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May 23, 2013

In A Pickle

Walk Don't Walk

by Jason Wojciechowski


Not all samples are small, but all samples are samples. Still, some samples are better samples than other samples. Russell Carleton showed us which are which last year, by which I mean that he showed, for a variety of stats, how big a sample we need for the signal to outweigh the noise. One happy outcome from that study is that walk rate for hitters is a stat that "stabilizes" faster than almost any other.

That "lede," as they call it in the biz, is really just an excuse for waving off your "It's mid-to-late May!" objections to what follows, which is a list of the five biggest losers in walk rate compared to 2012, with the minimum number of plate appearances in each season set at 120. (When I say "walk rate" and "walks" here, I mean unintentional walks only. I've also removed the intentional ones from "plate appearances." All stats are through Monday's games.)

Five: Maicer Izturis, 3.1 percent from 7.8 percent

Izturis signed an eight-figure deal this offseason, though I should perhaps clarify that there has never been and can never be an eight-figure deal worth fewer dollars overall than the one Izturis signed. Either way, the Blue Jays will be paying Izturis through their buyout of his 2016 option, so they can't be super duper happy about Izturis taking large jumps in, per PITCHf/x, the percentage of pitches he is swinging at both in and out of the strike zone while simultaneously receiving fewer pitches in the zone.

That's not a trend for success generally, but it's really probably not a trend for success for Izturis, who is listed at 5'8" and 175 pounds, has a career slugging percentage of .379, and has BABIP'd .294. He derives not-insubstantial value from having a decentish walk rate. Someone should tell Maicer that he "may, sir, want to make some adjustments."

Four: Domonic Brown, 4.2 percent from 9.0 percent

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Related Content:  Maicer Izturis,  Welington Castillo

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (05/23)
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In A Pickle: How Great... (05/17)
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Premium Article In A Pickle: The Bunts... (05/31)
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