Mark Prior’s Batted Ball Data

January 13, 2006

Guess what his weakness is…

I've updated the batted ball data table. Unfortunately, I only added data--which makes the table too wide. But all of the requests were good ones. I added Batters Faced, relative runs allowed on infield flies and runs allowed per game. For runs per game, I used an average of 38 batters faced per game. I know that it's better to use outs, but this was much easier for me to put together, given the data.

Here's a great case study. In the Hardball Times article, I noticed that most pitchers' NIP (Not In Play) net runs allowed (of the few I posted) were just about equal to their total net runs allowed. In other words, the net value of all batted balls was zero and pitchers seemed to be making their impact through the balls that weren't hit (strikeouts and walks).

So I started looking for a few pitchers for which this wasn't true and I quickly came across one Mark Prior. It turns out he has a weakness: groundballs.

Prior, Mark

Net Runs per Ball Percent of Batted Balls % of OF % of PA Total Net Runs
BFP OF LD GB OF% LD% GB% HR K OF LD GB IF NIP Tot R/G
2002 486 0.03 0.32 -0.04 36% 24% 34% 12% 30% 2.7 22.0 -3.5 -3.5 -28.3 -11.1 -0.87
2003 863 -0.06 0.43 -0.07 31% 22% 41% 8% 28% -9.6 51.6 -14.8 -7.0 -52.1 -31.8 -1.40
2004 510 0.06 0.40 -0.02 37% 19% 36% 9% 27% 6.4 23.9 -2.3 -5.5 -24.3 -4.1 -0.30
2005 701 0.05 0.29 -0.04 37% 22% 37% 13% 27% 8.7 28.0 -6.9 -4.5 -34.7 -11.5 -0.62
Avg. 640 0.02 0.36 -0.04 35% 22% 37% 11% 28% 2.8 31.0 -6.0 -5.3 -34.3 -13.0 -0.77
MLB Avg. 0.04 0.36 -0.10 31% 21% 44% 11% 17%

In all four years, he allowed more runs per groundball than the major league average. I took a closer look at the data, and found that the following for his groundballs:

Obviously, Prior hasn't had the greatest fielding support. But he also could be giving up harder-hit ground balls than the average pitcher.



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