Something You Already Knew About John McDonald
John McDonald got off to a ridiculously good start this season, hitting .447/462 (ha!)/.605 over his first 15 games. That’s a pretty ridiculous streak for a career .240 hitter, and even though he has hit .227 since then, it made people think he was a mediocre hitting SS because he was still clinging to a .270 average months later (and is still above .250). One of the things responsible for that run was that he was getting a lot of starts against lefties, who he is batting .329 against this season. It also seemed that he liked the soft-tossing variety but was overmatched by anyone throwing heat.
So, to test this pitch database I’ve finally got running, I ran every pitch it has recorded for him this season and what the result was. Here are the percentages for every possible result of each pitch by velocity. Batting average is hits/contact, but since we’re breaking it down pitch by pitch it doesn’t mean the same thing. (By the way, if anyone wants me to ask the all-knowing database something about their favorite/least favorite, let me know…pretty much anything- counts, pitch type/location, situations, results, can be analyzed…Want to know what percentage of first pitches to Vernon were popped straight up? Well, no, you probably don’t want to know. But if you DID…)
I was surprised that he doesn’t swing through as many good fastballs as I thought he did, but he takes them for strikes instead. And while on pitches between 80-90, Sir John gets a hit about 1/3 of the time he makes contact, it drops below the Mendoza line (.190) as soon as someone throws a ball over 90 mph.
The number of balls he fouls off increases at about the same rate as balls decreases, so his eye disappears as velocity increases (not surprising since he has to ‘sell out’ and start his swing super early to get around). What eye, you say? Well, he actually has a pretty good one for curveballs:
|Pitch Type||Foul Ball
||Looking Strike||Ball Taken|
Just another reason nobody should, ever, ever, ever, throw him one (I’m looking at you, Kenny Rogers, cursing away after that 0-2 count). On pitches between 70-75 mph this year, McDonald didn’t foul off one, and he hit .500.