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Britton's insane GB rates


Frobby

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There's an article on Fangraphs today looking at the top 10 and lowest 10 in GB%, FB%, and LD%. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/ball-in-play-leaders-and-laggards-al-pitchers/ The article only lists players who had at least 215 balls in play, so Zach Britton (194 plays in play) does not qualify. Still, the list is instructive:

GB%: Top was Dallas Keuchel, 60.7%. Britton: 75.3%

FB%: Lowest was Justin Masterson, 16.4%. Britton: 11.9%.

LD%: Lowest was Dustin McGowan, 15.4%. Britton: 12.9%.

What he did last year was just insane.

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Having a closer put up those types of numbers is awesome! With our infield defense, it is a comforting feeling when Britton comes in with a thin lead.

That said, I would be all for converting him to a starting pitcher if we didn't have such a solid rotation.

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Some memories of ZB's great season: Caleb helped generate multiple strike calls for Zach due to his pitch framing in the low part of the zone. Say what you will about framing, but Joseph excelled when catching these sinking fastballs by Zach. Not to take ANYTHING away from the breakthroughs ZB made.

Couple the above with nasty movement, and potentially an expanding zone, and I guess you see very few fly balls, and hitters forced into swinging at impossible pitches.

I think we all recall the blown save in NY around the middle of the season, and outside of a walk off homerun mistake pitch, the hits to get men on prior to that homer were bloopers and broken bat variety contact.

Now, I've been noodling on this over the fall/winter... And I suspect it's a foregone conclusion that Britton will be the closer once again, but I hope that Buck can remain flexible like he was in 2014 and be open to making a change if Britton doesn't work out. Hunter was likely our closer. I'm not advocating for Hunter to be the closer, but I am hopeful we can keep doors open.

As effective as Britton was in 2014 in the 9th, wouldn't it be nice to use him in higher leverage situations -- even if those come in the 7th or 8th? Will we want to use our rule 5 guy(s) with men on and the need for a double play ball?

I love our pen. I like our starters. Will be interesting to see what we do with ZB and what kind of value he might have to other clubs (because I'm always curious about that).

Edit: the above is probably off topic slightly, my bad.

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Some memories of ZB's great season: Caleb helped generate multiple strike calls for Zach due to his pitch framing in the low part of the zone. Say what you will about framing, but Joseph excelled when catching these sinking fastballs by Zach. Not to take ANYTHING away from the breakthroughs ZB made.

FWIW, Britton had a 0.63 ERA in games caught by Wieters before he got hurt. I was thinking about trying to figure out his ERA when Hundley was catching, but it's too much work.

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There's an article on Fangraphs today looking at the top 10 and lowest 10 in GB%, FB%, and LD%. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/ball-in-play-leaders-and-laggards-al-pitchers/ The article only lists players who had at least 215 balls in play, so Zach Britton (194 plays in play) does not qualify. Still, the list is instructive:

GB%: Top was Dallas Keuchel, 60.7%. Britton: 75.3%

FB%: Lowest was Justin Masterson, 16.4%. Britton: 11.9%.

LD%: Lowest was Dustin McGowan, 15.4%. Britton: 12.9%.

What he did last year was just insane.

They should still list Britton as number one even though he has less than 215 balls in play. His GB% was 75.3% in 194, right? That is 146 ground balls. If you assume zero more ground balls in the 21 additional to get to 215, his 146 would yield a GB% of 67.9%, which still easily puts him in first place. This is what they do in the case of batting average titles where a guy is a few at bats short, but would still have the leagues highest average if he had zero hits in the number of additional at bats to get to the minimum.

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FWIW, Britton had a 0.63 ERA in games caught by Wieters before he got hurt. I was thinking about trying to figure out his ERA when Hundley was catching, but it's too much work.

Oh my observation is not scientific, but I do believe Joseph helped generate favorable counts by plucking strikes off his shoe tops. I do not recall enough of Wieters' catching at all last season, let alone what he managed to do with ZB, but that would have coincided with a moment in the season where ZB was taking the league by storm with 95+ mph sinkers.

Wieters' hitting, on the other hand, I remember.

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They should still list Britton as number one even though he has less than 215 balls in play. His GB% was 75.3% in 194, right? That is 146 ground balls. If you assume zero more ground balls in the 21 additional to get to 215, his 146 would yield a GB% of 67.9%, which still easily puts him in first place. This is what they do in the case of batting average titles where a guy is a few at bats short, but would still have the leagues highest average if he had zero hits in the number of additional at bats to get to the minimum.

Good point.

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FWIW, Britton had a 0.63 ERA in games caught by Wieters before he got hurt. I was thinking about trying to figure out his ERA when Hundley was catching, but it's too much work.

I checked just out of curiosity... with Hundley, Britton had a 2.16 ERA in 25 IP (17 H, 10 BB, 22K). Most of that comes from the Yankees meltdown game on June 20th. Aside from that game, it was an 0.74 ERA.

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