jackky: Rick Ankiel8217s Epic Contact Problems

Rick Ankiel8217s Epic Contact Problems

Okt 13, 17 om 09:18
Rick Ankiels season began in about the perfect fashion. With the Astros keeping a 4-2 add Opening Day, Ankiel was sent as much as hit for Brandon Barnes towards the bottom of the sixth inning. Derek Lowe threw him a meatball, and he responded by hitting said meatball 373 feet, adequate for a three run homer that would e sentially place the game away. Its difficult to do a lot better than that in your first at-bat of the season.Since that at-bat, though, things haven Arie Kouandjio Jersey t gone very well. Heres Ankiels play log for that 2013 season.DatePitcherInn.Play31-MarD Lowe6-BRick Ankiel homered (Fly). Justin Maxwell scored. Matt Dominguez scored.31-MarJ Ortiz8-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.2-AprY Darvish2-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.2-AprY Darvish5-BRick Ankiel lined to first (Liner).2-AprY Darvish8-BRick Ankiel struck out looking.3-AprA Ogando2-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.3-AprA Ogando5-BRick Ankiel struck out looking.5-AprD Straily2-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.5-AprD Straily5-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.5-AprD Straily7-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.5-AprE Scribner9-BRick Ankiel struck out looking.7-AprE Scribner9-BRick Ankiel struck out swinging.8-AprJ Saunders6-TRick Ankiel struck out swinging.8-AprC Furbush8-TRick Ankiel struck out swinging.Yes, thats 12 strikeouts in 14 plate appearances, including each of his last 10. But, as Jeff noted this morning, a strikeout isnt always the batters fault. Maybe Ankiel just gotten screwed by Robert Griffin III Jersey an epic collusion of bad calls and/or amazing framing?Via TexasLeaguers PITCHF/x tool, here are the pitches Ankiel has taken for strikes this season:Well, there's one which he looks like they got jobbed on the bit. Obviously, theres also one that looks more within the zone than out that got called a ball, so no, theres no umpires or catchers responsible here. Instead, the culprit lies solely with Ankiel.For the season, Rick Ankiel has made contact with just 35.5% from the pitches he's swung at, which isn't surprisingly the worst mark in baseball. But, thats not the astounding number here. The shocking number is Ankiels contact rate on pitches in the strike zone, which currently stands at just 37.5%. How low is the fact that? Well, heres a plot of each and every hitter with at least 10 plate appearances in 2013, and their respective Z-Contact%. See if you're able to spot the outlier.Even in a sample, multiplication between your best and worst (non-Ankiel division) hitters on in-zone contact is pretty small, because this is the skill that Major League position players are e sentially selected on. Or, at least, in zone contact rate is a pretty good proxy for your skill. Theres some variation allowed for power, Logan Paulsen Jersey and that's why the thing is guys like Mark Reynolds down at 66%, but Major League hitters are expected to hit pitches within the strike zone more often than they mi s them. Actually, theyre expected to hit them a great majority of the time. The lowest Z-Contact% of 2012 among batters who were permitted to hit even 100 times was 71%, owned by Brett Jackson from the Cubs. Hes starting the season back in Triple-A, incidentally. The second lowest belonged to Jim Thome, at 72% hes involuntarily unemployed, as no team saw fit to give him a roster spot again. We must see the third lowest Z-Contact% of 2012 before we discover a person who is actually within the big leagues now, and thats Chris Carter at 75%. Needle s to say, theres a lower bound at which teams will no longer accept further contact i sues, even in an effort to get additional power. You will have to double Ankiels current Z-Contact% in order to get him near that lower bound.How astonishingly bad has this stretch been? Well, to put it in context, I made a decision to check out the Z-Contact% for every season since 2008, only for pitchers. This may be the cla s of Major League players that aren't selected for his or her hitting skills. How have they done swinging at strikes?Since 2008, there have been 611 pitcher hitting seasons of at least 10 plate appearances. Heres the graph of the Z-Contact% for those 611 data points, along with Ankiels 2013 season to date.Even in tiny sample sizes, even among a category of players who are chosen for skills other than hitting a baseball, Ankiels numbers stand out. Actually, just one of those 611 pitcher hitting seasons led to a le ser in-zone contact rate than Ankiels current 37.5%. His savior? Jo-Jo Reyes, back in 2009. In 11 plate appearances, he made contact on just 30.8% from the strikes he swung at. Which is incredible, because in 2008, Reyes made contact on 96.0% from the strikes he swung Jerrell Powe Jersey at, in 34 plate appearances. While his 2009 months are the worst Z-Contact% of any pitcher hitting season since 2008, his 2008 season was actually the 23rd best. So, yeah, Jo-Jo Reyes, reminder of methods much numbers even highly stable ones can fluctuate in samples of a dozen plate appearances.Given time, Ankiels contact rate will regre s to the mean. His career mark is 82%, and he came in at 77% last year, just clearing the bar for minimally acceptable rate of contact on strikes. I wonder, though, whether Ankiel is ever going to have that time. The Rangers need to make a decision on Julio Borbons roster spot today, and also the Mariners have until tomorrow to determine how to handle Casper Wells after they DFAd him prior Nate Sudfeld Jersey to the season started. Its not hard to determine either or both Wells and Borbon ending up in Houston, and Ankiels brutal start to the season could put him in front from the line for cuts should they decide they need a roster destination to new outfielder. Given that hes now 33, would be a replacement level outfielder last year, and any scout who has watched him during the first week of the season is going to have filed a really negative set of his current skills, this might be the final we ever see of Rick Ankiel. If it's, at least hes going out with a bang.


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