Striking down striking out

by billfer on September 28, 2007 · 5 comments

in Minors

One of the Detroit Tigers organizational goals for the year was to address strike outs throughout the system including the minors. So how did they do on this front in 2007?
Tigers Minor League Strikeout Rates
The organization saw improvement in strikeouts per at-bat through every level. The improvements weren’t huge, but they were most likely real. Whether or not it was due to an emphasis on coaching, or the maturation of players, or the composition of the teams would of course require a deeper dive. Because in large part the teams are made up of new members each year, a proper analysis would require looking at how each player did as they progressed. But I’m oging to stay with the quick and dirty for now and look at the big picture.

At the same time batting averages saw small to increases as more balls were put into play. Walk rates didn’t seem to suffer so the organization saw an increase in batting average. It does appear though that the Tigers minor leaguers sacrificed some power.

What’s particularly encouraging is the progress at the lower levels, which to me seems that there is an emphasis on contact skills in the draft.

Context is always helpful because it’s hard to know what constitutes good or bad rates. The table below shows how each team ranked in their leagues the last 2 years.
Tigers Minor League Organizational Rankings
The upper levels still strike out more than most teams, but the Oneonta and West Michigan teams, the teams comprised of players drafted in the last 2 years, are among the best in their leagues at not striking out.

 
 

{ 5 comments }

Matt in Toledo September 28, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Billfer, I’m envious of the look of your tables. I hate the look of the ones I use.

As for the strikeouts, let’s hope the approach is centering on identifying and swinging at strikes and not just making contact for contact’s sake.

Further encouraging is I remember seeing a table of organizational walk rates (BB/PA) at firstinning.com and the Tigers were high on the list with a walk rate near 10 percent.

Mike R September 28, 2007 at 3:22 pm

I’m with Matt, those are sweet lookin’ tables. And encouraging. I cannot stand watching the Tigers flail over and over again.

Kyle J September 28, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Also worth nothing there was improvement at the major league level. The Tigers dropped from 2nd to 7th in strikeouts among AL teams. And their K/BB ratio improved from 2.63 to 2.22.

Looking at individual players, though, Magglio’s really the only guy who improved his K/BB ratio significantly. Most of the change results from subtracting Shelton/Monroe at bats and adding Sheffield at bats. Granderson has decreased his strikeouts by 36 going into the last three games, but his walks have also dropped by 15.

Mike R September 28, 2007 at 9:08 pm

But Granderson’s walks dropping aren’t bad when he’s closing in on 90 XBH’s.

billfer September 28, 2007 at 11:30 pm

The charts are pretty easy. Make them in Excel. Cut and paste the chart into Paint. And then crop it and resize for your site. Pixenate is a free web photo editor that does the trick.

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