Jul 29, 2008

They look aggressive to me

I don't know about you, but it's sure as hell seemed to me that Yankee hitters have been far more aggressive at the plate this year. Do the facts back that up? To BRef we go!

There are a few factors that can tell us whether they're being more aggressive. One is how often they're putting the first pitch into play.

- This season, Yankee hitters have put the first pitch into play 459 times in 4045 PAs. That's 11.3 percent. The AL, on average, is putting the first pitch into play 11.7 percent. So the Yankees have actually been slightly more patient in that regard.

Compared to last year, when the Yanks were the best offensive team in baseball, they put the first pitch into play 10.6 percent in 2007. So there has been an increase from last year.

- How often are they having two strike counts?

They're getting to two strikes in 46.7 percent of their plate appearances. The AL is at 47.4 %, so in this respect, the Yanks have been slightly less patient than the AL.

But compared to 2007, there's essentially no difference.

- How often are they getting to full counts? And are they taking more walks on a full count?

In 12.9 percent of their plate apperances, they're going to a full count. The AL is at 12.6 percent; so in this case, the Yanks are slightly more patient than the AL.

Last year, the Yanks were at 14.6 percent, so there has been a relatively significant decrease in full counts.

They're drawing more walks on full counts compared to the AL, but less than they did in 2007.

- What about putting 2-0 pitches into play? Because it seems like DJ swings at more 2-0 pitches than at any point in his career.

They've put 2.84 percent of 2-0 pitches into play this year, compared to 2.82 percent last year. Essentially negligible. While the AL is at 2.73 percent. So the Yanks are still less aggressive than the rest of the AL.

- How many pitches are the hitters seeing per plate appearance?

Some hitters are slightly below their career norms (Jeter, Arod, Abreu), while others are above (Cano, Giambi, Damon), so it pretty much balances out.

So I guess the conclusion is that the lack of offense this year (7th in the AL) is not due to the hitters being either too passive or too aggressive. Is it the aging factor? The injuries?

- Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano made their first rehab starts tonight for the A-ball Charleston Riverdogs. Neither allowed a run in five innings.

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