How Many Pitches: Looking at the 2012 Giants

Hey look, everyone, it's my first fanpost.

Mostly I just wanted to get this out there because it's been in my head for a while and I wanted someone else to look at it. Heck, it's probably been done better elsewhere already, but here goes.

I wanted to see if there's a way to modify the P/PA stat so that it doesn't penalize batters for reaching base on an early count. This became a conceptual problem for me, mostly because I wasn't sure how to go about that, but I settled on a rather crude formula of subtracting PAs that end in reaching base from the denominator. So, hits, walks, HBPs, and I went ahead and included ROE because it just seemed fair. What you're left with is, in theory, the average number of pitches it takes before you don't reach.

I wasn't sure how to account for, say, reaching on fielder's choice, sac bunts, and probably some other considerations that I should have looked at but didn't. However, I applied it to all batters on the 2012 Giants who had at least 100 PAs, and at the very least it passed my Aha I Thought So test.

So here's how the 2012 Giants batters looked, in order from highest to lowest Pitches per No-Reach (contact me directly if you need anything inelegantly named, I am very good at it).

Buster Posey 613 2599 178 69 2 6 .408 4.24 7.14011 172
Brandon Belt 473 1821 113 54 3 4 .360 3.85 6.0099 124
Marco Scutaro 268 1003 88 13 0 1 .385 3.74 6.00599 145
Gregor Blanco 453 1789 96 51 2 4 .333 3.95 5.88487 95
Nate Schierholtz 196 779 44 18 1 2 .321 3.97 5.85714 110
Melky Cabrera 503 1771 159 36 0 6 .390 3.52 5.75 158
Angel Pagan 659 2476 174 48 0 7 .338 3.76 5.6659 121
Pablo Sandoval 443 1635 112 38 1 3 .342 3.69 5.59932 124
Ryan Theriot 384 1446 95 24 1 6 .316 3.77 5.47727 84
Brandon Crawford 478 1825 108 33 3 3 .304 3.82 5.46407 87
Hector Sanchez 227 856 61 5 1 2 .295 3.77 5.35 95
Hunter Pence 248 907 48 19 4 3 .287 3.66 5.12429 91
Joaquin Arias 345 1199 86 13 5 5 .304 3.48 4.9751 97
Brett Pill 114 405 22 6 2 2 .265 3.55 4.82143 76
Emmanuel Burriss 152 517 29 10 1 3 .270 3.4 4.61607 44

First things first: Did you know that both Pill and Burriss got more than 100 PAs this year. They did.

But it looks about how I'd answer off the top of my head if someone asked me to rank the team's toughest outs. Up there at the top is Wow Buster Posey, Belt, and Scutaro, Blanco also looks to make good use of his time at the plate, I made a sad face at Schierholtz, Pablo doesn't seem to hurt from his approach as much as it appears from time to time, Hunter Pence was a disaster, and Pill and Burriss had over 100 PAs each.

Also note that if you order it simply by P/PA, it doesn't look drastically different, except that Scutaro and Melky drop way down, which I guess says something about the value of their approach. I included OPS+ here as an afterthought to see if there's any interesting correlation. What I found is that I don't know what makes a correlation interesting in this context. In fact I'm not entirely sure how meaningful any of this is. It's just a problem that bugged me. In the words of Cicero, "Aurantium sanguino aurantium sanguino."

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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