Are you there Grady, it’s me Tony: A Statistical Look at Grady Sizemore’s Plate Problems

16 05 2010
There are bound to be questions in the mind of any Indians fan this year: When is Carlos Santana coming up? When will Matt LaPorta start hitting? Michael Brantley? Even, is Mitch Talbot for real? But the biggest has to be, “what happened to Grady Sizemore?” Is he just amidst an unlucky April or is there something wrong; can we expect a turn-around sometime soon? If you look at the numbers, you might not like the answer.

2007? This ball is smoked. 2010? This ball is in the catcher's mitt.

Let’s start with the most glaring problem, Sizemore has 0 home runs this year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they just aren’t leaving the park. We aren’t dealing with ‘doubles power.’ Grady’s ground ball percentage is up several points on his career average and his fly ball percentage down several, leaving him with an ominous .9 ground ball to fly ball ratio; meaning, Grady is just pounding the ball into the ground.
Now, grounders aren’t a terrible way to make a living in the Major Leagues, just ask Ichiro, but Grady’s grounders aren’t getting him on base: his atrocious .207 AVG and .270 OBP are statistical proof of that. Disparagingly, we can’t blame it on being unlucky. His batting average on balls in play is just that- completely average. His BABIP is .283, meaning that he isn’t getting robbed of hits by web gems, typically balls in play should go for hits 3% of the time, Grady’s are.
In Bull Durham Crash Davis explains the importance of some lucky hits: Read the rest of this entry »