Carleton: Are three-true-outcomes players better in the postseason?

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on October 22, 2012:

Let me pull back the curtain on how BP articles are made, at least at my house. This article came about when I was washing the dishes. It’s my thing. I like to listen to podcasts and scrub down pots and pans. It’s wondrously therapeutic after a long day at work, and BP alumni Joe Sheehan and Rany Jazayerli were keeping me company as I struggled mightily with the remnants of mac and cheese from my daughter’s lunch plate.

Anyway, Messrs. Sheehan and Jazayerli (erm, Dr. Jazayerli) were chatting about the then-happening American League Championship Series (they seem to have recorded between games Two and Three) and pondering the struggles of Yankee hitters, even the ones not named Rodriguez. They brought up the struggles of Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson, and Mr. Sheehan mused aloud about whether Three True Outcomes hitters (that is, guys who are particularly gifted in the arts of striking out, walking, and hitting home runs) as a class of players had trouble in the playoffs. They didn’t linger too long on the subject, but at the end, Mr. Sheehan suggested that it might make a good study for someone to do. (To hear the original, listen to Episode 56, around the 1:15:00 mark).


One of the reasons that not a lot of TTO hitters have had amazing postseasons is that postseason games are better pitched, and offense in general is down. The postseason run environment is a little different. Take a look at the table below showing the frequency of events in the regular season vs. the postseason from 1993-2011. (Before someone goes and fact checks me, that’s exclusive of intentional walks and pitchers batting. Also, the percentages don’t add up to 100 because I left out errors and fielder’s interference.)

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 22, 2012. Last Updated: October 22, 2012.