Now Commenting On:

Increased walk rate boosts Braves' run production

Increased walk rate boosts Braves' run production play video for Increased walk rate boosts Braves' run production

ATLANTA -- When the Braves returned to Turner Field last week, they were in the midst of a scoring drought that was widely blamed on a lack of plate discipline. But over the past week, they have seen the potential benefits of a more patient approach.

Through the first eight games of a nine-game homestand that concluded against the Red Sox on Tuesday night, the Braves had averaged 4.6 runs and drawn one walk in every 9.2 plate appearances. This walk rate was heavily influenced by the eight free passes Boston's Clay Buchholz issued in just three innings Monday.

But if you take away Monday's game, the Braves still had drawn a walk once every 11 plate appearances through the first seven games of this homestand. While the sample size is small, the trend has at least been similar to what they produced last year, when they ranked second in the National League with one walk every 11.3 plate appearances.

In the 42 games before this homestand, the Braves averaged 3.2 runs per game and one walk every 13.8 plate appearances.

"We're still aggressive in the strike zone, but we're walking," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's good. We're swinging in the strike zone and not giving the pitcher a chance to pitch around us. I think before, we were in a stretch when if a guy threw a rosin bag, we were swinging."

According to FanGraphs.com, the Braves have swung at more pitches outside the strike zone (31 percent) than all but three other National League clubs: the Rockies, Brewers and Giants. The Giants are also the only NL club that has swung at a higher percentage (70 percent) of pitches inside the strike zone than Atlanta (68.7 percent).

The Braves have swung at a 49.2 percent of the pitches they've seen (the NL's third-highest mark and made contact with 76.4 percent of their swings (the NL's lowest percentage). The contact rate has at least improved since standing at 75.1 percent on May 15.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español