In the last post I looked at Colby’s propensity to pull outside pitches and what effect it may have. Another common criticism/complaint about his approach is the high number of strikeouts. Clearly in a vacuum striking out less would be a good thing; however there is likely to be a trade-off with power. In an effort to frame the argument I wanted to look at the relationship between striking out more/less and adding/subtracting power. To that end I took 3 yrs of matched pairs (2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010) and ran a regression on the delta in strikeout percentage and the delta in ISO. The results were that the two were very weakly (adjusted r squared of ~0.01) positively correlated (coefficient of 2.2 that was significant to a p of 0.01). That basically means that in general adding 1% to a players strikeout rate added 2 pts of ISO. Clearly this wasn’t a deep mathematical study, but I found the results to be fairly intuitive and somewhat interesting. Colby himself has followed the general trend too as his strikeout rate went up by ~10% and his ISO went up ~70 pts.
Now is power everything? Of course not. However, I just wanted to point out that there are likely trade-offs to be made if you want him to cut down on his strikeouts.