Thursday, January 05, 2006

Wrong Strategy?

Didn't we all wonder why the Angels' offense sputtered so much last year? It certainly wasn't the batting average of .270, 7th best in the majors. It rather was the OBP of .325 (19th) and the SLG of .409 (18th). As far as I know, the Angels offense strategy is to make contact and put the ball in play. This obviously is the reason for the OBP problem, but did you know it might also be responsible for the low slugging percentage? In 2005 Angels batters only struck out 848 times (just behind Oakland for 29th or 2nd place, however you see it) and as the guys from the Hardball Times found out, there is a positive correlation between strikeouts and the value of your outfield flies, i.e. the flyballs are more likely to leave the park. Ok, saying the Angels should strike out more probably oversimplifies things, but isn't it possible that some players don't reach their power potential because they focus too much on putting the ball in play?


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