Gentile: A brief history of pitchers hitting

From James Gentile at Beyond the Box Score on January 17, 2013:

There’s been quite a bit of discussion around Beyond the Box Score lately with regard to pitcher’s hitting, and it’s made me realize that I am not as familiar with the area as I would like to be. So I decided to do a little research on the topic this morning as a sort of self-tutorial.

I’ve heard it alleged before that pitcher’s hitting can viewed as a sort of “baseline” by which we can judge the growth of all other major league hitters’ talent. This is assuming, of course, that pitchers as hitters haven’t changed much, considering how little impact it has on the game, and how infrequently they hone their skills at the plate. Whether pitchers focus on their batting more or less these days may actually be a debate for historians, because all we can do is compare it to the league average.

According to Fangraphs, pitchers’ wRC+ has been on a dramatic decline since the turn of the century.

Read the full article here:

Related link: “Pitchers Dig The Long Ball (At Least When They Are Hitting)”, by David Vincent (Spring 2012 Baseball Research Journal)

Originally published: January 17, 2013. Last Updated: January 17, 2013.