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37red
08-12-2007, 09:42 AM
I'm surprised every time I see people ripping Hopper, I don't get it. He's above average, which means he's better than most of the players. He hustles and is cheap, why the complaining?

3rd on AVG.
6th -- OBP
done well on SB
scored a lot
He doesn't have much power and his RBI's are low but his playing doesn't seem to deserve the ripping he gets, what's the beef?

Unassisted
08-12-2007, 09:49 AM
Hopper made some great catches in the OF last night. He's not a liability in CF from what I saw.

nate
08-12-2007, 10:03 AM
If he's gonna hit leadoff, he should be getting on base a lot more than he currently does. 6th on a team that's 10th in the league in OBP for a leadoff guy isn't so good. Maybe in the 7 or 8 spot, though.

Plus, his 6th ranking in team OBP is behind:

Dunn
Griffey
Hamilton

I think he's a good Freel replacement. If he was 23 and doing this, I'd say we're on to something but he's 28. A good bench player and spot starter but not someone that should take ABs away from Hamilton (when's ready to come back).

Reds1
08-12-2007, 10:08 AM
Yes, doing well and and a great Freel replacement, but no to take any of Hamilton's AB. I love Norris though. He has never got a shot and he shows he can hit and has some speed and can make the great catch. Nice bench guy IMO.

jojo
08-12-2007, 11:20 AM
In my mind, Hopper is pretty close to the definition of replacement level- below average bat (well below average in the corners) and roughly league average to slightly above average defensively depending upon whether he's in a corner or center field.

Kc61
08-12-2007, 11:44 AM
Hopper has been terrific. He's a very good singles hitter, plays all three outfield spots pretty well, aggressive, runs the bases. His major drawback is that he doesn't walk much which keeps his OBP down.

Next year, I'd like to see Hopper and Kessinger both on the Reds' bench. I think they will be and will continue to get a lot of playing time.

Matt700wlw
08-12-2007, 11:45 AM
I have no problem with Norris Hopper and absolutely want him a part of the 2008 Reds.....but if he's your full-time starting whatever outfielder next season, that's not good.

If he's a role playing, occasional starter, situational pinch hitter, late game defensive replacement, then he's being used properly. He brings great things to the table.....but we all know what Sparky used to say about a bench player....


His drag bunts are great.....but EVENTUALLY, the rest of baseball is going to adjust to it and get him out when he does it......what does he do then?

mth123
08-12-2007, 11:56 AM
For me the issue with Hopper being good concerns degree of good.

If Hopper is considered a pleasant find who can add some speed, play adequate defense, fill-in in spurts and provide a much cheaper bench alternative than Ryan Freel, I'm all for Hopper assuming that role in 2008 with Freel's salary being moved and being applied to the pitching staff.

OTOH, if the logic is that Hopper is an everyday OF who makes some one like Dunn expendable or Hamilton a bench player, that is something else completely. Hopper has very little extra base power and his production is based entirely on getting on base, applying a little pressure and scoring runs. Nothing wrong with that if it works. The problem is that Hopper's ability to get on base is almost completely dependent on his batting average (he doesn't walk much) and his batting average is too dependent on bloops, bunts and infield singles. I just don't see his game being sustainable over a full season. Eventually teams will take those bunts away and I just haven't seen enough "oomph" in his bat to make teams pay for it.

I'm convinced that Hopper is a major leaguer and teams like the Reds need cheap help that can be effective off the bench, but lets not get carried away.

GAC
08-12-2007, 11:59 AM
He could be a solid bench/utility player.... nothing more IMO.

PuffyPig
08-12-2007, 12:00 PM
Hopper is a good 4th-5th OF and nothing more.

If he walked more, he could be a regular, but he never has, and likely never will.

westofyou
08-12-2007, 12:19 PM
Energy and low BA driven OB%, limited power + Defense + knowing what your role is = Norris Hopper and his ilk, use them, they have their roles, they are an important part of teh game..

Don't overpay for them or decide that they will be the draft horses that pull your wagon, if you do look up Whitey Herzog's thoughts on Jack Clark.

37red
08-12-2007, 12:20 PM
I think he could be feeling a little pressure to hit the ball and not take the walks, not a good thing but this is his first shot in the show. If he gets on base more often he's a keeper and a good platoon player. Good arm, good hustle and puts pressure on the infield with his bunt. You're right that's he's not a full time starter but he is a good back up. My question was why all the send Hopper back down talk. And a 6th OBP on a team like the Reds is a low number and a good point. How DO the Reds compare around the league in OBP? We know without looking how the relief pitching ranks, but I'm not sure where some of the other offensive numbers rank.

VR
08-12-2007, 12:21 PM
He has a career .642 career OPS in the minor leagues.

If you want entertainment, hes a scrappy little dude who does some fun things. In between those fun things are lots and lots of outs, including an incredible amount of dp's for a little guy.

If you want to win, pretty OK #5 outfielder.

Kc61
08-12-2007, 01:02 PM
He has a career .642 career OPS in the minor leagues.

If you want entertainment, hes a scrappy little dude who does some fun things. In between those fun things are lots and lots of outs, including an incredible amount of dp's for a little guy.

If you want to win, pretty OK #5 outfielder.

Don't like using OPS for this type of player. He doesn't have any power so his OPS will always be low. I think Hopper's issue is that, to be a starter without power, you need a .380 type OBP, which he doesn't have.

Agree he is a bench guy, but I think a pretty good one.

remdog
08-12-2007, 01:37 PM
Next year, I'd like to see Hopper and Kessinger both on the Reds' bench.

I don't think Don's in baseball anymore but maybe he'd take the gig as infield coach. He was pretty good with the glove with the Cubbies. Or were you thinking of Keith, Don's son, who had a cup of coffee with the Reds in '93? :)

Rem

KronoRed
08-12-2007, 02:22 PM
He looks like a fine bench player, the trouble is going to be if the Reds try and turn him into an everyday player.

TOBTTReds
08-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Don't like using OPS for this type of player. He doesn't have any power so his OPS will always be low. I think Hopper's issue is that, to be a starter without power, you need a .380 type OBP, which he doesn't have.

Agree he is a bench guy, but I think a pretty good one.

I agree with you here. If you can't slug AT ALL, your obp better be well above average. I would use the ops stat for him though, because those are his minor league numbers, and they are below .700. That is brutal. Even an obp of .350 would be a slug of .350 is poor for the minors. I would prefer him to on base much much higher if he is gonna play more.

Rojo
08-12-2007, 05:12 PM
Nice platoon player, in 92 ab's against lefties, he's got a .414 OBP. Runs,fields well. Shouldn't be exposed to righties.

Kc61
08-12-2007, 06:53 PM
I don't think Don's in baseball anymore but maybe he'd take the gig as infield coach. He was pretty good with the glove with the Cubbies. Or were you thinking of Keith, Don's son, who had a cup of coffee with the Reds in '93? :)

Rem

I should have said Glenn Beckert.

remdog
08-12-2007, 08:35 PM
At this point I wouldn't have a problem with Hopper off the bench in '08. Decent 'D', decent 'O'.

It's interesting that we will essentially get a full year out of Dunn and Griffey in '07. Center field has been where the merry-go-round has opperated this year. Hopefully, this year has strengthened Hamilton and helped get his body back to the level it needs to be to endure the stress of playing 150 games per year. If all three of these guys come back maybe we won't need Hopper as much next year. (Although, Griffey will always have a question mark hanging over him and Freel will need to show he's healthy next year.)

Rem

KronoRed
08-12-2007, 09:12 PM
Nice platoon player, in 92 ab's against lefties, he's got a .414 OBP. Runs,fields well. Shouldn't be exposed to righties.

Yep, used correctly he'll be an asset

Blitz Dorsey
08-12-2007, 09:20 PM
If Hopper could just learn how to base-hit bunt to the right side, we might have something here.

Seriously, I have never seen a right-handed hitter bunt so well to the right side. It's amazing that he's second in the league in base-hit bunts for having so few at-bats.

I am a Hopper fan, but I would disagree he is an "above average" Major League player. I would actually put him exactly at "average." But he can be a damn solid reserve OF for us for the next few years.

GAC
08-12-2007, 09:54 PM
At this point I wouldn't have a problem with Hopper off the bench in '08. Decent 'D', decent 'O'.

When you look at what we had coming off our bench, he is an improvement. And I think that pretty much coincides with what woy stated...


Energy and low BA driven OB%, limited power + Defense + knowing what your role is = Norris Hopper and his ilk, use them, they have their roles, they are an important part of teh game..

Don't overpay for them or decide that they will be the draft horses that pull your wagon, if you do look up Whitey Herzog's thoughts on Jack Clark.

And people need to remember that when Pete took over he was told to experiment. And that he is. And Freel's injury history in '07 has made it easier to do that. And I think that is all he is doing with Hopper since we have lost two CFers to injury.

Lets see what happens once Hamilton comes back.

But I think that is the only reason we are seeing Hopper get so much playing time right now. What are their other options at this stage?

Caveat Emperor
08-12-2007, 10:06 PM
It's interesting that we will essentially get a full year out of Dunn and Griffey in '07. Center field has been where the merry-go-round has opperated this year. Hopefully, this year has strengthened Hamilton and helped get his body back to the level it needs to be to endure the stress of playing 150 games per year. If all three of these guys come back maybe we won't need Hopper as much next year. (Although, Griffey will always have a question mark hanging over him and Freel will need to show he's healthy next year.)

At this point in his career, you have to look at Hamilton as a corner outfielder. Most of the metrics I've seen place his ratings as firmly in the middle to low-middle of the pack in defensive ratings. He has a cannon for an arm, but I'd rather my centerfielder get to more balls than throw the occasional man out at 3rd or home. Furthermore, I don't expect the injury parade to end with him -- he ravaged his body for the better part of the 3 years, you have to expect that he'll accumulate dings faster and be slower to recover as a result. If that is the case, why place him in at the most physically-taxing outfield position on the field?

Looking longterm (and I don't recommend doing so with a player like Hamilton), I see him as more a plus-defending LF or a decent RF. Still leaves the ballclub in need of a CF -- time to see if Chris Dickerson can hit enough to stick in the bigs.

BuckeyeRedleg
08-12-2007, 10:46 PM
Norris Hopper is decent and a good guy to have on the bench. The problem with a Norris Hopper is as a team continues to lose, it's fans get carried away thinking that more Norris Hopper types are the solution and then next thing you know your paying Norris Hopper $7 Mil over 2 years (see: Freel, Ryan).

Blitz Dorsey
08-12-2007, 10:50 PM
I will say I like Hopper much better than Freel as a hitter. Freel is far too much of a free swinger for a leadoff/speed guy. He often takes way too big of a cut and he pops up way too much. Also, Freel doesn't work the count well enough IMO.

jojo
08-12-2007, 11:17 PM
In my mind Hopper is pretty much a younger, cheaper version of Freel except that he probably is a better technical defender while Freel relies mostly on his speed, Hopper's OBP is mostly BA driven versus Freel's better ability to draw walks, and Hopper can only play the outfield while Freel is more versatile as a defensive replacement.

The problem with both? "Baseball guys" who manage can't help themselves-they're compelled by baseball guyness to maximize playing time for Hopper/Freel types.

Hopper/Freel is to baseball guys like whiskey is to an alcoholic. On a battlefield, doctors can save lives by using alcohol as an antiseptic. In civilian life, alcohol can lead to liver disease.

VR
08-13-2007, 01:13 AM
At this point in his career, you have to look at Hamilton as a corner outfielder. Most of the metrics I've seen place his ratings as firmly in the middle to low-middle of the pack in defensive ratings. He has a cannon for an arm, but I'd rather my centerfielder get to more balls than throw the occasional man out at 3rd or home. Furthermore, I don't expect the injury parade to end with him -- he ravaged his body for the better part of the 3 years, you have to expect that he'll accumulate dings faster and be slower to recover as a result. If that is the case, why place him in at the most physically-taxing outfield position on the field?

Looking longterm (and I don't recommend doing so with a player like Hamilton), I see him as more a plus-defending LF or a decent RF. Still leaves the ballclub in need of a CF -- time to see if Chris Dickerson can hit enough to stick in the bigs.

Good points CE, although I think he'll actually improve tremendously over the next 3 years in the outfield. Playing the game this fast and at this level has to require the shaking off of a lot of rust...as well as learning some new skills. His speed and instincts seem exceptional....I think it's all about gettin reps.

bucksfan2
08-13-2007, 10:17 AM
I see no problem with a BA driven OBP. I think too many times we obsess about certain aspects of a player without taking what the player actually does. Hopper brings a skill set that the reds dont have. He doesn't strike out much. He puts the ball in play. For all of his limitations he is good at what he does. As a speed player I really dont about his OPS. I think a player like Hopper has really been hurt the new moneyball era where people look too much at stats that were not used even 10 years ago. With all that said he is not even in the same league as Dunn, Jr, or Hamitlon and I would never suggest trading away either of those two in order to get Hopper ab's. What I do see is a better all around player than Freel. A guy who can make plays coming off the bench, can be used as a pinch runner, can be used as a defensive substitution.

Food for thought. Hopper has a .040 point difference between his AVG and OPS. Tony Gwynn had a .050 difference. Would Gwynn have been the player he was in today's world because his OBP wasn't off the charts?

RedsManRick
08-13-2007, 10:23 AM
There's nothing inherently wrong an average driven OBP. In fact, ALL else being equal, it's better. However, the problem with it is that it means, particularly in light of his low slugging, that all of his value in those hits. He currently has a BABIP of .353. Now I'm willing to accept that because of his bunt singles, he's going to have a high BABIP, but I don't think he's going to remain Ichiro-esque.

So yeah, he can get by on .313/.353/.374. But what happens when it becomes .280/.320/.335? He's passable now. He won't be when & if he cools down. And he's got nothing else to fall back on. If he's not getting singles, he's not doing anything.

As for Tony Gwynn, he had a career line of .338/.388/.459. For his career he OBP'd 35 points that Hopper in a great season and he slugged 85 points more. That's 120 OPS more. That's a big difference.

IslandRed
08-13-2007, 10:28 AM
Agreed. Nothing wrong with OBP driven by a high batting average, but it has to be sustainable.

Anyway, Tony Gwynn (to use bucksfan2's example) had a career OBP of .388. After his rookie year, it never dipped below .355 and was over .400 six times. That plays well anywhere. Always has, still does.

jojo
08-13-2007, 10:34 AM
Perhaps this is a better way of stating it...Hopper's OBP is driven by his ability to get bunt hits to the right side of the infield. If the defense adapts and he can't.......

remdog
08-13-2007, 11:50 AM
If the defense adapts.......

Then Hopper will have to adapt to survive. If he adapts by driving the ball past drawn-in infielders, so much the better. Some of those balls will turn into doubles down the line. Hopper has shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields so I think there is a chance that he'll be able to adapt. My guess is we'll see soon enough.

Rem

37red
08-13-2007, 01:51 PM
Hopper has sense, he's not likely to let the other teams just close in on him and thus not be able to put the bunt down. If, and a big if, he can learn to push the ball over their heads he's got the tools to get hits. I'm expecting him to be a good player, not a great player, but a good one. If he gets umph from the coaching staff he'll stay competitive, if everyone just quits trying to win games he'll lose his attack mode and melt away like the rest of the team. What night do the free hot dogs and first beer happen?

Highlifeman21
08-13-2007, 02:03 PM
When Norris Hopper is considered an everyday starter, your club is in trouble.

Norris Hopper is not an everyday starter and or player. He's a 4th OF at best, who could provide some speed and late inning defense off the bench.

To think otherwise, IMO, is overestimating the limited skill set of Mr. Hopper.

jojo
08-13-2007, 02:09 PM
As for Tony Gwynn, he had a career line of .338/.388/.459. For his career he OBP'd 35 points that Hopper in a great season and he slugged 85 points more. That's 120 OPS more. That's a big difference.

Are you suggesting that Hopper isn't a future HOFer?

http://www.freesmileys.org/emo/whacky099.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Always Red
08-13-2007, 02:16 PM
When Norris Hopper is considered an everyday starter, your club is in trouble.

Norris Hopper is not an everyday starter and or player. He's a 4th OF at best, who could provide some speed and late inning defense off the bench.

To think otherwise, IMO, is overestimating the limited skill set of Mr. Hopper.

I agree with everything you say, but Hopper makes this bench so much better than it has been most of the year, especially when paired with Kepp, on the bench as well.

Hopper has a decent skill set; he knows how to put the bat on the ball, he can run, and he's a smart player. His less than discriminating eye does indeed put him on the bench, though, for my team.

Every single team needs players like Hopper in order to win. There just aren't enough 5 tool, walk taking, power-hitting guys out there.

He's a nice player who has had a nice run. I'm a fan of his game, even in spite of Marty banging the drum in his favor. Don't extend him and pay him big bucks, don't start him in LF over Dunn (sheesh, it hurts to even type that out!) and don't count on him for anything other than bench work, and it will be OK.

Truth be told, I'm excited for both Keppinger and Hopper. I do like their enthusiasm, and they're hitting the ball well. Both have shown the ability, all through the minors, to hit. They're both good guys to have on the bench, and occasionally spot start, for 2008. As long as Wayne doesn't do anything crazy and decide one of them is a starter, they'll both be fine, and they both help to make the Reds a better team.

vic715
08-13-2007, 02:31 PM
I agree with everything you say, but Hopper makes this bench so much better than it has been most of the year, especially when paired with Kepp, on the bench as well.

Hopper has a decent skill set; he knows how to put the bat on the ball, he can run, and he's a smart player. His less than discriminating eye does indeed put him on the bench, though, for my team.

Every single team needs players like Hopper in order to win. There just aren't enough 5 tool, walk taking, power-hitting guys out there.

He's a nice player who has had a nice run. I'm a fan of his game, even in spite of Marty banging the drum in his favor. Don't extend him and pay him big bucks, don't start him in LF over Dunn (sheesh, it hurts to even type that out!) and don't count on him for anything other than bench work, and it will be OK.

Truth be told, I'm excited for both Keppinger and Hopper. I do like their enthusiasm, and they're hitting the ball well. Both have shown the ability, all through the minors, to hit. They're both good guys to have on the bench, and occasionally spot start, for 2008. As long as Wayne doesn't do anything crazy and decide one of them is a starter, they'll both be fine, and they both help to make the Reds a better team.

vic715
08-13-2007, 02:41 PM
I agree with everything you say, but Hopper makes this bench so much better than it has been most of the year, especially when paired with Kepp, on the bench as well.

Hopper has a decent skill set; he knows how to put the bat on the ball, he can run, and he's a smart player. His less than discriminating eye does indeed put him on the bench, though, for my team.

Every single team needs players like Hopper in order to win. There just aren't enough 5 tool, walk taking, power-hitting guys out there.

He's a nice player who has had a nice run. I'm a fan of his game, even in spite of Marty banging the drum in his favor. Don't extend him and pay him big bucks, don't start him in LF over Dunn (sheesh, it hurts to even type that out!) and don't count on him for anything other than bench work, and it will be OK.

Truth be told, I'm excited for both Keppinger and Hopper. I do like their enthusiasm, and they're hitting the ball well. Both have shown the ability, all through the minors, to hit. They're both good guys to have on the bench, and occasionally spot start, for 2008. As long as Wayne doesn't do anything crazy and decide one of them is a starter, they'll both be fine, and they both help to make the Reds a better team.

Good post. I don't think (I hope Not) that Hopper is in the mix next year as a regular,only because of all the injuries is he getting to show his stuff. Its not bad but I don't think that he could continue this way for the full course of a season. He is a great guy coming off the bench which is very important. Sparky said it best when he said that"if you let guys play that are not everyday players they will eventually show you why they are not everyday players". I think Hopper probably fits this very well.

dfs
08-13-2007, 08:06 PM
Nice platoon player, in 92 ab's against lefties, he's got a .414 OBP. Runs,fields well. Shouldn't be exposed to righties.
Good catch. Dunn, Hamilton, Junior, Votto, Hatteberg....lots of PT for a righthanded on base guy given this roster.

Eric_Davis
08-13-2007, 08:15 PM
In my mind, Hopper is pretty close to the definition of replacement level- below average bat (well below average in the corners) and roughly league average to slightly above average defensively depending upon whether he's in a corner or center field.


C'mon Jojo, get real.

Hopper is by far the best defensive outfielder on the REDS, and to suggest otherwise is making stuff up to try and support your own agenda, whatever that may be.

Eric_Davis
08-13-2007, 08:16 PM
You're right 37Red. People on this site just like to complain because they have nothing better to do. There's absolutely no reason to rip on Hopper.

nate
08-13-2007, 08:28 PM
C'mon Jojo, get real.

Hopper is by far the best defensive outfielder on the REDS, and to suggest otherwise is making stuff up to try and support your own agenda, whatever that may be.

Given that the rest of the Reds outfield is fairly poor defensively, I don't know if jojo _was_ suggesting otherwise.

nate
08-13-2007, 08:31 PM
You're right 37Red. People on this site just like to complain because they have nothing better to do. There's absolutely no reason to rip on Hopper.

I just think some folks are aghast that a seemingly experience baseball personality like Marty would suggest that NoHo should start over Dunn.

Always Red
08-13-2007, 08:50 PM
I just think some folks are aghast that a seemingly experience baseball personality like Marty would suggest that NoHo should start over Dunn.

True, and the fact that Marty is sadly mistaken should not count against NoHo at all. Norris is a fine ballplayer, and against all odds has gotten this far with his career. He has a different set of skills than does Adam Dunn, and if Marty can't see the difference....well, no one should hold that against Norris Hopper. Both men can be valuable in different ways for the Reds.

I'll tell you this much: Hopper has led me to ALMOST stop grieving over the loss of Chris Denorfia (for Marcus McBeth, whom is still pitching very well for Louisville). I still think Deno can be an everyday CF in MLB; I don't think NoHo can do so, however.

jojo
08-13-2007, 09:58 PM
C'mon Jojo, get real.

Hopper is by far the best defensive outfielder on the REDS, and to suggest otherwise is making stuff up to try and support your own agenda, whatever that may be.

Where did I suggest he wasn't a better defensive outfielder than others on the 25-man roster? I thought I was implying that was primarily his value.

BTW, I didn't realize that looking at facts and forming an opinion was tantamount to having an agenda.

On the other hand, this sounds like someone who might have an agenda:


You're right 37Red. People on this site just like to complain because they have nothing better to do. There's absolutely no reason to rip on Hopper.