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View Full Version : BP and EE = Non-intelligent baseball



TexasRed
05-06-2007, 05:13 PM
I am not a stat guy (sorry). I don't know where I'd even find the facts on this, but my observations of Edwin and Brandon makes me think these guys are not intelligent baseball players...... Brantly just commented on EE swinging at the first pitch of his first at bat (with runners on) which resulted in a pop up:bang: :bang: :bang: . It seems like I see these two do this kind of thing with regularity (not to mention the bone headed defense they seem to display with regularity). You have to think that the coaches talk to these guys about situational hitting..... Does it bounce off?!? I know that if I don't do what my bosses want at my work, I'm going to be out a job soon..... Could this be why we don't have a certain shorstop playing in Cincy anymore???

I hope this doesn't sound like a rant; it's not intended that way. These guy's are two of my favorites and I hope they do well. It's just when I compare them with the intelligence Josh Hamilton seems to play with (and he's in his first year) I am perplexed.

membengal
05-06-2007, 07:17 PM
Is everything you think triggered by Jeff Brantley?

paintmered
05-06-2007, 07:21 PM
Is everything you think triggered by Jeff Brantley?

Or Tracy Jones?

RichRed
05-06-2007, 07:28 PM
Pitches per plate appearance:

Edwin: 3.67
Hamilton: 3.66

Highlifeman21
05-06-2007, 07:29 PM
BP and EE are what they are.

They lack plate patience/discipline.

Thinking they might be able to change is the logical fallacy.

Mario-Rijo
05-06-2007, 07:33 PM
It's a valid question IMO. I will say BP seems to be a rather sharp kid, his problem at the plate (his defense is far from boneheaded) isn't a result of unintelligence it's the fact that he is young and enamored with the HR ball.

EE is a pretty instinctual guy IMHO, problem is his youth. He has yet to learn to lay off certain pitches like that slider down and away. EE will come around soon, BP needs a reality check however. Perhaps he got one today when he had to take a seat and watch the lineup drop 9 runs on the Rockies.

We shall see but I believe these 2 are going to eventually become part of the solution.

RedEye
05-06-2007, 07:43 PM
It's a valid question IMO. I will say BP seems to be a rather sharp kid, his problem at the plate (his defense is far from boneheaded) isn't a result of unintelligence it's the fact that he is young and enamored with the HR ball.

EE is a pretty instinctual guy IMHO, problem is his youth. He has yet to learn to lay off certain pitches like that slider down and away. EE will come around soon, BP needs a reality check however. Perhaps he got one today when he had to take a seat and watch the lineup drop 9 runs on the Rockies.

We shall see but I believe these 2 are going to eventually become part of the solution.

Agreed.

I actually don't really like when people use notions like "un-intelligent baseball" because I don't think they really tell us anything substantive. They're the kinds of phrases commentators like Brantley use to cater to the least common denominator. That's fine for the purpose of analyzing a live game I suppose, but they should be greatly qualified and quantified if you're really trying to discuss a player's relative merits over the long haul.

IMO, unless you are speaking about something specific in a player's performance, you run the risk of being needlessly anecdotal and prejudiced against certain players. Need to watch these guys day in, day out, and look at long-term their stats in order to understand their performance.

Anyway, that's what I think.

redhawkfish
05-06-2007, 08:21 PM
I think BP and EE's problems are more to do with youth. We have watched poor baseball for the past six years, and are so jaded(sometimes) we have trouble allowing players to struggle through normal "growing pains". They are both very talented with things to work on. Just my two cents!

Chip R
05-06-2007, 08:21 PM
I think plate discipline is a valuable tool. Working the count helps a team out and hurts the other team in a lot of ways. That said, when did it become a mortal sin to swing at the first pitch? If I'm a major league hitter and the pitcher throws a BP fastball right down the heart of the plate or hangs a curve or a slider, I'm not going to lay off that pitch for the simple fact that I can hit it. If I pop it up or miss it or line it to the center fielder, it's a shame but I got my pitch to it. Nobody, not Thom or Jeff Brantley or Rob Neyer or Bill James or Billy Beane, is going to complain about a hitter swinging at the first pitch when he hits it safely. It's only when they miss it or make an out that it becomes a complaint. It's true that there are players out there who are going to swing at the first pitch no matter what. If you're Vlad Guerrero, that's OK since he has made a career of swinging - and hitting - anything within the zip code of the plate. If you're Neffi Perez, that's not so good. Taking the first pitch just to take the first pitch isn't necessarily a good idea. If it's out of the strike zone or it's a strike you don't thnk you can handle, that's fine. But if it's a pitch you can handle, why let it go by?

Redhook
05-06-2007, 08:29 PM
It's a valid question IMO. I will say BP seems to be a rather sharp kid, his problem at the plate (his defense is far from boneheaded) isn't a result of unintelligence it's the fact that he is young and enamored with the HR ball.

EE is a pretty instinctual guy IMHO, problem is his youth. He has yet to learn to lay off certain pitches like that slider down and away. EE will come around soon, BP needs a reality check however. Perhaps he got one today when he had to take a seat and watch the lineup drop 9 runs on the Rockies.

We shall see but I believe these 2 are going to eventually become part of the solution.

Excellent post.

I don't worry about EE at all. I do, however, worry that management doesn't feel the same way.

BP, on the otherhand, just doesn't seem to get it at the plate. I really believe he could be one of the premier second basemen in the league if he just learned the basics of batting. If he could be taught how to work the count a bit and not act like home run hitter he could be awesome. Until then, we will see many ups and downs from him, unfulfilling his potential.

kaldaniels
05-06-2007, 08:44 PM
Pitches per plate appearance:

Edwin: 3.67
Hamilton: 3.66

Face it, you can look the other way if you are producing.

Always Red
05-06-2007, 10:13 PM
Hamilton went through a period about a week ago where he was hacking away at every first pith thrown to him; it coincided with his mini-slump. He's settled down and become a little more patient since then.

Sometimes the game plan is to go ahead and swing at the first pitch, if the pitcher has a habit of trying to get ahead on the count right away. Welsh mentioned that the other day; sometimes they're instructed to try to swing away at the first strike, as it might be their best chance.

George Anderson
05-07-2007, 02:24 AM
Hamilton went through a period about a week ago where he was hacking away at every first pith thrown to him; it coincided with his mini-slump. He's settled down and become a little more patient since then.

Sometimes the game plan is to go ahead and swing at the first pitch, if the pitcher has a habit of trying to get ahead on the count right away. Welsh mentioned that the other day; sometimes they're instructed to try to swing away at the first strike, as it might be their best chance.

Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt the Reds a few years back have a rule in their minor league system, that players were not allowed to swing at the first pitch, or they would be fined???

REDREAD
05-07-2007, 03:30 AM
Every player has his strengths and weaknesses. We just have to accept that BP is never going to be a high OBP guy. He has other strengths. Now Narron should realize what BP is and bat him 6th, not 2nd or 3rd. Let him bat 6th and get RBIs. His lack of OBP doesn't hurt as much when he bats 6th (because Ross and Gonzo should be hitting after him).

Redsland
05-07-2007, 12:04 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt the Reds a few years back have a rule in their minor league system, that players were not allowed to swing at the first pitch, or they would be fined???
Dan O'Brien did institute such a rule.

He's gone, and so is it.

Chip R
05-07-2007, 12:06 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt the Reds a few years back have a rule in their minor league system, that players were not allowed to swing at the first pitch, or they would be fined???


I don't think they were fined but they were told to take a strike before they swung at a pitch.

Ltlabner
05-07-2007, 12:15 PM
I think plate discipline is a valuable tool. Working the count helps a team out and hurts the other team in a lot of ways. That said, when did it become a mortal sin to swing at the first pitch? If I'm a major league hitter and the pitcher throws a BP fastball right down the heart of the plate or hangs a curve or a slider, I'm not going to lay off that pitch for the simple fact that I can hit it. If I pop it up or miss it or line it to the center fielder, it's a shame but I got my pitch to it. Nobody, not Thom or Jeff Brantley or Rob Neyer or Bill James or Billy Beane, is going to complain about a hitter swinging at the first pitch when he hits it safely. It's only when they miss it or make an out that it becomes a complaint. It's true that there are players out there who are going to swing at the first pitch no matter what. If you're Vlad Guerrero, that's OK since he has made a career of swinging - and hitting - anything within the zip code of the plate. If you're Neffi Perez, that's not so good. Taking the first pitch just to take the first pitch isn't necessarily a good idea. If it's out of the strike zone or it's a strike you don't thnk you can handle, that's fine. But if it's a pitch you can handle, why let it go by?

I don't think it's a mortal sin, but when you watch players do it time and time again only to pop out/ground out you have to wonder if they really are getting a bunch of "great pitches" right out of the gate or just hacking. Especially guys like BP/EE or guys in a slump like Ross. I have to believe they are getting bunches of junk because the league knows they'll swing at a strike, a ball, a pidgeon or a floating hot dog wrapper if it comes near them.

Last Friday night was a prime example. 1st inning. Hatte walks. BP out on the 1st/2nd pitch. Jr draws a walk after being down 1-2. EE out on the 1st pitch. So the pitcher is throwing junk to Hatte/Jr but greasing them down the middle for BP/EE? Guys who can drive it out of the park, and are known free swingers?

Of course the 1st pitch might be "your" pitch, and by all means swing and drive it. Nothing wrong with that. I also understand that players will see the 1st pitch as theres and pop/ground/fly out from time to time. It's baseball and they aren't going to get it right all the time.

But when some of the same players swing at the first pitch, and pop/ground/fly out time after time after time, (especially the guys getting a slow start to the year) it does get irritating. Especially if a pitcher with command problems is on the mound. I'd rather see paitence, working the count, and wearing the pitcher down.

storrs19
05-07-2007, 12:15 PM
Well, when you have a manager who refuses to use the Take Sign to players you can expect this sort of thing. Now players like Junior, Hatteburg and (amazingly) Hamilton do not need it but Encarnacion, Phillips and Ross sure do. Some of the pitches Ross has swung at are a joke :rolleyes:

Chip R
05-07-2007, 12:29 PM
But when some of the same players swing at the first pitch, and pop/ground/fly out time after time after time, (especially the guys getting a slow start to the year) it does get irritating. Especially if a pitcher with command problems is on the mound. I'd rather see paitence, working the count, and wearing the pitcher down.


I agree but to hear some people talk, they think that you should never, ever swing at the first pitch. Like I said, no one complains when you hit the first pitch safely.

Always Red
05-07-2007, 12:36 PM
I agree but to hear some people talk, they think that you should never, ever swing at the first pitch. Like I said, no one complains when you hit the first pitch safely.

that's right, Chip. If the pitcher knows that your MO is to ALWAYS take the first pitch, he's liable to throw that BP fastball you mentioned before, just to get ahead in the count.

I think it's good to not fall into any permanent patterns, as a hitter, or a pitcher.

The key is to not just swing at strikes, but only at strikes that you can drive, unless you have two strikes, when you can't afford to be as selective (I know, that opens up a whole new can of worms...);)

Cooper
05-07-2007, 02:19 PM
Ross is having the most difficult time with pitch recognition. He's not aware of the situation and when he has an advantage. It's as if he will not let the other team issue him an informal walk --it appears it's an affront to his manhood. He's hitting 8th: teams want to walk him. He is a mistake hitter, who must zone down in a big way (inside pitch that he can pull, otherwise he can't hit the ball with any authority). It appears, he will not let the other team walk him and whn he does have an advantage, he does not zone down.

Hitting coach needs to show him what he did so effectively last year and tell him it's okay to take a walk or take a called 3rd strike. For some reason, it looks like hitting 8th has bothered him into opening up his strike zone (knowing that the pitcher, 9th spot, is not going to produce a run with a man on). Ross opens his strike zone with the hopes of driving in the run. It's begun to effect his skill in zoning down.

Batting him 7th (so he doesn't have to worry bout the guy behind him) might work. Explaining the situation and telling him to take some called strike # 3's- would be the most effective way to go. Being a catcher i would think he already know such a thing. Is he over analyzing things? Am i?

VR
05-07-2007, 02:53 PM
Ross is having the most difficult time with pitch recognition. He's not aware of the situation and when he has an advantage. It's as if he will not let the other team issue him an informal walk --it appears it's an affront to his manhood. He's hitting 8th: teams want to walk him. He is a mistake hitter, who must zone down in a big way (inside pitch that he can pull, otherwise he can't hit the ball with any authority). It appears, he will not let the other team walk him and whn he does have an advantage, he does not zone down.

Hitting coach needs to show him what he did so effectively last year and tell him it's okay to take a walk or take a called 3rd strike. For some reason, it looks like hitting 8th has bothered him into opening up his strike zone (knowing that the pitcher, 9th spot, is not going to produce a run with a man on). Ross opens his strike zone with the hopes of driving in the run. It's begun to effect his skill in zoning down.

Batting him 7th (so he doesn't have to worry bout the guy behind him) might work. Explaining the situation and telling him to take some called strike # 3's- would be the most effective way to go. Being a catcher i would think he already know such a thing. Is he over analyzing things? Am i?

Good points. He was so clueless in ST and starting the year w/ pitch recognition....along with the fact that he was pulling off every pitch. So many ground outs to 3b and FO's to short right are great indicators of this. He seems to not look like he is 'guessing' up there any more...and the last 10 or so games he is hitting around .300. Let's hope it's a step in the right direction.


Last year he was much better at hitting w/ authority the other way...this year he seems to try to yack every pitch. He has such an explosive bat...he'd be well served to try to shoot more balls to RC. He had great success last year.

mth123
05-07-2007, 08:03 PM
Babe Ruth says:

"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it."

Good enough for me.

geniusMoment
05-07-2007, 08:08 PM
What has shocked me is that last year no matter what EdE seemed to give good quality at bats. He was good at working the count and would take a walk, I see a different approach entirely this year. I want EdE 2006 back.

TexasRed
05-07-2007, 08:29 PM
I would never say a guy should always take the first pitch. It is about situational hitting though (and, no I don't get all of my thoughts from Brantly). If the guy walks the batter in front of you on five pitches take one for gods sake. It not only effects the current at bat but can also impact the rest of the game by making the pitcher throw/work more, etc, etc.

Aside from batting I see EE and BP making some seriously silly plays on D. What's with EE on that bunt play the other night? Realize it's Taveras (one of the fastest guy's in the league) and put the ball in your pocket. I know he wants to be aggressive but you gotta think too.