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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mickey Mantle: .400 BA batting only righty?

Righty against lefty pitchers:
Year  Tot vLhome vLroad   vLefties
1956 .353     .408 .338        .375
1957 .365     .417 .426        .421
1958 .304     .328 .436        .377
1961 .317     .337 .413        .371
1963 .314     .350 .435        .409 (66 AB v. lefties, 172 total AB)
1964 .303     .473 .381        .424

Four times on the road, three times at home, two times overall Mickey batted over .400 batting righty against lefty pitchers.  How rare is this?

From 1951 to 2013, vs LHP as RHB (within Platoon Splits), (requiring AB≥150 and batting_avg≥.400)
Rk I Player Split Year G BA GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1 Buster Posey vs LHP as RHB 2012 68 .433 181 164 71 18 1 13 47 0 1 14 21 .433 .470 .793 1.262 130 5 0 0 3 1 4 .436 160 229
2 Mickey Mantle vs LHP as RHB 1964 75 .424 186 158 67 11 1 15 51 3 2 28 26 .424 .511 .791 1.302 125 5 0 0 0 5 2 .444 155 263
3 Elston Howard vs LHP as RHB 1961 68 .423 178 163 69 7 3 8 35 0 0 12 20 .423 .466 .650 1.117 106 3 2 0 1 2 5 .449 139 199
4 Mickey Mantle vs LHP as RHB 1957 60 .421 175 152 64 13 4 8 28 2 1 23 19 .421 .497 .717 1.214 109 1 0 0 0 6 5 .448 105 230
5 Albert Pujols vs LHP as RHB 2008 83 .411 195 158 65 15 0 11 32 2 0 35 11 .411 .518 .715 1.233 113 4 1 0 1 14 1 .394 122 216
6 Mariano Duncan vs LHP as RHB 1990 81 .410 202 188 77 17 4 4 27 5 3 10 22 .410 .437 .606 1.044 114 5 0 3 1 1 3 .448 154 182
7 I Roberto Clemente vs LHP as RHB 1964 74 .409 203 176 72 17 2 7 27 0 1 22 19 .409 .468 .648 1.115 114 5 0 2 3 12 1 .425 154 212
8 Kirby Puckett vs LHP as RHB 1991 65 .406 165 155 63 8 5 7 24 3 2 8 19 .406 .436 .658 1.094 102 7 0 2 0 0 0 .434 167 196
9 Victor Martinez vs LHP as RHB 2010 69 .400 167 155 62 17 0 12 39 0 0 10 14 .400 .431 .742 1.173 115 9 0 0 2 3 1 .382 173 210
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/16/2013.

Neither Howard nor Duncan had enough plate appearances (PA) to qualify:
- Howard: 482 PA, 446 AB
- Duncan: 471 PA, 435 AB.

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Mickey Mantle batting only righty: .323 BA; .400 twice.

Mickey in the Twilight Zone (TZ) of batting only righty ...
1957 .411
1964 .419
___________________________________

As indicated in the post above, TZ Mickey for full seasons batting right handed against all pitchers might have had batting averages (BA) over .400 in 1957 and 1964: .411 and .419.

In 1957 and 1964 Real Mickey had BA over .400 batting righty but, of course, only against lefty pitchers.  I did NOT simply assume that Mickey would have the same BA batting righty against righty pitchers.  Instead, as I have done in recent posts on Mickey Mantle, I applied to his real average, in this case BA, against righty pitchers home and righty pitchers road, the percent difference for that season for all MLB batters between:
- righty batters against lefty pitchers (the base)
- righty batters against righty pitchers.

I weighted Mickey's BA by his AB, home and road, in figuring his season BA.

Here are the MLB percent differences for each of Mantle's 18 seasons:
Year  MLB BA% Dif

1951 -6.02%
1952 -5.08%
1953 -4.81%
1954 -5.26%
1955 -3.47%
1956 -6.77%
1957 -4.58%
1958 -5.32%
1959 -2.71%
1960 -6.42%
1961 -6.72%
1962 -6.06%
1963 -7.48%
1964 -5.43%
1965 -5.98%
1966 -3.17%
1967 -5.98%
1968 -7.35%
ave. -5.48%

In 1957 TZ Mickey got a break in that the MLB percent difference was below the overall -5.48%, it was only -4.58%.  So TZ Mickey's "penalty" was less than the general average during his career.  In 1964 it was about even: -5.43%, essentially no "penalty".

Now you could be completely anal about this and simply blow it off as idle conjecture or you can think about whether Mickey Mantle could have been the only .400 hitter since Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941 had Mickey's father not forced Mickey to switch hit.

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