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TeamBoone
04-28-2006, 02:55 PM
Friday, April 28, 2006

Hatteberg fits bookís definition
Jim Massie / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

CINCINNATI ó The book Moneyball dropped onto the baseball world in spring 2003 with the kind of kersplat an elephant might create if an elephant ever took up skydiving.

Michael Lewis, the author, questioned the traditional methods that major-league teams use to uncover young talent, and did so through the eyes of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane.

Beane deemed statistics, especially those produced by college players, and statistical analysis by numbers-crunchers as more valuable to cobbling together his team than the on-the-ground work of oldschool scouts.

Many in the baseball establishment reacted as if a dentistís drill had touched an exposed nerve. The resulting "Ouch! " still resonates around the game.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Scott Hatteberg has a good reason to remember when the book came out because Chapter 8 ("Scott Hatteberg, Pickiní Machine") details how he resurrected his career in Oakland. Hatteberg also recalls the pained reaction.

"I understand that baseball is steeped in a lot of tradition," he said. "(The book) was kind of new-age thinking in the way the Oakland Aís approached it. Statistics were a huge part of it.

"It just flew in the face of all that was sacred in baseball. This was just pioneering and new, and I donít think a lot of people wanted to grab on to it."

Hatteberg shrugged about something he canít change. His chapter begins with his injuryforced conversion from catcher with the Boston Red Sox to first baseman after he signed with Oakland.

"Itís my story," he said. "Thereís no fabrication. As far as the personal experiences, itís pretty right on."

He fielded hundreds of grounders hit by his wife as his children played in a sandbox. He worked for hours in the Arizona heat with Oakland coach Ron Washington, learning to be a first baseman. For readers, the images offer a brief intermission to the old-school/ new-age conflict within the book.

Hatteberg was the resolute turtle crossing the road in The Grapes of Wrath. But the singleminded turtle had a purpose for Steinbeck, just as Hatteberg had reason to be important to Lewis. As the chapter continues, Hatteberg becomes the example of the importance that a growing number of people place on on-base percentage instead of batting average.

"I got (to Oakland) because of however I fit into the statistical analysis," he said. "Iím grateful for it.

"I canít say whether or not thatís the new thinking. I know a lot of people are leaning toward certain statistics. Maybe certain stats are overblown and some are undervalued. I think that was part of the book that I agree with."

His ability to reach first base was why new Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky had an eye on the free-agent Hatteberg.

"I had a list of guys that were still free agents before I got the job, in case I got it, who I was going to be calling," said Krivsky, who says he has not read Moneyball. "He was right at the top of the list, particularly with Sean Casey gone and not knowing for sure how Adam Dunn would make the transition from left field to first base.

"I just felt he was a professional player and a professional hitter who would be good on the team, whether he was playing every day or not. How he goes about his business, how he takes his at-bats, how he has worked on his defense to make himself a good first baseman have made him a good guy to have on a ballclub."

Hattebergís hitting approach fit into what the free-swinging ó and strikeout-prone ó Reds needed. When Hatteberg swings, he makes contact more often than not.

"Just look at his walks-tostrikeouts (ratio) over his career," Krivsky said. "Itís impressive. If you see a guy nowadays who walks more than he strikes out, itís a rarity. Thatís a good indication to me that the guy takes good at-bats and knows the strike zone

" I donít know who taught him, but somebody had an influence on him when he was young that thatís how you should go about hitting. Go up and see some pitches ó thatís how I was taught. I read the Ted Williams book (The Science of Hitting) 100 times as a kid. Ted Williams rarely hit the first pitch. He wanted to see all the pitches that he could. That would help him in a later atbat."

On April 19, the left-handedhitting Hatteberg had a surprise start against Florida Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis. A career American Leaguer, he had never batted against Willis, whose delivery is among the funkiest in the game.

Hatteberg promptly walked and singled in his first two atbats. His third time up, he lined back to the mound and Willis somehow caught the ball. The turtle crossed the road again the only way he knew how.

"I donít know if anybody taught me," Hatteberg said. "I just knew what (pitch) I wanted, and I was able to wait for it.

"Iím always amazed that guys can go up and hit the first pitch, and hit it good. Iím not that guy. Iíve got to plan my first-pitch swings. I know what I want, and Iím going to wait for it."


jmassie@dispatch.com


http://www.columbusdispatch.com/reds/reds.php?story=dispatch/2006/04/28/20060428-F7-00.html

smith288
04-28-2006, 03:44 PM
His wife hit him ground balls? I bet those were screamers...

Cyclone792
04-28-2006, 04:17 PM
Given that Hatteberg is on the Reds roster this season, even the people who hate Moneyball should at least make a point to get to a library, book store, whatever and read the chapter about Hatteberg.

Hatteberg fits a certain description of a hitter that takes a lot of pitches, is not afraid to take a walk and the way he breaks down video is very precise and very refined. All of this is in the book in the Hatteberg chapter, and it's an approach that every hitter in baseball should take, but there undoubtedly are some guys, perhaps many guys, that do not.

I've already said this before, but having Scott Hatteberg on the roster this season can have a very positive side-effect on our young sluggers, such as Dunn, Kearns, Lopez, Encarnacion, Phillips, etc. Hatteberg's approach to hitting is something that I very much hope rubs off on our young guys.

Frankly, if Hatteberg's willing to come back next season as a pinch hitting role player off the bench, I'd very much like the Reds to resign him for another season.

vaticanplum
04-28-2006, 04:34 PM
Given that Hatteberg is on the Reds roster this season, even the people who hate Moneyball should at least make a point to get to a library, book store, whatever and read the chapter about Hatteberg.

Hatteberg fits a certain description of a hitter that takes a lot of pitches, is not afraid to take a walk and the way he breaks down video is very precise and very refined. All of this is in the book in the Hatteberg chapter, and it's an approach that every hitter in baseball should take, but there undoubtedly are some guys, perhaps many guys, that do not.

And for the sentimental saps, there is the bonus in the part about him running back to first base to hang out with Donnie Baseball, his childhood idol, after his first major league at-bat (a double). Tears. Many, many tears.

Patrick Bateman
04-28-2006, 04:38 PM
"Hattebergís hitting approach fit into what the free-swinging ó and strikeout-prone ó Reds needed"

:laugh:

buckeyenut
04-29-2006, 07:09 AM
I mentioned this to a friend at the game last night. It has to be downright tough on a pitcher to have dunn and hatteberg in the same inning, which happened a few times last night. Those guys will force you to chew up your arm. I think between the two of them, they saw around 40 pitches from oswalt in 3 at bats apiece.

GAC
04-29-2006, 07:34 AM
"Just look at his walks-tostrikeouts (ratio) over his career," Krivsky said. "It’s impressive. If you see a guy nowadays who walks more than he strikes out, it’s a rarity. That’s a good indication to me that the guy takes good at-bats and knows the strike zone

Knowing this.... Krivsky doesn't need to read Money Ball. ;)

membengal
04-29-2006, 10:15 AM
I mentioned this to a friend at the game last night. It has to be downright tough on a pitcher to have dunn and hatteberg in the same inning, which happened a few times last night. Those guys will force you to chew up your arm. I think between the two of them, they saw around 40 pitches from oswalt in 3 at bats apiece.

Outstanding point. One of the reasons the Reds have been so good offensively this year is that they are working counts so well. Hatte and Dunn front and center on that. It's got to get on a pitcher's nerves to consistently be working deep into counts. Not to mention, getting all those runners on base helps to explain the gaudy RBI numbers from EE and Phillips in the 6 and 7 slots in the order, primarily.

Spitball
04-29-2006, 10:29 AM
Hatteberg’s hitting approach fit into what the free-swinging — and strikeout-prone — Reds needed. When Hatteberg swings, he makes contact more often than not.

As a statistic, strikeouts may be insignificant, but I think there is another point being made here. Outs made on pitcher's pitches are not good. Hatteberg's style makes the pitcher throw strikes. He doesn't expand the zone so he makes the pitcher come to him. When he strikes out, he has still made the pitcher come to him. He doesn't put himself in two strike holes by swinging at the first two fastballs he sees.

I hope some of the Reds learn by watching this guy's approach to a strategic at-bat.

Crash Davis
04-29-2006, 10:54 AM
Not bad for a guy who is "washed up", "the worst player in baseball", and not a patch on Carlos Pena's AAA arse.

Maybe, just maybe, Wayne Krivsky's 30 years in baseball have taught him enough to make better baseball decisions than the herd at the local internet message board....It's an outrageous thought, I know.

SteelSD
04-29-2006, 12:10 PM
Not bad for a guy who is "washed up", "the worst player in baseball", and not a patch on Carlos Pena's AAA arse.

Maybe, just maybe, Wayne Krivsky's 30 years in baseball have taught him enough to make better baseball decisions than the herd at the local internet message board....It's an outrageous thought, I know.

Maybe, just maybe, handing a lot of PA to a player whose VORP was -3.6 last season and who produced -25 Runs Above Average (both offensively and defensively) over the past three years isn't the smartest thing to be doing?

And maybe, just maybe, creating strawmen while using 60-odd PA to support your own position might not be the best way to go about things?

Just sayin'...

Jpup
05-08-2006, 04:06 AM
Scott Hatteberg, On-Base Machine.

.404 OBP thru 5/7/06

just sayin' ;)

I know it's a small sample(94 PA), but he has been a good player for the Reds. His defense is lacking, that I will admit.

KronoRed
05-08-2006, 04:41 AM
It's not he gets on base, I'd bat him 2nd cause he certainly doesn't bring the power I'd like out of a 5-6 hitter.

danwl
05-08-2006, 04:40 PM
Really, the amazing thing isn't that Dunn can get away with this; after all, if you throw him his pitch, it ends up in the bleachers, so the pitcher has to nibble; but for Hatteberg to be able to eat up pitches without the power threat there is pretty amazing.

edabbs44
05-08-2006, 04:55 PM
Really, the amazing thing isn't that Dunn can get away with this; after all, if you throw him his pitch, it ends up in the bleachers, so the pitcher has to nibble; but for Hatteberg to be able to eat up pitches without the power threat there is pretty amazing.

For all of the Moneyball mania out there, the one thing that Oakland always lacked was offense. Hatteberg's OBP is nice, but his hitting has been atrocious.

Joseph
05-08-2006, 05:03 PM
I'm not displeased with Hat, but I am amazed that [as mentioned] hes not hitting lower in the lineup. 7, or 8 seems like the palce for him, IMO.

PuffyPig
05-08-2006, 05:06 PM
For all of the Moneyball mania out there, the one thing that Oakland always lacked was offense. Hatteberg's OBP is nice, but his hitting has been atrocious.

You can't have atrocious hitting while compiling a .400+ OBA. Walking is a part of the hitting process. Dunn's walks are what separates him from other hitters and makes him an offensive force.

No one is suggesting that Hatteberg is an all star. But he contributes positively and cheaply to the best offensive team in the NL.

And, yes, he is a good role model to the younger hitters on this team. EE is walking more than he did in the minors. Even Phillips is starting to walk abit.

toledodan
05-08-2006, 05:10 PM
i wouldn't mind him in the 2 spot either. more than likely whoever leads off will get a chance to steal 2nd if they reach base. hatteberg takes alot of pitches but hits into alot of double plays. however its hard to hit into a double play if the runner at first steals.:D

deltachi8
05-08-2006, 05:16 PM
For all of the Moneyball mania out there, the one thing that Oakland always lacked was offense. Hatteberg's OBP is nice, but his hitting has been atrocious.

How so? Can you expand on that thought?

edabbs44
05-08-2006, 06:09 PM
How so? Can you expand on that thought?

He is hitting in the middle of the order and not knocking in runs. There are number of different philosophies out there and I understand that OBP is a fairly new "hot" statistic.

I am simply amazed that he doesn't have more RBI than 5 right now. It seems nearly impossible to do what he is accomplishing (or not accomplishing) at this time.

Going into Sunday, Hatteberg was on pace for 20 RBI in close to 500 ABs. For all of the statistical analysis out there, I would challenge anyone to find a successful team who had a middle of the order hitter (3-6) who had an RBI total anywhere near 20. I'll even triple that number and say 60. Now I know it is a small sample size and he will probably end up with more than that number. But a month isn't that small.

OBP is fine and I agree that taking walks is a big part of the game. But he should be hitting 8th. Before long pitchers will start to be extra careful with whoever is hitting in front of him and challenge Hatte to beat them. There were groans around the country when Casey would end the year with a .300-12-75 season (or somewhere in that vicinity). Casey looks like Hack Wilson compared with what Hatteberg is doing. I could be a little more forgiving if he was either a speed merchant or a GG defender, but neither is the case here.

membengal
05-08-2006, 06:28 PM
You are aware, of course, that the two hitters who have primarily been hitting behind Hatte in the order are EE and Phillips, and both put up rather stout RBI numbers in the first month plus of the season? Perhaps, and I am just thinking out loud here, Hatte was, if not scoring himself, prolonging innings and adding to the clutter on the bases that allowed EE and Phillips to be so productive with their hits?

PuffyPig
05-08-2006, 06:37 PM
Going into Sunday, Hatteberg was on pace for 20 RBI in close to 500 ABs. For all of the statistical analysis out there, I would challenge anyone to find a successful team who had a middle of the order hitter (3-6) who had an RBI total anywhere near 20.

How about the first place Reds, currenetly leading the NL in runs scored???


FYI, Hatteberg has had 13 AB's with RISP this year, compiling a .874 OPS in those situations. His lack of opportunities is why his RBI's is so low, more than anything else.

With Runners On, his OPS is .955, indicating that he is contributing to rallies all the time.

edabbs44
05-08-2006, 06:46 PM
How about the first place Reds, currenetly leading the NL in runs scored???


FYI, Hatteberg has had 13 AB's with RISP this year, compiling a .874 OPS in those situations. His lack of opportunities is why his RBI's is so low, more than anything else.

With Runners On, his OPS is .955, indicating that he is contributing to rallies all the time.

Let's all use some logic here. First of all, he has had 13 ABs with RISP. He has had roughly 80 ABs. That means he was had RISP about 16% of the time he has gotten up. He has 5 RBI. He has 4 RBI in those 13 ABs with RISP. Three of those RBI came in his first AB as a Red. One RBI in 12 ABs with RISP since the first game. And it means he has not knocked in a run with RISP in 11 out of those 13 ABs. Not a good percentage. I actually cannot believe anyone would want him hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup. It really blows my mind. Most of his OPS is based off of his OBP, which kind of negates the OPS stat and puts more truth into his OBP. So forget OPS when we speak of Hatteberg, b/c it is flawed. If he wants to walk so bad, let him hit 8th so the pitcher can either bunt him over or make the last out.

Cyclone792
05-08-2006, 07:04 PM
Let's all use some logic here. First of all, he has had 13 ABs with RISP. He has had roughly 80 ABs. That means he was had RISP about 16% of the time he has gotten up. He has 5 RBI. He has 4 RBI in those 13 ABs with RISP. Three of those RBI came in his first AB as a Red. One RBI in 12 ABs with RISP since the first game. And it means he has not knocked in a run with RISP in 11 out of those 13 ABs. Not a good percentage. I actually cannot believe anyone would want him hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup. It really blows my mind. Most of his OPS is based off of his OBP, which kind of negates the OPS stat and puts more truth into his OBP. So forget OPS when we speak of Hatteberg, b/c it is flawed. If he wants to walk so bad, let him hit 8th so the pitcher can either bunt him over or make the last out.

This is so incredibly flawed that I do not even know where to begin.

I'll just make this simple: Run production occurs with a combination of not making outs and acquiring bases. Players who succeed in those two departments, or succeed well in just one of those departments, produce quite a few runs.

But instead of trying to explain how run production occurs to you since you're likely to not believe it, how about we just go straight to the actual play-by-play data for the Reds games this season.

Here's every Scott Hatteberg plate appearance in any inning in which the Reds had a big inning and scored two or more runs:


04/03/06, 3rd inning: Homered on 2 pitches
04/06/06, 2nd inning: Led off inning with single on 4 pitches
04/13/06, 8th inning: Singled on 1 pitch
04/17/06, 1st inning: GIDP on 3 pitches
04/17/06, 6th inning: Doubled on 3 pitches
04/19/06, 4th inning: Singled on 6 pitches
04/19/06, 8th inning: Led off inning with walk on 4 pitches
04/20/06, 4th inning: Singled on 2 pitches
04/20/06, 6th inning: Walked on 5 pitches
04/24/06, 1st inning: Fouled out on 5 pitches
04/26/06, 4th inning: Walked on 5 pitches
04/28/06, 7th inning: Singled on 5 pitches
05/02/06, 6th inning: Grounded out on 2 pitches
05/04/06, 2nd inning: Walked on 4 pitches
05/04/06, 8th inning: Doubled on 4 pitches
05/07/06, 3rd inning: Homered on 5 pitches

-- 16 total plate appearances
-- 12 total at bats
-- 9 total hits
-- 17 total bases
-- 4 total walks
-- 59 total pitches
-- 3.69 pitches per plate appearance
-- .750 batting average
-- .813 on-base percentage
-- 1.063 slugging percentage
-- 1.876 OPS

Read those numbers again. And just in case they confuse you, read them for a third time. In all innings that the Reds have scored 2 or more runs and Scott Hatteberg has been up to the plate, he has a 1.876 OPS.

What's the secret of big innings? Avoiding outs and acquiring bases. In those innings, Hatteberg has reached base safely 81 percent of the time, and he's averaged more than one base per at bat. In 17 total plate appearances in all innings in which the Reds have scored at least two runs, Hatteberg has made a grand total of five outs while acquiring 17 bases. He's also averaged nearly 4 pitches per plate appearance, which even further helps create a high stress inning for the opposing pitcher by running up their pitch count.

There it is right in front of you, the secret to big innings ... in fact, the secret to actual run production and how it occurs. Avoiding outs and acquiring bases.

Brandon Phillips drove in 17 runs during the week that he won the Player of the Week Award. Guess what? Scott Hatteberg's on-base percentage over that same stretch of games was .565. In 23 plate appearances that week, Hatteberg reached base safely 13 times. It sure does make it easier for the hitters behind you to drive in more runs when guys such as Hatteberg get on base and set the foundation for big inning rallies to occur.

You can rail on Hatteberg all you want for his RBI total and completely misunderstand what his on-base percentage has done for the team. But so long as you continue to do that, you will fail to comprehend the value he has given us during those big innings and during his plate appearances as a whole.

Outshined_One
05-08-2006, 07:05 PM
I always took Moneyball to be more about exploiting deficiencies in the market than praising OBP and OPS. Oakland as a small market team had limited resources and thus could not afford to a) get into bidding wars for big name guys and b) could not afford to take potentially expensive risks. OBP is a relatively safe metric when attempting to evaluate a hitter's worth; most teams did not start actively preaching this approach until very recently. Thus, when Lewis was in the process of writing his book, OBP was still a relatively ignored topic since teams absolutely loved guys who oozed tools and potential ("We're not selling jeans!") in the draft. OBP guys could come cheaper and were easier to snag in the draft.

However, the market is starting to compensate for the growing popularity of OBP. I refer you all to Oakland's recent HS pitcher-heavy draft as evidence for this. Thinking of Beane as a Wall Street investor instead of a Baseball GM can better help explain some of his moves, imo.

SteelSD
05-08-2006, 07:05 PM
Let's all use some logic here. First of all, he has had 13 ABs with RISP. He has had roughly 80 ABs. That means he was had RISP about 16% of the time he has gotten up. He has 5 RBI. He has 4 RBI in those 13 ABs with RISP. Three of those RBI came in his first AB as a Red. One RBI in 12 ABs with RISP since the first game. And it means he has not knocked in a run with RISP in 11 out of those 13 ABs. Not a good percentage. I actually cannot believe anyone would want him hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup. It really blows my mind. Most of his OPS is based off of his OBP, which kind of negates the OPS stat and puts more truth into his OBP. So forget OPS when we speak of Hatteberg, b/c it is flawed.

Actually, that's incorrect. With Runners On, Hatteberg's Slugging Percentage is .483 and his SLG w/RISP is .462. SLG, not BA or OBP, is the "RBI driver".

But PP is right- 13 AB ain't anything resembling a decent sample size.

Oh, and OBP isn't a "fairly new" thing. It came into existence when they decided to give each team a finite number of Outs per game. Branch Rickey didn't create it. He just discovered it. It's always been there and it's always been the most important fundamental part of the game.

That being said, there's little chance that Hatteberg can continue his current performance. That, above all else, really mandates that he be dropped in the order.

PuffyPig
05-08-2006, 07:43 PM
I actually cannot believe anyone would want him hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup. It really blows my mind. Most of his OPS is based off of his OBP, which kind of negates the OPS stat and puts more truth into his OBP. So forget OPS when we speak of Hatteberg, b/c it is flawed. If he wants to walk so bad, let him hit 8th so the pitcher can either bunt him over or make the last out.

I forget why walking with runners on base is a bad thing.

Please remind me, because I asked EE and Phillips and they said that Hatteberg walking in front of them was a good thing.

edabbs44
05-08-2006, 08:46 PM
This is so incredibly flawed that I do not even know where to begin.

I'll just make this simple: Run production occurs with a combination of not making outs and acquiring bases. Players who succeed in those two departments, or succeed well in just one of those departments, produce quite a few runs.

But instead of trying to explain how run production occurs to you since you're likely to not believe it, how about we just go straight to the actual play-by-play data for the Reds games this season.

Here's every Scott Hatteberg plate appearance in any inning in which the Reds had a big inning and scored two or more runs:


04/03/06, 3rd inning: Homered on 2 pitches
04/06/06, 2nd inning: Led off inning with single on 4 pitches
04/13/06, 8th inning: Singled on 1 pitch
04/17/06, 1st inning: GIDP on 3 pitches
04/17/06, 6th inning: Doubled on 3 pitches
04/19/06, 4th inning: Singled on 6 pitches
04/19/06, 8th inning: Led off inning with walk on 4 pitches
04/20/06, 4th inning: Singled on 2 pitches
04/20/06, 6th inning: Walked on 5 pitches
04/24/06, 1st inning: Fouled out on 5 pitches
04/26/06, 4th inning: Walked on 5 pitches
04/28/06, 7th inning: Singled on 5 pitches
05/02/06, 6th inning: Grounded out on 2 pitches
05/04/06, 2nd inning: Walked on 4 pitches
05/04/06, 8th inning: Doubled on 4 pitches
05/07/06, 3rd inning: Homered on 5 pitches

-- 16 total plate appearances
-- 12 total at bats
-- 9 total hits
-- 17 total bases
-- 4 total walks
-- 59 total pitches
-- 3.69 pitches per plate appearance
-- .750 batting average
-- .813 on-base percentage
-- 1.063 slugging percentage
-- 1.876 OPS

Read those numbers again. And just in case they confuse you, read them for a third time. In all innings that the Reds have scored 2 or more runs and Scott Hatteberg has been up to the plate, he has a 1.876 OPS.

What's the secret of big innings? Avoiding outs and acquiring bases. In those innings, Hatteberg has reached base safely 81 percent of the time, and he's averaged more than one base per at bat. In 17 total plate appearances in all innings in which the Reds have scored at least two runs, Hatteberg has made a grand total of five outs while acquiring 17 bases. He's also averaged nearly 4 pitches per plate appearance, which even further helps create a high stress inning for the opposing pitcher by running up their pitch count.

There it is right in front of you, the secret to big innings ... in fact, the secret to actual run production and how it occurs. Avoiding outs and acquiring bases.

Brandon Phillips drove in 17 runs during the week that he won the Player of the Week Award. Guess what? Scott Hatteberg's on-base percentage over that same stretch of games was .565. In 23 plate appearances that week, Hatteberg reached base safely 13 times. It sure does make it easier for the hitters behind you to drive in more runs when guys such as Hatteberg get on base and set the foundation for big inning rallies to occur.

You can rail on Hatteberg all you want for his RBI total and completely misunderstand what his on-base percentage has done for the team. But so long as you continue to do that, you will fail to comprehend the value he has given us during those big innings and during his plate appearances as a whole.

Nice statistics, I must admit. But I think your sample might be skewed just a bit. What are Hatteberg's stats when the Reds don't score and he gets up? I'm sure they are a little less impressive. You're sample there is kind of like telling us what Dave Williams' ERA is when the other team doesn't have a big inning. Not exactly like it, but kind of like it. And getting on base is great, but in the 5 or 6 hole I'd rather have someone knocking in runs then walking and hoping someone hits a HR, cause Lord knows he's not scoring on a double. And let me know how happy you will be when Hatte gets up with one out in the 9th, man on third and down one, draws a tough walk and the next guy hits into a DP. Thank God for the walk. If someone's only attribute (and in this case it is his ONLY attribute so far) is walking, well we may as well have signed Eddie Gaedel and saved a few bucks.

edabbs44
05-08-2006, 08:47 PM
I forget why walking with runners on base is a bad thing.

Please remind me, because I asked EE and Phillips and they said that Hatteberg walking in front of them was a good thing.

Getting on base is good. But he should be hitting lower in the order. That was my original point, until everyone started praising the high heavens that we have him and what a great hitter he is b/c he walks.

Cyclone792
05-08-2006, 09:15 PM
Nice statistics, I must admit. But I think your sample might be skewed just a bit. What are Hatteberg's stats when the Reds don't score and he gets up? I'm sure they are a little less impressive. You're sample there is kind of like telling us what Dave Williams' ERA is when the other team doesn't have a big inning. Not exactly like it, but kind of like it. And getting on base is great, but in the 5 or 6 hole I'd rather have someone knocking in runs then walking and hoping someone hits a HR, cause Lord knows he's not scoring on a double. And let me know how happy you will be when Hatte gets up with one out in the 9th, man on third and down one, draws a tough walk and the next guy hits into a DP. Thank God for the walk. If someone's only attribute (and in this case it is his ONLY attribute so far) is walking, well we may as well have signed Eddie Gaedel and saved a few bucks.

You're still missing the point.

Avoiding outs and acquiring bases are the fundamental roots of run production. The Reds have had some of the big innings they've had because of plate appearances such as Hatteberg's when he's avoided making an out during those innings and supplied the team with an additional baserunner. An on-base percentage of over .400 doesn't lie; when you're getting on base at that clip, you're most definitely helping the team score runs and you're helping to create those big inning rallies that Hatteberg participated in.

It's really rather simple. Making outs kills rallies. Not making outs creates rallies.

Lost in all this is Hatteberg is giving us this production at less than $1 million this season. Would Sean Casey be a better hitter this season? Probably, but then again Sean Casey would have been at first base at a salary about nine times higher than Hatteberg's. The difference between the production levels of the two players comes nowhere close to the difference in salary. Hatteberg is a very cheap, productive-enough temporary stopgap platoon player at first base. Griping about him is the wrong spot on this team to gripe about.

BTW, feel free to tell me the percentage of all plate appearances in a big league season where there's a man on third in the 9th inning with one out in a game where one run means the utmost importance, and I'll tell you if it's a large enough percentage of plate appearances for anybody to remotely care about. Here's a hint: the answer is a resounding no.

GAC
05-08-2006, 09:45 PM
His wife hit him ground balls? I bet those were screamers...

http://www.sport-portal.cz/stories/050504_01/04_big.jpg

kxblue
05-08-2006, 09:47 PM
Steel, shouldn't the Reds wait for Hat's production to decline before they move him down? That's like demoting someone because of their projected output.

And edabbs, you consistently say that Hat should be dropped to 8th in the order because his walks are "false" production. But if he walks in the 8th hole, his production will simply be wasted.

Highlifeman21
05-08-2006, 10:18 PM
Steel, shouldn't the Reds wait for Hat's production to decline before they move him down? That's like demoting someone because of their projected output.

And edabbs, you consistently say that Hat should be dropped to 8th in the order because his walks are "false" production. But if he walks in the 8th hole, his production will simply be wasted.

Yes and no about the wasted production.

Let me paint the scenario. 2 outs, runners on doesn't matter, 8 hole is up. Best case scenario, bases juiced, 8 hole gets on, run scores. Worst case scenario, no one is on, 8 hole gets on. This does 2 things. Prolongs the inning, makes sure the pitcher doesn't lead off the next inning. Why is this important? If the 8 hole makes the last out, the pitcher leads off the next inning, which can easily be assumed as an out. If the 8 hole gets on, then the pitcher can make the last out of the inning, and he's not making the out to lead off the next inning.

What's the point? You'd rather have the pitcher make the last out of an inning, than have him lead off the next inning to presumably make an out. It's a 1 out swing. You'd rather take the out made by the pitcher, than 2 outs made, 1 by the 8 hole, 1 by the pitcher in the next inning.

A walk by the 8 hole can be a waste b/c the pitcher is up next, but it's clearly not a complete waste b/c it avoids the pitcher leading off the next inning.

I don't care what spot in the lineup a player bats, I'll take a walk 8 days out of the week.

edabbs44
05-08-2006, 10:39 PM
Steel, shouldn't the Reds wait for Hat's production to decline before they move him down? That's like demoting someone because of their projected output.

And edabbs, you consistently say that Hat should be dropped to 8th in the order because his walks are "false" production. But if he walks in the 8th hole, his production will simply be wasted.

The case I am trying to make is that Hatteberg has been doing one positive thing at the plate. He walks. He does nothing positive on the base paths and he is an average fielder at best.

I don't discount the value of walks either. But when it is the ONLY thing you do as a ballplayer, it kinds of diminishes your value. He has 5 RBI total this season, 3 of which were in his first AB of the season. In 50 ABs as the #5 hitter, he has 2 RBI. I mean, that is nearly impossible to do. Think about that. 2 RBI. 50 at bats in the 5 hole. Better yet, he has 8 walks in the 5 slot, so in 58 plate appearances, he has 2 RBI in a run producing spot in the order. 58 PAs as the 5 hitter, and 2 RBI. Hatteberg wouldn't see the field in over half the lineups in baseball and we praise his walking abilities? And if you want to talk about his runs scored, he has 5 in those 58 PAs. Not anything to write home about.

When you walk, you rely on others to produce (i.e., knock you in). If that doesn't happen, where does it leave you? Are we going to say that it is someone else's fault? If we were talking about Juan Pierre, Carl Crawford or Jose Reyes, then I would love the OBP argument. Walk, steal second and score on a single. Hatteberg needs a few things to fall in his favor to score after a walk.

We can talk about how his OBP all we want, but it comes down to this...the only value he has provided to this team, in any capacity, is that he walks. Like I said before, if that's all he can do, we might as well get Eddie Gaedel or Rudy Stein in here. If the only value he provides is when he DOESN'T SWING THE BAT, then how can anyone justify hitting him in the middle of the order?

I think I am done with this issue, b/c it doesn't seem like anyone is going to convince the other side of anything. I'll still be rooting for Hatte, hoping he proves me wrong because I am a Reds fan and I'll gladly take a piece of humble pie whenever it favors Cincy. But I really see him inching his way down in the order in the future.

SteelSD
05-09-2006, 12:00 AM
Steel, shouldn't the Reds wait for Hat's production to decline before they move him down? That's like demoting someone because of their projected output.

If someone is dramatically outperforming their norms, they'll regress to the mean and the snapback will be demonstrable. In short, there's no reason to wait because if you do you'll get quite a bit of non-performance before you notice that it's more than just a couple bad games. That's harmful in all kind of ways.

Right now there are one or two reasons Narron places Hatteberg in the five slot. The first may be that Narron overvalues contact and RISP BA in that slot without regard for Slugging Percentage. The second could be that Narron understands that the #5 hitter leads off innings more often than anyone but the leadoff hitter and wants to take advantage of Hatteberg's OBP. Problem is that Hatteberg's OBP doesn't project to be anywhere near what it is right now over the long haul.

In this case, the prudent move is to "take the money and run" on Hatteberg in the fifth slot. The lineup is deep enough to capitalize on bursts of performance from Hatteberg a slot or two down and the hitters who should be ahead of him (particularly Kearns) have the SLG to place themselves far enough along on the basepaths for Hatteberg's singles-driven SLG to plate them often enough.

PuffyPig
05-09-2006, 11:45 AM
The case I am trying to make is that Hatteberg has been doing one positive thing at the plate. He walks. .

That's not actually true.

Hatteberg has also being providing a decent BA this year.

The only real complaint about his hitting is that he's not driving in runs, yet we find out that the main culpret in that scenario is lack of opportunities, as proven by his 13 AB's in that situation.

Puffy
05-09-2006, 01:34 PM
That's not actually true.

Hatteberg has also being providing a decent BA this year.

The only real complaint about his hitting is that he's not driving in runs, yet we find out that the main culpret in that scenario is lack of opportunities, as proven by his 13 AB's in that situation.

Well, the real problem is that scoring position to Scott Hatteberg is third base and not the traditional second or third.

Look, Hatteberg is what he is - a good guy to have on your team, a guy who takes a ton of pitches and forces a pitcher to work, a mediocre fielder (and I'm being generous with mediocre) and a guy who is gonna get to first base.

All good things - the problem is he shouldn't be batting 5th. I'd have no problem with him hitting second or seventh, but fifth, not so much. I like the way Narron was using him before Aurilia got hurt and I have no problem with the way he has been used since Aurilia got hurt, with the exception of batting fifth.

Of course, I still feel the Reds are a better team with Dunn at first, Griffey in left and either Deno or Freel in CF, and Hatteberg on the bench, but that is not what this thread is about.

Puffy
05-09-2006, 01:35 PM
http://www.sport-portal.cz/stories/050504_01/04_big.jpg

I think I dated her for awhile.

PuffyPig
05-09-2006, 02:19 PM
Well, the real problem is that scoring position to Scott Hatteberg is third base and not the traditional second or third.



I'm not sure I follow.

Why can't Hatteberg drive in a run from 2nd with a single?

Jpup
06-04-2006, 07:33 AM
Hatteberg update:

Season total: .284/.395/.425

vs. Lefties: .381/.462/.571
vs Righties: .265/.382/.398

He's still looking like a good sign for Krivsky. He's leading the Reds in OBP.

1. Hatteberg .395
2. Dunn .391
3. Freel .372
4. Encarnacion .367
5. Kearns .366
6. Lopez .364
7. Phillips .339
8. Aurilia .328
9. Griffey .315
10. Valentin .299

I fail to see why Hatteberg isn't playing everyday, although Aurilia's OPS in only .009 lower.