Inning 1- Introduction
Now that you are acquainted with the intended purpose of this series of baseball stories, allow me to send a shot across your proverbial bow. It’s about to get basebally up in this piece. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, this baseball trip was a solo affair, a Friday trip to Eugene to see the Oregon Ducks v. UCLA Bruins, allowing the writer more full concentration on baseball and less on having actual palatable fun. Secondly, well, guess where you’ll read the second reason (involves people with arms)?
Inning 2- It’s about Process…Results follow
Items needed for solo drive to PK Park in Eugene, Oregon (From Portland):
1. 2 completely full 80 minute mix CD’s (preferably with at least 1 Yaz song on each)
5. 1 piece of baseball nerd literature (Baseball Prospectus, Bill James Handbook, Baseball America Prospect Handbook)
The following Q&A took place via email when Sportsman writers Thomas King (asker) and Dan Woytek (responder) had nothing better to do. The following is strictly theoretical.
Question: On an average team, would you rather have a guy who gets a single every at bat or a guy who hits a home run every four at bats while striking out the other three?
Answer: It’s about to get nerdy. It would be hard to argue against 125 HR/500 AB, but a guy who never makes an out is actually way more valuable. (It was a surprise to me how much!) This obviously depends on run environment and such.
Average runs per batted ball type 1993-2010
Linear Weights 1993-2010
-0.294 - Out - Generic Out
-0.296 - K - Strikeout
per 4 ab
Singles guy 1.884 runs!
Donger guy .492 runs!
Those outs are an ouch!
Ed: In the end, the singles hitter is worth nearly 4x as many runs per four at bats, making the seemingly difficult question a no-brainer. Take that, Dave Kingman.