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Quickie: Jay Bruce’s Walks April 10, 2017

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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In an earlier post, I ran a quick regression (with very few datapoints) to determine that Jay Bruce‘s expected walks per plate appearance this year should be about .0838. In other words, he should walk once every 12 or so plate appearances.

So far (before the Mets’ 7th game of the season), Bruce has walked 5 times in 25 plate appearances, a .20 rate. That’s more reasonable than his .31 rate entering the weekend, but he still walked once in 12 plate appearances. How unlikely is that? I fired up R and ran a simulation of 50,000 25-plate-appearance streaks, modeling them as binomial trials – in other words, I’m simulating only the outcomes “Walked” or “Didn’t walk.” The graph:

Bruce’s 5 walks are unlikely – the probability that he’d have below 5 is .947. Exactly 5 would happen with probability of about .038. It’s not completely unheard of that Bruce would be at his expected level and have a streak of luck at the beginning of the year. However, it’s likely that Bruce has been spending extra time in the batting cages and has been working on his plate discipline.

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