Woolums: Well-hit balls as an offensive ability

From SABR member Ken Woolums at Beyond the Box Score on April 22, 2013:

As I mentioned in my first post in this series, there are three basic goals for a hitter when he is at the plate in a non-situational appearance (basically whenever a manager doesn’t put a play on). These goals are to hit the ball hard, take a walk, and make sure that he doesn’t strike out. If a hitter does these things, he will be in the best position possible to create value and produce runs. Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to talk more about Well-Hit Balls (WHB) from a theoretical standpoint. Here is a short bullet list of things a WHB can do:

  • Hits: this one is the most obvious, but WHB can lead to hits.
  • Defensive misplays: WHB should be harder to field. This can mean both non-error defensive misplays and errors themselves.
  • Sacrifice flies: WHB that are fly balls will be hit deeply. If the situation allows, WHB can force defenders far enough back that runs can be created even if the WHB goes for an out.
  • Base-runner advancement: runners will often move up on WHB, because WHB lead to homers, sacrifice flies, doubles, triples, and other events.


Since I am treating WHB as a repeatable skill, I want to look at other offensive events that could be repeatable based on a hitter’s playing style. The first place I want to start is with BABIP.

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/4/22/4243358/changing-the-way-we-look-at-offense-part-two-whb-as-an-offensive

Originally published: April 23, 2013. Last Updated: April 23, 2013.