I’m going to try something here. I’m not going to editorialize at all. I am going to give you some information. Below is a chart with every Red who hit at least 100 times this year. There are three columns after each name. the first is % of pitches outside the zone they swung at. The second is the percentage inside the zone they swung at. The third is the percent of time they made contact when swinging. I have also included the NL average (excluding pitchers) and Miguel Cabrera since he is widely regarded as the best hitter in baseball.
After the chart, I draw attention to particularly extreme or average performances. Do with it what you will. This post was prompted by a comment in the Joey Votto interview thread from yesterday. All of this information can be easily found on FanGraphs by searching any team or player and clicking the “Plate Discipline” tab.
Swinging at Pitches Outside the Zone:
Most below average: Joey Votto (swings at 10.4% fewer balls out of the zone than NL average)
Most above average: Brandon Phillips (swings at 7.6% more balls out of the zone than NL average)
Most average: Derrick Robinson (exactly average)
Swinging at Pitches Inside the Zone:
Most below average: Shin-soo Choo (swings at 3.9% fewer balls in the zone than NL average)
Most above average: Ryan Ludwick (swings at 14.3% more in the zone than NL average)
Most average: Joey Votto (0.1% above average)
Most below average: Jay Bruce (makes contact 9.5% less often than NL average)
Most above average: Ryan Hanigan (makes contact 11.0% more often than NL average)
Most average: Brandon Phillips (makes contact 0.4% less often than NL average)
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.