Batted ball profiles, 2007

One feature of this year’s Hardball Times Annual will be batted ball summaries for all batters and pitchers. I first experimented with this format at my Baseball Graphs site two years ago, and we decided to include the stats in last year’s Annual. Your response to the stats (yes, I’m talking to you) was very positive, so we’ll continue to include them each year.

Since we’re nearing the end of the season, I thought you’d like to see batted ball profiles of some of this year’s major league stars and disappointments. I’ll use the Baseball Graphs format but, unlike the Baseball Graphs stats, the run values in these tables are based on zero (instead of above/below average). In addition to run values, you can see how often each type of major batted ball is struck and how often each batter strikes out and walks. Let’s look at baseball’s newest home run leader to see how the table works.

Bonds, Barry

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 617 0.51 0.39 0.09 40% 19% 35% 33% 7% 39% 68.0 24.7 10.0 -2.2 78.6 179.2 11.0
2005 52 0.35 0.31 0.02 46% 22% 27% 29% 12% 17% 5.9 2.4 0.2 -0.2 2.4 10.8 7.9
2006 493 0.27 0.39 -0.03 44% 20% 30% 18% 10% 25% 37.5 24.7 -2.7 -1.6 37.5 95.4 7.3
2007 418 0.40 0.48 -0.02 38% 15% 41% 27% 12% 30% 37.2 17.8 -2.3 -0.8 36.9 88.9 8.1
Avg. 395 0.40 0.41 0.02 41% 19% 35% 27% 9% 32% 30.1 13.8 1.2 -0.9 50.1 94.3 9.1
vs. MLB 0.21 0.02 -0.03 10% -2% -9% 16% -7% 22% 13.2 -9.2 -4.3 0.1 44.8

Barry has been crushing outfield flies again (.4 runs per outfield fly and 27% hit for home runs, both tremendous rates). He’s walking again, though his strikeout rate is up a bit. On the negative side, his groundball rate has risen close to the major league average of 44%, and his line drive rate is down a lot. These frequency rates, by the way, don’t include bunts.

Albert Pujols had an off half-year (relative to what he’s done in the past), though he’s certainly been hitting lately. His stats for the year show fewer runs per outfield fly, a decreasing outfield rate, and increasing groundballs.

Pujols, Albert

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 692 0.31 0.53 0.06 35% 17% 41% 20% 8% 13% 59.3 50.3 14.5 -2.3 22.5 144.8 7.9
2005 700 0.31 0.45 0.05 32% 20% 42% 21% 9% 15% 52.1 47.5 10.8 -2.3 25.7 133.9 7.3
2006 634 0.36 0.45 0.03 38% 18% 37% 24% 8% 15% 66.0 39.6 5.2 -2.3 24.1 132.5 7.9
2007 532 0.28 0.42 0.02 35% 19% 42% 20% 10% 16% 39.9 31.3 4.0 -1.0 20.1 94.4 6.7
Avg. 640 0.32 0.46 0.04 35% 19% 41% 21% 9% 15% 54.0 42.2 8.5 -1.9 23.3 126.1 7.5
vs. MLB 0.12 0.07 0.00 4% -2% -3% 11% -8% 5% 26.6 4.9 -0.5 -0.2 14.7

The batter with the highest average run value per outfield fly is the A’s amazing Jack Cust, at .59 runs. Speaking of great young batting stars, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez has had a breakout year. Notice how his outfield fly frequency is up, as is his runs per outfield fly. Strikeouts are down and he’s still got plenty of speed to eke out .1 runs per groundball. An awesome profile:

Ramirez, Hanley

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 700 0.16 0.47 0.11 31% 21% 44% 10% 18% 9% 25.2 49.2 23.7 -2.2 6.4 103.3 5.6
2007 542 0.29 0.46 0.09 36% 19% 42% 14% 14% 8% 42.4 35.2 16.3 -1.6 7.1 100.2 7.0
Avg. 621 0.22 0.47 0.10 33% 20% 43% 12% 17% 9% 32.4 41.9 19.8 -1.8 7.1 100.4 6.1
vs. MLB 0.03 0.08 0.06 2% -1% -1% 1% 0% -1% 5.8 5.7 11.0 -0.2 -1.3

Matt Holliday is another fine young hitter in the National League. This seems like a good place to tell you that these stats aren’t adjusted for ballpark. Holliday’s average line drive value of .5 runs is the sixth-highest rate in the majors. Rookie Ryan Braun leads the majors with .58 runs per line drive.

Holliday, Matthew

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 439 0.28 0.42 0.08 30% 19% 49% 14% 20% 8% 26.3 24.8 12.4 -0.8 3.1 65.7 5.7
2005 526 0.21 0.47 0.08 28% 21% 48% 16% 15% 8% 24.4 38.9 14.5 -1.3 6.0 82.6 6.0
2006 667 0.31 0.47 0.07 32% 21% 45% 19% 16% 9% 49.9 49.1 14.7 -1.1 9.1 121.7 6.9
2007 549 0.30 0.50 0.07 35% 19% 45% 15% 18% 9% 42.6 38.8 12.2 -0.4 6.2 99.4 6.9
Avg. 545 0.28 0.47 0.07 31% 20% 46% 16% 17% 9% 35.3 37.6 13.3 -0.9 6.3 91.7 6.4
vs. MLB 0.09 0.08 0.03 0% -1% 2% 5% 1% -1% 12.0 5.8 5.6 0.6 -1.0

One of the American League’s best young hitters is B.J. Upton. Upton strikes out a lot, but he’s a tremendous flyball hitter. As he learns to hit more outfield flies (34% is only a bit above average), his performance could improve even more .

Upton, BJ

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 189 0.02 0.34 0.08 23% 19% 54% 3% 21% 7% 0.5 8.4 5.7 -0.5 0.3 14.4 2.9
2007 392 0.33 0.52 0.10 34% 20% 44% 20% 27% 12% 26.8 24.3 10.0 -0.5 4.7 65.0 6.3
Avg. 291 0.23 0.46 0.09 31% 20% 47% 14% 25% 11% 11.7 14.9 7.2 -0.4 2.7 36.0 4.7
vs. MLB 0.04 0.07 0.05 0% -1% 3% 3% 8% 1% -0.7 -2.0 3.1 0.3 -1.2

One midseason surprise of the American League has been Chone Figgins. The reason is easy to spot: His line drive frequency is up a lot, as is his run value per line drive.

Figgins, Chone

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 638 0.09 0.38 0.11 36% 25% 36% 3% 15% 8% 15.5 43.2 18.1 -1.0 5.0 82.6 4.9
2005 720 0.10 0.37 0.10 33% 23% 40% 5% 14% 9% 16.9 44.4 21.6 -1.4 8.8 92.2 4.9
2006 683 0.13 0.31 0.08 33% 21% 44% 6% 15% 10% 21.3 30.8 17.2 -0.9 9.9 79.5 4.4
2007 425 0.14 0.44 0.05 25% 26% 48% 4% 15% 9% 10.9 36.1 6.9 -0.2 5.4 59.3 5.3
Avg. 617 0.11 0.37 0.09 32% 23% 42% 4% 15% 9% 16.2 37.7 16.1 -0.9 7.5 77.6 4.8
vs. MLB -0.08 -0.03 0.04 1% 2% -2% -7% -2% -1% -10.2 1.8 7.5 0.8 -0.8

On the other hand, one of the season’s disappointments has been the left fielder for the Red Sox. A look at his batting profile shows that it’s all about the outfield fly, where his home run rate is down quite a bit. His line drive performance (run value and frequency) is still strong.

Ramirez, Manny

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 663 0.39 0.41 0.07 41% 15% 41% 23% 19% 13% 71.0 28.1 13.2 -1.1 16.4 127.7 7.3
2005 650 0.42 0.35 0.00 36% 24% 37% 28% 18% 14% 65.8 37.6 -0.6 -1.2 17.7 119.4 7.0
2006 558 0.38 0.42 0.04 40% 22% 36% 25% 18% 18% 53.5 33.2 4.8 -0.8 23.3 114.0 7.8
2007 531 0.23 0.43 -0.01 40% 21% 38% 13% 16% 13% 33.7 32.9 -1.1 -0.8 14.8 79.6 5.7
Avg. 601 0.36 0.40 0.03 39% 20% 38% 22% 18% 15% 56.2 33.1 4.0 -1.0 18.1 110.4 7.0
vs. MLB 0.17 0.01 -0.02 8% 0% -6% 11% 1% 5% 30.5 -1.9 -4.5 0.7 10.0

On the other end of the scale is Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras. Taveras is a groundball hitter but he’s particularly adept at something we don’t show on these tables: bunting. Taveras has contributed 14.4 runs on bunts. The next-most figure in the majors is Jose Reyes at 3.6.

Taveras, Willy

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 635 0.01 0.36 0.10 24% 19% 54% 2% 16% 5% 1.0 29.8 22.8 -1.0 -0.5 63.8 3.8
2006 587 0.08 0.32 0.07 23% 18% 56% 1% 15% 8% 7.0 23.0 16.3 -1.1 5.7 58.3 3.8
2007 382 0.05 0.40 0.07 29% 17% 52% 3% 14% 7% 3.5 16.2 8.9 -0.7 3.3 45.6 4.5
Avg. 535 0.04 0.36 0.08 25% 18% 54% 2% 15% 6% 3.8 22.7 15.7 -1.0 2.9 53.6 3.8
vs. MLB -0.15 -0.03 0.04 -6% -3% 10% -9% -1% -3% -19.1 -8.5 8.2 0.5 -4.3

The best groundball hitter in the majors continues to be Ichiro Suzuki, who leads the majors with 30 runs off groundballs (Derek Jeter is second, with 23). He’s made outs on only 64% of groundballs, versus the major league average of 75%.

Suzuki, Ichiro

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 762 0.12 0.41 0.13 16% 19% 64% 5% 8% 7% 12.0 48.9 52.7 -1.1 11.2 125.1 6.2
2005 739 0.14 0.32 0.08 23% 22% 54% 9% 9% 7% 18.9 42.8 26.1 -1.0 10.5 99.9 5.1
2006 752 0.12 0.35 0.10 24% 22% 51% 6% 9% 7% 18.1 46.6 31.2 -2.3 10.7 104.6 5.3
2007 565 0.04 0.42 0.12 23% 19% 56% 4% 9% 7% 3.8 36.9 30.1 -0.8 8.8 81.6 5.5
Avg. 685 0.10 0.36 0.10 23% 21% 53% 7% 9% 7% 13.5 42.3 29.0 -1.3 10.1 95.2 5.3
vs. MLB -0.09 -0.03 0.05 -8% 0% 10% -4% -7% -2% -15.9 2.4 19.4 0.5 0.9

Want to know why Ichiro’s teammate Jose Vidro seems to be having a decent year at bat (relatively, that is)? Because he’s made outs on only 68% of groundballs. No other part of his batting ball profile has improved over previous years.

Vidro, Jose

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 467 0.20 0.38 0.04 27% 19% 51% 13% 9% 10% 20.0 26.7 7.2 -1.1 12.0 65.4 5.3
2005 347 0.08 0.40 0.01 27% 25% 44% 7% 9% 9% 5.8 28.3 0.7 -1.1 7.7 41.6 4.6
2006 511 0.08 0.41 0.02 29% 22% 46% 5% 9% 9% 10.0 37.1 4.0 -1.1 9.8 59.7 4.4
2007 489 0.07 0.34 0.07 30% 20% 48% 3% 8% 10% 8.2 27.6 13.0 -0.4 13.1 60.8 4.7
Avg. 449 0.08 0.38 0.03 29% 22% 47% 5% 9% 9% 7.9 30.6 5.8 -0.8 10.4 53.7 4.5
vs. MLB -0.12 -0.01 -0.01 -2% 1% 3% -6% -8% 0% -11.3 4.5 -0.6 0.4 4.4

Three years ago, Eric Chavez appeared to be one of the best young hitters in the majors. This year, his outfield flies have been more productive, but his strikeout and walk rates have deteriorated. Not shown on the table is his infield fly rate, which has risen to a terrible 11% of all batted balls (the major league average is 4%).

Chavez, Eric

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 577 0.30 0.34 0.03 37% 18% 41% 21% 17% 17% 43.0 22.5 5.2 -1.2 22.6 92.2 6.1
2005 694 0.21 0.36 0.09 37% 18% 39% 14% 19% 9% 39.0 33.1 18.1 -2.9 6.1 93.3 5.1
2006 576 0.18 0.44 0.00 37% 18% 39% 14% 17% 15% 26.6 30.4 0.5 -2.6 18.0 72.9 4.8
2007 379 0.25 0.37 0.05 35% 17% 36% 15% 20% 9% 23.5 17.0 4.8 -2.9 3.1 45.5 4.6
Avg. 550 0.21 0.39 0.05 37% 18% 38% 14% 18% 11% 29.1 26.3 7.5 -2.8 9.2 69.3 4.8
vs. MLB 0.02 0.00 0.01 5% -3% -6% 3% 2% 1% 5.6 -5.7 -0.3 -1.3 1.8

Chicago’s right fielder also has been a disappointment this year, though, like Pujols, he has picked it up lately. Really, Jermaine Dye‘s 2006 is the year that stands out.

Dye, Jermaine

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 0.27 0.40 0.04 37% 19% 38% 14% 22% 9% 40.6 30.5 6.1 -1.8 3.9 79.2 5.1
2005 579 0.22 0.46 0.05 34% 21% 38% 17% 17% 8% 31.8 41.3 8.2 -3.1 5.5 84.1 5.5
2006 611 0.36 0.48 0.06 38% 20% 39% 23% 19% 11% 58.3 42.0 10.5 -1.0 9.1 119.0 7.4
2007 447 0.30 0.37 -0.02 40% 18% 37% 18% 20% 9% 37.6 20.8 -2.4 -2.0 3.5 57.5 4.9
Avg. 546 0.29 0.45 0.04 37% 20% 38% 20% 19% 9% 42.1 34.2 5.3 -2.0 6.1 85.7 6.0
vs. MLB 0.10 0.05 -0.01 6% -1% -6% 9% 2% 0% 18.7 2.4 -2.4 -0.5 -1.2

That’s a brief preview of batters. Next week, I’ll profile a number of pitchers using the exact same tables. And don’t forget to purchase your copy of the Hardball Times Annual now, which will include batted ball profiles of all major league players.

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