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The Book on Zimm continued

February 10, 2010

Last week I broke down Ryan Zimmerman‘s 2009 season at the plate in The Book On Zimm.  I received a couple of emails asking to see Zimmerman’s 2009 season compared to the rest of the league.  I decided it would make more sense to compare his season against the 2009 league average for right handed batters.  Look at the numbers below to see just how good he was in 2009…

As you can see, the silver slugger award was well earned.  Zimm met or exceeded the league average for all pitch types.

Some of the numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Zimmerman only had 11 plate appearances ending with a cutter as the payoff pitch.  Three of them ended in home runs.  So, the numbers look artificially high.  Of course, the low number of cutters as payoff pitches may be the result of opponents looking at the 3 home runs and deciding to throw a different pitch.  Any way you look at these numbers, he had a great year.

The following charts compare Zimmerman’s 2009 AVG  vs the league’s right handed batters AVG.  The left chart is Zimm, the right chart is the league batting from the right side.  The bottom chart shows the differential between Zimm and the league.

Zimmerman's 2009 AVG

MLB 2009 Bats Right AVG

2009 Zimmerman/League Bats Right Comparison

The numbers outside the strike zone are misleading (remember – using PitchFX data, a right handed batter is standing on the left side of these charts).  Zimm had fantastic plate discipline, and mostly drew walks on outside pitches.  In fact, he only had one official at bat in the top 2 outside zones. In the zone that shows -0.191, Zimm had no official at bats in 2009.  In the zone that shows -0.209, he had one official at bat – a swinging strike out. All other payoff pitches in those regions were walks.

Here are the SLG comparisons in the same order.  Zimm SLG on the left, league Bats Right SLG on the right, and the differential below.

Zimmerman 2009 SLG

MLB 2009 Bats Right SLG

Zimmerman/League Bats Right 2009 SLG Differentials

As you can see, Zimm had incredible strength on pitches in the strike zone, exceeding the right handed league average in every zone.  Look at his SLG on the low pitch in the center of the plate.  He slugged .402 points higher than the league average.  Again, the outside zones are impacted by the rule of small numbers.  Zimm’s plate discipline on outside pitches kept him from swinging at these bad pitches.

All in all, a fantastic year for the Silver Slugger.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kate Kennedy permalink
    February 10, 2010 1:36 PM

    I knew he had a great year, but those numbers are eye opening!!!

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