Groundball and Flyball Pitchers vs. Royals Hitters

USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moustakas is good at least one thing, crushing ground ball pitchers.

Recently, Deadspin ran an article looking at how the A's lineup is extremely fly ball heavy. The A's are sending fly ball hitters to bat 60% of time while the next closest team is under 40%. Today, I am going to look at how the Royals hitters do against pitchers with different ground ball and fly ball tendencies.

First, here is how the Royals stood in 2013 with the number of plate appearances given to fly ball hitters.

Atbats_medium

The Royals had less than 10% of their plate appearances by fly ball hitters. This value seems correct since Mike Moustakas is the Royals only true 2013 fly ball regular hitter.

To get an idea of how KC's hitters perform against different pitchers, I took the career values from Baseball-reference.com on each 2014 regular. Then, I subtracted the hitters stats versus ground ball pitchers from the stats versus fly ball pitchers. Here are the results in order by difference in OPS:

Note: Here is how the fly ball and ground ball pitchers are selected according to Baseball-Reference.com:

"Fly Ball pitchers are in the top third of the league in ratio of fly ball outs to ground ball outs. Ground Ball are in the bottom third of the league in the ratio of fly ball outs to ground ball outs. Stats are based on the three years before and after (when available), and the season for when the split is computed. A split in 1994 would consider years 1991-1997 when classifying a pitcher."

Ground Ball Values Minus Fly Ball Values

Name GB/FB AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP K% BB% OPS
Mike Moustakas 0.79 0.096 0.095 0.128 0.224 0.103 -2.6% 1.4% 0.224
Omar Infante 0.97 0.072 0.070 0.067 0.138 0.064 -6.8% -0.4% 0.138
Eric Hosmer 1.86 0.063 0.056 0.064 0.119 0.072 -3.0% 0.7% 0.119
Lorenzo Cain 1.53 0.079 0.055 0.064 0.118 0.103 -2.7% -2.2% 0.118
Emilio Bonifacio 2.13 0.052 0.041 0.036 0.077 0.040 -6.2% -0.4% 0.077
Salvador Perez 1.41 0.042 0.063 0.012 0.074 0.072 2.7% 2.0% 0.074
Alex Gordon 0.97 0.021 0.037 0.023 0.060 0.017 -2.5% 2.3% 0.060
Norichika Aoki 2.37 0.008 0.029 -0.021 0.008 0.006 -2.0% 1.8% 0.008
Alcides Escobar 1.68 0.006 0.009 -0.012 -0.003 0.007 -1.2% 0.3% -0.003
Danny Valencia 1.16 -0.004 0.004 -0.029 -0.024 0.011 4.5% 1.2% -0.024
Justin Maxwell 1.16 -0.040 -0.036 0.003 -0.032 -0.088 -3.0% -1.4% -0.032
Billy Butler 1.49 -0.023 -0.025 -0.091 -0.116 -0.024 -1.6% -0.3% -0.116
Jarrod Dyson 2.44 -0.024 -0.066 -0.077 -0.141 -0.073 -12.2% -5.1% -0.141

Notes:

  • Overall, as seen by the above graph, the Royals are ground ball heavy hitting team. The addition of Infante does give the team another fly ball hitter besides Moustakas.
  • Mike Moustakas destroys ground ball pitchers.He has hit .318/.372/.489 against ground ball pitchers and only .222/.277/.361 against fly ball pitchers (all player values are at the article's end). For an example, he has hit .333/.381/.556 against heavy ground ball pitcher Justin Masterson.
  • Billy Butler is Royals one true fly ball pitcher crusher. He has a .509 SLG against fly ball pitches and it drops to .418 vs ground ball pitchers.
Truthfully, I had no idea what to expect when I started looking through the data. The biggest "find" was Moose's ability to crush ground ball pitchers.

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Appendix - All the Royals hitters tendencies vs ground ball and fly ball pitchers.

Norichika Aoki








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 368 0.299 0.356 0.431 0.787 0.313 108 8.4% 7.1%
vs. avg.F/G 567 0.268 0.338 0.372 0.71 0.279 88 7.6% 7.2%
vs. GrndBall 327 0.307 0.385 0.41 0.795 0.319 111 6.4% 8.9%










Billy Butler








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 1548 0.311 0.379 0.509 0.888 0.337 115 14.4% 8.5%
vs. avg.F/G 1685 0.293 0.356 0.438 0.794 0.325 93 15.0% 7.6%
vs. GrndBall 975 0.288 0.354 0.418 0.772 0.313 88 12.8% 8.2%










Emilo Bonifacio








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 749 0.235 0.299 0.327 0.626 0.308 89 23.8% 8.1%
vs. avg.F/G 917 0.268 0.328 0.336 0.664 0.339 101 19.7% 7.8%
vs. GrndBall 633 0.287 0.34 0.363 0.703 0.348 112 17.5% 7.8%










Lorenzo Cain








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 346 0.22 0.28 0.331 0.612 0.276 75 23.4% 6.1%
vs. avg.F/G 342 0.294 0.348 0.421 0.769 0.34 120 17.5% 8.2%
vs. GrndBall 179 0.299 0.335 0.395 0.73 0.379 109 20.7% 3.9%










Jarrod Dyson








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 277 0.244 0.325 0.37 0.694 0.331 110 26.0% 10.1%
vs. avg.F/G 250 0.28 0.359 0.335 0.694 0.333 111 14.8% 10.4%
vs. GrndBall 160 0.22 0.259 0.293 0.553 0.258 67 13.8% 5.0%










Alcides Escobar








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 889 0.253 0.288 0.352 0.64 0.287 101 14.2% 3.7%
vs. avg.F/G 1065 0.261 0.3 0.335 0.634 0.298 100 13.1% 4.0%
vs. GrndBall 624 0.259 0.297 0.34 0.637 0.294 100 13.0% 4.0%










Alex Gordon








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 1403 0.258 0.337 0.425 0.762 0.315 95 22.1% 9.0%
vs. avg.F/G 1471 0.273 0.334 0.438 0.772 0.321 98 20.4% 7.3%
vs. GrndBall 879 0.279 0.374 0.448 0.822 0.332 112 19.6% 11.4%










Eric Hosmer








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+

vs. Fly Ball 746 0.259 0.317 0.424 0.741 0.281 95 16.2% 6.6%
vs. avg.F/G 687 0.269 0.323 0.388 0.711 0.297 89 14.8% 6.9%
vs. GrndBall 408 0.322 0.373 0.488 0.86 0.353 127 13.2% 7.4%










Omar Infante








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 1568 0.254 0.296 0.379 0.674 0.29 87 16.8% 5.5%
vs. avg.F/G 1815 0.273 0.309 0.396 0.705 0.298 95 13.2% 5.1%
vs. GrndBall 1136 0.326 0.366 0.446 0.812 0.354 126 9.9% 5.1%










Justin Maxwell








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 299 0.257 0.338 0.43 0.768 0.364 107 31.8% 10.7%
vs. avg.F/G 370 0.211 0.305 0.427 0.733 0.269 96 32.7% 10.8%
vs. GrndBall 205 0.217 0.302 0.433 0.736 0.276 96 28.8% 9.3%










Mike Moustakas








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 577 0.222 0.277 0.361 0.637 0.243 87 16.5% 5.7%
vs. avg.F/G 606 0.228 0.276 0.355 0.631 0.265 86 19.8% 5.5%
vs. GrndBall 310 0.318 0.372 0.489 0.861 0.346 153 13.9% 7.1%










Salvador Perez








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 405 0.291 0.311 0.448 0.759 0.293 93 10.4% 2.7%
vs. avg.F/G 370 0.295 0.327 0.45 0.777 0.313 99 10.8% 3.8%
vs. GrndBall 214 0.333 0.374 0.46 0.833 0.365 115 13.1% 4.7%










Danny Valencia








Split PA BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ K% BB%
vs. Fly Ball 461 0.254 0.293 0.395 0.688 0.282 93 15.0% 5.2%
vs. avg.F/G 487 0.28 0.314 0.457 0.771 0.31 115 18.3% 5.1%
vs. GrndBall 313 0.25 0.297 0.366 0.664 0.293 87 19.5% 6.4%
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