Felipe Alou

Is he scared of the walk?

By Tangotiger

All I hear about with Felipe Alou is how he is scared of the walk, of how his teams have low on base percentages, of how he wants his hitters to be aggressive. This is based either on anectodal evidence, or by looking at the totals of the team he's managed. Of course, if he had Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, those team totals wouldn't look so bad right?

I looked for all players who had at least 300 PA before Alou was their manager, while with Alou, and after Alou. Here are the totals of the Alou Warriors

Alou Warrior preK preBB K BB postK postBB
Deshields 0.200 0.126 0.150 0.104 0.149 0.106
Grissom 0.151 0.071 0.116 0.062 0.144 0.056
Spike 0.100 0.089 0.068 0.106 0.075 0.101
O'Henry 0.189 0.048 0.275 0.063 0.237 0.094
Segui 0.105 0.080 0.112 0.088 0.139 0.086
Stevens 0.221 0.065 0.210 0.084 0.250 0.099
Walker 0.213 0.083 0.153 0.082 0.134 0.098
Wallach 0.140 0.059 0.150 0.080 0.172 0.072

The "pre" means that's the rate of K or BB per PA prior to joining Alou. The "post" is after leaving Alou. I considered the Alou years to be from 1992 to 2000. Data is through 2001.

So, let's take these one at a time.

Delino Deshields - His K and BB rates while with Alou and after leaving Alou are very similar. Prior to Alou, he was less of a contact hitter.

Marquis Grissom - His BB rates went down before Alou, and continued to go down after Alou. His K rates dropped substantially with Alou, and quickly rose back to his previous level after Alou.

Spike Owen - His K rate plummeted with Alou, and rose slighly afterwards. His walk rates rose with Alou, and dropped slightly afterwards.

O'Henry - His K rate rose substantially with Alou, and went down after Alou. His walk rate rose with Alou, and jumped again after Alou.

David Segui - His K rates rose with Alou, and after Alou. His BB rates were constant.

Larry Walker - His K rates dropped substantially with Alou, and continued to go down after Alou. His walk rates were even before and during Alou, and then rose after Alou.

Tim Wallach - His K rates rose while with, and then after Alou. His walk rates jumped with Alou, and then dipped slightly after Alou.

Certainly not a very common set of results. I realize that age is a factor, and it should be considered in this discussion as well. Of course, we've only got 8 players in our sample. But, this is alot better than relying on visual "evidence".

Totalling it all up, we get the following average rates for the Alou Warriors

     Rates       pre   With   post
     Strikeouts  .165  .154   .163
     Walks       .078  .084   .089

     Non-Contact .243  .238   .252

We can refine the data more to include age, and looking only at recent performances rather than career totals, and looking at league changes. We should not expect to see much impact.

I would suspect in each of these eight cases, the changes in walk and strikeout rates have much more to do with the hitter himself than with any managerial pressure.

Do hitters become more aggressive with Alou? I don't see it.