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View Full Version : Norris Hopper or Ryan Freel?



Jim Fazio
06-03-2007, 07:59 PM
When Freel comes back I say Hopper plays more. He seems to be the better all around player. Good contact hitter, more consistent and just as good OF.

HBP
06-03-2007, 08:21 PM
In truth, Hopper probably is the more talented player. You have to love all the hustle and effort (ok, scrappiness) that Freel gives you, but Norris has the better stick. Freel has one advantage in that he can play 3B and 2B on occasion. Both are good bench players when Hamilton gets back and Ryan gets healed.

boognish
06-03-2007, 08:35 PM
Freel has a career OBP of .362. He has struggled mightily this year (.313 OBP), but to assert Hopper is "more talented," or "more consistent" based largely on one hot week is premature.

They are actually very similar players, though Freel can take a walk. Both are converted infielders whose OF defense suffers due to poor routes to flies and poor first steps reading the ball of the bat, and both players' overall game is based largely on speed. Also, both Freel and Hopper lack pop with the bat. Hopper has exactly 4 career HR in his professional baseball career.

The Reds' offense has a lot of questions, and a guy whose OBP is BA-driven sitting inthe leadoff hole is not the answer to any of the questions. Freel has been an out machine on the bases and at the bat, but I'll take his track record over a guy whose career minor league OPS is below .700, in particular with a home park that features a small OF, stifling doubles.

reds44
06-03-2007, 08:38 PM
Neither are anything more then a backup player. With Hamilton coming back, Hopper goes back to the bench where he belongs.

justincredible
06-03-2007, 08:42 PM
Neither are anything more then a backup player. With Hamilton coming back, Hopper goes back to the bench where he belongs.

Word.

When Hammy is back it should be Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey a very large majority of the time. I like having Hopper and Freel on the bench but neither are everyday starters.

reds44
06-03-2007, 08:46 PM
Word.

When Hammy is back it should be Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey a very large majority of the time. I like having Hopper and Freel on the bench but neither are everyday starters.
How much you want to bet Narron gives Hopper Hamilton's starts in CF vs. LHP?

Btw, Hopper has a career minor league OPS south of .700. He doesn't walk alot, and he doesn't have alot of doubles. He's a PURE singles hitter, and he doesn't play that good of defense. He's a nice little pinch hitter/spot starter/pinch runner off the bench, but he's not very good.

And don't get me wrong, I like Norris. I just hope the Reds don't expect him to be somethin he is not.

boognish
06-03-2007, 08:52 PM
Narron has an innate ability to mismanage the roster, I agree, reds44. Hamilton is the player who should be getting 500 PA and finding himself in the lineup any way possible, not Hopper. The Reds need to figure out exactly what Hamilton brings to the table over a full season to adequately map out the future roster.

Hopper is a one trick pony and is useful as speed off the bench. I also find his defense to be woefully lacking.

HokieRed
06-03-2007, 09:30 PM
Both make very useful backup players, IMO. But it's past time for this organization to set a little higher standard at every position. There is one basic question: is this guy a strong player on a team that seeks to win the pennant every year. We've got to move the players from the minors who can play and put the best eight players on the field as often as possible. Krivsky should be working immediately on an upgrade behind the plate and on trying to get some value for Conine and Hatteberg. IF: Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez, Edwin; Of: Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey. Catcher: Ross/Javy until we can get an upgrade. Bench, after Conine and Hatteberg are gone: Freel, Hopper, Keppinger, Janish, a righty capable of relieving Votto from time to time (Conine until he can be moved).

boognish
06-03-2007, 09:38 PM
Both make very useful backup players, IMO. But it's past time for this organization to set a little higher standard at every position. There is one basic question: is this guy a strong player on a team that seeks to win the pennant every year. We've got to move the players from the minors who can play and put the best eight players on the field as often as possible. Krivsky should be working immediately on an upgrade behind the plate and on trying to get some value for Conine and Hatteberg. IF: Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez, Edwin; Of: Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey. Catcher: Ross/Javy until we can get an upgrade. Bench, after Conine and Hatteberg are gone: Freel, Hopper, Keppinger, Janish, a righty capable of relieving Votto from time to time (Conine until he can be moved).

I think having both Freel and Hopper on the bench is a bit redundant, and I'd like to see some LH-power...like a PH specialist who can play the corner positions. This assumes Votto's lefty-mashing 1B counterpart has power, and the high minors aren't exactly stacked with those types of player.

I agree totally with your "one basic question" premise. We need to acquire hitters with upside who can't quite make other teams' 40-man rosters and incrementally upgrade our overall roster talent, and get a field manager capable of managing that roster.

captainmorgan07
06-03-2007, 09:40 PM
if it's me i play hopper and have freel pinch run or do small things till he's healthy then return him to the super sub role he has excelled in for couple years.

Screwball
06-03-2007, 09:46 PM
if it's me i play hopper and have freel pinch run or do small things till he's healthy then return him to the super sub role he has excelled in for couple years.

Yeah last season David Eckstein suffered a concussion and was pretty awful for a couple months afterwards when he came back. It was very apparent he wasn't himself due to the concussion, and with Hopper filling in nicely, there's no reason to necessarily play Freel right when he's able to come off the DL.

fearofpopvol1
06-03-2007, 09:53 PM
How much you want to bet Narron gives Hopper Hamilton's starts in CF vs. LHP?

Btw, Hopper has a career minor league OPS south of .700. He doesn't walk alot, and he doesn't have alot of doubles. He's a PURE singles hitter, and he doesn't play that good of defense. He's a nice little pinch hitter/spot starter/pinch runner off the bench, but he's not very good.

And don't get me wrong, I like Norris. I just hope the Reds don't expect him to be somethin he is not.

Yes, but you're also overlooking the fact that Norris had a batting average of .347 in the international league MOST RECENTLY (which was a league best). Players can come around at an older age. Look at Derek Lee. Pre 2005, he was an average 1st basemen at best (actually, probably below average) and he was almost 30 years at that point. Now, I'm not suggesting Hopper's upside is of Derek Lee proportions because it's not, but he has torn it up since he's had regular playing time and I think with regular playing time he can be a starting player, regardless of what his past may suggest. There is no way of knowing unless he gets the ABs over the course of an extended period of time to know. The problem for Hopper is that he has 3 outfielders currently who project better.

Chi-Town Red
06-03-2007, 10:05 PM
Hopper has played brilliantly, and deserves more time
But Josh is the CF now....Not sure where Freel fits in
other than giving days off

Natty Redlocks
06-03-2007, 11:40 PM
Hopefully neither will start. But if someone gets injured or traded and we needed one in the lineup every day, I would hope it would be whomever is hitting at the moment. Freel has "earned the job", but he's extremely streaky so Hopper would most likely get an opportunity at some point (like he is now). They could take turns winning the starting job from each other; it would be fun. But neither should be considered an everyday player.

Bobcat J
06-04-2007, 01:20 PM
Yes, but you're also overlooking the fact that Norris had a batting average of .347 in the international league MOST RECENTLY (which was a league best).

But, you're overlooking the fact that much of his BA was the result of luck. His BABIP was high at .372. If it had been at the typical .290, Hopper's BA would have been .271. Eventually that will even out.

HBP
06-04-2007, 02:18 PM
But, you're overlooking the fact that much of his BA was the result of luck. His BABIP was high at .372. If it had been at the typical .290, Hopper's BA would have been .271. Eventually that will even out.

It probably will even out, but that wasn't the point. It's that Hopper is obviously becoming a better player as he gets older.

Bobcat J
06-04-2007, 02:28 PM
It probably will even out, but that wasn't the point. It's that Hopper is obviously becoming a better player as he gets older.

But, Hopper isn't obviously becoming a better player. His lifetime Avg. in the minors is .290. Had he not been hit lucky last year, his avg. would have been right around his career avg. That combined with his career minor league OPS of 682 doesn't inspire confidence in his ability to perform on the big league level.

fearofpopvol1
06-04-2007, 03:11 PM
But, Hopper isn't obviously becoming a better player. His lifetime Avg. in the minors is .290. Had he not been hit lucky last year, his avg. would have been right around his career avg. That combined with his career minor league OPS of 682 doesn't inspire confidence in his ability to perform on the big league level.

It's easy to say that and I admit that his past isn't inspiring, but at least as of late, he's shown signs of being a good player. You can't say he'll come back down if he doesn't have the chance or get the ABs. I'm not even suggesting that he should, but I think he could be a pretty good starting player if given the shot.

reds44
06-04-2007, 03:14 PM
It's easy to say that and I admit that his past isn't inspiring, but at least as of late, he's shown signs of being a good player. You can't say he'll come back down if he doesn't have the chance or get the ABs. I'm not even suggesting that he should, but I think he could be a pretty good starting player if given the shot.
1 week does not make him a good player. He has a minor league OPS of .682.

He's not going to get a chance to start anyways. The OF is Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey. Best case scenario for Norris is he starts vs. LHP in place of Hamilton.

fearofpopvol1
06-04-2007, 03:36 PM
1 week does not make him a good player. He has a minor league OPS of .682.

He's not going to get a chance to start anyways. The OF is Dunn/Hamilton/Griffey. Best case scenario for Norris is he starts vs. LHP in place of Hamilton.

1 week doesn't make a good player, but he showed a lot over a week and without more ABs, it's hard to say he can't be a good player which is the same point I've been making in every post.

bucksfan2
06-04-2007, 04:27 PM
This is what always gets me about fans in this town. Hopper wins the minor league batting title last year and instead of looking foreward and hoping Hopper can continue, most people make up excuses of why Hopper had such good year last year. Instead of hoping for improvement some people give every reason in the book for a regression. I am all for Hopper getting more atbats. He seems like he is going to make contact more often than not and this team needs that. IMO some people obsess too much over stats and moneyball to realize that every player on a roster is built differently and each player has their own assets and flaws.

fearofpopvol1
06-04-2007, 06:29 PM
This is what always gets me about fans in this town. Hopper wins the minor league batting title last year and instead of looking foreward and hoping Hopper can continue, most people make up excuses of why Hopper had such good year last year. Instead of hoping for improvement some people give every reason in the book for a regression. I am all for Hopper getting more atbats. He seems like he is going to make contact more often than not and this team needs that. IMO some people obsess too much over stats and moneyball to realize that every player on a roster is built differently and each player has their own assets and flaws.

Well, historically, a big problem with RZ is that they tend to write people off without giving them a fair chance based on career norms or a bad year. That's nothing new here...

Bobcat J
06-04-2007, 06:55 PM
This is what always gets me about fans in this town. Hopper wins the minor league batting title last year and instead of looking foreward and hoping Hopper can continue, most people make up excuses of why Hopper had such good year last year. Instead of hoping for improvement some people give every reason in the book for a regression. I am all for Hopper getting more atbats. He seems like he is going to make contact more often than not and this team needs that. IMO some people obsess too much over stats and moneyball to realize that every player on a roster is built differently and each player has their own assets and flaws.

This is a thread that asked who should start, Hopper or Freel. It is not a thread that asked do you hope Hopper continues to play well. Of course I hope Hopper does well. But, in answering the question of Hopper v. Freel, critical thinking and a deeper examination of their performances than "Hopper has a good batting average" is helpful.

Some folks say they would take Hopper because he's been hot and hit well in AAA. But, there is more to the story than batting avg. I used a stat to make the point that some may be overvaluing Hopper's AAA batting average. That is part of a healthy debate.

reds44
06-04-2007, 06:58 PM
This is what always gets me about fans in this town. Hopper wins the minor league batting title last year and instead of looking foreward and hoping Hopper can continue, most people make up excuses of why Hopper had such good year last year. Instead of hoping for improvement some people give every reason in the book for a regression. I am all for Hopper getting more atbats. He seems like he is going to make contact more often than not and this team needs that. IMO some people obsess too much over stats and moneyball to realize that every player on a roster is built differently and each player has their own assets and flaws.
Who do you want to gve Hopper at bat's over?

Dunn?
Hamilton?
Griffey?

There have been plenty of players who put up great minor league numbers and it never translate to sucess at this level. I would love to see Hopper become an everyday leadoff guy, but he just doesn't have the skills to be an everyday player at this level.

Screwball
06-04-2007, 07:15 PM
But, Hopper isn't obviously becoming a better player. His lifetime Avg. in the minors is .290. Had he not been hit lucky last year, his avg. would have been right around his career avg.

You can't always just chalk it up to luck as though that's the only cause of high(er) BABIP. If you square the ball up and hit it hard more often than not, then a higher percentage of balls put in play are going to go as base hits. For example, Albert Pujols has a career BABIP of .317; Todd Helton has a career BABIP of .342; Joe Mauer .350; Tony Gwynn .345, etc. etc. Now, would you say that these guys have been in large part getting lucky their entire careers? Or is it maybe another factor, such as hitting the ball solidly most of the time?

Before you go telling me Norris Hopper isn't as good as the aforementioned players, I realize that, and wasn't trying to say he was. I'm merely pointing out that a BABIP over .300 doesn't necessarily mean a player is hit lucky, especially if he maintains it over the course of a season. Squaring the ball up has just as much to do with it as luck.

BTW, point well taken on his career .692 OPS. Although, leadoff hitters don't necessarily need to have a high OPS to do their job effectively.

reds44
06-04-2007, 07:25 PM
If you square the ball up and hit it hard more often than not, then a higher percentage of balls put in play are going to go as base hits. For example, Albert Pujols has a career BABIP of .317; Todd Helton has a career BABIP of .342; Joe Mauer .350; Tony Gwynn .345, etc. etc. Now, would you say that these guys have been in large part getting lucky their entire careers? Or is it maybe another factor, such as hitting the ball solidly most of the time?

Compare the XBH's of the guys you just mentioned, and Norris Hopper. Norris Hopper is nearly exclsively a singles a hitter.

Screwball
06-04-2007, 07:32 PM
Compare the XBH's of the guys you just mentioned, and Norris Hopper. Norris Hopper is nearly exclsively a singles a hitter.

And that would be one of a few good reasons why they are better hitters and more valuable than Norris Hopper. As much I conceded, but said it wasn't the point.

RedlegNation
06-05-2007, 02:55 AM
It's easy to say that and I admit that his past isn't inspiring, but at least as of late, he's shown signs of being a good player. You can't say he'll come back down if he doesn't have the chance or get the ABs. I'm not even suggesting that he should, but I think he could be a pretty good starting player if given the shot.

Wow. Hopper isn't even a pretty good starting player in AAA. He's average, at best.

Hopper is a decent 5th outfielder on a major league team. I don't mind having him on the roster. He can play a little defense, has a little speed, he can fill in for short periods of time.

A starter he is not, and he will never be. I can't believe this is even a question. Even Juan Castro had a good couple of weeks once or twice in his career. It happens.

Topcat
06-05-2007, 04:25 AM
What it comes down to is quite simple. Hoppers cheap and seems to be worth the risk of keeping as a backup outfielder. Freel has some value on the trade market and should be maximized for that for the long term needs the Red's franchise has for future. Shop Freel and find out his worth and if the offers are poor then hang on to him till a fair offer comes.

bucksfan2
06-05-2007, 11:05 AM
Here is what I see when watching Hopper. He makes contact more often than not when he swings. His knowledge of the strike zone isn't great but he does put the ball in play quite a bit. He is an average to above average defender. He has decent speed and when he puts the ball on the ground he has the ability to get on base. He has some speed and has the ability to steal a base. He doesn't get a lot of extra base hits but he also plays within himself and does what he is good at.

Are you going to tell me that the reds don't need a guy on their roster who makes contact, can steal a base, can play decent defense, and is cheap?

Slyder
06-05-2007, 11:31 AM
Who do you want to gve Hopper at bat's over?

Dunn?
Hamilton?
Griffey?

There have been plenty of players who put up great minor league numbers and it never translate to sucess at this level. I would love to see Hopper become an everyday leadoff guy, but he just doesn't have the skills to be an everyday player at this level.

Brandon Larson anyone?

TheOnlyRedsFan
07-08-2007, 10:23 PM
Both are great "little guys" in the outfield that go all out on plays. Both have potential to be decent lead off guys. Both have great speed. Which guy should be starter if Dunn or Griffey gets dealt and Hamilton comes back to take over in center?

Degenerate39
07-08-2007, 10:30 PM
Ryan Forreel

AmarilloRed
07-09-2007, 01:42 AM
I think Norris is the better hitter, but Freel has more pop in his bat. I am also pretty sure he would not have the injury problems Freel has. I think Freel has the greater range in the outfield, though.

tripleaaaron
07-09-2007, 02:27 AM
I would plug Hopper in there and continue to use Freel as my utility man, starting 5 of 7 games a week at various positions, he has more versatility than Hopper and Hopper would benefit from consistency.

reds44
07-09-2007, 02:29 AM
C. None of the above.

Krawhitham
07-09-2007, 04:33 AM
Hopper will make less boneheaded plays

TheWalls
07-09-2007, 10:32 AM
C. None of the above.

Agreed. Hamilton every day starter in CF, Freel 4-5 times a week at CF, LF, 2B, and 3B resting starters, and Hopper as PH/PR.