Thorn: The three true outcomes, and a possible fourth

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on November 11, 2019:

We’ve done this for seven or eight years in a row by now. “The Fourth True Outcome” is the way we have pitched today’s talk, though in the Q&A to follow you may ask me anything about players today or yesterday. I find myself feeling pretty animated by last week’s announcement of the ten candidates for induction by the Hall of Fame’s Modern Baseball Eras Committee.

By the Three True Outcomes I mean the home run, the strikeout, and the walk — those events on the field that may be credited directly to the pitcher or the batter without the intervention of fielders, some of whom will be more talented (or better positioned) than others. The Three Tree Outcomes provide management with superior metrics for evaluating which players to keep, discard, or pursue, but increasingly the three outcomes have seemed to dominate the field of play, to the point that a routine ground ball to shortstop may one day become as rare as the triple.

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Originally published: November 15, 2019. Last Updated: November 15, 2019.