -4% 2% 3% 0% 9.4 -3.2 7.9 -0.6 1.4

The biggest difference between this year’s Erik Bedard and the Bedard of last year is in the strikeout column. That has more than offset the higher rate of flyball runs he’s allowed.

Bedard, Erik

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 633 0.15 0.39 0.10 36% 19% 38% 8% 19% 12% 24.0 32.7 16.7 -2.6 13.3 84.3 5.1
2005 606 0.11 0.37 0.04 32% 23% 40% 8% 21% 10% 14.1 34.7 5.7 -1.5 7.3 62.2 3.9
2006 844 0.14 0.40 0.04 28% 21% 49% 9% 20% 9% 22.4 49.8 11.4 -1.4 6.3 88.8 4.0
2007 705 0.20 0.43 0.02 33% 17% 48% 13% 31% 8% 27.5 30.6 3.4 -1.0 -4.9 55.7 3.0
Avg. 697 0.15 0.40 0.05 32% 20% 44% 9% 23% 10% 21.9 36.8 9.6 -1.6 6.2 73.4 4.0
vs. MLB -0.01 0.00 0.03 1% -1% 0% -2% 6% 0% -2.8 -4.5 5.4 0.2 0.6

Jeremy Bonderman has always been an enigma to me. Each of the last four years, his FIP has been significantly lower than his ERA. As you can see, a key reason is that his runs allowed per each type of batted ball has been above the major league average. Also, he has had a subpar LOB% each year. Will he ever turn those stats around?

Bonderman, Jeremy

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2004 793 0.18 0.43 0.05 31% 18% 48% 13% 21% 10% 28.9 41.3 11.7 -1.6 9.9 89.9 4.3
2005 801 0.16 0.47 0.05 30% 19% 48% 10% 18% 8% 28.4 52.7 15.1 -2.1 4.7 98.6 4.7
2006 903 0.22 0.41 0.03 29% 20% 48% 9% 22% 7% 40.6 50.4 9.1 -1.9 0.3 98.6 4.1
2007 660 0.20 0.48 0.06 31% 17% 49% 13% 21% 7% 29.2 38.9 13.8 -1.7 -0.7 80.1 4.6
Avg. 789 0.19 0.45 0.05 30% 19% 48% 11% 21% 8% 31.7 45.5 12.3 -1.8 3.5 91.4 4.4
vs. MLB 0.03 0.05 0.03 -1% -2% 4% 0% 4% -1% 3.7 -1.3 7.6 0.3 -2.8

Dustin McGowan has turned last year’s line drives into this year’s groundballs.

McGowan, Dustin

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2005 205 0.22 0.40 0.03 34% 19% 45% 14% 17% 12% 10.9 11.1 2.0 -0.3 4.5 29.1 5.4
2006 143 0.22 0.40 0.04 29% 26% 43% 7% 15% 19% 6.0 9.7 1.7 -0.2 6.8 23.9 6.4
2007 516 0.22 0.38 0.01 29% 16% 53% 10% 19% 9% 23.5 22.5 2.0 -0.7 5.6 52.7 3.9
Avg. 288 0.22 0.38 0.02 30% 19% 49% 11% 18% 11% 11.8 12.7 1.8 -0.3 7.0 33.1 4.4
vs. MLB 0.06 -0.01 0.00 -1% -2% 6% 0% 1% 2% 1.6 -4.4 0.1 0.4 4.7

Key stats for Fausto Carmona?
- Outs per ground ball: Last year: 71%; This year: 76%.
- Outs per outfield fly (not including home runs): Last year: 65%. This year: 77%.

Carmona, Fausto

Net Runs per Ball % of Batted Balls %/OF %/PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K BB OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2006 340 0.35 0.34 0.06 25% 13% 60% 15% 17% 11% 20.9 10.9 8.7 -0.5 6.6 46.9 5.2
2007 682 0.25 0.34 0.02 20% 14% 64% 13% 15% 8% 26.6 25.2 8.1 -0.7 6.6 66.5 3.7
Avg. 511 0.28 0.34 0.04 22% 14% 63% 14% 16% 9% 23.0 17.5 8.5 -0.6 7.0 55.8 4.1
vs. MLB 0.13 -0.05 0.02 -9% -7% 19% 3% -1% -1% 4.9 -12.8 5.4 0.7 2.9

Remember, you’ll find these stats for every major leaguer in the Hardball Times Annual 2008. Look for more information about the Annual during the next two months.

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