Optimizing A Hitter's Training Economy
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Last night I mentioned that players need to spend their training economy wisely, and one of my big principles for hitters over the last year or so is to “Know Yourself” Here’s a quick example of how we might apply this. Of the batted ball metrics I’ve been looking at from Savant and Fangraphs, the highest Correlation. (.3277) with wRC+ is Savant's metric called barrel%. Barrels combine two metrics- sweet spot% how often a hitter's Batted balls are between 8-32° and EV95%. I want to focus on sweet spot % and Max Exit velocity. They are both unique elements to the player's batted ball profile and contrast each other well. They also have very similar correlations to wRC+
I'm not looking at EV95% because there is a precision element baked into the stat, where MAX EV is closer to Raw Power.
When looking at Sweet Spot % and Max EV, say a hitter is elite in one metric and terrible in the other, it might be a good idea to focus on improving a glaring weakness. Whereas if you’re average or below average at both maybe have a mix of both focus ( I’d still emphasize EV more). So what I did is turned Sweet Spot% and Max EV into Plus stats for qualified batters in 2019. Guys with large discrepancies between the two might be candidates to focus more strongly one a weaker element to his game.
Guys from this group with low negative percentile differences may want to get on a weighted bat program or change their focus in intent.
Lowest Sweet Spot % Guys from this group with large percentile differences might focus on drills geared toward hitting at “good” angles
Then I sorted by the largest difference in percentiles. These are the guys that have the most variation in percentile scores among their peers. The same would be true for guys with the lowest negative percentile scores.
Unsurprisingly, Mike Trout leads Qualified batters Sweet Spot % and is 8th in Max EV. Has very little difference in percentile rankings between the two metrics.