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Groundball/Flyball out ratio for pitchers... what's good?

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Postby bigwords » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:00 pm

[quote="MentalPowerHouse"]The only pitcher that comes to mind that really depends on ground balls is Roy Holliday who doesn't quite have the K rate other "elite" pitchers do.[/quote]

huh? what are you talking about? There are lots of pitchers who depend on ground balls, both with high K rate (Brandon Webb is the best example) and low K rate (Chien-Ming Wang).

Anybody who says this statistic doesn't mean anything really has no clue about pitchers whatsoever. It's a very very meaningful statistic. It's just important to understand that you need to place this statistic within its context to really understand a pitcher and his potential.
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Postby bigwords » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:04 pm

Also to say that a pitcher has a great groundball rate is usually, but not always, another way to say a pitcher has an effective slider. Usually, a sinking slighter is the pitch that induces a ground ball. Flyball pitchers tend to throw more fastballs. Pitchers who rely on breaking balls and curveballs fall in the middle, and the groundball/flyball/strikeout/walk/home run percentages can tell you a lot about what they are trying to do and whether their pitches are working as intended.
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Postby fbc_fan » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:18 pm

bigwords wrote: It's just important to understand that you need to place this statistic within its context to really understand a pitcher and his potential.


i'd agree with this statement. it really is about what park the pitcher calls home, and the 2b, ss and cf that back them up. patterson was very effective with a high flyball rate in 05 just because no one could hit his curveball far enough to get it out of RFK.

i do have to agree somewhat with the others though, there are more meaningful statistics to take a look at, such as walk rate and K/BB. i also like BABIP and/or DER. though i wouldn't completely ignore GB%. as another example, king felix had a very high GB% last year, but he was constantly giving up HRs. dan haren is another pitcher that this was the case for.
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Postby MentalPowerHouse » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:23 pm

Obviously there alot of pitchers that rely on groundballs, infact all pitchers do a fair bit. Holliday was just the one that game to mind.

The stat is rather meaningless when comparing pitchers, especially fantasy wise. Each pitcher has a ratio that works for them and you can't really say one is better than the other. It can help explain why a pitcher is struggling, ie their ratio is off, but its not a stat you normally need to care about.
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Postby fbc_fan » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:41 pm

MentalPowerHouse wrote:Obviously there alot of pitchers that rely on groundballs, infact all pitchers do a fair bit. Holliday was just the one that game to mind.

The stat is rather meaningless when comparing pitchers, especially fantasy wise. Each pitcher has a ratio that works for them and you can't really say one is better than the other. It can help explain why a pitcher is struggling, ie their ratio is off, but its not a stat you normally need to care about.


not to nitpick, but i think halladay is a very special case. he simply stopped trying to K people because it was driving up his pitch counts. he also does not walk a lot of batters so he can get away with the lower K rate.
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Postby adichiara » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:31 am

tgalv wrote:i'd put it about 100th on a list of meaningful stats


I hope you mean GB/FB ratio and not the stats of GB/LD/FB overall. Just to be safe here's a quick example I'll let the stats do the talking...

Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter put the ball in play the same amount, Cabrera at 80% of the time and Hunter at 81%, so if anything Hunter is better at putting the ball into the field of play.

Torii Hunter:

2006 batting average - .278

Miguel Cabrera:

2006 batting average - .339

Now why is there a 61 (!) point different when they make the same amount of contact? And remember, that is a ridiculous difference.

Groundball% - 40 - 45
Linedrive% - 24 -18
Flyball% - 35 - 37

Care to take a guess who's numbers are on the left? The one with less ground balls and more line drives are Cabrera's and explain why his batting average is so much higher than a player who makes the same amount of contact.

Now I am talking hitters but it's the same exact thing with pitchers except the other important number is strikeouts instead of CT%.
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Postby Dawgpound 1613 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:53 am

There is no "golden" stat. But to ignore GB% or minimize it also doesn't make sense.

"In general" - pitchers with higher GB% are better bets than those with higher FB% (generally due to increased HR/9 based on more flyballs allowed). That does not mean that all high GB% pitchers are elite.

But at the end of a draft, when picking between two pitchers having comparable K/9 and K/BB, the one with the greater GB% is simply a better bet to do well. It doesn't mean he will do better, but the odds are in his favor.
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