Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hot Tip: Quantifying Plate Discipline

Baseball Analytics has a particularly interesting article up with an attempt to quantify Plate Discipline into one metric.  One of the problems with the concept of plate discipline is that it is often used synonymously with OBP.  We all know, of course, that plate discipline is a lot more complicated than that.  I think the metric itself is reasonable and incorporates most, if not all, of the facets of hitting that go into Plate Discipline.

What is interesting, once again, is the lists of names of players with high and low Plate Discipline scores.  On the high side you see names like Luis Castillo, Marco Scutaro and David Eckstein.  These are all hitters you might like to have in your lineup, but you also would probably not want to have your whole lineup filled with hitteres like this.  On the low side you see Delmon Young and Jeff Franceour, both bad hitters to be sure.   You also see Josh Hamilton and Vlad Guerrero, 2 hitters who when healthy you would love to have in your lineup.  Surprisingly, I didn't see Pablo Sandoval's name on any lists, but I'm guessing he is closer to the low side than the the high side.  Again, Pablo is a very productive hitter when fully healthy.


1.  We are making progress in defining Plate Discipline.
2.  While having high Plate Discipline is probably better than low Plate Discipline in most cases, it is not all defines a good vs bad hitter.

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