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With Albert striking out more than normal I thought I would investigate the numbers some.  It appears to the untrained eye (i.e. me) that he is swinging at pitches out of the zone on a more frequent basis, and according to Fangraphs plate discipline stats he is.  This year Albert has a 30% O-Swing rate compared to a career rate around 20%.  With that in mind I thought I’d still an idea from Dave Allen to see if I could visualize the difference.  The following chart takes the swing percentage by location for 2010 – percentage from 2009.  Red means more swings this year, blue less, and the color intensity equates to magnitude of the difference (click to enlarge)

This is from the catcher’s perspective and the numbers in bold on the perimeter are the pitch f/x location parameters. A generic strike zone is outlined in black. From the chart it appears that Albert is going out of the zone on pitches above the zone and off the plate away.  Clearly this years data is still a small sample size, but this does seem to concur with what my eyes are seeing.

Steve Sommer

Simulation analyst by day, father and baseball nerd by night

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2 Responses to “Birds on the Brain – Pujols and Plate Discipline”

  1. So throw pitches up to Pujols, and he will try and chase. Cool stuff, Steve.

    • Yeah that’s pretty much it. At least so far. In the dirt away looks like a problem too. I did notice he’s seeing more curveballs this year too, so maybe there’s something there too.

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