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jojo
03-28-2007, 10:52 AM
Here's a quick look at what to many of us is the feel good hit of the spring (and hopefully the feel good hit of the summer). With opening day rapidly approaching, just what has spring training told us about Josh Hamilton?

First there is the caveat-spring training stats generally mean nothing. But with Hamilton basically all we have are scouting reports that predate his off the field problems and his spring training numbers to provide a glimpse of the player that has emerged from addiction (ignoring the handful of at bats he got at A- ball last year).

Overall this spring, Hamiltonís triple slash stats look impressive thru 62 at bats:

.403/.532/.565; BABIP: .471

Lines like this lend credence to the notion that Hamilton should be given a starting job in centerfield or have his plate appearances maximized until he proves otherwise.

But a deeper look suggests there is some cause for pause.

Itís potentially informative to break spring training up into halves with unproven players because clearly the quality of pitching increases as opening day approaches. For instance, as spring training drags on (and I do mean drags on....), younger developing arms get optioned to the minors and established major league pitchers see more innings and begin throwing their full pitch arsenals etc.

Here are Hamiltonís spring numbers split in half by date:

March 1 thru 14 (36 PA)

.586/.647/.931; BABIP: .640

So far, so good. That looks phenomenal.

March 15 thru 27 (34 PA)

.242/.306/.333; BABIP: .333

Those numbers are not nearly as encouraging as there is a decided lack of power and his OBP is bad. Interestingly, his BABIP was .333 which is still higher than normal (normal being .290-.310 for major league hitters), so he hasnít been hit unlucky during the second half of spring.

It bears repeating that generally spring training stats should be taken with a grain of salt but often roster decisions are made in part due to performances during this period. This despite the small sample sizes and questions concerning how relevent the opposing talent levels were to real mlb games. What then does Hamiltonís spring performance thus far tell us?

Basically I think this much is certain-he has earned the 25th spot on the roster. However, primarily itís his defense that has allowed him to do so. His glove, legs, and arm strength are certainties barring injury. The scouting reports have been verified in that regard and considering all are thought to be above league average, it's this defensive skillset that makes him a better option than Hopper or Wise at this point. On the other hand, Hamiltonís spring has done nothing to erase the doubts about his bat or suggest how much his bat can be counted upon to produce. Penciling him in as a significant starter or even suggesting that he should be allowed to get significant PAís until he fails really is unwarranted at this point. He still has a lot to prove. Making him prove that his bat isnít ready yet probably does nothing to help the Reds nor does it help Hamiltonís development.

Hereís to hoping he goes on a tear during this last week of spring trainingÖ.

:beerme:

Red Leader
03-28-2007, 10:56 AM
Nice post, jojo, and interesting information.

Hamilton's defense is better than I had thought and I knew he was pretty good in the field. I just didn't think he was as good as he is.

I think his bat will come around, but probably slower than many anticipate. I think it'll be a couple years yet before we see his true offensive ceiling.

flyer85
03-28-2007, 11:02 AM
Josh is a complete unknown outside of being a decent OF with a great arm. We really have no idea how his ST performance will translate once the flag drops on the season.

He has talent but it seems unreasonable to expect that he will be any kind of offensive force this season.

George Anderson
03-28-2007, 11:05 AM
I kinda hope and anticipate Hamiltons career being similar to Dave Concepcions. Early in his career Concepcion was a very weak hitting SS but was outstanding with the glove. As Concepcion matured his hitting dramatically improved and was the premier hitting SS in MLB for a time. Hopefully the same thing will happen to Hamilton. His glove alone shows he belongs and with his natural swing that we have all seen I really thinks its just a matter of time before he begins excelling offensively.

pedro
03-28-2007, 11:12 AM
The other thing Hamilton has going for him is his speed. In addition to his defense it really helps justify his place on the roster as the 25th man.

jojo
03-28-2007, 11:13 AM
The other thing Hamilton has going for him is his speed. In addition to his defense it really helps justify his place on the roster as the 25th man.


Ya....I kind of broke defense into legs and arms but really didn't highlight the value his legs could have in other situations. It's a good point.


:thumbup:

lollipopcurve
03-28-2007, 11:30 AM
Basically I think this much is certain-he has earned the 25th spot on the roster. However, primarily it’s his defense that has allowed him to do so. His glove, legs, and arm strength are certainties barring injury. The scouting reports have been verified in that regard and considering all are thought to be above league average, it's this defensive skillset that makes him a better option than Hopper or Wise at this point. On the other hand, Hamilton’s spring has done nothing to erase the doubts about his bat or suggest how much his bat can be counted upon to produce. Penciling him in as a significant starter or even suggesting that he should be allowed to get significant PA’s until he fails really is unwarranted at this point. He still has a lot to prove. Making him prove that his bat isn’t ready yet probably does nothing to help the Reds nor does it help Hamilton’s development.

Disagree on two significant fronts --

1. Hamilton's performance at the plate shows that he can handle major league pitching to the extent that at the very least he won't embarrass himself. This DOES erase the doubts about his bat, starting the moment he signed, which amounted to "he has no chance at all."

2. Hamilton's development WILL be aided by ABs at the major league level. I don't see how you can argue otherwise. Reps = learning.

Ultimately, you have to decide if it's important in 07 to try to help Hamilton develop while with the Reds. If not, you give him about 100ABs and let him play some late-inning defense and pinch run. Then, you send him to winter ball and/or the Arizona Fall League. If you do, and I do, you give him occasional starts around the OF and make him first in line if someone gets hurt. A minimum of 250-300 ABs, but possibly more if he's doing OK.

The belief that Hamilton is better than a 5th outfielder takes into account more than an analysis of his spring numbers, though those numbers are very good. It is based on his prospect pedigree, which is as good as it gets, anecdotal information from professionals on the ground in Florida, which are glowing, and an assessment of the Reds OF situation going forward. Griffey is fragile and likely to fade at the plate, perhaps precipitously. Dunn is a FA after 08 (after 07 if the Reds don't re-up him at $13MM). It makes sense to see if Hamilton can be a power source at an OF corner (or even CF) sooner rather than later, and I don't think you accomplish that by relegating him to pinchrunning and 9th inning defense. This is potentially a core player, in my opinion -- so if you're going to keep him at the major league level, and it looks as if the Reds will have to do that, you might as well give him reps, because the chances of this team being a contender look better for 2008-2010 than they do for this year, especially if Hamilton can be the player many think he can be.

vaticanplum
03-28-2007, 11:40 AM
Dunn is a FA after 08 (after 07 if the Reds don't re-up him at $13MM). It makes sense to see if Hamilton can be a power source at an OF corner (or even CF) sooner rather than later

:eek: God, I love Hamilton, but I never considered that his success may eventually mean the end for Dunn on this team. I don't know if I could handle that.

flyer85
03-28-2007, 11:40 AM
The way it looks to me the Reds could be hopelessly out of it by the ASB which would give them he opportunity to give Hamilton more playing time.

bucksfan2
03-28-2007, 11:52 AM
If hamilton is part of the future, which I think he is if he makes the team, then he needs at bats. You can make the argument that he should only be a 5th outfielder but I think he needs to be more. Do the spring stats show how he is hitting the ball? Does it show whether he is driving the ball to all fields or whether he is only puling the ball? You can also make the argument that Deno should be the 4th outfielder but I would venture to say that Hamilton can outperform Deno in every aspect except for maybe seasoning. Is Hamiton an unknown, yes but it is also unknown how many times Freel is going ot crash into a wall/player. It is unknown whether Deno is a bonified major league outfielder. If you ask me I would rather roll the dice with Hamilton then play Freel or Deno.

Dunner44
03-28-2007, 11:59 AM
Another factor that no one has brought up are the shin splints he has been suffering in the second half of the season. Tenderness in his legs is going to affect his follow through on his swing and his stance in general. This could be a contrbuting factor to his "second spring slump"

jojo
03-28-2007, 12:02 PM
Disagree on two significant fronts --

1. Hamilton's performance at the plate shows that he can handle major league pitching to the extent that at the very least he won't embarrass himself. This DOES erase the doubts about his bat, starting the moment he signed, which amounted to "he has no chance at all."

Doesn't that depend upon which you believe/weigh more?

March 1 thru 14 (36 PA)

.586/.647/.931; BABIP: .640

March 15 thru 27 (34 PA)

.242/.306/.333; BABIP: .333



2. Hamilton's development WILL be aided by ABs at the major league level. I don't see how you can argue otherwise. Reps = learning.

Worst case scenario, Hamilton is owned by major league pitching. I don't really see how that helps his development. That being said, Bavasi agrees with your philosophy on player development.


Ultimately, you have to decide if it's important in 07 to try to help Hamilton develop while with the Reds. If not, you give him about 100ABs and let him play some late-inning defense and pinch run. Then, you send him to winter ball and/or the Arizona Fall League. If you do, and I do, you give him occasional starts around the OF and make him first in line if someone gets hurt. A minimum of 250-300 ABs, but possibly more if he's doing OK.

Obviously since Hamilton is in essence glued to the roster, the Reds would like to develop him every chance they got. But you're mixing two issues. The goal of developing Hamilton doesn't trump the primary goal of winning. If Hamilton doesn't give the Reds the best chance to win, then giving him significant playing time can't be justified unless the Reds reach a point where winning really isn't an issue (Nate Silver seems to be suggesting that point might be June). That's the downside to rule five. It's very possible that Hamilton's development may be stunted by the need to keep him on the roster in order to keep him period. It's likely that the worst thing that can happen to Hamilton would be another repeat of the Reds season circa '06 (i.e. they hang around a long time).


The belief that Hamilton is better than a 5th outfielder takes into account more than an analysis of his spring numbers, though those numbers are very good. It is based on his prospect pedigree, which is as good as it gets, anecdotal information from professionals on the ground in Florida, which are glowing, and an assessment of the Reds OF situation going forward.

Yes but those are really part of the reasons he IS the 25th man.


Griffey is fragile and likely to fade at the plate, perhaps precipitously. Dunn is a FA after 08 (after 07 if the Reds don't re-up him at $13MM). It makes sense to see if Hamilton can be a power source at an OF corner (or even CF) sooner rather than later, and I don't think you accomplish that by relegating him to pinchrunning and 9th inning defense. This is potentially a core player, in my opinion -- so if you're going to keep him at the major league level, and it looks as if the Reds will have to do that, you might as well give him reps, because the chances of this team being a contender look better for 2008-2010 than they do for this year, especially if Hamilton can be the player many think he can be.

I agree with the sentiment in most of your points but once again, when the season starts, Hamilton's development is a secondary goal to winning until it becomes obvious that the playoffs aren't going to happen this year.

It's very possible the Reds tank and Denorifia gets traded in July and Hamilton ends up with 400 PA's. it's also very possible that Hamilton simply is good enough and he makes it evident sometime early summer that the Reds can't keep him out of the lineup if their primary goal is winning.

But from where I'm looking in March of '07, it's most likely that the best case scenario for Hamilton in '07 is a worst case scenario for the Reds.

jojo
03-28-2007, 12:03 PM
Another factor that no one has brought up are the shin splints he has been suffering in the second half of the season. Tenderness in his legs is going to affect his follow through on his swing and his stance in general. This could be a contrbuting factor to his "second spring slump"

Yep, that's a fair point and it could also just be randomness....


But that's the rub, going forward into the season, you'd like as much doubt erased as possible.

NJReds
03-28-2007, 12:04 PM
The way it looks to me the Reds could be hopelessly out of it by the ASB which would give them he opportunity to give Hamilton more playing time.

While the Reds might be average at best, I don't see them out of the race at the ASB because of this mediocre division.

flyer85
03-28-2007, 12:15 PM
While the Reds might be average at best, I don't see them out of the race at the ASB because of this mediocre division.this teams looks to have subpar starting pitching, relief pitching and offense. They are going to need excellent season out of a large group of people to stay in the hunt. I am more troubled about the offense than anything else. At least with the pitching, there are options, albeit maybe not real good ones. In the case of the offense if the everyday players don't perform well the Reds are lacking in alternatives.

lollipopcurve
03-28-2007, 12:15 PM
I agree with the sentiment in most of your points but once again, when the season starts, Hamilton's development is a secondary goal to winning until it becomes obvious that the playoffs aren't going to happen this year.

If you agree with me for the most part, then I won't pursue this much. Keep in mind, though -- neither Hamilton NOR Denorfia is proven at the major league level. Deno has a track record, sure, but it isn't really major league. So, both guys still need to establish themselves as major leaguers, and both need plenty of opportunity in order to do that conclusively (someone on this board once suggested 300 ABs). The difference between these players in terms of ceiling is pretty wide, though, so it is defensible to say that Hamilton deserves more of an opportunity to learn on the major league job, in my opinion.

And, finally, what if the Reds contend all year and Hamilton plays 5th outfielder the whole time? Do you give him the same end-of-the-bench spot in 08? And what if they contend all year in 08?

JaxRed
03-28-2007, 12:23 PM
After 07, Hamilton can be sent to the minors.

oneupper
03-28-2007, 12:24 PM
Considering that ABs are independent events...etc, etc.

The probability that a .200 hitter hits .400 over 70 ABs is 0.01%.

Hamilton has proven, as far as I'm concerned that he won't Mendoza line hugger.

jojo
03-28-2007, 12:25 PM
If you agree with me for the most part, then I won't pursue this much. Keep in mind, though -- neither Hamilton NOR Denorfia is proven at the major league level. Deno has a track record, sure, but it isn't really major league. So, both guys still need to establish themselves as major leaguers, and both need plenty of opportunity in order to do that conclusively (someone on this board once suggested 300 ABs).

Right, but the differences in their projections for the season are fairly dramatic (average of all of the projection systems).

Denorfia: .292/.357/.441

Hamilton: .261/.305/.412

I know which player I'd let be first in line when handing out the audition slip if I was trying to win...


The difference between these players in terms of ceiling is pretty wide, though, so it is defensible to say that Hamilton deserves more of an opportunity to learn on the major league job, in my opinion. And, finally, what if the Reds contend all year and Hamilton plays 5th outfielder the whole time? Do you give him the same end-of-the-bench spot in 08? And what if they contend all year in 08?

Assuming Josh stays on the 25 man in '07, the situation is dramatically different in '08. Hamilton would get to play winter ball and of course gets invited to spring training. Then you decide if his development is better suited by being on the active roster or being optioned to the minors.

flyer85
03-28-2007, 12:26 PM
After 07, Hamilton can be sent to the minors.as long as he options remaining.

jojo
03-28-2007, 12:27 PM
Considering that ABs are independent events...etc, etc.

The probability that a .200 hitter hits .400 over 70 ABs is 0.01%.

Hamilton has proven, as far as I'm concerned that he won't Mendoza line hugger.

But as we know, those AB weren't independent events contextually....

JaxRed
03-28-2007, 12:28 PM
I think he has all 3 years remaining

M2
03-28-2007, 12:43 PM
I kinda hope and anticipate Hamiltons career being similar to Dave Concepcions. Early in his career Concepcion was a very weak hitting SS but was outstanding with the glove. As Concepcion matured his hitting dramatically improved and was the premier hitting SS in MLB for a time. Hopefully the same thing will happen to Hamilton. His glove alone shows he belongs and with his natural swing that we have all seen I really thinks its just a matter of time before he begins excelling offensively.

Hamilton doesn't have that kind of time. At Hamilton's age Concepcion had already been an All-Star and was on the verge of his breakout campaign. Hamilton's a grown man. While's he's certainly got a lot to learn, he doesn't have the luxury of years to learn it. "Early in his career" has already passed.

flyer85
03-28-2007, 12:49 PM
"Early in his career" has already passed.
it is the after-effect of spending those years getting high. He must succeed quickly if he wants to have any kind of a career.

Az. Reds Fan
03-28-2007, 12:59 PM
Could Hamilton's shin splints be a well thought out plan by the Reds brass?

Say Hamilton does get off to a slow start, come mid May or ealy June, suddenly his shin splints start acting up again. He goes on the 15 day DL for about a month, then to AAA for a 30 day rehab. By the time his rehab is up it's almost August.

By then it's much easier to fit him on the roster for a month before rosters expand.

Could the Reds think that far ahead?

Needless to say, I'd much rather have Hamilton come out of the gates on fire and firmly place himself on the roster, but perhaps this is worse case scenario.

Rotater Cuff
03-28-2007, 01:02 PM
This whole conversation may have been different if a few balls dropped, like the warning track ball against the Sox that both announcers said would be a HR in most parks, especially GABP.

George Anderson
03-28-2007, 01:04 PM
Hamilton doesn't have that kind of time. At Hamilton's age Concepcion had already been an All-Star and was on the verge of his breakout campaign. Hamilton's a grown man. While's he's certainly got a lot to learn, he doesn't have the luxury of years to learn it. "Early in his career" has already passed.

Hamiltons 26 years old, If he is truly a MLB quality hitter then he should hit stride around age 28. That could potentially give him 10 years to make a name for himself.

bucksfan2
03-28-2007, 01:24 PM
Right, but the differences in their projections for the season are fairly dramatic (average of all of the projection systems).

Denorfia: .292/.357/.441

Hamilton: .261/.305/.412

I know which player I'd let be first in line when handing out the audition slip if I was trying to win...


Im curious to where these projections come from. Hamilton is a unique individual because he hasn't played much ball in the past few years but he may be one of the most talented and gifted players in the game. Whether or not he lives up to that talent is still to be decided.

lollipopcurve
03-28-2007, 01:28 PM
Hamilton doesn't have that kind of time. At Hamilton's age Concepcion had already been an All-Star and was on the verge of his breakout campaign. Hamilton's a grown man. While's he's certainly got a lot to learn, he doesn't have the luxury of years to learn it. "Early in his career" has already passed.

Yes -- and this argues for the Reds trying to accelerate his learning, I think. You have to think that Hamilton's "peak" will be in his late 20s, like most players. Right around 2009-2011. Given the talent currently in the organization, that could be a good time. I wouldn't mess around with mothballing him this year and sending him down next year, thereby not giving him his first real MLB exposure until age 27/28.

jojo
03-28-2007, 01:36 PM
Im curious to where these projections come from. Hamilton is a unique individual because he hasn't played much ball in the past few years but he may be one of the most talented and gifted players in the game. Whether or not he lives up to that talent is still to be decided.

They are an average of the 5 projection systems currently available to the public... Pecota, ZiPS, CHONE, Bill James and Marcels....each has slightly different approaches but a little detective work with google can spell it out for you...

Hamilton's projections are based upon a suboptimal amount of data but there's not much choice....

Thats the problem really, isn't it....with him there are scouting reports and dreams of what he can be.... and hence quotes like this:


Hamilton is a unique individual because he hasn't played much ball in the past few years but he may be one of the most talented and gifted players in the game.

No disrespect intended but a statement like this isn't even close to being true just on the face of it let alone when considering his *pedigree*.... His pedigree amounts to scouting reports and athleticism....

Right now neither side of the fence can build a case for their argument that isn't full of holes...

Therefore my approach with Hamilton and the Reds '07 season....caution... far from being a "hater", it's being reasonable...

lollipopcurve
03-28-2007, 01:49 PM
Therefore my approach with Hamilton and the Reds '07 season....caution... far from being a "hater", it's being reasonable...

Just curious -- how do you recommend they handle Jared Burton?

M2
03-28-2007, 02:00 PM
Yes -- and this argues for the Reds trying to accelerate his learning, I think. You have to think that Hamilton's "peak" will be in his late 20s, like most players. Right around 2009-2011. Given the talent currently in the organization, that could be a good time. I wouldn't mess around with mothballing him this year and sending him down next year, thereby not giving him his first real MLB exposure until age 27/28.

That's part of the trick with him though. He's going to have to perform to avoid the mothballing. The team's got too many OFs to trot out a guy who isn't producing.

I agree that, in terms of his career, Hamilton can't be playing in the minors in 2008. Yet, if he can't earn himself playing time in 2007, it's entirely possible he'll need regular reps in the minors 2008. To a degree, Hamilton and the Reds are seeking to do the impossible. Back in the early part of the 20th century, adult ballplayers would get discovered and make a big impact, but that was a function of the communications system in the country and the lower degree of difficulty in the majors (you didn't have black players let alone players from all around the world, the medicine of the game was fairly primitive and the players were smaller, weaker and slower).

It's interesting to watch. It makes for a great story, but getting himself to the position where he can have a prime in 2009-2011 will be an onerous task.

jojo
03-28-2007, 02:01 PM
Just curious -- how do you recommend they handle Jared Burton?

Given the Reds don't really have other options that are reasonably better, I don't have an issue with Burton being in the pen. I think it's nuts to pencil him in as the closer or setup man like some have suggested.

But a few low leverage innings here and there out of the pen is a far cry from a significant number of PA's.... Relief pitching is one of the easiest jobs in the major leagues... A starting centerfielder has one of the hardest jobs in baseball....

Marc D
03-28-2007, 02:09 PM
My personal take on Hamilton is the same as it was with WMP. Unlimited upside players that have to be on the MLB roster of a team going nowhere need to play everyday come hell or high water.

Managements primary task them becomes keeping their confidence up in case of an extended bad stretch. The risk you run is a confidence permanantly damaged, but thats what has to be faced due to their age and contract status.

Narrons strength is supposed to be his clubhouse demeanor so it would seem he is perfectly suited for this. I would really like to see this kid succeed on so many levels.

jojo
03-28-2007, 02:12 PM
My personal take on Hamilton is the same as it was with WMP. Unlimited upside players that have to be on the MLB roster of a team going nowhere need to play everyday come hell or high water.

Managements primary task them becomes keeping their confidence up in case of an extended bad stretch. The risk you run is a confidence permanantly damaged, but thats what has to be faced due to their age and contract status.

Narrons strength is supposed to be his clubhouse demeanor so it would seem he is perfectly suited for this. I would really like to see this kid succeed on so many levels.

Yes but at what point do you declare yourself a team going no where? This is especially a relevant question considering a team that won 83 regular season games is currently the world champs...

M2
03-28-2007, 02:21 PM
My personal take on Hamilton is the same as it was with WMP. Unlimited upside players that have to be on the MLB roster of a team going nowhere need to play everyday come hell or high water.

Managements primary task them becomes keeping their confidence up in case of an extended bad stretch. The risk you run is a confidence permanantly damaged, but thats what has to be faced due to their age and contract status.

Narrons strength is supposed to be his clubhouse demeanor so it would seem he is perfectly suited for this. I would really like to see this kid succeed on so many levels.

Though it should be noted that Wily Mo is eight months younger than Hamilton and he's been in the majors for four years.

That's the problem when you're looking for a comp for Hamilton. He's not analagous to these kids who needed coddling. Other similarly green players who've been thrown into the majors have usually established themselves by Hamilton's age.

If I had to find a hopeful comparison for Hamilton, I'd have to go back to Cy Williams.

lollipopcurve
03-28-2007, 02:22 PM
But a few low leverage innings here and there out of the pen is a far cry from a significant number of PA's.... Relief pitching is one of the easiest jobs in the major leagues... A starting centerfielder has one of the hardest jobs in baseball....

Don't think we were debating Hamilton as a starting CF. And I don't agree that relief pitching is any easier than starting pitching -- only that it requires fewer innings of work. So -- sounds like you think Burton should be the last guy out of the pen (the guy who gets garbage innings only), behind all the other pitchers, just like Hamilton should be behind all the other hitters... is that right?

jojo
03-28-2007, 02:30 PM
Don't think we were debating Hamilton as a starting CF. And I don't agree that relief pitching is any easier than starting pitching -- only that it requires fewer innings of work. So -- sounds like you think Burton should be the last guy out of the pen (the guy who gets garbage innings only), behind all the other pitchers, just like Hamilton should be behind all the other hitters... is that right?

I'm suggesting Burton in the pen is less risky than significant PAs for Hamilton....

Relief pitching is a pretty easy gig-basically relievers get to go all out for 15-20 pitches and hit the showers. There are no stamina issues and they have the luxury of maximum velocity with every pitch (moving to the pen can add 2-4 mph to a guy's stuff). Relief pitchers don't have to make adjustments to facing the lineup a second time thru and they really only need command of two pitches. Furthermore they often are used strictly in situations that are ideal for their handedness and particular stuff. It's a relatively easy gig all things considered...

Compared to having to start, relief pitching is magnitudes of order less demanding...

bucksfan2
03-28-2007, 02:32 PM
Yes but at what point do you declare yourself a team going no where? This is especially a relevant question considering a team that won 83 regular season games is currently the world champs...


I agree this division is wide open but that 83 win team had two things that the reds don't have, Chirs Carpenter and Albert Pujols.

On another not I am wondering if management across the board is too resistant to move a prospect up too quickly. I am just curious because it seems like a guy like Votto could play in the majors right now. He will be overmatched at times but he is going to learn and hopefully he will get better. Does playing in AAA really improve his game. Also Jay Bruce. I know he is a long way off but is it really better for him to feast on lesser competition or rather get thrown into the fire, struggle a little, and then hopefully succeed. To me it seesm like gm's baby minor leaguers, especially in cincinnati. I am just wondering if having your top prospect feast on inferior competition is really doing much in terms of devlopment?

jojo
03-28-2007, 02:38 PM
I agree this division is wide open but that 83 win team had two things that the reds don't have, Chirs Carpenter and Albert Pujols.

On another not I am wondering if management across the board is too resistant to move a prospect up too quickly. I am just curious because it seems like a guy like Votto could play in the majors right now. He will be overmatched at times but he is going to learn and hopefully he will get better. Does playing in AAA really improve his game. Also Jay Bruce. I know he is a long way off but is it really better for him to feast on lesser competition or rather get thrown into the fire, struggle a little, and then hopefully succeed. To me it seesm like gm's baby minor leaguers, especially in cincinnati. I am just wondering if having your top prospect feast on inferior competition is really doing much in terms of devlopment?

Look at Seattle for a study in contrast.... to say that Bavasi promotes aggressively is an undertstatement... I'd say they've had mixed success at best....they've also had the "luxury" of several 90+ loss seasons which makes extended tryouts less of an issue though even then, it's not without risking fan backlash.... Does the FO really want GABP to be Louisville North? It seems to me that would be a hard sell to season ticket holders...

I don't know....some of the zone's resident minor league experts could probably speak more intelligently on your question than I can.

Handofdeath
03-28-2007, 04:11 PM
Here's a quick look at what to many of us is the feel good hit of the spring (and hopefully the feel good hit of the summer). With opening day rapidly approaching, just what has spring training told us about Josh Hamilton?

First there is the caveat-spring training stats generally mean nothing. But with Hamilton basically all we have are scouting reports that predate his off the field problems and his spring training numbers to provide a glimpse of the player that has emerged from addiction (ignoring the handful of at bats he got at A- ball last year).

Overall this spring, Hamiltonís triple slash stats look impressive thru 62 at bats:

.403/.532/.565; BABIP: .471

Lines like this lend credence to the notion that Hamilton should be given a starting job in centerfield or have his plate appearances maximized until he proves otherwise.

But a deeper look suggests there is some cause for pause.

Itís potentially informative to break spring training up into halves with unproven players because clearly the quality of pitching increases as opening day approaches. For instance, as spring training drags on (and I do mean drags on....), younger developing arms get optioned to the minors and established major league pitchers see more innings and begin throwing their full pitch arsenals etc.

Here are Hamiltonís spring numbers split in half by date:

March 1 thru 14 (36 PA)

.586/.647/.931; BABIP: .640

So far, so good. That looks phenomenal.

March 15 thru 27 (34 PA)

.242/.306/.333; BABIP: .333

Those numbers are not nearly as encouraging as there is a decided lack of power and his OBP is bad. Interestingly, his BABIP was .333 which is still higher than normal (normal being .290-.310 for major league hitters), so he hasnít been hit unlucky during the second half of spring.

It bears repeating that generally spring training stats should be taken with a grain of salt but often roster decisions are made in part due to performances during this period. This despite the small sample sizes and questions concerning how relevent the opposing talent levels were to real mlb games. What then does Hamiltonís spring performance thus far tell us?

Basically I think this much is certain-he has earned the 25th spot on the roster. However, primarily itís his defense that has allowed him to do so. His glove, legs, and arm strength are certainties barring injury. The scouting reports have been verified in that regard and considering all are thought to be above league average, it's this defensive skillset that makes him a better option than Hopper or Wise at this point. On the other hand, Hamiltonís spring has done nothing to erase the doubts about his bat or suggest how much his bat can be counted upon to produce. Penciling him in as a significant starter or even suggesting that he should be allowed to get significant PAís until he fails really is unwarranted at this point. He still has a lot to prove. Making him prove that his bat isnít ready yet probably does nothing to help the Reds nor does it help Hamiltonís development.

Hereís to hoping he goes on a tear during this last week of spring trainingÖ.

:beerme:


Great post. My thinking is this though. I agree with you that spring training stats need to be taken with a grain of salt. But any hitter will have those peaks and valleys during the regular season as well. Look at a hitter who has hit .300 for the season and say he has 500 AB's. Take any consecutive 10 AB's from that season and more likely than not he's not going to have 3 hits out of those 10 or 9 hits out of 30 AB's. The sample size of each part of Hamilton's spring is just too small for me to be too concerned or too excited. I understand exactly what you are saying and you make good points but he may just be slumping, hurt, or trying too hard. He'll be fine. Overall, he's had a great spring and earned a spot on the 25-man roster. Let him be the 5th OF/defensive replacement for this season and hopefully he stays clean, keeps his mouth shut and learns what it means to be a major leaguer. This young man has a very high ceiling and I think the Reds know it.

mth123
03-28-2007, 08:16 PM
Yes but at what point do you declare yourself a team going no where? This is especially a relevant question considering a team that won 83 regular season games is currently the world champs...

For me it was the day Jeff Conine was acquired.

Cedric
03-28-2007, 08:18 PM
For me it was the day Jeff Conine was acquired.

Seriously? I figured you gave up the second you focused on 07 from 06. Had you pegged wrong I suppose.

dougdirt
03-28-2007, 08:30 PM
I agree this division is wide open but that 83 win team had two things that the reds don't have, Chirs Carpenter and Albert Pujols.

On another not I am wondering if management across the board is too resistant to move a prospect up too quickly. I am just curious because it seems like a guy like Votto could play in the majors right now. He will be overmatched at times but he is going to learn and hopefully he will get better. Does playing in AAA really improve his game. Also Jay Bruce. I know he is a long way off but is it really better for him to feast on lesser competition or rather get thrown into the fire, struggle a little, and then hopefully succeed. To me it seesm like gm's baby minor leaguers, especially in cincinnati. I am just wondering if having your top prospect feast on inferior competition is really doing much in terms of devlopment?

I think this organization does coddle some of its players in the minors a little. While I think Votto should be starting at first base from day 1, I understand where they are coming from in keeping him down for now. Back to the original point, the Reds consistantly hold back their top end college draft picks unlike most other teams. With the way most of the college guys blew through Billings last year, you would think some of the hitters would at least start in Sarasota right? Well it appears that they are almost all going to start off in Dayton. When the rosters come out, its going to be interesting to compare other college drafted players from other teams and where they started off at and where the Reds guys start at.

Stingray
03-28-2007, 10:54 PM
Thereís a lot of good stuff in this thread. To me, however, the most interesting thing is how little disagreement exists between the various posters. There seems to be general agreement on the following points:

1. Hamilton should be on the 25 man roster.

2. At least initially, he canít reasonably be expected to perform at a high level offensively on an everyday basis. Therefore, most agree that he shouldnít be an every day starter at the beginning of the season

3. His defense, arm, and speed are good enough that he can be a valuable contributor as long as heís not a complete bust as a hitter.

4. His talent/ceiling is such that itís critical that heís used in the best possible way to continue developing that talent(do you give him 300-400 ABís or around 100 ABís).


The main area of disagreement lies in how you best accomplish item 4 above.

My take is that he start the season on the bench but give him a couple starts a week in April(maybe 35-40 ABís). With Freel and Griffey in the OF, getting that many ABís shouldnít be too difficult. Depending on how he handles those plate appearances, gradually increase or decrease his workload. Unless he appears completely overmatched, however, he should get something approaching 300 ABís for the season Ė Iím assuming by September, the Reds will be out of the race, or Griffey/Freel will be unavailable, and he can play everyday.

There are two reasons I think he needs reasonable playing time in í07. First, as several here have suggested, at his age the Reds canít expect to reap the benefits his talent might offer if he rusts on the bench this year and plays í08 in the minors. Secondly, the likelihood of a drug relapse, is much more likely this year if heís used rarely and in í08 if heís in the minors(where his support system will be weaker).

Eric_Davis
03-29-2007, 02:26 AM
Maybe we could look at him like Bob Horner. Though there wasn't any lapse of 3 years of no baseball, Horner stepped right into the Major Leagues from college. Everyone said he couldn't do it, but he did. He actually refused assignment(s) to the minors. The point is that he had the talent, he insisted he didn't need minor league playing time, and he was right. He stepped right in and had a good career.

It's a given that Hamilton has even more talent than Horner according to all the baseball people that have seen him play. There's no reason whatsoever, with the watered-down pitching that the Major Leagues are these days, that Hamilton can't step right in and perform well for years to come and have a good career also.

I think at this point he should be handed the CF job and be given the 550 at-bats that come with it and let him play. Watch the ups and downs and sit back and enjoy the ride. Freel is the ultimate utility player anyway.

jojo
03-29-2007, 07:23 AM
Maybe we could look at him like Bob Horner. Though there wasn't any lapse of 3 years of no baseball, Horner stepped right into the Major Leagues from college. Everyone said he couldn't do it, but he did. He actually refused assignment(s) to the minors. The point is that he had the talent, he insisted he didn't need minor league playing time, and he was right. He stepped right in and had a good career.

It's a given that Hamilton has even more talent than Horner according to all the baseball people that have seen him play. There's no reason whatsoever, with the watered-down pitching that the Major Leagues are these days, that Hamilton can't step right in and perform well for years to come and have a good career also.

I think at this point he should be handed the CF job and be given the 550 at-bats that come with it and let him play. Watch the ups and downs and sit back and enjoy the ride. Freel is the ultimate utility player anyway.


There's a huge difference between Horner playing in college-and dominating the best that level has to offer (both in the historically strong PAC 10 and through the college world series) and Hamilton putting up a line like this .293/.338/.469 in the four years of low A and rookie ball he played BEFORE he took a 4 year break....

You can say what you want about Hamilton's scouting report and his *pedigree*, but his minor league resume consists of over a 1000 AB in low ball over 4 seasons.... he was a work in progress BEFORE the break...

I'm not digging on Hamilton-IM NOT. I'm rooting for him with all I've got because he's a perfect underdog and I love those. I'm just trying to paint a true context so that people can appreciate the incredibly unfair expectations they've built up for him. Stuff like you're suggesting really only happens in the movies. Step back for a moment and consider the magnitude of the task that you expect Hamilton to accomplish in '07. Now consider the consequences for the Reds season if he fails.

lollipopcurve
03-29-2007, 09:40 AM
the incredibly unfair expectations they've built up for him

I really don't think people are saying he's an All-Star in 07, he's going 30-30 this year, or anything like that. The issues are these, I think:

1. The present
Is he a good enough hitter now that he won't hurt the team significantly in the standings?

This comes down to whether you think he should play over Deno, Deno should play over him, or they should be in a left-right platoon. Either as the 4th OF or the first guy in once a starter gets hurt.

2. The future
Is he the kind of talent the Reds need to try to develop for the future? If so, how best to do that?

jojo
03-29-2007, 09:49 AM
I really don't think people are saying he's an All-Star in 07, he's going 30-30 this year, or anything like that.

Who was talking about all-star? I was reacting to the notion that he would just be given a starting centerfield job with the 550 PA that go with it.... Center is a premium position and 550 PA is roughly 10-12% of the likely season total for the team.....

lollipopcurve
03-29-2007, 10:08 AM
Who was talking about all-star? I was reacting to the notion that he would just be given a starting centerfield job with the 550 PA that go with it.... Center is a premium position and 550 PA is roughly 10-12% of the likely season total for the team

See below...


I'm just trying to paint a true context so that people can appreciate the incredibly unfair expectations they've built up for him.

In this statement you're suggesting that there are several posters claiming Hamilton can do things you say he can't. One guy saying he'd like to see Hamilton in CF for 550 ABs is neither a litany of voices nor is it a claim of what Hamilton can do.

The debate is really over whether Hamilton gets about 100ABs or about 300ABs, and it may become moot if the Reds fall out of the race early. It's opinion vs opinion (Hammer vs Deno; how to develop Hamilton), not reality check vs starry-eyed expectations.

jojo
03-29-2007, 10:10 AM
See below...



In this statement you're suggesting that there are several posters claiming Hamilton can do things you say he can't. One guy saying he'd like to see Hamilton in CF for 550 ABs is neither a litany of voices nor is it a claim of what Hamilton can do.

The debate is really over whether Hamilton gets about 100ABs or about 300ABs, and it may become moot if the Reds fall out of the race early. It's opinion vs opinion (Hammer vs Deno; how to develop), not reality check vs starry-eyed expectations.

I guess you don't get out much (search Hamilton to see if its just one guy)....even so 300 vs 100 ab is huge.... how does that change things? Oviously its a question of Deno vs Hamilton and how many at bats each should get for the Reds to have the best chance of winning....

lollipopcurve
03-29-2007, 10:14 AM
I guess you don't get out much....even so 300 vs 100 ab is huge....

I knew it wouldn't be long before the statistical claim would come with a pretty bow of personal appreciation.

jojo
03-29-2007, 10:15 AM
I knew it wouldn't be long before the statistical claim would come with a pretty bow of personal appreciation.

?????????????????????????????????

lollipopcurve
03-29-2007, 10:28 AM
?????????????????????????????????

I read your post before you edited it.

hebroncougar
03-29-2007, 10:56 AM
I think it's important to remember when comparing Hamilton to WMP, that you have a different regime here this year. I think Hamilton will get the right amount of AB's, and if the reds are out of it by July, you will see a trade, with Hamilton getting mor PA. This regime took care of the WMP situation pretty quickly.

MikeS21
03-29-2007, 12:03 PM
I am very mixed on this whole issue. A part of me wants to see Hamilton come back big time in 2007 and show everyone in baseball that his talent is bonafide and that he become the baseball story of the decade. But sanity forces me to recognize that it is just wishful thinking and won't happen.

But one thing is clear: I believe Josh Hamilton has earned the #4 OF position. Much talk has been about Chris Denorfia the last couple years. Too many folks have become enamored with his minor league numbers and have presented eloquent arguments as to why he should be a starter in CF, or at least, the #4 OF. I'm just not sold on the idea. I like Denorfia, but I do not see him as having the talent to be an everyday starter in MLB. He's a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none. Denorfia has better-than-average tools, but they aren't great tools. Despite his gaudy offensive numbers in the minors, I think he's a GREAT #4 or #5 OF, and a decent late-inning defensive replacement, but not an every day player in the majors.

For whatever weaknesses Josh Hamilton must overcome, I still think at this moment, he is the best option as the #4 OF - over Denorfia, Hopper, Crosby, Wise, or anyone else that Narron might run out there. I do not think Hamilton is yet ready to be an every day starter. But, like Wily Mo Pena a couple seasons ago, you have to give him as many PA's as possible to allow his potential to develop. Ideally, you'd like to send Hamilton to AA and let him develop in the minors. But that is not an option at this time. And, unlike Pena, Hamilton is actually perhaps the best defensive OF on the 25 man roster. So, he's not exactly a liability out there. I don't place a lot of importance on spirng training numbers, but, as someone pointed out, he has proven that he won't embarrass himself. I think if they can put him in the line-up with some proterction hitting behind him, he may be able to hold his own this year.

There is one other aspect to this that most are unwilling to talk about and that is the fan interest concerning Hamilton. The name "Josh Hamilton" and his story will put more fans in the seats than will some of the other players mentioned. I know we like to boil everything down to wins and losses and we buy the myth that says that winning is the best way to put fans in the seats, but the truth is that a significant number of tickets are sold based on the personalities of certain players. Call them "casual" fans; call them "fringe" fans, but tickets sold are still tickets sold. That's why Sean Casey put fans in the seats when the "serious baseball" thinking was that he needed to be replaced. Fans liked Casey and they came to the park to see Sean Casey. Like or not, thanks to the media circus, Josh Hamilton has become a bigger than life legend in Cincinnati before he has even stepped foot in town. People want to see Josh Hamilton on the field and they will tolerate on-the-job training - much to the dismay of most of us "serious" fans.

In a perfect world, you put the 25 best players on the team. But in the REAL world, money and public relations tend to exert the strongest influence over the roster (The Reds are not alone in this). That's why money will keep guys like Eric Milton and Rheal Cormier on the team, and PR will give Josh Hamilton more time on the field - possibly undeservedly over Chris Denorfia.

bucksfan2
03-29-2007, 01:25 PM
MikeS21 very good points. I think one of the big things in this whole Hamilton situation is no one knows whats going to happen. You can't project because there hasn't been a case similar to Hamilton's since probably WW2. The one thing that I think is certain is that he is probably the best defensive outfielder that the reds have. To complicate matters it seems as if both Griffey and Dunn are a little uneasy with Freel in CF. Deno would seem like a suitable CF but this front office obviously sees Deno as a 4th outfielder at best. I think it will be interesting to see this outfield situation work itself out during the season. Does Jr. say to Freel quit playing reckless. Does Hamilton swing the bat well enough to deserve a place in the outfield. Does Jr. stay healthy. If the reds fall out of contention I would hope that Hamilton would get the vast majority of starts in the outfield. There are a bunch of question marks that hopefully work themselves out as the season progresses.

Stingray
03-29-2007, 02:23 PM
Between Freel & Griffey injuries and their need for some off days, I think there will be enough OF & PH AB's for Hamilton to get 300+ AB's while still leaving enough for Deno to get a fair amount of playing time for his 1st full year. Of course, that would mean keeping Conine away from the outfield.

mbgrayson
03-29-2007, 03:03 PM
A couple points on Hamilton that I think are being partly over-looked:

1. I like his relatively low strikeout rate, and his decent walk rate. Through 73 plate appearances, Hamilton has a K rate of 15.1%, and a BB rate of 11%. In comparison, Dunn has a career k rate of 32.7%, and a career walk rate of 16.9%. Griffey in 2006: 18.2% k, 8.4% BB. Freel in 2006: 21.6% K, 11.2% BB. Kearns 2006: 25.1% K, 12.4% BB. For a guy that hasn't played above A ball, Hamilton's percentages are great.

2. BABIP numbers for hitters always bug me. Yes, Josh Hamilton has a high BABIP....however, it seems to me that with hitter BABIP, better hitters hit the ball harder on a regular basis, and hence have higher BABIP. However, if you look up better hitters career BABIP you see very little difference compared to poor hitters: Pujols has a career .320 BABIP, Dunn is .291, Jason Larue is .299, Willie Boomquist is .311, Royce Clayton is .306, Ken Griffey Jr. is .296. I don't think BABIP numbers for hitters mean anything much at all.

3. Spring training stats are missing several things we can find in the regular season, such as ground ball/fly ball/line drive rates. These are better indicators than BABIP.

I know I am wishing more than thinking, but I think many in this thread are underestimating how well Hamilton will do. I predict he will hit .285/.350/.500 this year, and be a rookie of the year candidate. (Absolutely nothing to base those numbers on...just a hopeful guess.....)

doug flynn
03-29-2007, 03:04 PM
Could be the biggest factor in this situation, is the guy filling out the line-up card. He seems to be a big Hammer booster. Is Narron as enthralled with Deno?

jojo
03-29-2007, 03:21 PM
Could be the biggest factor in this situation, is the guy filling out the line-up card. He seems to be a big Hammer booster. Is Narron as enthralled with Deno?

I think Narron is enthralled with Deno to the same extent most guys are enthralled with the notion of bikini waxing their scrotum...

In other words, I bet Narron didn't send Deno a Christmas card... :cool:

jojo
03-29-2007, 03:48 PM
BABIP numbers for hitters always bug me. Yes, Josh Hamilton has a high BABIP....however, it seems to me that with hitter BABIP, better hitters hit the ball harder on a regular basis, and hence have higher BABIP. However, if you look up better hitters career BABIP you see very little difference compared to poor hitters: Pujols has a career .320 BABIP, Dunn is .291, Jason Larue is .299, Willie Boomquist is .311, Royce Clayton is .306, Ken Griffey Jr. is .296. I don't think BABIP numbers for hitters mean anything much at all.

3. Spring training stats are missing several things we can find in the regular season, such as ground ball/fly ball/line drive rates. These are better indicators than BABIP.

BABIP really is more of a luck/unluck indicator than a skill metric. Most major leaguers have career BABIP in the range of .290-.310. A BABIP that is significantly higher suggests that their production was inflated by luck rather than it was indicative of their skillset (cough Matthews cough, cough). Likewise, a significantly lower BABIP than the norm indicates that they were hosed and actually played better than their numbers may indicate. As with everything though, there are the weird exceptions. For instance, a significant part of Ichiro's game is pound a grounder and beat the throw (career BABIP: .354). Likewise, I doubt many people would say Ted Williams was hit lucky in 1941 (BA: .406; BABIP: .377)


I know I am wishing more than thinking, but I think many in this thread are underestimating how well Hamilton will do. I predict he will hit .285/.350/.500 this year, and be a rookie of the year candidate. (Absolutely nothing to base those numbers on...just a hopeful guess.....)

Here's to hoping youre right. :beerme:


As a centerfielder, those numbers would easily make him an all-star and would translate into roughly a VORP=45 (assuming he was the starting centerfielder and with those numbers why wouldn't he be?).

For some context, last season Shane Victorino had the highest VORP for rookie centerfielders at 12. Luke Scott had the highest VORP for a rookie outfielder at 30. It's big shoes to fill for a rookie to be an above average centerfielder...

jojo
03-29-2007, 04:11 PM
Well Deno is out 6 months with TJ-related issues.. (as per C Trent's blog)...

.285/.350/.500 from Hamilton is sounding really, really, really good right now....

mbgrayson
03-29-2007, 04:17 PM
BABIP really is more of a luck/unluck indicator than a skill metric. Most major leaguers have career BABIP in the range of .290-.310. A BABIP that is significantly higher suggests that their production was inflated by luck rather than it was indicative of their skillset (cough Matthews cough, cough). Likewise, a significantly lower BABIP than the norm indicates that they were hosed and actually played better than their numbers may indicate....

I think if you look closely, high BABIP doesn't work as a measure of 'luck'. Is Pujols luckier than Griffey? I think what works better is line drive percentage. If we knew (which we don't) that Hamilton had a 45% line drive rate on balls in play, then we would know that he is hitting the ball well, and was not just 'lucky'. If, on the other hand, Hamilton had a lot of ground balls, many that just found the hole, then we could say he was 'lucky'.

My own observation from seeing all of the spring games that have been on MLB.com TV, and listening to the radio and reading Trent's blog, is that Hamilton has hit the ball very hard, even on a lot of the outs he made. That is a good sign. He also hits to the opposite field a fair bit, is patient, has great speed, and doesn't strike out too much. I think these are all important indicators that bode well. Lets all hope I'm right! :beerme:

And with Denorfia out for six months, we WILL see Hamilton getting a lot of ABs if he stays healthy.

jojo
03-29-2007, 05:07 PM
I think if you look closely, high BABIP doesn't work as a measure of 'luck'. Is Pujols luckier than Griffey? I think what works better is line drive percentage. If we knew (which we don't) that Hamilton had a 45% line drive rate on balls in play, then we would know that he is hitting the ball well, and was not just 'lucky'. If, on the other hand, Hamilton had a lot of ground balls, many that just found the hole, then we could say he was 'lucky'.

My own observation from seeing all of the spring games that have been on MLB.com TV, and listening to the radio and reading Trent's blog, is that Hamilton has hit the ball very hard, even on a lot of the outs he made. That is a good sign. He also hits to the opposite field a fair bit, is patient, has great speed, and doesn't strike out too much. I think these are all important indicators that bode well. Lets all hope I'm right! :beerme:

And with Denorfia out for six months, we WILL see Hamilton getting a lot of ABs if he stays healthy.

I absolutely agree that LD% is an important determinant of BABIP as evidenced by the fact that about 75% of all line drives are hits in mlb.

Here's a comparison of Griffey and Pujols though:

Griffey '02-'06: LD%: 19.6; GB%: 37.5; FB%: 42.9; BA: .269; BABIP: .278;

Pujols '02-'06: LD%: 19.9%; GB%: 41.1; FB%: 39.0; BA: .333; BABIP: .313;

While they have different BABIP, both players are just a tick outside the normal range.

Interestingly, in this case LD% can't explain their differences in BABIP.

Basically Pujols hits fewer FB and more GB as a percentage than Griffey does. Flyballs are more likely to result in outs than groundballs. Then also consider that Griffey's hamstring is stapled to his bone which hurts his chances of legging out GBs. Perhaps this is part of the difference in their BABIPs?

Generally I agree with your point though. BABIP is best judged in the context of batted ball tendencies.

:thumbup:

dougdirt
03-29-2007, 05:14 PM
I absolutely agree that LD% is an important determinant of BABIP as evidenced by the fact that about 75% of all line drives are hits in mlb.

Here's a comparison of Griffey and Pujols though:

Griffey '02-'06: LD%: 19.6; GB%: 37.5; FB%: 42.9; BA: .269; BABIP: .278;

Pujols '02-'06: LD%: 19.9%; GB%: 41.1; FB%: 39.0; BA: .333; BABIP: .313;

While they have different BABIP, both players are just a tick outside the normal range.

Interestingly, in this case LD% can't explain their differences in BABIP.

Basically Pujols hits fewer FB and more GB as a percentage than Griffey does. Flyballs are more likely to result in outs than groundballs. Then also consider that Griffey's hamstring is stapled to his bone which hurts his chances of legging out GBs. Perhaps this is part of the difference in their BABIPs?

Generally I agree with your point though. BABIP is best judged in the context of batted ball tendencies.

:thumbup:

I will say Griffey facing the shift a lot more often also takes away some of his hits. I have to say he loses 5-10 hits a year to the shift, which in a 500 at bat season is 10-20 points, taking in strikeouts, thats probably a decent place to start looking.

jojo
03-29-2007, 05:22 PM
I will say Griffey facing the shift a lot more often also takes away some of his hits. I have to say he loses 5-10 hits a year to the shift, which in a 500 at bat season is 10-20 points, taking in strikeouts, thats probably a decent place to start looking.

That's a good point. I think the shift killed Griffey in '06. I can't remember how often thats been employed against him as a red though (i.e. 2002-2005???)

bucksfan2
03-30-2007, 02:51 PM
What is BABIP supposed to tell? I would assume that a guy with speed is going to have a little better BABIP than a slower player. Or someone who hits the ball hard is going to have a better BABIP than a slap hitter. But does it really tell much?

Patrick Bateman
03-30-2007, 02:55 PM
What is BABIP supposed to tell? I would assume that a guy with speed is going to have a little better BABIP than a slower player. Or someone who hits the ball hard is going to have a better BABIP than a slap hitter. But does it really tell much?

It's much more useful for pitchers than it is for hitters.

jojo
03-30-2007, 03:07 PM
It's much more useful for pitchers than it is for hitters.

yes

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
03-30-2007, 03:12 PM
It's much more useful for pitchers than it is for hitters.
Over a period of time all of the hitters a pitcher faces will normalize out to an "average" major league hitter, with an average BABIP of around .300 that can be analyzed.

jojo
03-30-2007, 03:17 PM
Over a period of time all of the hitters a pitcher faces will normalize out to an "average" major league hitter, with an average BABIP of around .300 that can be analyzed.

Right. Currently it is thought that pitchers have very little control over BABIP. However, as alluded to earlier, it's believed that hitters can exert some control over their BABIP.

So as strictly a luck factor, it's more meaningful for pitchers (or really, it's less influenced by the pitcher's skillset)...

757690
03-30-2007, 03:38 PM
BABIP is a nice stat taken in context. It doesn't really say much about overall value to a team, but it does add a layer to understanding a players ability overall. It is just one part of a big picture, just like SB's don't tell the whole story or HR tell the whole story, but if you look at all the stats together you can get a good idea of how good a player is. BABIP is just one more small piece of the overall picture.
As for Hamilton, during the second half, he has had good AB's through it all, as anyone who has listened to/watched the games can tell. Maybe it's luck, maybe it's defenses figuring out to play him, all I know is that he belongs on the roster, and should lots of AB's considering how fragile Freel and junior are.

TRF
03-30-2007, 04:25 PM
So now Josh Hamilton is the 4th OF. There is no doubt about his position with the team. Deno out 6 months, Hopper on the DL.

Now instead of focusing on the skillset, the Narron's have to focus more on the person. The limelight surrounding Hamilton just got a little brighter. And for a man that stared so long into an abyss, that can be mighty blinding. We are looking at probably 350-400 PA's as things stand right now. Personally I'm hoping for a Chris Duncan 2006 type of year from Josh with better defense. That would be ideal.

However...

He could go all Chad Mottola too. Hamilton has no comp. Not returning vets, not Steve Howe. nobody. Not a single player has ever gone through what he has coupled with his inexperience and current age. Also I have never heard of a team putting in a support system for a player with a history of drug addiction like the Reds have with Hamilton.

It will be an interesting year.

jojo
03-30-2007, 06:44 PM
So now Josh Hamilton is the 4th OF. There is no doubt about his position with the team. Deno out 6 months, Hopper on the DL.

Now instead of focusing on the skillset, the Narron's have to focus more on the person. The limelight surrounding Hamilton just got a little brighter. And for a man that stared so long into an abyss, that can be mighty blinding. We are looking at probably 350-400 PA's as things stand right now. Personally I'm hoping for a Chris Duncan 2006 type of year from Josh with better defense. That would be ideal.

However...

He could go all Chad Mottola too. Hamilton has no comp. Not returning vets, not Steve Howe. nobody. Not a single player has ever gone through what he has coupled with his inexperience and current age. Also I have never heard of a team putting in a support system for a player with a history of drug addiction like the Reds have with Hamilton.

It will be an interesting year.



Yep, there will be reasons to watch thats for sure...