- Both hit incredibly better when the count does not slide to 2 strikes.
- Both frustratingly take a lot of early strikes, despite the fact that they hit drastically better when they don’t allow themselves to get to 2 strikes.
- Duda has a greater (and quite huge) production disparity between favorable and unfavorable counts, and hence a huge incentive to be more aggressive early in counts, especially with his free agency looming.
- Cespedes would be a superstar if he stopped taking as many early count pitches. He is already close to being one, despite his reluctance to attack first pitches.
- Duda is about to turn 31, Cespedes recently turned 31. Both well enough along in Major League Doggie Years to immediately address and correct those flaws.
Posted by Thomas Brennan at 10:30 AM
Tom Brennan –Yoenis Cespedes vs. Lucas Duda
Could a little tweak in Lucas Duda’s game give him Yoenis Cespedes production? What do the numbers say? Can Cespedes do better? Let's see...
Simply, Duda and Cespedes are remarkably similar when their at career bats end with 0 or 1 strike (on a 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-1, or 3-1 pitch), which I refer to as "favorable counts.".
Duda’s splits, when his at bats end in those counts, are .347/.454/.654.
Cespedes’ splits, when his ABs end in those counts, are .364/.430/.674
The problem for Duda is only 46.2% of his ABs end on those favorable counts, while Cespedes’ figure is 49.7%. Duda’s lower rate means 90 less plate appearances ending in those counts than if he achieved Cespedes’ rate. Stay with me here.
There is regression for Duda vs. Cespedes here (where at bats end with an unfavorable 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, or 3-2 count), but Cespedes is not good in those counts either:
Duda’s splits, when his at bats end in those counts, are ugly: .163/.254/.281
Cespedes’ splits, when his ABs end in those counts, are UGH: .185/.242/.323
Both are poor on those counts, but Cespedes hits 22 points higher, and has 42 points higher on his slugging %.
ON AT BATS ENDING ON FIRST PITCH:
Duda only puts the ball in play (or gets hit by a pitch) on the first pitch he sees 8.3% of the time. Cespedes? 8.2%. Both are clearly allergic to attacking the first pitch. The more aggressive Daniel Murphy’s first pitch-ending-an-at-bat rate is 12.9%, 55% higher than those 2 guys. No accident that his career batting average is much higher.
HERE ARE MY DUDA / CESPEDES TAKEAWAYS:
What do you think, readers?
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays to y'all.