Mets Stat of the Day: Junk hitters

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Which Mets have the most—and least—success with hitting pitches that pitchers want them to chase?

Earlier this week, we looked at the best (and worst) meatball hitters on the Mets in 2013. How about junk hitters? Are certain Mets better at flailing at pitches outside of the strike zone than others?

Instead of fastball-type pitches, as we used to examine meatball hitters, for junk hitters, we will examine their success against breaking and off-speed pitches. Yes, that includes the typical curveballs, sliders, and changeups, but also knuckleballs, screwballs, and forkballs. We will also focus on pitches outside of the strike zone.

Seventeen Mets had at least 20 at-bats end with a junk pitch, and here is their performance (sorry but I had to keep Mr. Harvey on the list):

Rank Results Player BA
1 7 for 33 Jordany Valdespin 0.212
2 20 for 107 Daniel Murphy 0.187
3 5 for 28 Justin Turner 0.179
4 9 for 54 Eric Young 0.167
5 12 for 76 David Wright 0.158
6 13 for 83 Juan Lagares 0.157
7 9 for 62 Omar Quintanilla 0.145
8 5 for 35 Andrew Brown 0.143
9 9 for 70 John Buck 0.129
10 2 for 22 Wilmer Flores 0.091
11 3 for 33 Ruben Tejada 0.091
12 6 for 69 Marlon Byrd 0.087
13 7 for 86 Lucas Duda 0.081
14 5 for 78 Ike Davis 0.064
15 1 for 21 Anthony Recker 0.048
16 1 for 22 Mike Baxter 0.046
17 0 for 21 Matt Harvey 0.000

Source: Baseball Savant

What is interesting about this list is that Daniel Murphy had the second highest qualified batting average, while having considerable more at-bats end with junk pitches.

Looking at the table below, Murphy is the third most likeliest Met to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone (qualified for 400 PA in 2013). Where he finds success is his contact rate, where he makes contact 16 points above league average. Of course, pitchers seem to pick up on Murphy's tendency to swing at pitches outside of the strikes zone, as Murphy sees the lowest percentage of pitches inside the strike zone of qualified Mets from 2013.

Rank Name O-Swing% O-Contact% Zone%
1 Marlon Byrd 39.7 % 53.9 % 46.8 %
2 Juan Lagares 35.4 % 73.2 % 48.2 %
3 Daniel Murphy 32.6 % 81.4 % 44.9 %
4 John Buck 29.9 % 60.7 % 47.2 %
5 Eric Young 27.5 % 67.1 % 47.0 %
6 David Wright 26.4 % 69.3 % 46.1 %
League Average 29.4 % 65.2 % 46.1 %

Source: Fangraphs

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