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View Full Version : Is Junior an example?



texasdave
05-02-2007, 04:01 PM
We all know that Junior got a late start to Spring Training due to his hand injury. And we know that Junior has been in and out of the lineup due to a couple minor illnesses. Furthermore, it seems that Junior has been going the other way more often early in the season. Is it possible that Griffey thought he wasn't 100 percent ready with the bat when the season began and he has made a concentrated effort to sacrifice power and simply put the ball in play until his swing comes around? And, if so, what is the net effect of that?
Is the 2007 version of Junior, so far, an example of what happens when you sacrifice power for more contact? Here are some numbers that lean that way.




Griffey 1989-2006 2007
BIP% 82.0% 91.9%
H/BIP 35.5% 31.6%
B/H 1.92 1.61
1B/BIP 20.1% 19.3%
HR/BIP 8.3% 3.5%
XBH/BIP 15.4% 12.3%
K% 15.7% 6.7%
BB% 11.3% 17.3%
OBP .377 .413
SLG .557 .468
OPS .934 .881



Up until 2006 Junior had put the ball in play 82 percent of the time. In 2007 this has jumped up to nearly 92 percent. His walk rate has also increased dramatically. This would indicate that Griffey is being more selective and making an increased effort to put the ball in play more often.
But what is the end result of this? His rate of singles has stayed about the same, but his rate of homers and extra base hits has dropped quite a bit. Unexpectedly, Junior is getting LESS hits per ball in play. As expected he is getting fewer bases per hit. His OBP has gone up; but his SLG has gone.
There does seem to be a change in Junior's hitting philosophy. That may be due to a new hitting coach, or due to Junior feeling his swing wasn't where it should be at the start of the season because of lack of preparation time. How would this affect Runs Created?


89-06 .377 x .557 x 600 = 126
2007 .413 x .468 x 600 = 116

According to this thumbnail formula I saw on another thread:OPSxSLGxAB=RC.
If that formula is roughly accurate then, at 600 AB, the 2007 version of Junior will create 10 runs less than the 89-06 version. This would seem to indicate that giving up power for contact might not be such a good idea. However, I do feel that when Junior's swing comes around he will start hitting for more power.

Natty Redlocks
05-02-2007, 04:06 PM
Interesting. However, the 1989-2000 version of Junior is almost an entirely different player. I think it would be more telling to compare his numbers this year with his numbers since he started getting injured. Ironically, the way he's getting on base, I'm starting to think they need to move him up in the order.

Redsland
05-02-2007, 04:19 PM
I suspect that what we've seen up until now from Junior is the result of A) a bum hand and B) decreased bat speed. I'm not ready to say that he's going the other way on purpose. But it's possible.

KoryMac5
05-02-2007, 04:27 PM
It might be a number of things that are causing JR to swing a more effective bat.

1. Limited time in spring training kept him fresher
2. Frustration from the shift, led to a new approach at the plate
3. Maturity he is 37/38 and realizes he can't play like he did at 18
4. Smarter hitter, a guy who has played this long has to have absorbed some knowledge
5. Jacoby working on some of Dunn's troubles could have hit home with JR.

UGADaddy
05-02-2007, 04:29 PM
Interesting. However, the 1989-2000 version of Junior is almost an entirely different player. I think it would be more telling to compare his numbers this year with his numbers since he started getting injured. Ironically, the way he's getting on base, I'm starting to think they need to move him up in the order.

Agreed on the difference in pre- and post-2000. But I'm not so sure moving him up in the order is going to help this team. I think he's good in the 4-5 spots. I'd rather have guys like Hatte, Freel, and Phillips near the top. Guys like Griff, Hamilton, and Dunn need to stay back in the middle of the order.

rotnoid
05-02-2007, 04:46 PM
Agreed on the difference in pre- and post-2000. But I'm not so sure moving him up in the order is going to help this team. I think he's good in the 4-5 spots. I'd rather have guys like Hatte, Freel, and Phillips near the top. Guys like Griff, Hamilton, and Dunn need to stay back in the middle of the order.

Pre-2000 Griff needed to stay back in the order. This new Griffey needs to be setting the table for the middle of the order, except, now that he's an on base threat, he's not a stolen base threat (not that he ever really stole a ton). He's also not going to go 1st to 3rd that much. So that shakes up to about a 6 hole hitter in my estimation. That also gives the 4-5 guys some protection just based on the aura of Ken Griffey Jr hitting behind them. If he finds his stroke, then move him back up, but for now he does the most of the team right where he is.

dougdirt
05-02-2007, 05:33 PM
Pre-2000 Griff needed to stay back in the order. This new Griffey needs to be setting the table for the middle of the order, except, now that he's an on base threat, he's not a stolen base threat (not that he ever really stole a ton). He's also not going to go 1st to 3rd that much. So that shakes up to about a 6 hole hitter in my estimation. That also gives the 4-5 guys some protection just based on the aura of Ken Griffey Jr hitting behind them. If he finds his stroke, then move him back up, but for now he does the most of the team right where he is.
Griffey and Edwin are the only players on the team I don't think 'oh crap here we go again' when they come up with runners on base. Griffey in 35 plate appearances this year with runners on base is hitting .385/.543/.692 for a whopping OPS of 1.235. I want him in the middle of the line up with those numbers, because if other guys are on base for him, he is going to get them in. I dont know what kind of stroke he needs to 'find', he is hitting the ball well.

Razor Shines
05-02-2007, 06:34 PM
This year's Griffey is an example of what happens when he stays patient at the plate. That's why he's getting on base at such a high rate, he's leading the team in walks. Last year was by far his worst year in terms of patience. I've said it over and over again: If Jr. stays patient at the plate and his wrist gets completely healthy he's going to have a fantastic season. His SLG % is still low but it's sky rocketing from where it was earlier this season, and it's on it's way up because his wrist is probably starting to get healthy.

The biggest thing Jr. could do this season to improve on last year's numbers is to BE PATIENT. And for the most part he has this season. And he'll have a very productive season if it continues.

And I agree with what Dougdirt said, although to this point in the season I'd add Brandon Phillips to that list.

RedsFanWC
05-02-2007, 07:02 PM
Is anyone else concerned about Griffey's comments after the game last night that suggested his hand still hurt? He broke the hand months ago, has had plenty of time to rest and rehab and it still hurts. Im hoping that this wont be a chronic thing all year, but its beginning to seem like thats a possibility.

rotnoid
05-02-2007, 08:46 PM
Griffey and Edwin are the only players on the team I don't think 'oh crap here we go again' when they come up with runners on base. Griffey in 35 plate appearances this year with runners on base is hitting .385/.543/.692 for a whopping OPS of 1.235. I want him in the middle of the line up with those numbers, because if other guys are on base for him, he is going to get them in. I dont know what kind of stroke he needs to 'find', he is hitting the ball well.

I was referring to the homerun stroke, but I'll take what we've been given. You're right that there isn't anyone else in the team that gives you confidence when they come to the dish with RISP. I guess I was looking at him in a bigger picture, rather than just how he fits on this team. Some times I forget the big holes we have elsewhere in the line up.