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View Full Version : Josh, Austin and April '07...



jojo
04-29-2007, 12:51 PM
Alot has happened thats positive and alot has happened that's cause for concern with the Reds in April but i'd like to focus on the biggest story of their season so far.

I took a look at early league leaders in VORP and a few familiar names popped up:

VORP mlb for RF in '07:
1. Vlad: 15.6
2. S. Green: 11.1
3. M. Ordonez: 9.3
4. J. Hamilton: 8.9
9. A. Kearns: 4.3

Now there's immediately a caveat. Hamilton is listed as a RF because that's the position he's had the most defesive innings at but he's played 9 games in right, 6 in center and 6 in left. VORP is weighted for positional playing time in cases where a player plays multiple positions so it's a little like apples and oranges to compare Josh to RFers. However, suffice it to say that his bat in April has been an unmitigated success.

Also note that Kearns shows up in the top ten of all major league right fielders. He quietly had a very solid April for Washington putting up a line of .272/.350/.446 while playing the majority of his April games in a pit for hitters (translates roughly into .289/.369/.486 in GABP)

How would the outfield look with Kearns in right, Hamilton in center and Dunn in left with Freel playing supersub between the OF and 3b?

Anyway, hat's off to a great first month of what will hopefully be a long career for Josh Hamilton....

:beerme:

Degenerate39
04-29-2007, 12:52 PM
What is VORP?

Matt700wlw
04-29-2007, 12:54 PM
Imagine if both of those guys were in this outfield?




Sorry :)

hebroncougar
04-29-2007, 12:56 PM
What is VORP?

Value Over Replacement Player. The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense.

Actually, showing Hamilton's RF VORP would give him the lowest of the 3. I would imagine the offensive numbers for RF'ers across the board are higher than LF or CF. So his VORP would go up if he were listed at either of those.

Marc D
04-29-2007, 12:57 PM
How would the outfield look with Kearns in right, Hamilton in center and Dunn in left with Freel playing supersub between the OF and 3b?




Yeah but then the bullpen wouldn't be nearly as good. ;)

jojo
04-29-2007, 12:59 PM
What is VORP?

Sorry. VORP=value over replacement level player (in runs; generally 10 runs= 1 win). It's a measure of a player's offensive contribution over what a team could expect by plucking any freely available player from the minors to play the same position. So the higher the VORP, the more valuable the player's bat has been.

VORP can be found on the baseball prospectus web sight.

jojo
04-29-2007, 01:02 PM
Imagine if both of those guys were in this outfield?




Sorry :)

ya...the fact that Kearns is right handed wasn't lost on me.... :D

:beerme:

jojo
04-29-2007, 01:04 PM
Actually, showing Hamilton's RF VORP would give him the lowest of the 3. I would imagine the offensive numbers for RF'ers across the board are higher than LF or CF. So his VORP would go up if he were listed at either of those.

The corner positions are roughly similar offensively across the majors but the fact the Hamilton can play center as well means he's more valubale than a corner outfielder with a similar VORP like you say...

hebroncougar
04-29-2007, 01:06 PM
The corner positions are roughly similar offensively across the majors but the fact the Hamilton can play center as well means he's more valubale than a corner outfielder with a similar VORP like you say...

Not only that, but he doesn't just "play" center like some guys do (Soriano). He plays center very well.

Dunner44
04-29-2007, 01:18 PM
Actually, showing Hamilton's RF VORP would give him the lowest of the 3. I would imagine the offensive numbers for RF'ers across the board are higher than LF or CF. So his VORP would go up if he were listed at either of those.


It was always my perception that LF was where you stashed the big bats. Maybe I'm biased with Dunn and a guy by the name of Bonds being prominent examples in my mind, but LF is where poor defense will hurt you the least, so you stash your big bopper with porous defense there.

jojo
04-29-2007, 01:47 PM
It was always my perception that LF was where you stashed the big bats. Maybe I'm biased with Dunn and a guy by the name of Bonds being prominent examples in my mind, but LF is where poor defense will hurt you the least, so you stash your big bopper with porous defense there.

If you're stashing bats here's the order you try to do it: DH then 1b then LF then RF (because of arm strength issues).

Basically a poor defensive outfielder with a good arm generally goes to right while the poor defensive outfielder with a weaker arm goes to left. In '06, here were the mlb averages for those positions:

DH: .261/.356/.485 (AL only)
1B: .282/.358/.483
LF: .276/.348/.456
RF: .277/.345/.458
CF: .267/.332/.425

mth123
04-29-2007, 04:36 PM
If you're stashing bats here's the order you try to do it: DH then 1b then LF then RF (because of arm strength issues).

Basically a poor defensive outfielder with a good arm generally goes to right while the poor defensive outfielder with a weaker arm goes to left. In '06, here were the mlb averages for those positions:

DH: .261/.356/.485 (AL only)
1B: .282/.358/.483
LF: .276/.348/.456
RF: .277/.345/.458
CF: .267/.332/.425

Usually, but if you have a real butcher out there at 1b, he can kill the whole IF. LF is safer for a guy who can't field. 1B is better for guys who simply can't run but have no problem catching the ball. As I have posted before, there is a reason guys as bad as Thome and Ortiz aren't even allowed to play 1B in NL parks, why Giambi isn't put at 1b to get Cabrera in the line-up, and why Manny Ramirez is still in LF and not 1B. A bad 1B does a ton of damage.

I personally think Adam Dunn belongs in this category.

hebroncougar
04-29-2007, 04:43 PM
It was always my perception that LF was where you stashed the big bats. Maybe I'm biased with Dunn and a guy by the name of Bonds being prominent examples in my mind, but LF is where poor defense will hurt you the least, so you stash your big bopper with porous defense there.

Hmmm, interesting, I always thought it was RF, with less balls being hit there. I guess the stats JoJo posted prove otherwise.

Marc D
04-29-2007, 05:31 PM
Hmmm, interesting, I always thought it was RF, with less balls being hit there. I guess the stats JoJo posted prove otherwise.


The fundamental reason (as it was always told to me) you need a solid defender in RF is to keep runners from taking 3rd as much as possible. Thus the need for your cannon arm to be over there.

jojo
04-29-2007, 06:19 PM
Usually, but if you have a real butcher out there at 1b, he can kill the whole IF. LF is safer for a guy who can't field. 1B is better for guys who simply can't run but have no problem catching the ball. As I have posted before, there is a reason guys as bad as Thome and Ortiz aren't even allowed to play 1B in NL parks, why Giambi isn't put at 1b to get Cabrera in the line-up, and why Manny Ramirez is still in LF and not 1B. A bad 1B does a ton of damage.

I personally think Adam Dunn belongs in this category.

Thome has played over 1100 games at first the majority of which occurred in the AL. He has never played an outfield position. The main reasons he is now a DH are two-fold: 1. A fellow named Konerko and, 2. Thome's back issues.

Ortiz doesn't play first because well he's not good enough to play anywhere. Manny also has no business with a glove on his hand. The fact that he stays in left is a testament to some of the DHs he's played along side. Manny is one of the rarer occurrences where he probably could do more damage at first than in left.

The defensive spectrum looks like this:
1b-LF-RF-3B-CF-2b-ss-c

The idea being that the positions are more difficult to play as you go right on the spectrum with positions on the far right considered premium defensive positions (i.e. the pool of players good enough to play them well is relatively smaller as you go right). Therefore players generally move from right to left during their career (i.e. turning a 1b into an outfielder is generally considered an unsound idea).

This is why DH/1b has greater production than ss or C. Positions on the left are easier to play therefore the pool of players capable of playing them is larger so there is a greater chance of finding a better bat.

As with everything, a roster is a cumulative beast of trade offs and compromises. For instance if you have a firstbaseman as stellar as Olerud with the glove, you deal with a less than stellar left fielder.

But in general, if you can't play a passable first base then you either aren't dedicated to the cause or you really have no business putting on a glove.

paintmered
04-29-2007, 06:25 PM
Hmmm, interesting, I always thought it was RF, with less balls being hit there. I guess the stats JoJo posted prove otherwise.

That's the case in little league. Not so much MLB.

mth123
04-29-2007, 07:01 PM
Thome has played over 1100 games at first the majority of which occurred in the AL. He has never played an outfield position. The main reasons he is now a DH are two-fold: 1. A fellow named Konerko and, 2. Thome's back issues.

Ortiz doesn't play first because well he's not good enough to play anywhere. Manny also has no business with a glove on his hand. The fact that he stays in left is a testament to some of the DHs he's played along side. Manny is one of the rarer occurrences where he probably could do more damage at first than in left.

The defensive spectrum looks like this:
1b-LF-RF-3B-CF-2b-ss-c

The idea being that the positions are more difficult to play as you go right on the spectrum with positions on the far right considered premium defensive positions (i.e. the pool of players good enough to play them well is relatively smaller as you go right). Therefore players generally move from right to left during their career (i.e. turning a 1b into an outfielder is generally considered an unsound idea).

This is why DH/1b has greater production than ss or C. Positions on the left are easier to play therefore the pool of players capable of playing them is larger so there is a greater chance of finding a better bat.

As with everything, a roster is a cumulative beast of trade offs and compromises. For instance if you have a firstbaseman as stellar as Olerud with the glove, you deal with a less than stellar left fielder.

But in general, if you can't play a passable first base then you either aren't dedicated to the cause or you really have no business putting on a glove.


I get the whole defensive spectrum thing and its a good guideline, but in general its easier to catch a fly ball than to dig a throw out of the dirt. What the stats may not show is that poor play at 1B usually is reflected in the error rate of the rest of the IF or the BABIP of the pitching staff who give up IF hits on ground outs that aren't completed when the throw isn't handled on a close play. A poor LF really only has an impact on balls hit to LF and doesn't have much effect on the other defenders. Obviously the OF requires more range to play well and a slow OF could benefit from a move to 1B (i.e.Griffey) but there is a particular type of player who will do less damage in LF than he would at 1B even though 1B is "easier" from the standpoint of covering ground.

I happen to think that Adam Dunn is one of those players and I shudder at the number of errors we'd see at the 2B, SS and 3B positions with him over there. Simply running the playbook dictated by the defensive spectrum will lead to the wrong decision in some cases. I for one am glad that the Adam Dunn to 1B experiment came to an end prior to any regular season games. The times I've seen him there he's been brutal and does much more harm than when he plays LF.

I agree with the assessment that if you can't play 1B you should probably be a DH, but there is no DH in the NL and this team's top threat needs to be in LF IMO.

jojo
04-29-2007, 07:18 PM
I get the whole defensive spectrum thing and its a good guideline, but in general its easier to catch a fly ball than to dig a throw out of the dirt. What the stats may not show is that poor play at 1B usually is reflected in the error rate of the rest of the IF or the BABIP of the pitching staff who give up IF hits on ground outs that aren't completed when the throw isn't handled on a close play. A poor LF really only has an impact on balls hit to LF and doesn't have much effect on the other defenders. Obviously the OF requires more range to play well and a slow OF could benefit from a move to 1B (i.e.Griffey) but there is a particular type of player who will do less damage in LF than he would at 1B even though 1B is "easier" from the standpoint of covering ground.

I happen to think that Adam Dunn is one of those players and I shudder at the number of errors we'd see at the 2B, SS and 3B positions with him over there. Simply running the playbook dictated by the defensive spectrum will lead to the wrong decision in some cases. I for one am glad that the Adam Dunn to 1B experiment came to an end prior to any regular season games. The times I've seen him there he's been brutal and does much more harm than when he plays LF.

I agree with the assessment that if you can't play 1B you should probably be a DH, but there is no DH in the NL and this team's top threat needs to be in LF IMO.

I added the bit about the defensive spectrum to give context to the production data earlier in the thread it wasn't in response to your specific comment per se... I'm trying not to hog the thread :)

I agree with most of what you say really.... I just think that if Dunn can't play first, it's because he doesn't want too.... that's just my personal opinion though...

jojo
04-29-2007, 09:19 PM
It was always my perception that LF was where you stashed the big bats. Maybe I'm biased with Dunn and a guy by the name of Bonds being prominent examples in my mind, but LF is where poor defense will hurt you the least, so you stash your big bopper with porous defense there.

BTW....Bonds wasn't exactly "stashed" in left....it is true that his arm isn't the strongest but he did win 8 gold gloves (pretty much all considered legit) in left during his prime years...

:cool:

Marc D
04-29-2007, 09:36 PM
BTW....Bonds wasn't exactly "stashed" in left....it is true that his arm isn't the strongest but he did win 8 gold gloves (pretty much all considered legit) in left during his prime years...

:cool:

None of which mattered to Sid Bream in the least. ;)

Heath
04-29-2007, 09:38 PM
Remember, if you have Austin Kearns, you don't have Josh Hamilton.

I'd prefer Hamilton's upside than Kearns.

Redsland
04-29-2007, 11:18 PM
I think we'd have drafted Josh regardless. He was picked up as a fifth outfielder, after all.

TeamSelig
04-29-2007, 11:33 PM
RF is where you stash crappy players in little league (like someone stated previously) because most hitters are RH, and you don't see too many players "hitting the other way" (opposite field). Usually at about the high school level the crappy RFer thing goes away.

Also, I think the better-crappy fielders go to RF because there are alot of line drives and bloop hits that go to RF that are pretty hard to judge while as LF usually just gets liners down the line or pop ups.

Marc D
04-30-2007, 12:08 AM
You stick the worst OF in RF in beer leauge softball as well. ;)

Chip R
04-30-2007, 12:10 AM
Also note that Kearns shows up in the top ten of all major league right fielders. He quietly had a very solid April for Washington putting up a line of .272/.350/.446 while playing the majority of his April games in a pit for hitters (translates roughly into .289/.369/.486 in GABP)

How would the outfield look with Kearns in right, Hamilton in center and Dunn in left with Freel playing supersub between the OF and 3b?



I think that OF would look great. Unfortunately you still have Ken Griffey, Jr. on this team. Since there are already 2 first basemen and no DHs, and since Kearns is mainly a RFer, you are going to have Jr. in the lineup manning center field. Now Freel doesn't play so much and neither does Josh. It's a nice fantasy but that's all it is.

Being traded to the Nats may have been the best thing to happen to Kearns. Small sample size but he's doing quite well over there. I think expectations were always too high for him over here. He's a Kentucky boy who was a 1st round choice who had all the tools and when was hurt or slumped he became a disappointment to the organization and to the fans who maybe expected too much from him. Now he's somewhere where he doesn't have a lot of expectations. He's not from the organization, he didn't cost much and he's not playing in front of friends and relatives 81 games a year.

jojo
05-01-2007, 04:12 PM
You stick the worst OF in RF in beer leauge softball as well. ;)

Yep, and the guy who used to play rightfield takes over at firstbase...

:beerme:

bounty37h
05-01-2007, 04:35 PM
What is VORP?

I know this is going to sound meaner then it is meant to be, but it seems like a lot of people worry too much about stats, and less watching the actual player/game anymore....

paintmered
05-01-2007, 04:37 PM
I know this is going to sound meaner then it is meant to be, but it seems like a lot of people worry too much about stats, and less watching the actual player/game anymore....

This battle has been fought ad nauseum around here. I think you would be best served using the search function to read the many discussions that have already taken place and draw your conclusions from there.

TC81190
05-01-2007, 08:38 PM
Yeah but then the bullpen wouldn't be nearly as good. ;)

Bill Bray baby!

Yachtzee
05-01-2007, 09:28 PM
I get the whole defensive spectrum thing and its a good guideline, but in general its easier to catch a fly ball than to dig a throw out of the dirt. What the stats may not show is that poor play at 1B usually is reflected in the error rate of the rest of the IF or the BABIP of the pitching staff who give up IF hits on ground outs that aren't completed when the throw isn't handled on a close play. A poor LF really only has an impact on balls hit to LF and doesn't have much effect on the other defenders. Obviously the OF requires more range to play well and a slow OF could benefit from a move to 1B (i.e.Griffey) but there is a particular type of player who will do less damage in LF than he would at 1B even though 1B is "easier" from the standpoint of covering ground.

I happen to think that Adam Dunn is one of those players and I shudder at the number of errors we'd see at the 2B, SS and 3B positions with him over there. Simply running the playbook dictated by the defensive spectrum will lead to the wrong decision in some cases. I for one am glad that the Adam Dunn to 1B experiment came to an end prior to any regular season games. The times I've seen him there he's been brutal and does much more harm than when he plays LF.

I agree with the assessment that if you can't play 1B you should probably be a DH, but there is no DH in the NL and this team's top threat needs to be in LF IMO.

I've played every position in my years of baseball, but those days ended in high school, so I'm by no means an expert, so take it for what it's worth. I would say that fielding fly balls are much trickier than picking throws at first. Flies to the outfield can take on a life of their own on a windy day, and then there are the line drives that slice away from you. At first, most throws are coming right at you with relatively little movement. While you do get the occassional throw in the dirt at first, a lot of throws that miss are off either to the side or above. Dunn is a huge guy and is going to get to balls that would pull smaller guys off the bag. So I would guess that what you lose in errant throws in the dirt, you make up for in fewer balls going over his head or off to the side. The thought of a shorty like Valentin playing first worries me more than a big guy like Dunn.

griffeyfreak4
05-01-2007, 11:53 PM
I generally don't like ranking any defensive positions based on difficulty, because it's just not the same. Obviously a catcher has the most difficult job, and you put your stud in at shortstop, where a majority of balls go. As for the other positions...

A first baseman has a tougher job then one may think. No matter where a ball is hit in the infield, it is the first baseman's job to make the catch, which can be difficult at times (digging balls out of the dirt, wild throws, ect.). So your first baseman is involved in more plays than any other infielder, and I wouldn't exactly call it easy.

An outfielder may be involved in less plays than a first baseman, but it takes a different kind of talent to play in the outfield (Knowing how to judge a ball, what angle to take, where to throw the ball after you retrieve it, being aware of the wall, playing balls of the wall) Also, an outfield changes significantly from stadium to stadium (especially in more modern parks like Minute Maid), which can create confusion.

If you want to generalize, then yes, more big bats are stashed at 1B and LF. This, by no means, makes these positions easier to play.

This response is due to me playing the majority of my years in LF, until I found my niche at the hot corner recently. :D

Edit: Actually I was thinking about trying out for the Reds Bullpen. I have a nasty Knuckleball! :cool: