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Friday, April 22, 2005

TTO Dunn Right

In baseball speak, TTO stands for Three True Outcomes. It refers to the three possible results of a pure batter-pitcher confrontation (pure in this context meaning that the defense of the pitcher's team does not factor into the result of the plate appearance). The Three True Outcomes are the walk, the home run, the strikeout. In any given season there a few hitters who could be described as TTO's.

The best TTO hitter currently in the majors is Cincinnati Reds' outfielder Adam Dunn. As of last night, Dunn had 2167 career plate appearances (which is just a touch more than three full seasons): in those 2167 PA's he has walked 355 times, struck out 580 times, and homered 122 times. Look at what those numbers mean: in 49% (.48777) of his career PA's Dunn has either walked, struck out, or homered.

In this 2005 season, Dunn has 55 PA's in 14 games. He has walked 7 times, struck out 15 times, and homered 4 times. He has hit two homers in a game twice this year. The guy, like all true TTO hitters, is all about power and patience. In his 14 games he has 13 hits: 6 doubles, 4 homers, 1 triple, 1 single.

TTO hitters don't have high batting averages. They don't need them. A guy like Dunn is going to reach base somewhere around 40 percent of the time. He'll drive himself in 40 to 50 times with a home run, and he'll put himself in scoring position another 30 to 50 times by hitting a double. So you're looking at Dunn scoring or being in scoring position a minimum of 70 times via homers and doubles (and how about the runs he'll drive in with those extra base hits?). And that's before you even begin to think about the 100 to 120 times he'll walk to first base. With his own power and patience combined with any two or three league average hitters behind him in the order, it would be virtually impossible for Dunn not to score at least 100 runs in a season; he is an ideal #4 hitter.

Complete TTO pitchers would have lots of strikeouts, and very few walks and homers. Over the weekend, I'll try to come up with list of the the best-ever TTO hitters and pitchers.


Gazetteer said...

very, very nice analysis MJ.

Always liked Dunn.

MackJohnny said...

And guess who's not in the lineup today, who's sitting because the Marlins have lefty Dontrell Willis on the mound? Who's sitting even though in 553 career at-bats (about a full season's worth of AB') against leftys he has 36 home runs and owns a BA/OBP/SLG line of .244/.360/.490.

Sure, Dunn's BA against leftys is low, but he still gets onbase at a better-than-average clip and hits for good power against them. I don't understand why a manager wouldn't want this guy in the lineup for every inning of every game.

Gazetteer said...

Because he's a dope that plays the percentages even though he doesn't know how to calculate them?