A hallmark of this Cub season has been the team's prodigious scoring (656 runs scored through 121 games; nearly .5 run more per game than the second-ranking Mets), and a key component of that offense has been the team's ability to take walks and take pitches that leave them in "hitters' counts."

All of that said, The Hardball Times on Thursday linked to a great new baseball stats site called StatCorner created by Matthew Carruth and Graham MacAree. Among the numbers available there are the percentages of pitches seen which individual players swing at.

Here are the Swing Percentages for the 2008 Cubs. (Note: on average, MLB hitters swing at approximately 45% of the pitches thrown their way.)

  • Blanco, 49.9%
  • Cedeño, 52.2%
  • DeRosa, 42%
  • Edmonds, 43.6%
  • Fontenot, 41.6%
  • Fukudome, 40.7%
  • Johnson, 45.1%
  • Lee, 42.2%
  • Ramirez, 45.6%
  • Soriano, 52.5%
  • Soto, 41.9%
  • Theriot, 39.3%
  • Ward, 42%
As you can see, of the nine Cub regulars (that's including both Jim Edmonds and Reed Johnson), only Soriano, Ramirez, and Johnson swing at more than the average number of pitches, and Ramirez and Johnson do so just barely. Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome swing at markedly fewer pitches than average.

Interestingly, Ramirez's swing percentage is his lowest since joining the Cubs in '03, and Soriano's, while highest on the team, is significantly lower than last year's 57.9%. Not coincidentally, I think, Ramirez's current OBP (.385) would be far and away a career high, and Soriano's .344 would be his second-highest in ten Major League seasons.


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