Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How can we recognize quality in baseball batters?

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In the chart ...(see below)... are the 24 possible situations which a batter may confront when he takes the plate, numbered 1 to 24. In addition are the 24 situations possible after the plate appearance is done (numbered 2 to 25).
Judgment of the quality of hitters must begin with assigning values to the "steps" possible in a specific plate appearance. For example, "1,1" denotes a no-out home run, "8,1", "16,9", and "24,17" all denote grand slams. The sequence 1,9,17,25 would be the "three up, three down" pitchers strive for. The sequence "8,25" would be a triple play.
Mathematically speaking, most plate appearances can be described as a single ordered pair of digits, the first digit for the situation when the batter first comes to the plate, and the second for the result after that batter's plate appearance. There are 576 such pairs. These must be assigned relative values. Until that is done, comparisons of hitters will remain a quagmire of subjective opinions.
Note: After these relative values are complete, one can then address strings such as 2,9,10, in which a runner is thrown out before a batter completes his plate appearance. No sense adding these in too early.

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