Archive for February, 2013

The rather ancient company you keep

The last post suggested that the Phillies walked in about 7.4% of their 2012 plate appearances, a rate that was 15th-best in the National League. It also showed walk rate data for the last ten years, which indicated that the Phillies had not been in the bottom half of the NL in walk rate in the last ten seasons.

So when was the last time that the Phillies were in the bottom half of the NL in walk rate for their hitters? And when was the last time that their walk rate was as low as 7.4%?

It’s been a while since the Phls were in the bottom half of the NL in walk rate. In 1998, Desi Relaford, Doug Glanville and Gregg Jeffries all got at least 500 plate appearances for the Phils and walked in 6.0% or fewer, leading the Phils to an 8.1% walk rate overall, which was 11th-best in the NL.

That’s the most recent time prior to 2012 that the Phillies had been in the bottom of the NL in walk rate for their hitters as a percentage of plate appearances.

The walk rate overall for the team hasn’t been at 7.4% for a long time. Here are the numbers for the last 49 (!) years:

Year BB% NL Rank
2012 7.4 15
2011 8.6 6
2010 8.9 4
2009 9.3 8
2008 9.3 5
2007 9.8 1
2006 9.6 2
2005 10.1 1
2004 10.0 2
2003 10.3 1
2002 10.1 2
2001 8.9 7
2000 9.7 8
1999 9.9 6
1998 8.1 11
1997 8.5 9
1996 8.7 6
1995 8.9 5
1994 8.9 2
1993 10.2 1
1992 8.3 5
1991 8.0 10
1990 9.3 3
1989 9.1 2
1988 8.1 5
1987 9.5 3
1986 9.5 2
1985 8.6 7
1984 8.8 4
1983 10.3 1
1982 8.3 5
1981 9.0 4
1980 7.5 9
1979 9.7 2
1978 9.0 7
1977 9.1 4
1976 8.7 5
1975 9.6 5
1974 7.7 12
1973 7.7 9
1972 8.3 6
1971 8.1 6
1970 8.5 10
1969 9.0 4
1968 7.7 3
1967 8.9 1
1966 8.2 2
1965 8.0 5
1964 7.2 6

The table above includes data for the last 49 seasons because you have to go back to 1964 to find a season in which Phillie batters walked in 7.4% or less of their plate appearances.

Also, there’s this: In 1964, the last time the Phillies had a walk rate as bad or worse as they did in 2012, Ruben Amaro, Sr, was a contributing factor.

Phillie hitters walked in about 7.2% of their chances that season. Among the players with at least 200 plate appearances for the ’64 Phils, the worst walk rate belonged to Ruben Amaro, Sr. He walked in about 5.0% of his 323 plate appearances that season.

Here are the walk rates for hitters on the 1964 Phillies among players with at least 200 plate appearances:

Player PA BB%
Gus Triandos 220 11.8
Wes Covington 383 9.9
Dick Allen 709 9.5
Tony Gonzalez 476 9.2
Clay Dalrymple 439 8.9
Bobby Wine 319 7.8
Tony Taylor 636 7.2
League Average - 7.1
John Herrnstein 338 6.5
Cookie Rojas 377 5.8
Johnny Callison 705 5.1
Ruben Amaro 323 5.0
Team Total 6117 7.2

Notably, the 7.2% walk rate for the Phillies was better than the league average of 7.1% for the year. It was also up from 1963, when the Phillies walked in just 6.6% of their plate appearances, well below the NL average of 7.6%.

As you surely know, Phils were very good in 1964, going 92-70 and tying with the Reds for the second-best record in the NL, a game behind the Cardinals. The Phillies led the NL by 6 1/2 games with 12 games to play before losing ten in a row, which included a sweep by the Cards in a three-game set. The Phils won their last two games of the season, but still finished a game behind St Louis and the Cardinals went on to beat the Yankees in the World Series.

By runs scored per game, the Phillies had the third-best offense in the ten-team NL that season.

The other thing that’s weird about this is that Ruben Amaro Sr’s walk rate in 1964 was way worse than it was over his career. Amaro Sr walked in 9.3% of his plate appearances over his career. Other than 1964, there was no season in his career in which he got more than 200 plate appearances with a walk rate under 7.2%. He came into the ’64 season having walked in 10.7% of his 957 plate appearances in the previous three seasons.

The Inquirer ranks to the top 25 prospects for the Phillies in this article.


You guys will fit right in

The Phillies have added three key offensive players this off-season. Two of them are bad defensive players who don’t walk and the other is a good defensive player who doesn’t walk.

All three of them join a team that doesn’t walk anymore.

Here’s the walk rate for Phillie batters over the last ten years and the rank of that walk rate in the NL for that season:

Year BB% NL Rank
2012 7.4 15
2011 8.6 6
2010 8.9 4
2009 9.3 8
2008 9.3 5
2007 9.8 1
2006 9.6 2
2005 10.1 1
2004 10.0 2
2003 10.3 1

That’s obviously not going in the direction one would hope. In five of the last ten years, and every year from 2003 to 2007, the Phillies were first or second in the NL in walk percentage. In 2012, they were 15th in the league. The Rockies were the only team to walk in a lower percentage of their plate appearances than the Phillies.

In 2012, the team’s walk rate was down for the fifth year in a row (it’s actually 9.34% in ’08 and 9.29% in ’09).

And then the Phils added three guys that look likely to 1) play just about every day and 2) walk even less than the 7.4% of plate appearances that Phillie batters walked in 2012.

Even with the disappointment of 2012 and the playoff loses in ’10 and ’11, Amaro’s time as the GM of the Phils has been a success. The Phillies had the best record in baseball in 2011 and the best record in baseball in 2010. In 2009, they went to the World Series and lost to a better team.

So it’s been a good run.

What is true, though, is that the Phillies hitters have walked a whole lot less in the four years since Amaro has arrived than they did in the four seasons before his arrival.

Amaro became the team’s GM in November of 2008. Here’s the team’s walk rate over the four years he’s been at the helm (2009-2012) compared to the teams’ walk rate in the previous four seasons (2005-2008):

Amaro years
Year PA BB BB%
2012 6172 454 7.4
2011 6279 539 8.6
2010 6291 560 8.9
2009 6338 589 9.3
Total 25080 2142 8.5
Four previous years
2008 6273 586 9.3
2007 6537 641 9.8
2006 6509 626 9.6
2005 6345 639 10.1
Total 25664 2492 9.7

In the four years since Amaro joined the team, the Phillies have averaged 535.5 walks per season. In the four years previous to 2009, they walked an average of 623 times a year. So they’re down about 87.5 walks a season on average since Amaro took over compared to ’05 to ’08.

Not to be forgotten in all of this is that, declining walk rate or not, the Phils led the NL in runs scored per game in 2009 and were second in 2010. In ’09, they led the league in runs scored per game despite having the eighth-best walk rate in the NL.

There’s a lot of differences between the ’09 and ’10 teams than the 2012 team, though. The biggest one is that the ’09 and ’10 teams won a whole lot of games and the 2012 team did not.

The walk rate of 7.4% for the Phillies in 2012 is really low. How low? If you run out of stuff to do this weekend, look up how long it has been since Phillie batters walked in 7.4% of their plate appearances or less. It might take you longer than you would have guessed.


  • Calender

    February 2013
    M T W T F S S
    « Jan   Mar »
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728  
  • Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.



    Web Directory

    Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Philliesflow.com. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress