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:
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.