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TRF
02-16-2006, 02:09 PM
TRF, Adam Dunn reduced his 2005 Strikeout totals by 27 versus 2004. Did it translate to 27 more hits? Nope. In fact, he acquired 17 fewer hits versus 2004.

This was bothering me, so I looked deeper.
In 2004 AD had 25 more AB's
In 2005 He had 2 Sac Flies and was HBP 7 more times than the previous year.

Now it seems to me that 25 missing AB's might account for a few of those K's

In fact Dunn reached base 13 times more in 2005 via BB and HBP than the previous year. Otherwise his OBP is much lower than 2004 instead being .001 point lower.

So, equalize the AB's and you get what? Maybe 10 extra K's and 10 hits? maybe? I don't think Dunn is too selective. I don't want him to trade BB's for K's. I want him to progress as a hitter when it comes to pitches in his zone.

M2
02-16-2006, 02:18 PM
I don't want AD to trade Walks for K's. I don't want WMP or AK to either. I want them to hit the pitches they are supposed to hit. I want 30 more hits from Dunn. 30. I want him to hit the ball fairly and reach base about 180+ times a year. With his walk rate and power, that puts him in Pujols territory.

Except the reality is that by trying to put the bat on the ball instead of taking his best swing, a guy like Dunn might lose hits instead of gain them. He almost assuredly would be trading away power hits for contact with that approach.

The good news is he's 26 and he'll whiff less in the future as he matures. Technically he doesn't hit his offensive prime until next season. The key is to accentuate the things he does well rather than try to be something he's not. Boone and Robson tried the latter approach in 2003 and it put Dunn into an offensive straightjacket. Chambliss has sorted him out pretty well and put him on a path where you're likely to see a higher BA (and more walks) in the coming years.

bigredmachine1976
02-16-2006, 02:21 PM
M2

I'm curious about the Pete Rose thing at the bottom of your posts. What's behind that?

M2
02-16-2006, 02:25 PM
M2

I'm curious about the Pete Rose thing at the bottom of your posts. What's behind that?

He had 4.256 hits in the regular season and 86 in the postseason. I submit those postseason contests were real games that counted and therefore the stats should count in a player's career totals.

TRF
02-16-2006, 02:26 PM
The good news is he's 26 and he'll whiff less in the future as he matures. Technically he doesn't hit his offensive prime until next season. The key is to accentuate the things he does well rather than try to be something he's not. Boone and Robson tried the latter approach in 2003 and it put Dunn into an offensive straightjacket. Chambliss has sorted him out pretty well and put him on a path where you're likely to see a higher BA (and more walks) in the coming years.

Which BTW, I agree with. But as a team, the Reds have Dunn, Jr., and strangely enough LaRue (nice OBP last year) maybe FeLo pbuilds on 2005. But the rest of the lineup is a huge questionmark. And all those K's with no other discernable ability to get on base has me worried.

bigredmachine1976
02-16-2006, 02:29 PM
He had 4.256 hits in the regular season and 86 in the postseason. I submit those postseason contests were real games that counted and therefore the stats should count in a player's career totals.

Totally agree with that.

How many homers would that give Ruth?

M2
02-16-2006, 02:33 PM
Totally agree with that.

How many homers would that give Ruth?

729

The guys it really affects are modern day players who've spent a lot of time in the three-tiered playoff system. Derek Jeter's played in 115 playoff games. Mariano Rivera is 8-1 with 34 saves and an 0.81 ERA in 111.2 IP.

M2
02-16-2006, 02:34 PM
But the rest of the lineup is a huge questionmark. And all those K's with no other discernable ability to get on base has me worried.

Worry about the OB, not the Ks.

919191
02-16-2006, 02:35 PM
Totally agree with that.

How many homers would that give Ruth?


729.

bigredmachine1976
02-16-2006, 02:37 PM
Is there a web site with the post season stats?

M2
02-16-2006, 02:40 PM
Is there a web site with the post season stats?

http://www.baseball-reference.com

It lists each player's postseason stats separately, but it's easy enough to add them together. Sam Rice is the only guy who jumps over 3,000 hits with postseason stats figured in, Fred McGriff clears 500 HR.

Frank Robinson climbs to 2,973 hits and 596 HR (ouch).

Cyclone792
02-16-2006, 02:41 PM
I don't want AD to trade Walks for K's. I don't want WMP or AK to either. I want them to hit the pitches they are supposed to hit. I want 30 more hits from Dunn. 30. I want him to hit the ball fairly and reach base about 180+ times a year. With his walk rate and power, that puts him in Pujols territory.

TRF, the flaw in this is it doesn't exactly work that way. I've seen Steel mention probably about a dozen times in various threads the past few months that when K rates drop, it is walk rates that are likely to increase, not hit rates, and he's exactly correct.

I thought someone, maybe you, mentioned Barry Bonds in this thread or another thread and how his K rate dropped while his BA increased. Sure, he was able to do that, but he was not turning K's into hits, rather, all he was doing was ramping his level of plate discipline up one or three notches. Hitters only see a certain level of excellent hittable pitches in their zone during the course of a season. The more plate discipline you have, the more often you're able to lay off bad pitches, wait for your good pitch and recognize/crush your good pitch when you finally see it. Interestingly enough, this all pretty much ties into what I posted a few days ago regarding plate discipline, hitting and pitching counts, etc.

Let me show you what I'm talking about by comparing Bonds in 2001 to Bonds in 2002. As you can probably tell, he substantially dropped his K rate while increasing his BA from 2001 to 2002:



Barry Bonds

PA PA/AB AB H BB K BA PA/H BABIP PA/BB BB% PA/K K%

2001 664 1.40 476 156 177 93 .328 4.26 .268 3.75 27.1% 7.14 19.5%
2002 612 1.52 403 149 198 47 .370 4.11 .332 3.09 32.9% 13.02 11.7%


First, notice the change in Bonds' K% dropping and his BB% jumping from 2001 to 2002. Bonds struck out once every seven plate appearances in 2001, but in 2002 stuck out only once every 13 plate appearances. Likewise, Bonds walked once every 3.75 plate appearances in 2001, but in 2002 walked once every 3.09 plate appearances. When strikeout rate decreases, walk rate increases, not hit rate.

Now, how does this relate to the higher BA? Well, we all know that while a BB is considered a PA, it is not considered an AB, which is one of the variables to determining BA. When a hitter such as Bonds dramatically increases his BB rate, his total number of at bats will significantly decrease. His hit rate per plate appearance, however, remains relatively stable so he's still generating the same amount of hits (Bonds' slight increase in hit rate can be attributed to his sudden spike up in BABIP).

In a nutshell, all this allows Bonds to hit for a much higher BA since you're dividing the same hit total into a much lower AB total, all the result of increased plate discipline and walk rate. The key here is Bonds isn't collecting anymore hits in 2002 than he was in 2001. He basically cut his strikeouts in half, but he didn't add anymore hits to his total.

For most hitters, what I've outlined above is oftentimes masked due to the season-to-season fluctuations in BABIP. A hitter can slightly cut down his strikeout rate and slightly increase his walk rate, but if his BABIP also drops then his actual BA will remain very similar. The latest research I've seen is some hitters seem to be able to control their BABIP somewhat, but how much may still be undetermined. Lots of hitters simply bounce up and down in BABIP from season-to-season (such as Dunn in 2003 vs. Dunn in 2004), and that's when you'll see that dramatic shift in BA from season-to-season.

ochre
02-16-2006, 04:11 PM
I never said it had great value, only that a ball in play has a chance, however slight that might be, of making something happen. I make that statement and all of the sudden I'm getting all this attention. If it's not worth talking about don't reply. If you disagree with me I'm ok with that. I just think all those statistics can be misleading. After all a hit, which I'm sure you'd agree is better than a strikeout, starts with the ball being put into play by the batter.
The walks are SLG neutral. The OBP are the same, while one hitter has a better BA, right? That's the scenario I am referring to anyway. It would stand to reason then that the balls put in play by the BA guy would net few bases on average than the guy with fewer hits, yet an equal SLG. Its really an artificial scenario.

SteelSD
02-17-2006, 12:14 AM
This was bothering me, so I looked deeper.
In 2004 AD had 25 more AB's
In 2005 He had 2 Sac Flies and was HBP 7 more times than the previous year.

Now it seems to me that 25 missing AB's might account for a few of those K's

In fact Dunn reached base 13 times more in 2005 via BB and HBP than the previous year. Otherwise his OBP is much lower than 2004 instead being .001 point lower.

So, equalize the AB's and you get what? Maybe 10 extra K's and 10 hits? maybe? I don't think Dunn is too selective. I don't want him to trade BB's for K's. I want him to progress as a hitter when it comes to pitches in his zone.

TRF, where do you think those AB went?

Dunn 2004 Plate Appearances- 681
Dunn 2005 Plate Appearances- 671

15 of those 25 AB were converted into six additional BB versus 2004, seven additional HBP versus 2004, and two additional Sac Flies versus 2004. The other 10 correspond exactly with the decrease in Dunn's PA versus 2004. We're not "missing" AB. We're missing Plate Appearances.

None of the 15 "missing" AB turned into additional Hits or additional K's. Zero. So we have 10 PA left that are "missing" from Dunn's 2004 numbers. Multiply Dunn's K per PA rate by that number and you get 2.5 additional Strikeouts if we equalize his PA.

In short, if you're actually equalizing using correct math, you don't get 10 more Hits or 10 more Strikeouts. You're still left at a decrease of @25 K's versus 2004 and we're still left with Dunn not getting a single ounce of gross Hits or BA benefit from that K rate decrease.

And Dunn will progress as a hitter re: pitches in his zone. But he'll do that by swinging less at pitches he can't hit which will force the pitcher to come into his zone more often. The result will most likely be an increased Walk rate coupled with an increased BA without seeing an increase in his gross Hit totals. When that happens, his OBP will go through the roof but NOT because he's acquiring a larger volume of Hits. And when that happens, you might again think that Dunn is missing a large volume of AB. But, like 2005, that won't be the case because he'll be converting AB into other non-Out event types.

And none of that is tied to K rate.

SteelSD
02-17-2006, 12:34 AM
In 2005 despite Caseys sharp increase in GIDP (and yes Steel an increase of 13 over his average prior to 2005 is an aberration) theReds had a balanced lineup.

No. It wasn't an aberration. The guy hit into 19 DP in 2003 when he was tied for 10th in the NL in GIDP. He's getting older. He's getting slower. His game is a ground ball hitting game. He played behind solid OBP players which gave him tremendous opportunity last year. Comes with the territory.

And you keep speaking to "balance" and "knowing more than one way to reach base". But the thing is that the true "balance" guys who really do know more than one way to get on base aren't your Sean Casey types. They're the guys with the high Isolated Discipline numbers who slump proof your lineup regardless of how they make Outs.

As M2 aptly noted- focus on not making Outs rather than how Outs are made and you'll be fine. If Wily Mo Pena produces a high Out rate in 2006, the problem is the high Out rate- not the Strikeouts.

TRF
02-17-2006, 08:58 AM
As M2 aptly noted- focus on not making Outs rather than how Outs are made and you'll be fine. If Wily Mo Pena produces a high Out rate in 2006, the problem is the high Out rate- not the Strikeouts.

Unless the vast majority of his outs ARE strikeouts. And for a guy with a .240ish BA and a similarly low OBP, then yeah, strikeouts are the problem.

So, how many ways do i have to say Dunn isn't the problem?

SteelSD
02-17-2006, 09:03 AM
Unless the vast majority of his outs ARE strikeouts. And for a guy with a .240ish BA and a similarly low OBP, then yeah, strikeouts are the problem.

No. The Outs are the problem. How the hitter makes them is irrelevant.

TRF
02-17-2006, 10:53 AM
Sorry, but I don't buy that for guys like WMP. Dunn yes. his OBP renders the type of out he make meaningless. but when you have a guy like WMP that can't find 1B with a map, then you look at why. He K's a ton. And since He isn't going to get his walks into 100+ territory... ever, then he better hit more. That means reducing his K's, because they are the majority of his outs. Just over 1/3 of his AB's were K's, just under 1/3 for Dunn. But Dunn's OBP makes up for that. WMP's doesn't and likely never will.

So, WMP needs to up the BA to be more effective, because he ISN't going to up his walk rate.

Dunn's K's are not a problem. WMP's are.

Caveat Emperor
02-17-2006, 11:22 AM
Sorry, but I don't buy that for guys like WMP. Dunn yes. his OBP renders the type of out he make meaningless. but when you have a guy like WMP that can't find 1B with a map, then you look at why. He K's a ton. And since He isn't going to get his walks into 100+ territory... ever, then he better hit more. That means reducing his K's, because they are the majority of his outs. Just over 1/3 of his AB's were K's, just under 1/3 for Dunn. But Dunn's OBP makes up for that. WMP's doesn't and likely never will.

So, WMP needs to up the BA to be more effective, because he ISN't going to up his walk rate.

Dunn's K's are not a problem. WMP's are.

But, what Steel said is instructive here -- the issue isn't Wily Mo Pena needs cut his strikeouts down, the issue is that Wily Mo Pena needs to get on base more. Which outs he stops making are irrelevant: his OBP would rise if he stopped popping balls up just as much as it would if he stopped striking out.

For WMP, where I agree with you is that his strikeouts are symptomatic of a larger problem: lack of recognition of pitch type as it comes out of the pitcher's hand and poor plate discipline. Wily Mo has a tough time identifying "his pitch" in the AB and laying off the garbage that gets thrown in the interim (see Cyclone's post about how often WMP finds himself in "Pitchers Counts" with 2 strikes v. "Hitters Counts"). He strikes out a lot because he lacks the ability to make good choices in the batters box when it comes to hitting.

The strikeout itself isn't any worse than a line drive out -- but it's what the strikeout indicates as lacking from his skill set that I find more troubling.

M2
02-17-2006, 11:43 AM
So, WMP needs to up the BA to be more effective, because he ISN't going to up his walk rate.

Oh, I disagree strongly with that. Let him start jacking the ball with greater frequency (which will come with maturity and a steady gig) and pitchers will stay out of the strikezone as best they can when he steps to the plate. His power will buy him an elevated BB rate in the future.

flyer85
02-17-2006, 11:51 AM
His power will buy him an elevated BB rate in the future.so would refusing to swing at pitches bouncing in the dirt.:devil:

There is an unbelievable power upside to WMP if he can
1) gain control of the strike zone
2) transition from a ground ball to a fly ball hitter

KronoRed
02-17-2006, 11:56 AM
Curves down and away the easy way to get Wily Mo out.

Also worked on Aaron Boone but he turned it on every few weeks.

M2
02-17-2006, 12:00 PM
so would refusing to swing at pitches bouncing in the dirt.:devil:

There is an unbelievable power upside to WMP if he can
1) gain control of the strike zone
2) transition from a ground ball to a fly ball hitter

That will come with maturity. I think what a lot of folks forget with him is that he just turned 24. He'll get better at the things he doesn't do that well at the moment (particularly the GB/FB thing). That doesn't mean he'll perfect those things -- Pena's always going to whiff a lot -- but it's a safe bet to assume his positive outcomes will increase as he moves into his late 20s.

IslandRed
02-17-2006, 02:16 PM
Oh, I disagree strongly with that. Let him start jacking the ball with greater frequency (which will come with maturity and a steady gig) and pitchers will stay out of the strikezone as best they can when he steps to the plate. His power will buy him an elevated BB rate in the future.

Actually, I have the opposite opinion, as I posted in another thread... I think his power is already feared and the book on him across MLB is already "stay out of the strikezone as best you can." And the book is a bestseller. The walks are already there and he's not taking them. In that respect, Pena's no different than any other free-swinging power-hitting youngster. He's going to (1) learn to lay off the junk, (2) prove he can hit the junk or (3) never come close to his potential. In the great continuum of adjust and counter-adjust, it's Pena's move.

Now, a caveat: I don't get to watch the Reds play as often as most here, so my impression that the primary issue behind his awful K/BB ratio is poor plate discipline could be wrong. If the real problem is that he can't hit stuff that's thrown IN the strike zone, and pitchers freely challenge him and get away with it, that's a horse of a different color.

M2
02-17-2006, 02:31 PM
Actually, I have the opposite opinion, as I posted in another thread... I think his power is already feared and the book on him across MLB is already "stay out of the strikezone as best you can." And the book is a bestseller. The walks are already there and he's not taking them. In that respect, Pena's no different than any other free-swinging power-hitting youngster. He's going to (1) learn to lay off the junk, (2) prove he can hit the junk or (3) never come close to his potential. In the great continuum of adjust and counter-adjust, it's Pena's move.

Now, a caveat: I don't get to watch the Reds play as often as most here, so my impression that the primary issue behind his awful K/BB ratio is poor plate discipline could be wrong. If the real problem is that he can't hit stuff that's thrown IN the strike zone, and pitchers freely challenge him and get away with it, that's a horse of a different color.

Nah, it takes years to establish widespread fear. Wily Mo's barely begun to make that kind of impression. Right now he's a kid with power that teams figure they can handle. The leap comes when teams decide you've got power they can't handle.

I agree he's already passing up BBs. He'll pass up fewer as he gains experience. Also, no one's got complete coverage of the strikezone (well, maybe Vlad Guerrero or Ichiro Suzuki). Pena's still figuring out which strikes he likes best. The process can take years.

I figure the way he matures is the power pops and the BA begins to creep into the .260s and .270s. Then once he hits his prime (and he doesn't enter it until 2009) and starts to do some sick damage you'll see pitchers start to run at just about the time Pena's developed the know-how to lay off the more obvious junk. Then he'll have some studly years, then when his power wanes he'll be back to many of his old bad habits.

RedsManRick
02-17-2006, 02:44 PM
Nah, it takes years to establish widespread fear. Wily Mo's barely begun to make that kind of impression. Right now he's a kid with power that teams figure they can handle. The leap comes when teams decide you've got power they can't handle.

I agree he's already passing up BBs. He'll pass up fewer as he gains experience. Also, no one's got complete coverage of the strikezone (well, maybe Vlad Guerrero or Ichiro Suzuki). Pena's still figuring out which strikes he likes best. The process can take years.

I figure the way he matures is the power pops and the BA begins to creep into the .260s and .270s. Then once he hits his prime (and he doesn't enter it until 2009) and starts to do some sick damage you'll see pitchers start to run at just about the time Pena's developed the know-how to lay off the more obvious junk. Then he'll have some studly years, then when his power wanes he'll be back to many of his old bad habits.

See: Sosa, Sammy. As soon as Sosa lost his bat speed and couldn't turn on everything in the zone, he became a poor hitter again. He never really had great contact ability or a great eye, he just became so feared that pitchers avoided him like the plague. He learned to not swing at bad pitches and suddenly started walking a lot. He still swung and missed quite a bit at pitches in the zone when he guessed wrong. However, he could sit on certain pitches that he knew he could handle well and became an awesome mistake hitter.

To me the parallels between Sammy and Pena are numerous. Both have(had) above average speed but are/were poor fielders and baserunners. Both have prodigious power, but seemingly poor pitch recognition and contact ability on anything but what they're looking for (ie. easily fooled). There's potential for him to follow Sosa's career path -- generally speaking -- but there are a lot of things that could go wrong along the way.

registerthis
02-17-2006, 03:02 PM
Consider it anything you want. The guys who do it with the greatest frequency tend to be lousy offensive players.

...and are frequently the ones that simply come to bat at the right time.

registerthis
02-17-2006, 03:06 PM
Oh, I disagree strongly with that. Let him start jacking the ball with greater frequency (which will come with maturity and a steady gig) and pitchers will stay out of the strikezone as best they can when he steps to the plate. His power will buy him an elevated BB rate in the future.

I'd like to think so, but WMP hasn't shown an inclination to lay off balls outside of the strike zone now, why would he develop that characteristic if he started hitting more HRs? Plate discipline is a huge issue for WMP. I do think that is something that can be improved with coaching and practice, but I don't think it will come automatically simply because pitchers become more fearful of his power. With his current plate discipline, he'd have to start getting Barry Bonds-esque pitches before he could significantly up his walk rate.

M2
02-17-2006, 03:39 PM
I'd like to think so, but WMP hasn't shown an inclination to lay off balls outside of the strike zone now, why would he develop that characteristic if he started hitting more HRs? Plate discipline is a huge issue for WMP. I do think that is something that can be improved with coaching and practice, but I don't think it will come automatically simply because pitchers become more fearful of his power. With his current plate discipline, he'd have to start getting Barry Bonds-esque pitches before he could significantly up his walk rate.

Experience happens. I don't expect him to change rapidly, but I also don't think nature slapped him on the back at age 23 and froze him in his current state.

Plate discipline will always be a huge issue for Pena, just like it was for guys like Sosa and Ron Gant. That said, as he does more damage inside the strikezone in the coming years (stress on the word "years") pitchers will be ever more wary about throwing strikes and as Wily Mo starts creeping up on 30 he'll likely become more selective.

For 2006 his main goal should be to play a full season (because none of the above matters if he can't stay healthy), jam 35+ HR and drag that OB north of .320. It's not the OB I'd want either, but he's a guy who can be real dangerous despite a below average OB.

registerthis
02-17-2006, 04:00 PM
If WMP gets a .320 OBP, he'll be dangerous with the power he has.

Sometimes I forget how young he is, seems like he's been around forever...

IslandRed
02-17-2006, 10:56 PM
I figure the way he matures is the power pops and the BA begins to creep into the .260s and .270s. Then once he hits his prime (and he doesn't enter it until 2009) and starts to do some sick damage you'll see pitchers start to run at just about the time Pena's developed the know-how to lay off the more obvious junk.

I like your scenario better than mine, so I'll hope your picture is the more accurate one.

Which raises the question of whether he'll still be in Cincinnati for us to see it, but that's another thread.

SteelSD
02-18-2006, 12:39 AM
Sorry, but I don't buy that for guys like WMP. Dunn yes. his OBP renders the type of out he make meaningless. but when you have a guy like WMP that can't find 1B with a map, then you look at why. He K's a ton. And since He isn't going to get his walks into 100+ territory... ever, then he better hit more. That means reducing his K's, because they are the majority of his outs. Just over 1/3 of his AB's were K's, just under 1/3 for Dunn. But Dunn's OBP makes up for that. WMP's doesn't and likely never will.

So, WMP needs to up the BA to be more effective, because he ISN't going to up his walk rate.

Dunn's K's are not a problem. WMP's are.

Sammy Sosa:

1997- 642 AB: 161 H, 36 HR, 45 BB, 174 K- .251 BA/.300 OBP/.480 SLG
1998- 643 AB: 198 H, 66 HR, 73 BB, 171 K- .308 BA/.377 OBP/.647 SLG

In 1998, Sosa put up 28 more PA than in 1997. Not coincidentally, his BB total increased by...28.

But those Strikeouts. Pretty much identical while Sosa's gross Hits total increased by 37- producing a BA increase of 57 points.

So how'd that happen? Take a close look. About 7 of those additional 37 Hits can be attributed to an increased BABIP. The remainder (30) are due to the 30 additional baseballs that left the yard- all of them without a meaningful reduction in gross K's or K/AB rate. In short, Sosa's 77-point OBP increase was facilitated by his increase in power rather than a decrease in K rate.

Now let's equalize Pena's 2005 using Sosa's 1997 AB totals and rate stats:

642 AB: 163 H, 39 HR, 42 BB, 240 K

240 Strikeouts. Now, with those K totals, could Pena possibly put up a 1998 Sosa type season? Let's break it down per Sosa's 643 AB "breakout" season using Pena's numbers while adjusting for Sosa's average across-the-board increase:

641 AB: 201 H, 72 HR, 68 BB, 7 HBP, 2 SF, 236 K

Because Pena would be acquiring fewer BB, we'd probably see a reduction of PA from the 722 Sosa put up in 1998. We'd be at about 718 PA for Pena so to equalize, let's add 4 AB to even things out. To be fair, I'm going to count all of those 4 AB as Outs. Here are the rate stats if that happened.

645 AB (722 PA): 201 H, 72 HR, 35 2B, 68 BB, 7 HBP, 2 SF, 236 K=

.312 BA/.383 OBP/.701 SLG- 1.084 OPS

Well, let's see now. To do that, Pena would have the following breakdown of events:

276 Non-Out Events
446 Out Events
210 Non-K Out Events

Now, is Pena going to get 722 PA in this lineup? Nope. He's most likely going to get 650 max. So let's look at Pena's "Sosa" season in that context:

581 AB (650 PA): 181 H, 65 HR, 32 2B, 62 BB, 6 HBP, 2 SF, 213 K

249 Non-Out Events (38.3% of PA)
401 Out Events (61.7% of PA)
188 Non-K Out Events (28.6% of PA)

For comparison, here's Dunn's 2004 when he set the MLB Strikeout record:

264 Non-Out Events (38.8% of PA)
417 Out Events (61.2% of PA)
222 Non-K Out Events (32.6% of PA)

Now, is it probable that Pena will have a Sosa 1998 "breakout" season anytime soon? Well, to count on that would be counting on the improbable. But we're really talking about a difference of 4% more K's per PA than Dunn (because the rates stay constant) if we're going to talk about it.

As for Kearns? Really doesn't factor in considering that he's a .090-.100 Isolated Discipline guy. In short, he's the kind of guy you keep telling us not to worry about. I agree, but that has nothing to do with his K numbers.

But really, I'd hoped this Strikeout stuff would stop after the Reds led the world in Strikeouts while leading the NL in Runs Scored in 2005. Even a Joe Randa was only truly productive when posting either solid IsoD or IsoP numbers in spurts.

Can the Reds thrive while trading Randa for Eddie E. and Casey for more PA from both Pena and Kearns? Absolutely. In fact, they can score more Runs while doing that. The irony is that the "more Runs" projection could be set on fire by Narron if he decides that leading off a turd like Womack (who, BTW- isn't a low-K rate guy for a punch-and-judy hitter).

Will the Reds add OBP to the team versus 2005? Excluding Womack, I'd say that Kearns represents an OBP neutral gain versus Casey. Pena represents a probable OBP loss versus Randa but at the same time also represents a big SLG gain as he develops. Encarnacion also adds solid Isolated Power while producing MLB-average Isolated Discipline at age 23.

When the worst hitter on your team is Eddie E., you've got a real opportunity to produce 900 Runs offensively if the optimal lineup is in place most often because with a goodly number of productive "balanced" hitters (Dunn, Griffey, Kearns), additional SLG can outweigh a small OBP loss.

And that's a real life reality with the Reds. Pena represents a 250-point Isolated Power (IsoP) performance. Eddie E. represents a a 200-point IsoP. Kearns also represents a 200-point IsoP along with a 100-point IsoD.

And I truly hope that the 2006 Reds put up 900 Runs while posting the 7th best team BA, the 2nd best team OBP, and the best SLG in the NL. And I hope they strike out even more while doing so. Because if they do, maybe this discussion will finally end as it should have after they struck out 140 more times than did the next highest K team in the NL while leading the NL in Runs Scored.