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Petti: On David Wright and swinging off 'the black'

From SABR member Bill Petti at FanGraphs on November 1, 2012:

David Wright experienced a resurgence of sorts in 2012. After four straight outstanding offense seasons, Wright’s offensive production dipped significantly in 2009 — from a 141 wRC+ to 125. In 2011, Wright’s wRC+ declined all the way to 116.

But this year, the old David Wright reappeared and the 29-year-old third basemen posted a 140 wRC+. The Mets, encouraged by Wright’s year at the plate, have not only picked up his 2013 option (which was predictable), but have also continued discussions for a long-term contract extension.

How likely we are to see Wright put up similar numbers in the future is debatable.

Regardless, one thing was clear: Wright was making better decisions at the plate in 2012. And while his plate discipline numbers were positive (e.g. -2.1% O-Swing), the overall change didn’t seem to capture how well Wright’s plate approach improved.

In an effort to tease this out beyond the basic plate discipline metrics, R. J. Anderson used Mike Fast’s “correct” decision-making approach to look at how Wright’s decision-making improved in the past three season. Anderson calculated the percentage of “correct” pitches Wright swung at in 2012, compared to the two previous seasons. He found Wright had improved his decision-making by 7%.

I decided to take an even narrower view than Anderson and focused only on the location of balls Wright swung at that were just off of the plate, or that were off the black.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/david-wright-swinging-off-but-near-the-black/

This page was last updated November 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm MST.

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