I decided to refine this methodology further, and talk about players ability to effectively chase in that they A. don't chase frequently, B. make contact on pitches that they chase, and C. make quality contact on pitches that they chase.Chasing outside pitches is bad. But making contact is good, right? Here are the leaders in fewest pitches chased outside (1-O-swing%) times O-Contact% (2018):— John Edwards (@John_Edwards_) July 7, 2018
1. Joey Votto (.65)
2. Brett Gardner (.64)
3. Alex Bregman (.63)
4. Nick Markakis (.60)
5. Ian Kinsler (.60)
The three components I incorporated were 1-O-swing% (how frequently players did not swing at outside pitches), O-Contact% (how frequently players make contact on their swings outside the zone) and xwOBA on O-zone pitches (the quality of contact on pitches made outside of the zone). After pulling all of these figures for players with 1000+ pitches this season from Baseball Savant, I then calculated the z-scores for players with regards to each metrics, then added them all together. The end result I called the "Effective Chase Score".
Here are 2018's leaders in Effective Chase Score.
|Player||Effective Chase Score|
As we would expect, Votto is miles away the best player in terms in effective chase rate - in addition to having extremely low chase rates, Votto makes contact frequently on his outside swings and has extremely effective contact on outside pitches.
Here are the worst batters by the same metric.
|player||Effective Chase Score|
|Michael A. Taylor||-2.65|
There are a lot of free swingers here, including Gomez, Davis, Gallo, etc. Baez, however, is almost as bad as Votto is good - Baez has the worst O-Swing% by 6% (Baez - 46.0%, second is Kevin Pillar, 40.5%), bottom tier O-Contact%, and Baez has just a .237 xwOBA on outside pitches.
To view the full list of hitters with at least 1000+ pitches faced, I published my spreadsheet below.