Monday, July 12, 2010

Hitting for the Cycle!

The odds that an average player will hit an 'unnatural' cycle are approximately
1 in every 4,400 games (0.02%)
~ 1 in every 27 seasons
(single, double, triple, and home run (any order)
in 1 game)

You may be surprised to learn that players hit for the cycle more often than this statistic predicts. Let me explain.
Jose Reyes to the left is a decent hitter, but the dude's also a cheetah. He can make it to third in 20 seconds flat with time to make a phone call. As a leadoff hitter he sometimes also gets that 5th at bat. To the right, no it's not a mascot, it's Mo Vaughn. God bless those ankles because he wasn't a career DH.
The point is that Jose Reyes may hit for the cycle a few times in his career while it would normally take two errors and animal interference on the diamond to get Mo Vaughn to third.

Lesson: Mo Vaughn ruins statistics.
(Real Lesson: Averaging statistics sometimes doesn't work. And players who get more extra base hits have a much higher individual probability of hitting for the cycle than Mo Vaughn)

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