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Old 06-15-2012, 06:08 AM
 
2,963 posts, read 3,055,275 times
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Aside from what some others have said (and this is speculation, but is highly plausible):

Scouting reports.

That's not to say this wasn't done back in Ted Williams' day, but players these days are tracked from high school onwards. And all of this information is readily available to their MLB opponents. Pitchers who "watch tape" (as they call it) know that Player A only hits the curveball in play if it is located in the bottom corner of the strike zone at .181, and only gets a hit on pitches like that at .120.

While a single pitcher may fail at taking advantage of that, the pitchers in the league as a whole will. And that alone can bring down a player's batting average.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:53 AM
 
706 posts, read 1,807,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
People in this thread have mentioned an increase in strikeouts. With batting averages on balls in play (BABIP) hovering around .300 we'd expect a player who never struck out and never homered to hit around .300. Any strikeout will decrease the chances of hitting .300 (and .400).
Somebody on this forum posted it once, but can't remember the exact streak. I think Bob Buhl put something like 60 consecutive balls in play without getting a hit. (edit) I just went and looked, it was 41 consecutive balls in play without a hit. (If you count his Sac Bunts, the number would swell to 48.) His balls in play were simply not hit with much authority, and the scorers didn't have to make any "too hot to handle" calls. Buhl broke his streak when he didn't even need to. There was a runner on third with one out, and all he needed to do was put the ball in play for the 42nd time without a hit, to get one of his 26 career RBIs. But he singled the runner home, with his first hit in exactly 100 plate appearances..

Last edited by CowanStern; 06-15-2012 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,628 posts, read 4,223,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Tougher pitching, better fielding. Ted Williams would not be hitting .400 against today's pitchers and defenders.
Agreed. And with the shift deployed by most managers today, Ted might struggle to hit .300. He was a dead pull hitter..

There are more 2nd Tier players in the game today. I don't necessarily think the stars of today are that much better than the stars of yesterday but I do think the 2nd tier players are much better. I bet that when Williams played, the defense facing him likely consisted of 1 or 2 stars.. 1 or 2 2nd tier players and the rest where really scubs in comparison to today's players. Today's best hitter face 1-2 stars and the rest are top 2nd tier players. There are just NOT as many holes in the defenses today as there were back in 1947.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mco65 View Post
Agreed. And with the shift deployed by most managers today, Ted might struggle to hit .300. He was a dead pull hitter..
Williams was the first player against whom the shift was used. It was invented by Cleveland manager Lou Boudreau, and Williams steadfastly refused to try to hit to left.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 9,014,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspguy View Post
Aside from what some others have said (and this is speculation, but is highly plausible):

Scouting reports.

That's not to say this wasn't done back in Ted Williams' day, but players these days are tracked from high school onwards. And all of this information is readily available to their MLB opponents. Pitchers who "watch tape" (as they call it) know that Player A only hits the curveball in play if it is located in the bottom corner of the strike zone at .181, and only gets a hit on pitches like that at .120.

While a single pitcher may fail at taking advantage of that, the pitchers in the league as a whole will. And that alone can bring down a player's batting average.
I agree with this as well and didnt even think about it, but I think it has a whole lot of value. Pitchers and managers have whole files, notebooks or binders filled with every imagineable stat on every batter. Pitchers can throw certain pitches, managers can shift fielders, etc, for every possible scenario.

Now we know the precise likelihood that batter X will swing at Y pitch on the second strike, or, the probability that he'll hit Z pitch to right field, or on the ground to second.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Hometown of Jason Witten
5,985 posts, read 3,737,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomdude View Post
I agree with this as well and didnt even think about it, but I think it has a whole lot of value. Pitchers and managers have whole files, notebooks or binders filled with every imagineable stat on every batter. Pitchers can throw certain pitches, managers can shift fielders, etc, for every possible scenario.

Now we know the precise likelihood that batter X will swing at Y pitch on the second strike, or, the probability that he'll hit Z pitch to right field, or on the ground to second.
Well said. At least as far back as the 1970's such detailed data has been utilized. This practice may very well have prevented Brett and Carew from hitting .400.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:33 PM
 
833 posts, read 1,471,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowanStern View Post
Somebody on this forum posted it once, but can't remember the exact streak. I think Bob Buhl put something like 60 consecutive balls in play without getting a hit. (edit) I just went and looked, it was 41 consecutive balls in play without a hit. (If you count his Sac Bunts, the number would swell to 48.) His balls in play were simply not hit with much authority, and the scorers didn't have to make any "too hot to handle" calls. Buhl broke his streak when he didn't even need to. There was a runner on third with one out, and all he needed to do was put the ball in play for the 42nd time without a hit, to get one of his 26 career RBIs. But he singled the runner home, with his first hit in exactly 100 plate appearances..
For those who don't remember, Bob Buhl was a picher with the Milwaukee Braves and part of the 3 man rotation of Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, and Bob Buhl.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,293 posts, read 12,794,076 times
Reputation: 6636
Quote:
Originally Posted by dspguy View Post
Aside from what some others have said (and this is speculation, but is highly plausible):

Scouting reports.

That's not to say this wasn't done back in Ted Williams' day, but players these days are tracked from high school onwards. And all of this information is readily available to their MLB opponents. Pitchers who "watch tape" (as they call it) know that Player A only hits the curveball in play if it is located in the bottom corner of the strike zone at .181, and only gets a hit on pitches like that at .120.

While a single pitcher may fail at taking advantage of that, the pitchers in the league as a whole will. And that alone can bring down a player's batting average.
Don't hitters scout pitchers as well?
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,293 posts, read 12,794,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
People in this thread have mentioned an increase in strikeouts. With batting averages on balls in play (BABIP) hovering around .300 we'd expect a player who never struck out and never homered to hit around .300. Any strikeout will decrease the chances of hitting .300 (and .400).

The white bars are the percentage of players how walk more than they K.

The black line is the league strike out percentage. You can see that no one has hit .400 since the strike out became sexy (or something)
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:07 AM
 
706 posts, read 1,807,893 times
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If I were a MLB hitter with prospects of hitting .400, I would arrange to have my team's pitching coach flash me a sign from the dugout, predicting what the pitcher is going to throw next. They all think pretty much alike. He would be right a lot more often than wrong, and it would make me an awesome guess-hitter. Most hitters probably guess a lot, and I'd rather have a pitcher's best guess, than a hitter's.

In fact a team could have a coaching specialist who did only that, for all hitters.
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