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« Under the hood: the first pitch of an at bat | Main | HR Derby Preview: Team Wright »
Monday
Jul152013

The Most Valuable 0-2 Hitter

Needless to say, a batter doesn't want to get into an 0-2 hole.

Batters this season are hitting .152 on 0-2 pitches.

Frame of reference?

On 2-0 counts, batters are hitting .334.

On 3-1 counts, they are hitting .348.

Even on 1-2 counts, batters are hitting .167.

So when a batter gets a hit on 0-2 the effect is more than just the hit itself, but the impact of the letdown on the defensive squad when that batter comes through or, if you see the glass half-empty, the pitcher simply not putting the batter away.

0-2 hitters this season

So far this season, no batter has had more 0-2 plate appearances than Starling Marte with 55. Marte has gone 11-for-51 (.216) with three doubles and 19 whiffs.

Next, in terms of PA is Mark Trumbo going 8-for-52 (.154) with three doubles, a homer and 31 Ks.

Now I want you to pause a moment and think, of all the players in the majors who would most want to have with an 0-2 count at the plate to do damage to the opponent.

Don't immediately say Miguel Cabrera, he's a .125 hitter and he has no homers.

Don't shout Mike Trout either, he's a .200 hitter without a homer.

There is one guy, who consistently manages to find a way to damage his opponents, no matter what the count, no matter what the situation, no matter what the score:

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia is a .360 hitter on 0-2 counts.

Pedey in 50 at bats has 18 hits, the most in the majors. Alexei Ramirez is next with 13 hits.

What's more, Pedroia has only struck out nine times on 0-2 pitches.

There are other good ones out there

Now, I don't want to minimize the three 0-2 homers that Raul Ibanez and Alex Rios have hit or the four doubles that Mitch Moreland, Matt Carpenter, and Carlos Gonzalez have hit.

And while I'll happily take Mark Ellis hitting .444 in 19 PA, Adam Lind .409 in 22 PA, and Chase Headley and his .375 BA in 33 PA.

But give me Dustin Pedroia's 18-for-50, .360 batting average and .333 with runners in scoring position with an 0-2 count.

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Reader Comments (3)

I've gotta ask: are we talking about average AFTER reaching an 0-2 count? Or are we discussing average solely on the 0-2 pitch?

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Doggett

The article is referring to averages when hitting on an 0-2 count specifically, but as the article points out, Pedroia is the only one in the league who "consistently manages to find a way to damage his opponents, no matter what the count, no matter what the situation, no matter what the score".

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Pedroia is the best "pure baseball player" in the majors today...........we in Boston are so lucky to watch him do his thing 81 times a year..........he is the quintessential team player, beats you with his bat, glove, legs and instincts..............reminds me of Jeter................over the past three years, for me, it has gotten to the point where I go to Fenway as much to watch Petey as the rest of the game...............watch his at bats, never gives one away, watch him in the field, always in the right place, watch him when he is on first, studying the pitcher, waiting to see the weakness..............

July 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergreg condon
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