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Ben Revere, Contact King, and the Red Light of OBP

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Ben Revere doesn't swing and miss often. So he doesn't reach many 3 ball counts, and what follows below can be taken with heavy salt.

Still, if there is meaning in his small sample of 3-ball data, then Ben Revere's high contact percentage allows for absolutist decisionmaking at the plate in order to maximize on-base percentage.

Observe, Ben Revere is already a patient hitter:

But Revere puts balls in play at such an efficient clip, relative to the no. of swings he takes, that he doesn't see enough 3-ball counts to draw any walks.

If you carry out the 62% strike % (which includes swinging strikes, but to be conservative with estimates I will use that figure), then Revere would see 84 3-0 counts per 1000 PAs (conveniently, Revere sits at 1000 PAs currently). By comparison, Span sees fourty-three 3-0 counts/1000 PAs.

Again, assuming the red light stays on for 3-0 counts, that works out to 52 walks per 1000 PAs just by Revere having a red light on all 2-0 and 3-0 counts. Accounting for a full .050 points of OBP.

Give him the red light on all 3-1 counts, and his OBP jumps another .022.

But, how would Revere's batting average fair, when the pitcher throws a strike on 2-0 and 3-1?

Like most hitters, Revere struggles in 2 strike counts (except full count).

But Revere's ability to put balls in play is so elite, that he rarely gets into such counts. In 1000 PAs, he has see just 151 counts, of 02, and 210 counts of 1-2. By comparison, Span sees 180 counts of 0-2 and 271 counts of 1-2.

He just doesn't miss the ball in 0-strike and 1-strike counts, to his detriment sometimes. Thus, Revere needs to be given hard red lights in order to increase his OBP and turn him into a long term serviceable leadoff hitter.
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  1. Willihammer's Avatar
    If you carry out the 62% strike % (which includes swinging strikes, but to be conservative with estimates I will use that figure), then Revere would see 84 3-0 counts per 1000 PAswhen he is given the red light on 2-0 (conveniently, Revere sits at 1000 PAs currently).
    sorry, I should proof read before posting
  2. Steve Lein's Avatar
    Since he was brought up I've been telling people who keep saying they want to see a higher OBP from Revere, that it's just not going to happen because he's too good at making contact when he swings. He does function like a leadoff hitter in the sense that he'll look at a pitch or two before getting serious about taking a cut, but when he does, he's going to hit it somewhere in play.

    Take for instance these stats: Ball-In-Play %, and 5 or more pitch Plate Appearances.

    Revere: 86.1%, and 119 in 489 PA's (24.3%).
    Span: 80.3%, and 172 in 507 PA's (33.9%).
    Mauer: 72.7%, and 219 in 572 PA's (38.3%).

    I'm not going to fault a guy for hitting the ball too much, but it is who he is. His OBP will always be a function of his batting average, and to want a bigger OBP-split you have to somehow change the type of hitter he is or put strict limits on him, as you suggest.
  3. Rosterman's Avatar
    Yes, putting a ball in play can also cause the forceout or double-play. If he is batting #2, he has to have the ability to sacrifice. If he leads off, he has to figure out a way to totally tilt the slap-hit or bunt to his favor...he can assume he MIGHT beat out any grounder in the infield.
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