Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Patience pays off for Carpenter

Since breaking in, Matt Carpenter has been the Cardinals’ most-patient hitter. He has led the club in pitches per plate appearance every year since becoming a regular. This year, he’s seeing pitches at a career-high rate; indeed, if he continues at this pace, he’ll finish the season with the team’s highest pitches-per-plate-appearance since the stat began being tracked in 1988. The rest of the top 10:

Rk Name Year PA Pit Pit/PA
1 Matt Carpenter 2014 464 2021 4.36
2 Ray Lankford 1993 471 2049 4.35
3 Ray Lankford 2000 472 2045 4.33
4 Ray Lankford 1997 548 2367 4.32
5 Fernando Tatis 2000 394 1698 4.31
6 Jim Edmonds 2000 649 2783 4.29
7 Ray Lankford 1998 628 2669 4.25
8 Ray Lankford 1999 477 2023 4.24
9 Jim Edmonds 2004 612 2587 4.23
10 Orlando Palmeiro 2003 366 1535 4.19

But it’s not merely seeing pitches for its own sake. Batters who take a lot of pitches also tend to walk a lot. Carpenter this season currently sports a 12.1% walk rate (MLB average is 7.8%). Moreover, the Cardinals in the list above averaged a walk rate of 14.0% in those high-pitch seasons.

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