Pirates displaying improved patience

Ryan Doumit
Ryan Doumit - Matt Bandi/PLC

The folks over at FanGraphs have a statistic called O-Swing%, which simply measures the percentage of pitches outside the strike zone that a player chases. The league average has generally been around 25% the past few years. In 2009, the Pirates had the seventh highest percentage at 26.8%, continuing a trend of poor plate patience. They were led by notorious free-swingers Freddy Sanchez (30.1%), Lastings Milledge (30.8%), Ryan Doumit (33.2%), Jack Wilson (33.4%) and Ronny Cedeno (37.0%).

Thus far in 2010, the Pirates have been marching to a new beat. The Bucs have the fourth lowest percentage at 22.9%. Some of that improvement is due to new roster additions, such as Aki Iwamura (15.0%) and Bobby Crosby (16.7%). Moreover, some players have made dramatic improvement to their plate discipline, such as Doumit (19.5%) and Milledge (25.7%).

Obviously, we are looking at a small sample size here, and it’s not like this is the first time I have noted improved patience early in a season. So take these numbers with a large grain of salt. But at the very least, they are encouraging.


  PA O-Swing%
Jason Jaramillo 8 0.0%
John Raynor 6 7.7%
Akinori Iwamura 51 15.0%
Andrew McCutchen 55 16.5%
Bobby Crosby 19 16.7%
Ryan Doumit 42 19.5%
Andy LaRoche 33 20.6%
Garrett Jones 53 22.3%
Ryan Church 18 23.3%
Lastings Milledge 51 25.7%
Delwyn Young 21 35.5%
Jeff Clement 34 35.7%
Ronny Cedeno 42 39.7%

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