CINCINNATI - MAY 05: Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets is pictured while striking out during the game against the Cincinnati Reds on May 5, 2010 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
When you're 11th in the National League in scoring, and have only one run on the punchless San Francisco Giants, it's worth pondering your team offense. The problem is that the lack of a significant sample size on most stats doesn't allow us to say too much about the players' power or walk rates. Luckily, Steve Slowinski over at SBN partner DRaysBay reminded me of a Russell Carlton study that showed when certain statistics become significant. First on the list? Swing rates, at 50 PA, and contact rate, at 100 PA. Since most of the regulars have hopped these hurdles, let's take a look at the team from this angle.
|Player||Swing %||Car. Swing%||O-Swing%||Car. O-Swing%||Contact%||Car. Con.%|
One thing jumps out at you right away. The Mets must be pressing, because every single regular on this offense is swinging at more balls outside the zone than they normally do. Check that out, down the line it's true. With some guys the effect is more pronounced than others, but it's definitely there. For David Wright, it's part of a three-year increase in the number, which is probably the most worrisome trend in his batting statistics. He needs to find the discipline he debuted with. Even Luis Castillo, the king of not swinging, has fallen pray to this new 'strategy.' Might have something to do with why the Mets have the fourth-worst OBP in the National League, right?
Beyond the O-Swing %, there isn't really a team-wide phenomenon to speak of. It's worth pointing out that Jason Bay's swing profile has barely changed from his successful career levels. It would be nice to see him make a little more contact, though. Jeff Francoeur will some day swing at more than 50% of pitches outside the zone if his career trend continues. What that would look like is anyone's guess. Of course, we'll be looking at these guys all year, though, and this was more of an exercise to see if there was anything going on at the team level.
The main thing we can learn from the swing rates on this list is that the Mets are "Just trying to get it right (Need some patience, yeah.)"