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):
|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.
|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 %|