Are Pink Bats a Performance Enhancer: Part Two

(image via @MLB

Last year, with science at our back, we were able to make the first tentative steps towards quantifying a mother’s love. Comparing players using pink bats on Mother’s Day versus their non-pink bat brethren, we found that pink bat users performed better in almost every offensive category. Here were the numbers

Pink Bats: 685 AB, 193 H, .285 BA, 15 HR, 85 RBI, 84 R

Non-Pink: 287 AB, 42 H,  .216 BA, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 31 R

But science, as I understand it (which I don’t), is about repeatable actions in a laboratory setting. Thus, we must again dig deep into the data and discover if last year’s performance was an aberration or if love for your mother actually impacts performance on the field. 

The ground rules: 

  • This does not take into account players wearing pink accessories, only their bats.
  • I counted the starting nine on each team, so any pink bat swinging pinch-hitters or late-game substitutions have been left out.
  • If a player used a pink bat in his first at-bat, but later changed it out for his standard model, unfortunately we must count that as a pink bat user.
  • I used MLB.tv footage as my guide, so if I couldn’t tell the color of a players bat, I considered it a non-pink bat. 
  • Due to a variety of things, I have only used hits, at-bats, home runs, RBI, runs scored, walks, and strikeouts as my guide. Walks and strikeouts were not included last year. 
  • Starting pitchers are included because pitchers taking hacks is awesome, consarn it. 
  • If you catch any mistakes, updates and corrections can be sent here or left in the comments.

Our findings: 

Pink Bats: 402 AB, 122 H, .303 AVG, 8 HR, 59 RBI, 68 R, 40 BB, 92 SO

Non-Pink: 576 AB, 153 H, .266, 18 HR, 82 RBI, 85 R, 70 BB, 114 SO

  • Overall, pink bat usage was down with only 105 of 270 batters using them this season compared to 187 last year. And though this is not scientific in any way, it seemed that more middle infield/utility types stuck with the pink bats while the sluggers stayed true to their normal brand. 
  • While the pink bats still posted a higher average, the Non-Pinks hit a home run every 18 at-bats compared to the Pinks hitting one every 50. Plus, the Non-Pinks drew walks more often (once every 8.2 AB compared to once every 10) and struck out less (once ever 5 AB compared to once every 4.4). Since walks and strikeouts were not recorded last year, it’s quite possible this was the case in 2011 as well. 
  • The pink paint has been changed this year, going from a softer baby pink to one resembling fuchsia. However, a few players, like Mitch Moreland, continued using the softer color. Perhaps this variable had an effect on performance. 
  • Last year, the Blue Jays were the least represented team with only two pink bat users. This year, the Angels and Mets had only had two pink batters while the Red Sox and Indians each had one, and the Brewers had zero. Perhaps the teams should have reconsidered, as those clubs combined to go 1-3. And since the Red Sox played the Indians, it’s the absolute worst record possible.
  • The Yankees and Pirates tied for the lead in pink batters with seven a piece. 
  • The Astros should have used more pink bats. While their mother loving players combined to go 4-14, the rest of the starters were 2-26. Oakland was not far behind with non-pink batters going 2-21. 
  • The Angels pink bats were a special kind of bad, going 0-9 with 5 strikeouts. 
  • Giancarlo Stanton probably had the biggest moment for those battling against breast cancer, slamming a walk off grand slam. Unfortunately, he was topped by the black bat-using Joey Votto who, in addition to a walk off grand slam, hammered two more home runs. 
  • Nelson Cruz wasn’t half bad himself, going 4-5 with a home run and 4 RBI. 
  • Bronson Arroyo uses a red bat. Huh, never noticed that before. 
  • While we’ll need more time to study the ramifications, but it appear’s that one’s love for their mother at the very least influences contact rates and/or BABIP. 

Click below for individual team information: 

Arizona Diamondbacks: 

AJ Pollack: 1-2, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB

Ryan Roberts: 1-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

John McDonald: 0-4, 2 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 2-9, 0 HR 1 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players,3-17, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO

Atlanta Braves: 

Michael Bourn: 2-5, 1 RBI, 2 SO

Martin Prado: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 R

Jason Heyward: 1-4, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO

Juan Francisco: 0-3

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 4-16, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 5-17, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 6 SO

Baltimore Orioles: 

Adam Jones: 1-5, 2 SO

Matt Wieters: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Chris Davis: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 4-14, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 8-23, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 SO

Boston Red Sox: 

Cody Ross: 0-3, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 1 player, 0-3, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Rest of Starters: 8 players, 12-29, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 2 BB, 3 SO

Chicago Cubs: 

Starlin Castro: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Bryan LaHair: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

Ian Stewart: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 SO

Geovany Soto: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 5-17, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 7-19, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Chicago White Sox: 

Adam Dunn: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 SO

Alex Rios: 1-4, 1 SO

Brent Morel: 1-4

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 3-11, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 5-19, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 SO

Cincinnati Reds: 

Drew Stubbs: 0-4, 2 R 1 BB, 1 SO

Brandon Phillips: 1-4, 2 SO

Jay Bruce: 1-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB

Wilson Valdez: 1-3

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 3-14, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 6-17, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 4 SO

Cleveland Indians: 

Jack Hannahan: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 1 player, 0-3, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Rest of Starters: 8 players, 7-27, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 SO

Colorado Rockies: 

Marco Scutaro: 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Michael Cuddyer: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO

Ramon Hernandez: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 3-11, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 4-19, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 SO

Detroit Tigers: 

Austin Jackson: 1-2, 1 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB

Prince Fielder: 0-5, 1 SO

Ryan Raburn: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players,2-10, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 6-23, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO

Houston Astros: 

Carlos Lee: 2-5, 2 R, 1 SO

Jason Castro: 2-5, 1 RBI

Merwin Gonzalez: 0-4, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 4-14, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 2-26, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO 

Kansas City Royals: 

Alex Gordon: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

Jeff Francoeur: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 SO

Eric Hosmer: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SO

Alcides Escobar: 3-3, 1 RBI, 2 R

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 6-17, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 3-17, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 3 SO

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 

Howie Kendrick: 0-5, 3 K

Alberto Callaspo: 0-4, 2 K

Pink Bat Totals: 2 players,0-9, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO

Rest of Starters: 7 players, 12-30, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 SO

Los Angeles Dodgers: 

Adam Kennedy: 1-3, 1 RBI

Justin Sellers: 1-3, 1 R

Pink Bat Totals: 2 players, 2-6, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

Rest of Starters: 7 players, 4-21, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, 4 SO

Miami Marlins: 

Omar Infante: 0-5

Austin Kearns: 1-4, 1 R, 1 SO

Giancarlo Stanton: 3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R, 1 SO

Emilio Bonifacio: 3-4, 2 R

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 7-18, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 3-14, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 5 BB, 4 SO

Milwaukee Brewers: 

Pink Bat Totals: 0 players. 

Rest of Starters: 9 players, 6-29, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 SO

Minnesota Twins: 

Denard Span: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB

Josh Willingham: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Jamey Carroll: 2-4

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 3-11, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB, 0 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 7-20, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 6 BB, 0 SO

New York Mets:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 2-4, 1 R, 1 SO

David Wright: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 2 players, 3-7, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

Rest of Starters: 7 players, 4-20, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 SO

New York Yankees: 

Derek Jeter: 1-4, 1 SO

Curtis Granderson: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 SO

Alex Rodriguez: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SO

Robinson Cano: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO

Mark Teixeira: 1-4, 1 R, 1 SO

Nick Swisher: 2-4

Eric Chavez: 2-4, 1 R, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 7 players, 6-25, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 SO

Rest of Starters: 2 players, 0-4, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO

Oakland Athletics: 

Daric Barton: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 SO

Anthony Recker: 0-2, 2 SO

Eric Sogard: 0-3, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 0-7, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 2-21, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 SO

Philadelphia Phillies: 

Juan Pierre: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 SO

Hunter Pence: 0-4, 1 SO

Ty Wigginton: 1-4, 1 R, 1 SO

Cole Hamels: 0-1

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 3-13, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 4-15, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 SO

Pittsburgh Pirates: 

Jose Tabata: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Andrew McCutchen: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO

Pedro Alvarez: 1-4, 1 RBI, 3 SO

Casey McGehee: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 SO

Yamaico Navarro: 0-3

Rod Barajas: 1-4

AJ Burnett: 0-2, 2 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 7 players, 3-23, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 SO

Rest of Starters: 2 players, 3-9, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

San Diego Padres: 

Chris Denorfia: 1-3, 1 R

Yonder Alonso: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 SO

Andy Parrino: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 1-9, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 5-21, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 SO

San Francisco Giants: 

Gregor Blanco: 2-5, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 SO

Angel Pagan: 2-5

Hector Sanchez: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R

Brandon Crawford: 1-3, 2 R, 1 BB

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 7-18, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players, 7-22, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Seattle Mariners: 

Miguel Montero: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Justin Smoak: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 SO

Michael Saunders: 1-4

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 4-11, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 6-23, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 5 SO

St. Louis Cardinals: 

Jon Jay: 0-4, 1 BB

Lance Berkman: 1-5, 3 SO

Tony Cruz: 1-4, 1 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 3 players, 2-13, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO

Rest of Starters: 6 players, 7-19, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 9 SO

Tampa Bay Rays: 

Ben Zobrist: 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Matt Joyce: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 SO

Carlos Pena: 2-5, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 SO

Jeff Keppinger: 1-4, 1 R

Chris Gimenez: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Elliot Johnson: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 

Pink Bat Totals: 6 players, 11-25, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, 5 SO

Rest of Starters: 3 players, 2-14, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO

Texas Rangers: 

Ian Kinsler: 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Elvis Andrus: 4-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 

Josh Hamilton: 2-5, 3 RBI, 2 SO

David Murphy: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB

Nelson Cruz: 4-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 

Mitch Moreland: 2-5, 1 RBI, 2 R

Pink Bat Totals: 6 players, 14-28, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

Rest of Starters: 3 players, 5-13, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

Toronto Blue Jays:

Kelly Johnson: 1-5, 1 R, 2 SO

Yunel Escobar: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SO

Edwin Encarnacion: 3-4, 1 SO

Brett Lawrie: 1-4

Pink Bat Totals: 4 players, 6-17, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Rest of Starters: 5 players,4-18, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Washington Nationals: 

Ian Desmond: 2-6, 1 R, 1 SO 

Ryan Zimmerman: 0-4, 1 BB

Adam Laroche: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 SO

Bryce Harper: 2-5, 2 R

Rick Ankiel: 2-3, 2 BB, 1 SO

Jesus Flores: 2-4, 1 RBI, 2 SO

Pink Bat Totals: 6 players, 10-27, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 SO

Rest of Starters: 3 players, 4-10, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 SO

  1. giantsmisfit reblogged this from oldtimefamilybaseball
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  3. thegreatbrewfress reblogged this from oldtimefamilybaseball and added:
    This is interesting! None of the Brewers used a pink bat yesterday. All the Cubs did, and look, they won.
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