Wednesday, November 22, 2017

From the Handbook: Shifting

Combining two sections here, complilations of how often teams shifted and how successful those shifts were.

By Baseball Info Systems' accounting, the Twins shifted 906 times in 2017, an increase of 71 shifts from 2016. This includes the at-bats in which the hitter gets to two strikes and THEN Miguel Sano trots over to the first-base side of second base. It might be a one-pitch shift, but it counts because the AB ended with the defense shifted.

This puts the Twins pretty much dead center in the AL in terms of deploying shifts. Seven shifted more often, seven shifted less often.

Brian Dozier is spotlighted in the short introductory essay on hits lost and gained to shifts. Dozier faced 225 shifts in 2017, and BIS says he lost 21 hits to the shift -- and gained 24. Few right-handed hitters face as many shifts as Dozier (Albert Pujols faces more, but that's about it), and it doesn't appear to do much for the opposition.

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