Sunday, September 26, 2004

Cutting Craig's Ks

Here's a report on Craig Wilson's strikeouts:

This was the year Craig Wilson got his at-bats as a full-time starter, which explains his career highs in home runs and RBIs. But he still strikes out roughly 30 percent of the time...

Yeah, so? Wilson has twenty-eight jacks and a good on-base percentage, so why should we care about his strikeouts? In general, strikeouts are no worse than any other out. If I were a Pirates beat writer, I'd be a lot more concerned with the fact that so many other Pirates make so many outs in general than I would be with the way a good player makes his.

Wilson:

I'll go home, figure out why I had such a high number and work on cutting it back next year."

I, and anyone who's watched the Pirates this year, would be happy to save Wilson the time: he strikes out a lot because he takes huge swings. Those swings are also the reason why so many balls he hits fly out of the park. The Pirates should tell Wilson not to worry about the Ks; if he tries to prevent them, he might end up short-circuiting his power, and that could make him a much less effective player.

There are things Wilson can do to improve his hitting, but to my eyes they mostly have to do with being more selective at the plate. For example, he might think about trying to hold back against down-and-away breaking junk from righties. If he could improve in that area, he'd probably draw more walks and hit fewer ground balls.

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