How does Ichiro fare with 1st occupied?
Major League Baseball has seen thousands of different batting stances and styles throughout the years. Few have reached the iconic stage. Mel Ott’s stride and Julio Franco’s upwards wiggle are two that quickly come to mind. A third would be Ichiro’s slash and dash approach out of the left side of the batters box.
In softball practice I tinkered around with hitting from the left side, slashing and running just like Ichiro, with the plan being hitting the ball towards a weak fielder for an easy single. I’m sure I’m not the only one to come up with this idea.
This led me to thinking exactly how well does Ichiro fair when first base is occupied? My assumption would be that his average suffers due to his slash and dash type style possibly being thwarted with the base taken and possible force outs existing.
In this test I combined all of the possible combinations where first has been occupied (1, 12, 13, 123) into a total BA. Against this I compared his BA with the bases empty.
Ichiro Data Set
Surprisingly, to me at least, Ichiro is just as effective when first base is occupied as he is when its empty. Who’d ‘A Thunk It?