## In Need of Walk Therapy

The Royals have a walk problem. On behalf of the Royals, we, the fans, admit there is a problem.

Royals' pitchers are very generous with giving free bases, have been for years; Royals' hitters seem to find honor in declining the free pass, have been for years.

The walk is an interesting event in baseball terms, effectively the batter does nothing more than take four pitches outside the strike zone and receives an offensive benefit - 100% guarantee of a free base. By comparison, a typical batter hitting .300, only gets on base 30% of the time by hitting the ball in play.

Whether the pitcher has lost control or is pitching around a tough hitter, the batter is given a free base. By itself, a walk is not a run and a walk does not cause a win or loss, but rather a walk is a sign that things are not going well for the pitcher and his team.

The logic is simple - give walks, walks turn into runs, opponent wins.

On this stat, the Royals are completely backwards - well, backwards, if you want to win games.

In a recent post, the home run was shown to be a strong predictor of a winning record. This post takes a similar look at how strong the walk is in predicting a winning record.

The three tables below show tabulated data from 2000-2011 (all teams, Yankees, Royals), for number of walks given by pitchers and taken by batters and the resulting W-L record.

Making sense of the tables - in Table 1, when batters get six or more walks while their pitchers only give up one or no walks, a team won 83% of games. When batters get four or five walks, regardless of pitching, a team won 57% of games. When pitchers give two or three walks, regardless of hitting, a team won 53% of games.

#### Table 1: All Teams, All Games 2000-2011, Win Percent based on Walks

 Bat Runs Pitch W 0/1 Pitch W 2/3 Pitch W 4/5 Pitch W 6+ 65% 53% 42% 32% W 0/1 3.2 34% 1292-1292 50% 1719-2892 37% 795-2310 25% 259-1298 16% W 2/3 4.2 46% 2892-1719 62% 4299-4299 50% 2299-3673 38% 832-2285 26% W 4/5 5.3 57% 2310-795 74% 3673-2299 61% 2032-2032 50% 886-1487 37% W 6+ 6.7 67% 1298-259 83% 2285-832 73% 1487-886 62% 778-778 50%

#### Table 2: New York Yankees, 2000-2011, Win Percent based on Walks

 Bat Runs Pitch W 0/1 Pitch W 2/3 Pitch W 4/5 Pitch W 6+ 75% 63% 52% 29% W 0/1 3.6 43% 43-35 55% 57-57 50% 17-33 34% 5-32 13% W 2/3 4.5 52% 115-50 69% 153-127 54% 73-88 45% 13-59 18% W 4/5 5.9 65% 110-26 80% 151-58 72% 78-59 56% 22-50 30% W 6+ 7.5 74% 100-11 90% 116-32 78% 71-35 66% 33-33 50%

#### Table 3: Kansas City Royals, 2000-2011, Win Percent based on Walks

 Bat Runs Pitch W 0/1 Pitch W 2/3 Pitch W 4/5 Pitch W 6+ 58% 43% 36% 30% W 0/1 3.1 27% 56-53 51% 62-165 27% 23-107 17% 11-82 11% W 2/3 4.3 40% 69-65 51% 131-157 45% 69-147 31% 39-92 29% W 4/5 5.6 52% 48-11 81% 92-89 50% 63-57 52% 32-54 37% W 6+ 7.4 67% 16-5 76% 39-14 73% 35-23 60% 25-13 65%

Interesting things to note:

-The only situation the Yankees were below average was giving up 6+ walks

-Yankees have more games taking 6+ walks than the Royals (431 to 170 over 12 years)

-Royals have more games giving 6+ walks than the Yankees (348 to 247 over 12 years)

-In the three highest win percent combinations, the Royals have the fewest games

Conclusion:

The data shows an increase in average runs scored with each walk, and more runs lead to a higher win percent. Being backwards in this stat leads to a losing record. For the Royals, a winning record requires roughly two more walks taken than given - ouch - in serious need of walk therapy.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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