Talk:Batting order (baseball)

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Average at bats[edit]

I'm wondering, as an average, how many at bats each position gets over a season. Is there a big difference between say #1 and #4.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.234.4.92 (talkcontribs) Revision as of 15:17, 23 January 2006.

re: the first comment

The difference is usually around 60 AB's. Leadoffs get around 660 while cleanups get around 590 or so.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 72.63.253.204 (talkcontribs) Revision as of 06:53, 8 June 2006.

More significantly, the difference is between plate appearances, which include walks, hit by pitch, and sacrifice bunts or flies which do not constitute at-bats. For a batter who takes an unusually-high number of walks, like Rickey Henderson or Joe Morgan, a total number of at-bats can be deceptively low. Pbrower2a (talk) 16:43, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The math goes something like this. To begin, you assume that each of the spots in the batting order will make the last out of the game 1/9 of the time, thus depriving the next batter of an additional plate appearance. Over the course of 162 games, this gives each slot 162/9 = 18 additional plate appearances as compared to the next lower slot. Thus, if your #4 slot accumulates 600 plate appearances, you’d expect 618 for #3, 636 for #2 and 654 for #1. In practice, there will certainly be nonrandom variation as to how many last outs each player will make, as the better hitters make fewer outs in general. WHPratt (talk) 18:20, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Request for further discussion of the overall importance of batting order[edit]

I came to this page as a casual baseball fan who doesn't quite understand the fuss made over batting order. Or more precisely, I get that having batters arranged in a certain sequence can help score more runs, but I don't understand why it matters that the player who the manager wants to serve as the "leadoff man" occupy the first spot in the batting order — surely this matters only in the first inning? Couldn't a manager who wanted to score more runs in, say, the third inning, start the rotation with weaker hitters and then put stronger hitters toward the bottom of the lineup? I'm sure there has been discussion of this issue that could be added to the article... Charolastra charolo (talk) 19:23, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure how it would fit into the article, but if another editor has any ideas, go ahead. To answer your question, it matters because of the number of plate appearances a player gets - players at the top of the lineup will get more plate appearances over the course of a season (say the #3 batter makes the final out of the game - he (and the #1 and #2 batters) will have gotten one more plate appearance than any of the #4-9 batters). This is the main reason why the best hitters go at the top, rather than at the bottom - to give them more opportunities to produce. Tejastheory (talk) 07:04, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Illustrative example[edit]

I believe that it would be appropriate to show box scores of illustrative games, most likely World Series games. Ideally one would use a DH and another wouldn't. Pbrower2a (talk) 17:36, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Chase Headley[edit]

I have deleted the references to Chase Headley as a model of a #3 or #4 hitter. He has yet to show himself as a high-average slugger as is typical of such people as Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mays, Mantle, Aaron, McCovey, Pujols, Cabrera, etc. He could yet become such a player but he has yet to become one. "Hall of Fame" or "can't-miss active or recent player" is a good control, as every team has a #3 or #4, but clearly a huge proportion of Hall of Fame players are or were #3 and #4 hitters for significant parts of their careers.

I have been leery of adding more people than others already have here because they might not fit the the pattern in one way or another. For example, George Brett and Al Kaline never had the power stats that one associates with such a hitter, and such people as Mike Schmidt and Harmon Killebrew -- all Hall of Famers -- never had the gaudy averages characteristic of a #3 or #4 hitter.Pbrower2a (talk) 16:48, 8 August 2011 (UTC)