The Importance of Quality At-Bats & Hard Hit Balls

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.

  1. Get a hit
  2. Hit by pitch
  3. Sacrifice fly
  4. Sacrifice bunt
  5. Reach base on error
  6. Move runner to third with less than 2 outs
  7. Score a runner from third
  8. Walk
  9. 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.

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