by Eric Bickel.

In this paper [$], Professor Eric Bickel applies decision analysis to an important decision made during all baseball games: whether the batter should attempt to swing at a pitch or not swing (i.e., take the pitch). The results are rather surprising and buck conventional wisdom. First, batters should not take the first pitch of a at-bat, as suggested by hitting-great Ted Williams. They should, however, take the 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1 pitches. Brave’s rookie-phenom Evan Gattis credited this work with shaping his approach to hitting in Sports Illustrated.

Published in 2009 in Decision Analysis. The abstract is free and the article is available for purchase at this link.