The relationship between various components of a plate appearance and the probability of success

Benjamin A Tzeel, Ryan P Lowery, Jacob M Wilson
2.453 834


The purpose of this study was to determine how the length of plate appearance relates to hitter success metrics and what factors a hitter can control to impact success. In 2011, 1743 MLB plate appearances were monitored by length of plate appearance time, outcome with success or failure, extra-base hit percentage, location, inning, final pitch velocity, etc. Data was fractionated to compare plate appearance length ( <30 s, 31-97 s, and >97 s), and percentages of both success and extra-base hits. One way ANOVAs were run to assess differences between plate appearance durations and each of the outcome variables. Plate appearances lasting less than 30 seconds and longer than 97 seconds had greater on-base percentages than those plate appearances lasting from 30-97 seconds. Plate Appearances lasting less than 30 seconds resulted in greater extra-base hit percentages than those lasting longer than 30 seconds.  Batters had greater success against left-handed pitchers than right-handed pitchers (.336 vs .410 OBP, p<.005).  When fractionated, there was a statistically significant difference between fast pitch success or slow pitch success (p=.0167).


baseball, at-bat, hitter, strategy

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Authors’ Note: We wish to acknowledge the University of Tampa for funding our subscription. We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Albert Tzeel for his editorial

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