This post is going to be short and sweet, but given what transpired last night and David Temple’s plea to Quentin on Tuesday, I got curious about where the pitch locations of Carlos Quentin’s HBPs actually have been. We all know he hangs over the plate, and that he gets hit by a lot of pitches, so I asked Jeff Zimmerman to query out PITCHF/x data and create a plot of where Quentin has been hit since 2008.
During that span, Quentin has been hit by 95 pitches. Here is where those pitches were located.
There are four pitches that were plotted against the upper corner of the strike zone, to the point where we wouldn’t have been surprised if they had been called strikes had they not hit Quentin.
This is going to be harder to see from the plot, but there are 25 HBPs represented there that were between -1.0 — the inside corner to an RHB — and -1.5 on the horizontal axis. The labels on the x axis are in feet, so you could otherwise say that Quentin was hit by 25 pitches that were recorded to be no further than six inches off the inner part of the plate.
I asked Zimmerman about the frequency of HBPs in that area. According to Jeff, 0.02% of all pitches thrown by Major League hurlers in the -1.0 to -1.5 range result in a hit by pitch, or 2 HBPs per 10,000 pitches thrown in that area. For Quentin, 0.4% of all piches in that range result in an HBP, or 40 per 10,000 pitches.
Quentin’s rate of being hit by pitches within six inches of the inside corner is 20 times higher than the Major League average. It is, at the minimum, a little hard to have sympathy for the guy.
For the record, last night’s pitch from Greinke was plotted at -1.504, so it is just barely outside of that sample area. It was certainly inside and off the plate, but most batters would not have been hit by that pitch.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.