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Ltlabner
11-06-2006, 03:28 PM
What is the singlemost important skill a baseball player needs to be successfull in the MLB?

My first response was hitting but there are plenty of solid D, light hitting players who make a living.

I also thought raw altheticism but that's pretty vague and plenty of prospects have had top shelf althetic skills but couldn't get it all together.

I settled on timing. The timing to hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball (including pitching) and run around the bases has to be spot on to rise to the top in MLB.

Tornon
11-06-2006, 03:37 PM
Scrappy?

Honestly though, I would say control..

Control of your bat & hitting where you want it to go
Control of your throws in the field
Control of your pitches if your a pitcher
In a way though, I guess having control is similar to having good timing

savafan
11-06-2006, 03:54 PM
I think it all comes down to knowing how to play the game the right way. ;)

BRM
11-06-2006, 04:03 PM
I think it all comes down to knowing how to play the game the right way. ;)

:thumbup:

RANDY IN INDY
11-06-2006, 04:03 PM
God given ability, and a head to use it.

Tom Servo
11-06-2006, 04:03 PM
socking dingers










:D

lollipopcurve
11-06-2006, 04:07 PM
I think it's the ability to will the pitcher to walk you. Scouts need to realize this and start tracking Little Leaguers who steadfastly anchor the bat to their shoulders, quaking at the knees and whimpering in order to divert the pitcher's attention from the plate.

Nah -- it's squaring the baseball on the barrel of the bat.

vaticanplum
11-06-2006, 04:17 PM
I don't think it's THE most important, but adaptability is a great quality to have as a ball-player. An ability to make good split-second decisions and adjustments.

FutureRedsGM
11-06-2006, 04:34 PM
Hiring Scott Boras as your agent?

dougflynn23
11-06-2006, 05:30 PM
From a pitcher's point of view, it's making the sweet spot of the hitter's bat miss the ball.

MWM
11-06-2006, 07:51 PM
That's easy. THe ability to get on base is easily the most important skill a baseball player can have.

Team Clark
11-06-2006, 07:55 PM
Strength and Flexibility

goreds2
11-06-2006, 08:22 PM
God given ability, and a head to use it.

I think the MENTAL approach is VERY IMPORTANT.

MrCinatit
11-06-2006, 08:37 PM
I think the MENTAL approach is VERY IMPORTANT.

Very much so, yes.
Great eyesight is very helpful, too - but then again, that really is not a skill.

OSUmed2010
11-06-2006, 10:24 PM
veteran presence

TOBTTReds
11-06-2006, 10:42 PM
Strength and Flexibility

Those are attributes.

I say being able to know what pitches to swing at, and pitches not to swing at. I mean patience, but that is sometimes turned into: waiting for a walk. So I guess what I mean is a good eye.

Team Clark
11-06-2006, 10:50 PM
Those are attributes.

I say being able to know what pitches to swing at, and pitches not to swing at. I mean patience, but that is sometimes turned into: waiting for a walk. So I guess what I mean is a good eye.

You really had me thinking on this one. I should have read the post more closely.

I too would have to go with a Good Eye. Good eyes lead to good jusdgement. Well, you hope anyway.:laugh:

redsupport
11-06-2006, 11:10 PM
the ability to make the triple play

gonelong
11-07-2006, 12:40 AM
What is the singlemost important skill a baseball player needs to be successfull in the MLB?


The ability to say, "Mr. Boras will represent me."

GL

redsupport
11-07-2006, 01:24 AM
the ability to bat in order

texasdave
11-07-2006, 09:18 AM
....is the ability to get your socks just the right length - not too high and not too low. It is also crucial to get both the right and left socks level. Failing to do this can result in some serious pine time. In fact this is somewhat of a lost art. Baseball purists across the country bemoan the current situation where many players have simply given up trying to master this skill and resort to having their trousers hemmed at shoe-top length. Which is why it is so refreshing to see that Chris Denorfia still possesses that old-school knack. Great hosiery fundamentals on that kid.

RANDY IN INDY
11-07-2006, 09:28 AM
That's easy. THe ability to get on base is easily the most important skill a baseball player can have.

What about the ability to keep people off base?;)

RichRed
11-07-2006, 09:33 AM
Short memory.

RANDY IN INDY
11-07-2006, 09:53 AM
Yeah, a problem for the Reds for some time. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

westofyou
11-07-2006, 10:11 AM
Reflexes, those with superior reflexes rule the game.

RichRed
11-07-2006, 10:12 AM
Yeah, a problem for the Reds for some time. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

I actually meant that a short memory is an important "skill" but yeah, I guess pitching is kind of important too. ;)

RANDY IN INDY
11-07-2006, 10:38 AM
Short memory particularly important for closers.

Ltlabner
11-07-2006, 10:44 AM
Reflexes, those with superior reflexes rule the game.

I had posted earlier that I thought timing was the most important skill because it applied to all the "disciplines" of baseball: hitting, pitching, catching and running. But reflexes might be another way of saying the same thing.

Some of the skills listed here are good but strike me as one dimentional. Getting on base is critical, but what you do afterwards, and preventing the other team from doing the same is pretty important also.

And some of the skills listed are definatley creative. I had certinally overlooked the critical importance of ones hosiery...thanks for opening my eyes! :D

RANDY IN INDY
11-07-2006, 10:57 AM
The ability to chew tobacco while you were playing without gettting deathly sick was once an incredible skill to the ballplayer. Very important to have the chaw in the jaw that was on the opposite side that faced the pitcher when you were batting because the full jaw of chaw pinched the eye and restricted the ability to see the ball. The ability to crack sunflower seeds, eat them and spit out the shells while you are playing has replaced the fine art of tobacco chewing that is no longer PC and not healthy.

RedsManRick
11-07-2006, 11:02 AM
Tying one's shoes. It would be very hard to play baseball with your laces undone....

guttle11
11-07-2006, 11:25 AM
Discipline

RichRed
11-07-2006, 11:40 AM
Short memory particularly important for closers.

Not to mention every hitter in the game (the whole failing 7 out of 10 times thing).

Z-Fly
11-07-2006, 12:20 PM
To get to the bigs, stay a long time, and make lots of money. You only need to have one skill. Hit a lot of home runs. See Adam Dunn.

BRM
11-07-2006, 12:23 PM
To get to the bigs, stay a long time, and make lots of money. You only need to have one skill. Hit a lot of home runs. See Adam Dunn.

This post should generate some interesting discussion...

redsupport
11-07-2006, 12:24 PM
the ability to avaoid the minors

TOBTTReds
11-07-2006, 02:21 PM
Reflexes, those with superior reflexes rule the game.

I know a lot of guys with great reflexes that can't do squat. You might need strength to go along with it. Tony Womack has good reflexes...


You only need to have one skill. Hit a lot of home runs. See Adam Dunn.


Noooo run!

redsfan30
11-07-2006, 02:23 PM
Short memory.

Good one.

EddieMilner
11-07-2006, 04:05 PM
Speed (here me out).
A speed guy can get to more balls in the field.
A speed guy can steal bases more aptly to advance a runner.
A speed guy is more likely to score on a base hit.

You can work on a lot of things in baseball, but being able to run a 40 in 4.4 is god given.

BRM
11-07-2006, 04:08 PM
you can't teach speed.

Is that Tony Womack?

redsupport
11-07-2006, 04:08 PM
the most important characteristic is a euphonious appellation, such as Kalvoski

TOBTTReds
11-07-2006, 04:15 PM
Speed (here me out).
A speed guy can get to more balls in the field.
A speed guy can steal bases more aptly to advance a runner.
A speed guy is more likely to score on a base hit.

You can work on a lot of things in baseball, but being able to run a 40 in 4.4 is god given.

It is not that important of a skill. Speed alone will never give someone a career in MLB. See: a lot of guys that run 4.38 40's that never made it. The ability to hit 40 HR's is a lot more important than being fast (although that isn't my #1 important skill). Kenny Lewis comes to mind. He was the fastest player in college football when he was going to play at Virgina Tech, he signed with the Reds though and failed without showing any prospect of being good. Stole 71 bases in 3 seasons and had a career OPS of .644.

When evaluating tools, speed is probably fourth out of the big five, unless you have a cannon of an arm, it could be your 5th most important tool.

EddieMilner
11-07-2006, 05:28 PM
It is not that important of a skill. Speed alone will never give someone a career in MLB. See: a lot of guys that run 4.38 40's that never made it. The ability to hit 40 HR's is a lot more important than being fast (although that isn't my #1 important skill). Kenny Lewis comes to mind. He was the fastest player in college football when he was going to play at Virgina Tech, he signed with the Reds though and failed without showing any prospect of being good. Stole 71 bases in 3 seasons and had a career OPS of .644.

When evaluating tools, speed is probably fourth out of the big five, unless you have a cannon of an arm, it could be your 5th most important tool.

tell deon sanders that.

westofyou
11-07-2006, 05:31 PM
tell deon sanders that.

The Branch Rickey method was speed first, in open camps they always did a sprint first, cutting out the slower types first. As the stadiums got smaller that wasn't always the case.

Z-Fly
11-07-2006, 10:26 PM
This post should generate some interesting discussion...

Good one BRM. Yours will also.

The point of my post was to state the obvious. I just got tired of reading such things as flexability, speed, jump, ect. Because when it comes down to it, there is always someone that is faster, can jump higher, or more flexable. It takes a combination of these skills, that are required to make it and stay in the big league.

There is one skill that can get you to the big leagues and that is the skill to hit home runs. If flexabilty could get you even a cup of coffee, the yoga teacher at the local rec club would be platooning for a spot in Left field.

If there was one other skill that could even get you to the big leagues, I would say it is a fastball that tops 100+ MPH. But if you have no control you will not be around for long.

So I am glad you could help BRM. And thanks for your insight.:rolleyes:

BRM
11-08-2006, 10:06 AM
So I am glad you could help BRM. And thanks for your insight.:rolleyes:

Relax. Posts on this site that give the impression that all Adam Dunn can do is hit home runs or rip him in some way generally spur lots of heated debate. No need to get all offended and throw the rolleyes smiley at me.

RANDY IN INDY
11-08-2006, 10:36 AM
Flexibility and bat speed can sure get you the extension and speed through the zone that you need to get a ball out of the ballpark.

Flexibility is also key in the ability to throw the 100 mph fastball, not to mention the speed and explosion that it takes to get from the back leg to the front.

Those two skills are really dependent on those things you are tired of hearing about. So much for insight. :rolleyes:

BRM
11-08-2006, 10:40 AM
Flexibility and bat speed can sure get you the extension and speed through the zone that you need to get a ball out of the ballpark.


Speaking of bat speed, what is the real key to achieve it? Is flexibility the key to mazimizing bat speed? Is it wrist strength? Lower body strength?

RANDY IN INDY
11-08-2006, 10:48 AM
It's getting all those things to work together to get the bat head through the zone as quickly as possible. Thing is, it doesn't do you a darn bit of good if you don't have great hand eye coordination and timing.

RANDY IN INDY
11-08-2006, 10:49 AM
I've also seen guys who have great bat speed and good vision, but can't keep their head still and behind the baseball. Hate to use my son as an example, but look at where his head is in relation to the bat and the rest of his body.

dabvu2498
11-08-2006, 10:50 AM
Speaking of bat speed, what is the real key to achieve it? Is flexibility the key to mazimizing bat speed? Is it wrist strength? Lower body strength?

Yes, yes, and yes. But more importantly, the ability to put all of those things together at the same time.

TOBTTReds
11-08-2006, 10:58 AM
Good one BRM. Yours will also.

So I am glad you could help BRM. And thanks for your insight.:rolleyes:

I think he was being serious. Usually comments like yours (All Dunn does is...) sparks a huge massive outcry about how he is so much more than that. I don't think BRM was knocking you or your post in anyway. He was just anticipating the onslaught.

Back to the topic. You do make good points about the ability to hit a HR. I would use Dave Kingman as my example for only being able to hit HR's. He hit 30+ HR's in seven ML seasons, and didn't even get on base 30% of the time in four of those seasons. All that guy could do was hit HR's.

About Deion Sanders: I personally don't feel that you can bat .304, .276, .288 + .277 (1994 w/two teams) in three straight seasons in the majors based on speed. The guy was a freak of an athlete. He has great hand-eye coordination and incredible quickness. Willy Taveras seems like an all speed type of guy, but he only K'd 80+ times this year in 600+ PA's, so that isn't bad either. He didn't make contact with his speed.

BRM
11-08-2006, 12:00 PM
It's getting all those things to work together to get the bat head through the zone as quickly as possible. Thing is, it doesn't do you a darn bit of good if you don't have great hand eye coordination and timing.

Hand eye coordination and timing. There is no way you can be a successful hitter without those.

gm
11-08-2006, 09:09 PM
Hand eye coordination and timing. There is no way you can be a successful hitter without those.

I was going to say superior vision and repeatable hand-eye coordination. That's for the hitters. For pitchers it's not so much about the skills, it's having freakishly durable elbows and rotator cuffs. Cha-ching.

RANDY IN INDY
11-08-2006, 09:18 PM
And repeatable mechanics that are as easy on those joints as possible.

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
11-08-2006, 10:08 PM
For pitchers i say its all about pitch location and pitch command. For hitters id say bat speed and pitch recognition.