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Fun With Numbers: Plate Discipline

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A simple ratio of Fangraphs' Z-Swing% (swinging at pitches in the zone) to O-Swing% (swinging at pitches outside of the zone). Pitchers excluded.

Top Ten, 2008: (minimum: 50 PA)

1. Nick Johnson, 5.7
2. Frank Thomas, 5.3
3. Jack Cust, 4.9
4. Chipper Jones, 4.6
5. Marco Scutaro, 4.6
6. Rob Mackowiak, 4.5
7. Willie Harris, 4.4
8. BJ Upton, 4.4
9. Doug Mientkiewicz, 4.3
10. Daric Barton, 4.3

Bottom Ten, 2008:

1. Angel Berroa, 1.6
2. Darin Erstad, 1.7
3. Brandon Wood, 1.7
4. Wladimir Balentien, 1.7
5. Carlos Gomez, 1.7
6. Rajai Davis, 1.7
7. Brett Gardner, 1.7
8. Tony Pena, 1.7
9. Alexei Ramirez, 1.8
10. Miguel Olivo, 1.8

Top Ten, 2007: (minimum: 100 PA)

1. Barry Bonds, 4.9
2. Morgan Ensberg, 4.9
3. Jack Cust, 4.5
4. Doug Mirabelli, 4.3
5. Gabe Gross, 4.3
6. D'Angelo Jimenez, 4.3
7. Brian Giles, 4.3
8. Kenny Lofton, 4.2
9. Luis Castillo, 4.2
10. Marco Scutaro, 4.1

Bottom Ten, 2007:

1. Carlos Gomez, 1.6
2. Miguel Olivo, 1.6
3. Rondell White, 1.7
4. Howie Kendrick, 1.7
5. Jose Molina, 1.7
6. Marlon Anderson, 1.8
7. Johnny Estrada, 1.8
8. Tony Pena, 1.8
9. Toby Hall, 1.8
10. Vladimir Guerrero, 1.8

Top Ten, 2006: (minimum: 100 PA)

1. Ryan Spilborghs, 7.7
2. Hideki Matsui, 5.8
3. Scott Hatteberg, 5.4
4. Bill Mueller, 5.1
5. Morgan Ensberg, 4.9
6. Barry Bonds, 4.9
7. Brian Giles, 4.8
8. BJ Upton, 4.8
9. Jason Giambi, 4.7
10. Chipper Jones, 4.7

Bottom Ten, 2006:

1. Eliezer Alfonzo, 1.5
2. Delmon Young, 1.7
3. Angel Berroa, 1.7
4. Sandy Alomar Jr, 1.9
5. Alex Gonzalez, 1.9
6. Bengie Molina, 1.9
7. Ronny Cedeno, 1.9
8. Shane Costa, 1.9
9. Toby Hall, 1.9
10. Reed Johnson, 1.9

Who's got the worst eye in baseball? I'm inclined to give the nod to Miguel Olivo. Over the last three years he's had the 10th, 2nd, and 11th-lowest ratios in the league, while at the same time making contact with only 43.2% of his swings on pitches out of the zone (against a league average of 60%). And yet he's still somehow found a way to slug .430 over the same span of time. Currently that would be good enough for third place on the Mariners. As a unit, we're hitting worse than the least disciplined hitter in baseball. Think about that for a minute.

BJ Upton surprised me. I generally don't think of him as being all that selective, but the proof is right there. Angel Berroa? Less of a surprise.