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« Mike Napoli's Month | Main | Alls not too Wells with Vernon »
Friday
Aug052011

Leaning In

Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies and Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox lead the majors in hit by pitches since the start of the 2008 season.  Utley leads with 77 and Quentin is close with 75, but there is a big fall off to Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers with 50.  Utley and Quentin do a great job of leaning in so they are closer to the strike zone.

Chase Utley hit by pitch (left) vs. all MLB LHB (right), 2008-2011.Utley comes very close to getting hit in the strike zone, which would be strikes.  He also manages to take a pitch on the foot more often than most left-handed batters.

Carlos Quentin hit by pitch (left) vs. all MLB RHB (right), 2008-2011.Carlos does not lean in as much as Utley, with the highest concentration of hit by pitches very much inside. The difference between Quentin and most right-handed batters, is he lacks the big fall off as the pitches get closer to the plate.  Maybe he's just better at getting out of the way of the border-line strikes than Utley, as he seldom gets hit low.

This is not a trival stat.  Hit by pitches add over 20 points to Utley's and Quentin's OBP in this time frame.  Avoiding outs is a hugh part of offense, and these two players found a painful way to help out their teams.

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