In place of analyzing another loss (to preserve my own sanity), I’m posting a quality at-bat & hard hit ball chart from the first 17 games of the season. Throughout my coaching and playing career, I always did my best to focus on these two areas because they’re built around controllable outcomes. As a hitter, you can’t control precisely where you hit the ball, or where the defense plays. Realistically, a hitter can do everything right in their at-bat, and have absolutely nothing to show for it. Conversely, a hitter can swing at a bad pitch with a bad swing, bloop the ball into no-mans land to score 2 runs, and come out a hero.
Straight 108 values the importance of consistency over results, which has proven time and time again over a long baseball season, to be a much more valuable and reliable measure of performance.
In regards to quality at-bats, a reasonable goal is 50% for the season. Quality at-bats, which can also be referred to as productive at-bats, can be accomplished in any of 9 ways.
- Get a hit
- Hit by pitch
- Sacrifice fly
- Sacrifice bunt
- Reach base on error
- Move runner to third with less than 2 outs
- Score a runner from third
- Have an 8 pitch or more at-bat
To date, the Giants have a team quality at-bat percentage of 41%.
I will keep this chart updated as the season progresses, and as the sample size grows, you’ll get a better feel for a players overall performance versus simply how they look in a box score.