Patience at the plate
Even though Philadelphia’s offense hadn’t been explosive overall this season heading into Saturday, they led in one interesting stat: pitchers per plate appearance. Per the team’s Twitter account, their 4.35 pitches per plate appearance were first in the league as of Saturday:
Aaron Altherr has led all qualified players in pitches per plate appearance this season with 5.24. Several others rank near the top, including Carlos Santana (No. 8, 4.56 P/PA), Cesar Hernandez (No. 15, 4.44) and J.P. Crawford (No. 16, 4.44).
Maikel Franco ranks tied for 38th among qualified players with 4.27 pitches per plate appearance. This is an increase of more than one-half of a pitch per plate appearance compared to last season. It is certainly part of the reason he is off to such a hot start with a .304 batting average and 1.081 OSP this season.
This stat doesn’t automatically lead to success, as Crawford and Altherr are both off to poor starts this season. However, it has been something the team has preached heavily to its players, and so far it appears the message is getting through.