A not so long time ago, in a land not so far away there were three players: David Wright, Jeff Francoeur and Luis Castillo.
These three players each approached an at-bat in a much different way.
The first player, David Wright, is easily the most talented of the three. He has a great track record, can hit for power and average, and is physically gifted. He is striking out in over 30% of his at-bats.
Unfortunately, he has lost his ability to hit pitches down, and he now chases them with regularity. He is also prone to chase the high fastball, which he swings and misses through, as you can see below:
The second player, Jeff Francoeur, has no plate discipline--he swings at everything. He is striking out in 16.5% of his at-bats. His chart shows a player who will chase up, down, inside, outside, and it really doesn't matter what type of pitch it is:
The third player easily has the best plate discipline--some say he is too disciplined. He almost never swings at a ball, except for the occasional low changeup, but he also has a tendency to let good pitches go through. Still, you have to admire his batting eye and the fact that he strikes out only 4.24% of the time.
When you see the charts it tells you what your eyes have already told you.
David Wright is getting beat up and also inside, and swinging at too many pitches that are low. Jeff Francoeur is swinging at anything and everything and has zero plate discipline and poor pitch recognition. Luis has a great eye, but not much in the way of a swing, and he will let many a good pitch go by. When he does make contact it's a grounder 32.2% of the time.
There is no moral to our story, only understanding, and a certain degree of frustration.
It's enough to make Aesop cry and Jerry call for more bunts (as if he needed an excuse).