George Springer: K rate vs EYE ratio

Champ persists:

Whats your take on Spingers' Ks Doc?

If he's still running below-average contact rates, do you still want him at #2?

Yes, if he's running exactly these EYE ratios, I'm jazzed to grab him with the 2.

You guys gotta pull off using K rates in isolation. :- )  That's free advice.


=== Workin' the Count ===

We always have to keep in mind that some hitters simply let the first 2, 3, 4 pitches go by.

A hitter with a 0.85 EYE, like Springer's, could easily choose to post an excellent contact rate if he wanted to attack the first pitch.   But a guy who routinely takes the count to 2-2 is choosing to accept high BB rates and high K rates (and therefore low CT%).


=== Swings and Misses vs Strikeouts ===

Now (turning our attention to those less saber-literate than Taro) there is a Fangraphs stat, "Contact %", that tells you how often a batter makes contact assuming that he swings. 

That's a totally different subject.  By "contact rate" Taro, Ron Shandler, and I are talking about (AB - K).

Mark Reynolds, Adam Dunn, Ryan Howard, Mike Napoli, and Carlos Pena -- as a group, five superb offensive players, we might add -- lead baseball in Fangraphs swings and misses.  These guys swing three times, they're going to miss once.

Ichiro makes contact fully 9 out of 10 times that he swings -- incredibly, Joe Mauer makes contact even more often than Ichiro.


But this isn't talking about Ron Shandler's "Contact Rate," which is simply the opposite of K %.  Here you're talking about AT-BATS, not swings, that result in a K.

Also bear in mind that John Olerud types are TAKING a lot of called third strikes.  A 60:70 EYE does not mean that a hitter has trouble putting the barrel on the ball.  Not at all!

George Springer has a lot of AB's that result in strikeouts.  But that does not imply that he can't square up a tough pitch.  It implies -- in the context of his 1BB per ballgame -- that George Springer is a very selective hitter.  That's all it implies.


=== Teddy Ballgame "Get Your Pitch" Dept. ===

K% (and CT%) mean very little to me, isolated from EYE.  So, right, his CT% is no worry at all to me.

John's comp of Grady Sizemore is simply wonderful all the way around, but even more so as it pertains to this particular idea.  Sizemore's Contact% -- how often he swings and misses -- is better than the AL average. 

Sizemore swings and makes contact 82% of the time assuming he swings, whereas the league gets 81%. 

So how does Sizemore fan 150 times per year?  Simply because he lets the count go very deep, and walks 80-100 times to go with those 150 times.

Are you worried about Grady Sizemore's 150 K's per year?  Of course you are not.  Sizemore is a fearsome hitter who draws tons of walks.  He is better at contact than most hitters.  He's just doin' his thing.


This was precisely what attracted us to John's Sizemore suggestion.  You've got a speed player with excellent gap power who works the count for every drop it's worth. 

George Springer won't maintain his current 60:70 EYE ratio in the bigs, but then, he doesn't have to.  Sizemore his ownself does not run an 0.85 EYE.  Sizemore is 0.56 lifetime -- which would be a splendid ratio for Springer to maintain.


The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived, Ted Williams, would sit down (even in the 1980's and 1990's) with HOF'ers to discuss hitting, and leave them all bleeding, tattered and begging for mercy.

Ted had exactly four (4) Great Laws of Hitting.  One of these was Get Your Pitch.

Pitch-stalking is the right way to hit.  People succeed doing it otherwise, and Get Your Pitch might be as simple as "make him get the fastball down," but the fact remains:  pitch-stalking is the correct approach at the plate.

George Springer has an idea up there.  His K's (and BB's) are a plus, not a minus.


K's are fine.  K's without BB's ain't.

My $0.02,

Dr D


Taro's picture

Good eye with bad K rates in the minors is monumentally better than a bad eye with bad K-rates, but high K-rate guys are still going to run higher Bust%s as prospects.
You bring up Sizemore once again, and once again you ignore that he K'ed 10% points LESS in the minors than Springer has in college. Sizemore K% IN THE MAJORS matches Springer's IN COLLEGE. Thats a very important difference. It signifies a significant hole in Springer's swing that will be exposed at higher level if adjustments aren't made.
Grady Sizemore just is not a comp for Springer UNLESS Springer drastically improves his K-rate. I don't understand why people keep throwing out comps that don't match each other skillwise for prospects.
Unless the K-rate improves by a LOT this year, Springer is very high risk, high reward and I don't want that at #2. If he DOES make those adjustments and the K-rate improves, than maybe.


You bring up Sizemore once again, and once again you ignore that he K'ed 10% points LESS in the minors than Springer has in college.

Are you saying that Springer's 147 strikeouts per 550 AB's cross the threshold into "forget it," but that 132 strikeouts per 550 AB's would be fine?
You've got ten checkmarks of similarity between the two players, Taro, and a 10% delta on one of the benchmarks and BING BING BING the red lights flash and we've got no comp at all?
Care to find me any two players, who ever lived, where I can't find a 10% delta on one of the benchmarks?
Still, I'm not saying that George Springer is Grady Sizemore.  Sizemore was a very good ML player at age 22. 
It is the TEMPLATE we are talking about, like saying that Anthony Rendon is in the Hank Aaron template.


It's a valuable idea, no doubt.
Got to admit, it's a bit annoying the way that MINORS-K-RATE has become the be-all and end-all, the Swiss Army knife of saber analysis here.  Where is the study that says, X number of K's at Y level and you can forget about a career?
If a GM set an org policy -- hey, I don't want any player who fans more than 130 times per 550 in the minors -- I would take that as a reasonable and interesting org philosophy.  I would not share it, though.
G pointed out a long set of players whose MINORS-K-RATES would have caused you to rule them out, but who went on to become impact players in the majors.
If we name another handful of impact ML bats who fanned a ton in the minors, are you just going to argue that they don't count for this or that reason?  ;- )
Springer's K (and BB) rates reflect (1) the patience and deep counts; (2) probably unreliable 2-2 and 3-2 calls in college; and (3) possibly (who knows) some issues with his HIT skill.   ... Even if Springer's HIT were 40 or 50 -- unlikely -- it wouldn't mean he's not a blue-chipper.
But 60 walks and 70 strikeouts in 64 Big East games don't automatically equate to minus HIT the way you are portraying it.  
You are talking about a player with a .491 OBP, dude.  Let's not paint him as Dave Kingman.  :- )

Taro's picture

I'm not ruling him out at all, or high K guys as a whole.
However there is a tendency for high K guys to bust more often. Its a tendency I've noticed following prospects for the past decade. High K guys bust unless they improve at every level or have significant secondary skills. ESPECIALLY high K, low eye types.
High eye types are much safer, but the risk is still amplified with high Ks at a low level. Why would you want such a high risk guy at #2 overall? Late 1st, sure. #2 overall? No way. Not unless he shows a lot of improvement next season. He'll be repeating the league for a 3rd time and if hes still K'ing above league-average, it becomes a red flag for me.
Sizemore is not a comp for Springer currently. Its not even a suitable template since we're talking about players with different peripherals at similar development stages. Springer needs to make a leap next season to catch up to the Sizemore template.

Anonymous's picture

I knew you would love the comp.  Athlete.......

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.