Thursday, April 19, 2018

A New 'Selective Aggression' Is Key To Offensive Success Of The '18 Red Sox

Jeff Sullivan of offers an interesting explanation for the success of this year's Red Sox offense: "selective aggression". The team's new philosophy is not so much an abandonment of their "patient" approach of years past, but the adoption of a more "disciplined" path to the ball. For example, players like Mookie Betts have not really cut down their overall swing rates—just their "out-of-zone" swing rates. As a team, the Red Sox are swinging at fewer bad pitches (i.e., balls out of the zone), and squaring-up more good pitches (also known as strikes). The result has been selecting more "hittable" pitches, and, well, hitting them. For all the sabermetric analysis of baseball these days, it's still pretty much a simple game—see the ball, pick a good pitch, hit the ball.