One of key challenges for the Bucs in 2012 is to score more runs. They were 27th in MLB in 2010.
In looking at the 2010 stats, they wiffed in 22% of their PAs. This tied them with the Nats and Padres for last in MLB. So what if they could reduce their KOs; what would be the effect?
I created a new metric call Batting Average Make Contact (BAMC). This is Hits/(AB-SO). It takes into account HR which BABIP does not.
What was the Bucs BAMC? It was .322 which was 15th in MLB. So when they made contact, they did about average.
The league Average SO per PAs was 19%. So what if the Bucs reduced their KOs to 19%?
This means they would have put an additonal ~182 balls in play which would have resulted in ~59 more hits. The Bucs Runs/Hits was .46, so these 59 more hits would have resulted in 27 more runs. This would have made them close to the Braves run total of 641; roughly 22nd in MLB.
So my conclusion? While cutting down the KOs is not a total solution to scoring more runs, it has the potential to increase the Bucs scoring. When they make contact, their BAMC is average, but they just don't put the ball in play enough!
After they stop KOing, they need to hit more HRs. Only 8.1% of their hits left the park, making them 26th in MLB. League average was ~11%. If an additional 3% of their new hit total were HRs, their HR total would go from 107 to 152. This would place them roughly middle of MLB.. Pedro alone could add 20 of these HRs.
If you look at teams whose BAMC is close to the Bucs, whose wiffs is ~18%, and whose HR/H was 11%, the Angles are close. They scored 57 more runs than the Bucs and were 15th in MLB in Runs scored. Would you take the Angels offense for the Bucs in 2012?
BTW, the World Chapion Cardinals BAMC was .332, wiffs were 16%, HR/H was 10.7%, and they scored the most runs in the NL and 5th overall in MLB.