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2002/06/11

Three True Outcomes

For those readers not familiar with the Zen teachings over at Baseball Prospectus, the Three True Outcomes distill the pitcher/batter showdown to its barest elements: the home run, the walk and the strikeout. Since I mentioned the TTO in reference to Russ Branyan, I thought it might be fun to see how he compares to Jim Thome and historically. These are the best at giving the defense a rest:



Name BB HR SO PA TTO% OPS+
Dave Nicholson 219 61 573 1661 51.35% 97
Russ Branyan 80 46 294 819 51.28% 105
Rob Deer 575 230 1409 4512 49.07% 109
Melvin Nieves 136 63 483 1392 48.99% 94
Frank Fernandez 163 39 229 897 48.05% 114
Billy Ashley 63 28 236 688 47.53% 95
Jim Thome 921 301 1293 5371 46.83% 147
Mark McGwire 1317 583 1596 7660 45.64% 163
Bo Jackson 200 141 841 2626 45.01% 112
J.R. Phillips 38 23 180 545 44.22% 59

Out of all non-pitchers with more than 500 plate appearances in their career, Branyan ranks second all-time (stats through June 10). There is a larger point to this little exercise, though. Notice that 6 out of 10 are above league average in park-adjusted relative OPS and another 3 are within 6% of league average. A hitter doesn’t need to put the ball in play to be productive, provided he hits enough homers or draws enough walks.

Stats courtesy of Sean Lahman’s excellent downloadable database at Baseball Archive, ESPN and player records at Baseball-Reference.com.

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