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UPRedsFan
12-23-2007, 02:17 PM
What does Hopper have to do to convince people he's a solid 4th outfielder? In 300 ab's he hit .329 and had .371 OBP.

If Bruce isn't ready or if Griffey gets hurt, I'd be perfectly happy with Dusty penciling Hopper in the leadoff/centerfield spot everyday.

We don't need Cameron. I'd like to see Freel dumped for a middle reliever and add Dickerson to the roster for late game defense.

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 02:25 PM
I'll be convinced when I hear a couple of scouts say that he has a "baseball face" and that he has all the "tools"... :rolleyes:

It is kinda hypocritical that us Reds fans have Hamilton winning MVP's because of 300 AB's but Hopper is no good... However, I don't go into next season with Hopper as the starting CF because 2007 was pretty lucky... BOTTOMLINE

Natty Redlocks
12-23-2007, 02:28 PM
What does Hopper have to do to convince people he's a solid 4th outfielder? In 300 ab's he hit .329 and had .371 OBP.

If Bruce isn't ready or if Griffey gets hurt, I'd be perfectly happy with Dusty penciling Hopper in the leadoff/centerfield spot everyday.

We don't need Cameron. I'd like to see Freel dumped for a middle reliever and add Dickerson to the roster for late game defense.

I remember wondering what Freel had to do to convince people he's an everyday player. Then he became one, and hasn't been good since. And even when he was playing well, his overzealousness on the basepaths negated much of what he did do right, which was get on base at a good clip. To me, Hopper and Freel are essentially the same player (except Freel is more valuable since he can play the infield). But both are bench guys, and like a lot of guys, seem to be at their best when fighting for playing time.

Dracodave
12-23-2007, 02:32 PM
I'll be convinced when I hear a couple of scouts say that he has a "baseball face" and that he has all the "tools"... :rolleyes:

It is kinda hypocritical that us Reds fans have Hamilton winning MVP's because of 300 AB's but Hopper is no good... However, I don't go into next season with Hopper as the starting CF because 2007 was pretty lucky... BOTTOMLINE


Hamitlons season last year was a extremely small sample size. I won't call him a all-star unless he compiles 100+ games in the majors in a SINGLE ML season and if he can't well thats Texas' problem now.

Hopper, to me, is a late innings defensive replacement/pinch runner/pinch hitter. In tight games, I really don't dislike him. I just dont really think he has the chance of being a excellent every day player.

chettt
12-23-2007, 02:43 PM
I agree! We don't need Mike Cameron. Hopper is a great #4 outfielder, ready for whatever happens in '08. As for Freel, I hate to see him go. His playing time will be limited in Cinci. I have always thought that Freel in Atlanta makes sense. He could start in centerfield or be the back-up at 2b, 3b & in the of. Maybe, we could trade him for Sergio Valenzuela, when we send him back to the Braves.

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 03:10 PM
I agree that Hopper's not getting his due credit.
Yes, ML pitcher will adjust to his hitting style and possibly limit those infield hits, but Hopper can also adjust too. He can also work on his basestealing. Last year he was going on instinct for the most part. Coaching can help a LOT in that aspect. As far as I'm concerned, Hopper's the starting CF'er and it's his spot to lose.

The other player that's getting overlooked way too much IMO is Keppinger. With Hamilton gone now, there is some serious debate going on in regards to who will be leading off this year. Well, Hopper is my first choice. Kepp is my second. I know that AGon had a down year last year and alot of that is attributed to the health problems of his son. But his defense has been declining of late and Kepp's bat is much better.

I'd prefer to see something along these lines:

CF: (r)Hopper
SS: (r)Keppinger
LF: (l)Dunn
RF: (l)Griffey
1B: (l)Votto
2B: (r)Phillips
3B: (r)Encarnacion
C: Mr. Red (anybody's gotta be better than our current C's)

Maybe swapping Votto and Phillips to break up the lefty-righty mix a bit. But this gives us 3 solid infield subs in Hatteberg, Gonzo and Freel. Some decent options for OF subs (double switching votto to OF and Hatte to 1B) of Freel and the youngsters (Bruce, Dickerson).

While I love the future of Bruce, I do NOT want to pencil in our starting center fielder and leadoff man as a rookie who's never taken a big league swing before. Jay's got to EARN his playing time. Hopper already has. It's his job to lose. Freel belongs on the bench as a utility INFIELDER (not outfielder).

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 03:42 PM
Keppinger is rated as a well below defensive shortstop. His range is horrible and should not be a starting SS. He's a great utility guy since he can play 1B/2B/SS/3B.

Hopper was extremely lucky in his balls in play last year. His BABIP was .367, and his ISOP was 0.59. To understand how bad his ISOP was, lets see how was above and below him, who had 300+ PA....

271 Jason Kendall .067
272 Willy Taveras .062
273 Nick Punto .061
274 Juan Pierre .060
275 Norris Hopper .059
276 Luis Castillo .058
277 Aaron Miles .058
278 Cesar Izturis .057
279 Reggie Willits .051

757690
12-23-2007, 03:45 PM
A lot of people dismiss Hoppers high OBP on his bunt base hits. The argument is that defenses will adjust and he won't get as many. That can be the case sometimes, but not with someone with Hopper's speed and bat control.

If you watch most of his bunt base hits, you will see that he has mastered the art of the drag bunt. He bunts the ball hard enough to get past the pitcher, and places it in between the first and second baseman.

With is speed, no matter how anyone defenses it, that will always be a base hit as long as it gets past the pitcher. Even if the the first baseman cheats and gets to it, there is no way for either the second baseman or the pitcher to get to first faster than Hopper, as he out runs the ball.

Kenny Lofton, Vince Coleman, Lou Brock, Ken Griffey Sr. are just a few of the major league hitters who were able to add dozens of hits a year using the drag bunt.

I would love to see a platoon of Hopper and Bruce to start the season.

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 03:57 PM
I had to look up what in the heck an ISOP was. :O) Slugging percentage - average. (is this correct?)

So, this basically tells us that Hopper doesn't get extra-base hits, right? How is this lucky? He doesn't have power. He doesn't hit balls in the gap to the walls, but rather infield singles and short line drive singles. That's not lucky. That's Rod Carew. That's Pete Rose. That's Tony Gwynn. That's Wade Boggs. It's called a slap hitter. Just because he didn't get many extra base hits doesn't mean that his average will fall next year.

If you look at that list you posted, you should notice that most of those players don't hit for power and are slap hitters....and usually VERY quick. In other words...Hopper.

Right now, the biggest weakness in Norris' game is his SB% rate IMO. If he gets someone to work with him on reading pitchers better and working on his first step then he can improve that stat tremendously. IMO he's the starting CF'er in '08 and possibly '09. By '09 Junior is gone and Bruce moves into RF. Dunn's likely LF for several more years. Without Norris in the lineup patrolling center, not only don't we have a nice quick glove in center but we also lack a prototypical leadoff hitter.

As for Kepp's defense....I can't get into all those fielding stats, there's too much personal opinions in them for my tastes. I think he can hold his own and that he can improve a LOT if he can get settled into ONE position instead of having to move all over the place. It's hard to read the ball off the bat and get a quick jump if you're constantly having to view it from different angles. Getting quicker jumps & reads will also greatly improve his range. It's his current ability to play 1B/2B/SS/3B that limits his range. Losing Hammy's bat makes leaving Gonzo's bat in the lineup that much more painful. Kepp needs to play.

757690
12-23-2007, 03:58 PM
Keppinger is rated as a well below defensive shortstop. His range is horrible and should not be a starting SS. He's a great utility guy since he can play 1B/2B/SS/3B.

Hopper was extremely lucky in his balls in play last year. His BABIP was .367, and his ISOP was 0.59. To understand how bad his ISOP was, lets see how was above and below him, who had 300+ PA....

271 Jason Kendall .067
272 Willy Taveras .062
273 Nick Punto .061
274 Juan Pierre .060
275 Norris Hopper .059
276 Luis Castillo .058
277 Aaron Miles .058
278 Cesar Izturis .057
279 Reggie Willits .051


Agree completely on Kepp. A great bat off the bench, but too limited defensively to play everyday.

But disagree on Hopper. His high BABIP is mostly due to his bunts hits, which I explain above.

As for his ISOP, if he is leading off, who cares of about his ISOP? Maury Wills had a career .05 ISOP. If Hopper can be as productive as Wills, I'd be very happy.

Leadoff hitters need to worry about OBP and base running skills. Any power at all is a plus.

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 03:59 PM
I'm curious-what OBP do you guys expect from Hopper?

I'll set the bar at .330... and I'm probably being generous...

Dracodave
12-23-2007, 04:05 PM
I'm curious-what OBP do you guys expect from Hopper?

I'll set the bar at .330... and I'm probably being generous...


Well his OBP is BA driven for the most part..so I'd assume..if he's batting 300+ his obp will be around 360/350.

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 04:06 PM
Well his OBP is BA driven for the most part..so I'd assume..if he's batting 300+ his obp will be around 360/350.

sure, but will his BA be .300+?

757690
12-23-2007, 04:09 PM
I'm curious-what OBP do you guys expect from Hopper?

I'll set the bar at .330... and I'm probably being generous...

It all depends on if he learns to walk more. I think he will hit .310 at least, with his bunting ability. But you are right that if he is going to be a good leadoff hitter, he needs more plate patience. If he doesn't walk much more, then probably around .340 OBP, but if he can be more patient, he can get close last year's, .370 OBP.

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 04:10 PM
It all depends on if he learns to walk more. I think he will hit .310 at least, with his bunting ability. But you are right that if he is going to be a good leadoff hitter, he needs more plate patience. If he doesn't walk much more, then probably around .340 OBP, but if he can be more patient, he can get close last year's, .370 OBP.

Don't expect Hopper or anyone to "learn" patience at the plate... But it wouldn't suprise me if he hit .310, I just would put my money closer to .290 or .300...

Dracodave
12-23-2007, 04:11 PM
I don't buy that it can be if he doesn't start spraying the ball around and finds a little power, infield singles are fine but it doesn't do crapola for me if theres a slow guy on first and Norris gets him out with a infield basehit.

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 04:13 PM
I don't buy that it can be if he doesn't start spraying the ball around and finds a little power, infield singles are fine but it doesn't do crapola for me if theres a slow guy on first and Norris gets him out with a infield basehit.

that is called a fielder's choice...

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 04:13 PM
Why would we expect it NOT to be .300+?

2003 in AA hit .300 in 424 ab's
2004 in AA hit .280 in 363 ab's
2005 in AA hit .310 in 451 ab's
2006 in AAA hit .347 in 383 ab's
2007 in ML hit .329 in 307 ab's

That's not a 'flash in the pan' hitter. That's consistancy and production. It's also our starting center fielder.

Bip Roberts
12-23-2007, 04:15 PM
Im ok with him being out 4th OF :dunno:

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 04:16 PM
Why would we expect it NOT to be .300+?

2003 in AA hit .300 in 424 ab's
2004 in AA hit .280 in 363 ab's
2005 in AA hit .310 in 451 ab's
2006 in AAA hit .347 in 383 ab's
2007 in ML hit .329 in 307 ab's

That's not a 'flash in the pan' hitter. That's consistancy and production. It's also our starting center fielder.

becuase he was a .300 hitter in AA at age 26-that doesn't project to be a .300+ average in MLB... you are making my arguement for me...

Dracodave
12-23-2007, 04:16 PM
that is called a fielder's choice...

I had a brain fart, which isn't too hard for me anymore.:cool:

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 04:17 PM
I had a brain fart, which isn't too hard for me anymore.:cool:

no problem... I've done it plenty of times on here too and I'm a youngling!

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 04:20 PM
becuase he was a .300 hitter in AA at age 26-that doesn't project to be a .300+ average in MLB... you are making my arguement for me...

I couldn't care less what something "projects" to. Look at the IMPROVEMENT. And at tougher competition. As he moves to AAA his average only INCREASES. In the majors it hasn't dropped off.

The main point I've been trying to make here isn't is he a great hitter or not. It's the fact that he's our BEST leadoff hitter. If you don't lead off with Norris, who do you lead off with? Our two best contact hitters are Norris and Kepp. And most people here want to keep BOTH of them out of the starting lineup. Having power is all fine and good, but that power comes at the cost of a high number of strikeouts too. That's NOT the right equation for sustained rallys.

Dracodave
12-23-2007, 04:22 PM
I'm ok with Hopper being our fourth outfielder as well, I am not complaining about it that at all. I am more than complaining that he should NOT be starting Centerfeilder.

All I know about Hopper is he's got 346 atbats at the major league level and with only one homerun, and 15 doubles..The doubles, I expect more because of his supposive speed, also he only has 16 stolen bases as well..which I expect mores out of my leadoff/speed player as well.

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 04:25 PM
I couldn't care less what something "projects" to. Look at the IMPROVEMENT. And at tougher competition. As he moves to AAA his average only INCREASES. In the majors it hasn't dropped off.

The main point I've been trying to make here isn't is he a great hitter or not. It's the fact that he's our BEST leadoff hitter. If you don't lead off with Norris, who do you lead off with? Our two best contact hitters are Norris and Kepp. And most people here want to keep BOTH of them out of the starting lineup. Having power is all fine and good, but that power comes at the cost of a high number of strikeouts too. That's NOT the right equation for sustained rallys.

And that improvement is becuase he was much older than his competition. Look at his numbers ealier on in his caeer in the lower levels when his competition was the same age-.284, .280, .247, .282, .300, .278... His career ML avg was .290... How in the hell is he easily gonna hit .300+ in the majors?
Our best option leading off is Joey Votto-he's got the speed to make you happy, but more importantly, he will almost definitly have a higher OBP than Mr. Norris Hopper...

Krawhitham
12-23-2007, 04:29 PM
He will be 29 years old when the season starts, the only tool he has is speed.

How much longer will he be able to get bunt hits? Without bunt hits does he even break .250?

If he stole more bases I could see him as a 3rd outfielder may for a season or two before his speed starts to dip

OUReds
12-23-2007, 04:35 PM
It's the fact that he's our BEST leadoff hitter

I've resigned myself to the fact that Hopper will probably be getting quite a few lead off ABs, but his minor league OBP is .340. His plate discipline is beyond terrible.

If he's our starting center fielder batting lead-off for more then spot duty, you have the potential to really hurt the offense.

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 04:38 PM
So the improvement from a .290 career average to a .329 avg was due to his being older than the competition? I can buy that argument for his early years in the minors but not the AAA and MLB numbers. The competiton in AAA and the majors is not full of kids. Yes, there are numerous kids in AAA, but that's also offset by numerous older players too.

I don't want to get into an argument about what someone MIGHT or MIGHT NOT do next year. I'm only trying to point out that he's a VERY capable leadoff man AND our best option of starting in center this year. I do NOT want to hand the starting reigns over to a rookie who hasn't taken a swing in the majors yet. I don't care HOW high Bruce's ceiling is. The starting job is NOT just given to him. He's gotta earn it.

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 04:38 PM
I had to look up what in the heck an ISOP was. :O) Slugging percentage - average. (is this correct?)

So, this basically tells us that Hopper doesn't get extra-base hits, right? How is this lucky? He doesn't have power. He doesn't hit balls in the gap to the walls, but rather infield singles and short line drive singles. That's not lucky. That's Rod Carew. That's Pete Rose. That's Tony Gwynn. That's Wade Boggs. It's called a slap hitter. Just because he didn't get many extra base hits doesn't mean that his average will fall next year.

If you look at that list you posted, you should notice that most of those players don't hit for power and are slap hitters....and usually VERY quick. In other words...Hopper.

Right now, the biggest weakness in Norris' game is his SB% rate IMO. If he gets someone to work with him on reading pitchers better and working on his first step then he can improve that stat tremendously. IMO he's the starting CF'er in '08 and possibly '09. By '09 Junior is gone and Bruce moves into RF. Dunn's likely LF for several more years. Without Norris in the lineup patrolling center, not only don't we have a nice quick glove in center but we also lack a prototypical leadoff hitter.

As for Kepp's defense....I can't get into all those fielding stats, there's too much personal opinions in them for my tastes. I think he can hold his own and that he can improve a LOT if he can get settled into ONE position instead of having to move all over the place. It's hard to read the ball off the bat and get a quick jump if you're constantly having to view it from different angles. Getting quicker jumps & reads will also greatly improve his range. It's his current ability to play 1B/2B/SS/3B that limits his range. Losing Hammy's bat makes leaving Gonzo's bat in the lineup that much more painful. Kepp needs to play.


Except all those players ISOP were over 0.100, and in fact Gwynn and Boggs were over .115
You really aren't going to compare HOF players to Hopper? You don't want to lose that argument since you'll get crushed.
Players who's only skill is bunting and speed have very limited value. If he walked it wouldn't be as bad, but his BB rate is low. Do you really think a bunt is an asset to the team. I mean, the only thing he does well is bunt, and the maximum amount of bases he can get by bunting is 1 base. And as a leadoff hitter, his job would be to get on base, but then he doesn't walk. His average is what is known as an empty batting average.

757690
12-23-2007, 04:59 PM
He will be 29 years old when the season starts, the only tool he has is speed.

How much longer will he be able to get bunt hits? Without bunt hits does he even break .250?

If he stole more bases I could see him as a 3rd outfielder may for a season or two before his speed starts to dip


I don't think anyone is thinking of Hopper as the long term solution to center. Basically the question is, is he ready to fill until Bruce is ready.

I say no, but I think platooning them at the start of the year, would be a good idea.

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 05:01 PM
No, I wasn't comparing Hopper to those players. I'm not stupid. I was only trying to show that power isn't important to a slap hitter. Hopper can be successful without ever hitting a home run. Heck, he can be successful if he never hits a triple or double. It's not gonna happen of course, but I'm just saying that slugging percentage simply doesn't hold much relevance to a slaphitter.

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 05:02 PM
Hopper makes a decent 4th OF because of his defense. He also makes a good guy off the bench because he can bunt and has some speed. But he is NOT good enough to be a starting CF, especially at leadoff.
Keppinger is better offensively than Hopper, and by large margin. Kepp has a lot better bat control, and will walk a lot more. He also has more power (ISOP - .140). However his defense at any one position isn't good enough to be an everyday player. In the minors he was a 2B, and 2B is blocked. He is a very good utility guy, and that does have value.

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 05:04 PM
No, I wasn't comparing Hopper to those players. I'm not stupid. I was only trying to show that power isn't important to a slap hitter. Hopper can be successful without ever hitting a home run. Heck, he can be successful if he never hits a triple or double. It's not gonna happen of course, but I'm just saying that slugging percentage simply doesn't hold much relevance to a slaphitter.

Your saying someone who only gets singles can be successful? Name me 5 players who fit that role, who were good enough to be everyday players that contributed positive value.

757690
12-23-2007, 05:06 PM
Except all those players ISOP were over 0.100, and in fact Gwynn and Boggs were over .115
You really aren't going to compare HOF players to Hopper? You don't want to lose that argument since you'll get crushed.
Players who's only skill is bunting and speed have very limited value. If he walked it wouldn't be as bad, but his BB rate is low. Do you really think a bunt is an asset to the team. I mean, the only thing he does well is bunt, and the maximum amount of bases he can get by bunting is 1 base. And as a leadoff hitter, his job would be to get on base, but then he doesn't walk. His average is what is known as an empty batting average.

So then do you believe that there is something as an "empty OBP"? A guy who does nothing but walk, with a low SLG?

I wouldn't want that guy on my team either.

And then would you extend that philosophy that a batter is more valuable the more bases he gets, and thus, a guy with a high SLG and low OBP can be as or more valuable than a guy with a high OBP and low SLG?

Just curious.

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 05:11 PM
If your leadoff man is getting singles and swiping bases and playing solid defence....where is the problem? I'm not saying that he's a longterm solution. But he's better than Freel in center. By the ASB Bruce should've gotten his feet wet in the bigs, I'm all for getting him in the starting lineup by then. But unless Bruce lights it up in ST, he can't be penciled in as the starter.

Then look at next season. Junior leaves. Dunn stays. We've got Dunn in LF, Bruce in RF...who's manning center in '09? Sure, some of the youngsters in the minors could step up this year, but for now I'd say it's Norris again.

So unless we sign someone or orchestrate a trade of sime kind, I'm saying he's the starter for now and he's the starter come '09. If not Norris, then who? (I'll assume someone will pipe in with Bruce Almighty....but you just don't make a TOTAL rookie your starter before spring training even begins...period)

_Sir_Charles_
12-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Your saying someone who only gets singles can be successful? Name me 5 players who fit that role, who were good enough to be everyday players that contributed positive value.

That was an exaggerated example as you well know. I even said "it's not gonna happen of course". He had 14 doubles and a few triples last year IIRC. Those line drive singles will turn into doubles & triples occasionally. But if all he did have was singles....then if he had ENOUGH singles...sure, he could still be successful. All I care about is whether he's setting the table or not. All his hits aren't infield singles and bunts, people. And I'm not saying he's the second coming of Cobb. I'm only saying...Look at what we've got NOW. Where's the better option? Look at what we'll have at the start of '09, where's the better option there?

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 05:38 PM
It's all a balancing thing. Guys like Soriano are overrated because they don't get on base. BP is another example. They will never be as good as players who have the power and get on base.
Players who have high OBP with low power can be good. Reggie Willits and Kenny Lofton are examples of that. They have speed though, and can utilize it when they get on base. Leadoff hitters with speed with high OBP but low SLG are still valuable because of the OBP.

As to which type is more valuable, it really depends on the player and role they have in the lineup.
As far as the empty thing, there is no such thing as empty OBP + SLG.
BA tells you how many hits a player gets. Hits could be a HR or a single. They all count the same. OBP tells you how many times a player reached base. Players can get on base with a BB or HR or HBP, but it counts the same. SLG tells you many many bases each hit produced, so the more power, the higher the SLG.
OBP alone or SLG alone isn't good enough to tell how good the player is. OPS is a much better stat since it combines the components.
BA says how many hits. That's it.
OPS says how many hits, and BB, 2B, HR, etc. which is why it's a better stat.

However looking at 1 stat, no matter what it is still isn't good enough. Someone needs to look at a bunch of stats to figure out how valuable the player is, which includes tradition stats like OPS/AVG/HR/RBI and also sabermetric stats like VORP/WARP/EQA/BTRuns.
If a guy like Hopper does well in 1 stat (AVG) but bad in every other stat, you can't just say that 1 stat outweighs everything else.

mlbfan30
12-23-2007, 05:44 PM
What's wrong with giving a rookie a full-time job to start the season. Bruce is the best player in the minors and is an amazing hitter, as well as a solid fielder. Why would you want a rookie sitting on the bench. He hit .305 .358 .567 .925 in AAA with around 200 at bats.
But really, why can't Bruce be given the starting job? Is he too young? I really don't see any valid reasoning behind it. MANY highly rated rookies are given starting jobs, and do very well

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 05:49 PM
I guess you probably wanted Ryan Freel to start over Josh Hamilton last year in CF too?

*BaseClogger*
12-23-2007, 05:56 PM
So the improvement from a .290 career average to a .329 avg was due to his being older than the competition?

No. It was a fluke...

Dracodave
12-23-2007, 06:18 PM
No. It was a fluke...


Saaaay it aint soooo!

Stephenk29
12-23-2007, 07:03 PM
If Bruce doesn't get called up Hopper probably starts in CF and leads off. That's pretty much the bottom line. We can all either like it or not but that is how it's going to be at this point.

Freel = No Chance

Degenerate39
12-23-2007, 07:04 PM
I don't mind him as a 4th outfielder but I don't want him as a starter.

AmarilloRed
12-23-2007, 11:41 PM
He is a good fourth outfielder, but he should not be starting many games. I expect him to OBP .340 if he hits .300. That is good enough to be on the bench, but not start in the outfield.

_Sir_Charles_
12-24-2007, 03:54 PM
What's wrong with giving a rookie a full-time job to start the season. Bruce is the best player in the minors and is an amazing hitter, as well as a solid fielder. Why would you want a rookie sitting on the bench. He hit .305 .358 .567 .925 in AAA with around 200 at bats.
But really, why can't Bruce be given the starting job? Is he too young? I really don't see any valid reasoning behind it. MANY highly rated rookies are given starting jobs, and do very well

There's nothing wrong with giving SOME rookies starting roles. But Bruce isn't like other rookies. He's skyrocketed up through the minors. He's only had what...1/2 a season at AAA level? He projects to be a GREAT, GREAT player. But before I start him in the majors I want to see a bit more time against higher level competion...even AAA competition. But I'd be fine with him getting his licks in early at the majors....just not starting.

Of course, if he tears it up in Spring Training against other major leaguers....then I'd reconsider. But for now...I think it's Hopper's job to lose.

Orenda
12-25-2007, 03:33 AM
How about a Hopper/ Reggie Willits platoon in cf until Bruce is ready?

mlbfan30
12-25-2007, 03:48 AM
There's nothing wrong with giving SOME rookies starting roles. But Bruce isn't like other rookies. He's skyrocketed up through the minors. He's only had what...1/2 a season at AAA level? He projects to be a GREAT, GREAT player. But before I start him in the majors I want to see a bit more time against higher level competion...even AAA competition. But I'd be fine with him getting his licks in early at the majors....just not starting.

Of course, if he tears it up in Spring Training against other major leaguers....then I'd reconsider. But for now...I think it's Hopper's job to lose.

So your one of those people who thinks rookies need to sit on the bench for a couple months to be ready for the "majors". I don't understand that. Playing baseball is playing baseball, and your either at that compeition level or not. Starting on the bench doesn't help Bruce and wouldn't make him better when he does start, and in fact it would make him worse. Why have a rookie hit once a game and limit how much he plays baseball. You know what happened to Wily Mo because of this. You either start Bruce in MLB, or don't put him on the roster. Bruce hasn't struggled in any league at any level, so what's the point of having him continue to hit in AAA. There's nothing left to prove. Even a struggling Bruce is better than Hopper, so if you want the Reds to win as many games as they can, Bruce should be starting from the start. If Bruce struggles a little bit, that still isn't a big deal. Look at what Kouzmanoff did last year.

mlbfan30
12-25-2007, 03:55 AM
How about a Hopper/ Reggie Willits platoon in cf until Bruce is ready?

So you want the Reds to trade for Willits? But then have him platoon? Did you know Willits is a switch hitter with almost equal stats either way. Willits and Hopper are very similar with one major difference. Willits knows how to walk. He's a far superior leadoff guy. The problem is the Angles won't just trade him. They'll ask a lot for him, which means giving up probably around 2-3 of our top 10 prospects.

Orenda
12-25-2007, 05:07 AM
He would be my starter opening day, but I also recognize that last year was his first full season in the majors and I think Hopper would still be a good guy to share playing time. Yes I did know he was a switch hitter with great obp numbers and speed, but with little power. The Angels have a lot of outfield depth and his name is out there. So you don't like the idea of having a real leadoff hitter? Or you don't like what it would take to get him?

mlbfan30
12-25-2007, 05:16 AM
If we didnt have Bruce, I'd trade for him and make him our opening CF. But with Bruce, he doesn't have as much need. I"d like to get him as a util guy for this year, starting behind Bruce in CF. So by 2009 we will have 2 definate OF guys in Bruce and Willits, and see if griff or dunn get back.

mlbfan30
12-25-2007, 05:19 AM
Having a "true" leadoff hitter is overrated. Look at Soriano as an example, similar to BP. Also Votto could leadoff and probably do a pretty good job

Orenda
12-25-2007, 05:26 AM
I have never seen Bruce play other than offensive highlights. But I have read he might project as a better corner outfielder. If he is ready I play him in cf, but once Griff leaves then I would put him in RF and let someone else play CF. As for the Angels they already have Chone Figgins, Tori Hunter, Vlad Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, and Gary Mathews Jr., they are set up to compete now and it might make sense to let Willits go for a useful part. That team doesn't have many weaknesses from what I can see so I'm not sure what the Reds would have to give up to get him.

TN Red Fan
12-25-2007, 09:19 AM
If he played every day, I'd say he hits .300/.340

In a platoon, .340/.380. That's why I like Kenny Lofton as a FA. He had a .386 OBP vs. righties.

AmarilloRed
12-25-2007, 11:01 AM
It really depends what you are looking for at the centerfield position. From all I have heard, Chris Dickerson is the best minor league defensive centerfielder we have. The trouble is, he just doesn't make enough contact. He will get every chance in spring training to show he can hit major league pitching however. The same goes for Jay Bruce. He has had limited time in AAA, but he has succeeded at every minor league level he has been at. He still needs to prove it in spring training though. If Norris Hopper could learn to take some more walks to make up for the bunt hits he will lose in the future(teams will be ready for this in the future), he could be a legitimate starter and lead-off hitter. I just don't see it happening.

*BaseClogger*
12-25-2007, 11:26 AM
It really depends what you are looking for at the centerfield position. From all I have heard, Chris Dickerson is the best minor league defensive centerfielder we have. The trouble is, he just doesn't make enough contact. He will get every chance in spring training to show he can hit major league pitching however. The same goes for Jay Bruce. He has had limited time in AAA, but he has succeeded at every minor league level he has been at. He still needs to prove it in spring training though. If Norris Hopper could learn to take some more walks to make up for the bunt hits he will lose in the future(teams will be ready for this in the future), he could be a legitimate starter and lead-off hitter. I just don't see it happening.

that sums it up very nicely. Most would agree that 2009 is the year right now for the Reds, and the guy that we should play that will help us most for 2009 is Jay Bruce...

gedred69
12-25-2007, 12:16 PM
I have never seen Bruce play other than offensive highlights. But I have read he might project as a better corner outfielder. If he is ready I play him in cf, but once Griff leaves then I would put him in RF and let someone else play CF. As for the Angels they already have Chone Figgins, Tori Hunter, Vlad Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, and Gary Mathews Jr., they are set up to compete now and it might make sense to let Willits go for a useful part. That team doesn't have many weaknesses from what I can see so I'm not sure what the Reds would have to give up to get him.

Agreed. By their signing of Hunter, the Reds have little to offer the Angels that wouldn't be too costly.

757690
12-25-2007, 01:38 PM
Having a "true" leadoff hitter is overrated. Look at Soriano as an example, similar to BP. Also Votto could leadoff and probably do a pretty good job

Very true. Even Whitey Herzog, who many equate with fast lead-off hitters (Willie Wilson, Vince Coleman...), said that the only position in the batting order that mattered was the clean-up hitter.

Just look at the playoff teams in the last few years. Very few have had "true" leadoff hitters. the '90 Reds had Chris Sabo leading off, and he had a .343 OBP.

The fact is that a leadoff hitter actually leads off an inning around the same number of times as any other position in the batting order. You basically want your first two hitters to get on base a lot, but isn't that true of every batter?

Stephenk29
12-25-2007, 01:45 PM
If everyone agrees that Hopper drops off in average but still stays around .300 I don't see the problem with him getting the majority of the starts.

It all depends on Bruce, if he makes the team then he starts everyday. If he doesn't he stays down in AAA until he is ready to come up and start everyday. Dickerson would be interesting to see in regard to how he turns out. Defensive genius as I understand it but has the question if he can hit or not.

No one ever said just because Hopper/Dickerson starts opening day it has to stay that way. I have no problem spending the first month of the season platooning these guys until we find an everyday starter for the rest of the season. The difference between them is not large enough where it will hurt the team significantly on a day to day basis.

TN Red Fan
12-25-2007, 02:22 PM
And that improvement is becuase he was much older than his competition. Look at his numbers ealier on in his caeer in the lower levels when his competition was the same age-.284, .280, .247, .282, .300, .278... His career ML avg was .290... How in the hell is he easily gonna hit .300+ in the majors?
Our best option leading off is Joey Votto-he's got the speed to make you happy, but more importantly, he will almost definitly have a higher OBP than Mr. Norris Hopper...

Problem with all this is he replicated (actually improved on) that in AAA and ML last year. Being 26 in AAA is not out of the ordinary.

If we were talking about Hopper's chances after 2005 you'd be right, but his production since then belies your argument.

TN Red Fan
12-25-2007, 02:28 PM
The fact is that a leadoff hitter actually leads off an inning around the same number of times as any other position in the batting order. You basically want your first two hitters to get on base a lot, but isn't that true of every batter?

That is statistically impossible. The leadoff hitter has a 162 AB advantage to every other spot, not to mention the fact that the pitcher is more likely to get the 3rd out than any other spot.

AmarilloRed
12-25-2007, 03:59 PM
If everyone agrees that Hopper drops off in average but still stays around .300 I don't see the problem with him getting the majority of the starts.

It all depends on Bruce, if he makes the team then he starts everyday. If he doesn't he stays down in AAA until he is ready to come up and start everyday. Dickerson would be interesting to see in regard to how he turns out. Defensive genius as I understand it but has the question if he can hit or not.

No one ever said just because Hopper/Dickerson starts opening day it has to stay that way. I have no problem spending the first month of the season platooning these guys until we find an everyday starter for the rest of the season. The difference between them is not large enough where it will hurt the team significantly on a day to day basis.

With an average around .330. Hopper would achieve an OBP around .370. That was good enough for him to get a number of starts last year, especially against lefthanders(Josh struggled in limited ABs vs. LHP). If his BA drops to around .300, we will see his OBP drop to .330 or .340, since his number of bunt hits will decrease and I would not imagine he will learn to take more walks. He really needs to show he can take more walks before we start letting him take the majority of starts in CF.

757690
12-25-2007, 04:13 PM
Sorry, misspoke. I meant after the first at bat of the game. So it really only matters once in every game. Important, just not as important as everyone makes it out to be.

mlbfan30
12-25-2007, 05:51 PM
The reason why the leadoff spot is because thats the spot that gets the most PA. If a guy has a .350 OBP, compared to a .400 OBP in a full season (700 PA), that's a difference of 35 outs. Those 35 outs is equivalent of almost 12 extra innings worth of hitting. That may not seem like a lot, but it really makes a huge difference. That's probably a difference of 1.5 wins just because the leadoff spot was used incorrectly.

TN Red Fan
12-25-2007, 05:53 PM
I'll say it this way: I like a good leadoff hitter, but not so much as to force the wrong guy into the order. Nevertheless, Hopper isn't so easily dismissed as some people want him to be.

757690
12-25-2007, 07:39 PM
The reason why the leadoff spot is because thats the spot that gets the most PA. If a guy has a .350 OBP, compared to a .400 OBP in a full season (700 PA), that's a difference of 35 outs. Those 35 outs is equivalent of almost 12 extra innings worth of hitting. That may not seem like a lot, but it really makes a huge difference. That's probably a difference of 1.5 wins just because the leadoff spot was used incorrectly.

Nice breakdown. I agree that using the leadoff position is important, just not that important.
Actually, the importance of a leadoff hitter can be measured best by the number of PA's he gets above what other guys in the lineup get.

On average, a lead off hitter gets around 200 more plate appearances than other hitters. Using the .350 and .400 OBP, that would lead to 10 less outs, or about 3 extra innings. That does add up, and effects the game in many ways....wears out the pitcher, lets the middle of the order bat more times in a game...., but just not enough to be a top offensive priority.

In recent history, less than half of the playoff teams had a solid leadoff hitter. But nearly all of them had at least one stud in the middle of the lineup. The 90 Reds went wire to wire with Chris Sabo of a .343 OBP.

All that being said, I still don't think Hopper is an everyday leadoff hitter, or at least he has not proven that he is. Maybe he will in 08?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Orenda
12-25-2007, 07:51 PM
In almost 1600 minor league at bats Willits had a career 395 obp. In almost 500 at bats in the majors he posted a .393 obp. He is an on base machine and I wish the reds could add him to their lineup if he were to be made available. Javier Valentine is a guy that might fit onto their roster, I don't think the reds need him as much as a pinch hitter with the arrival of Votto and Hatteburg while the Angels could use him as a backup catcher. Of course he wouldn't be enough to net Willits, so some form of prospects would need to be thrown in as well. I'm having a hard time thinking of a reasonable trade scenario because I have zero knowledge on how much value in return the Angels would expect for Willits. I would deal Stubbs in a heartbreat for him. Or how about Stubbs and Pelland?

mlbfan30
12-25-2007, 07:58 PM
My comparison was something like a Hopper vs. Willits. Where both have similar defense, similar power, similar speed. The only difference was that Willits walks and Hopper does not. If Willits was playing instead of Hopper, that would probably be about a 2 win difference, which could be the difference to make the playoffs.

757690
12-25-2007, 08:50 PM
If the Reds could get Willits without giving up any of the big four, that would be the best move Krisky has made. Besides getting on base a lot, he also has the energy that Freel brings. I have no idea what the Angels want for him, however.

Stephenk29
12-26-2007, 12:46 AM
With an average around .330. Hopper would achieve an OBP around .370. That was good enough for him to get a number of starts last year, especially against lefthanders(Josh struggled in limited ABs vs. LHP). If his BA drops to around .300, we will see his OBP drop to .330 or .340, since his number of bunt hits will decrease and I would not imagine he will learn to take more walks. He really needs to show he can take more walks before we start letting him take the majority of starts in CF.

No, he needs to to show he can learn to walk before we let him leadoff, not just play Centerfield. An OBP of .340 isn't all that bad for an 8 hitter.

I don't see why everyone doesn't think this stat will improve. He's new to the majors and he will learn to be more selective no matter what age he is. I saw Delmon Young in a Spring Training game swing at 13 straight pitches...literally...I don't think he does a whole lot of that any more. Hopper won't be all that different. Professional hitters know how to adjust. People don't make it to the Major Leagues if they don't know how to do that. They've been mastering that their whole careers. Just because Hopper is older and a "marginal" prospect doesn't mean he can't improve.

David Ross once hit .253 and still kept his OBP around .353. If Hopper were to hit .300 I can't see it being any lower than .360 give or take.

With that being said I still don't like the idea of Hopper being our everyday CF, BUT at this point I think that's the direction we're headed in. Hamilton would have been a far better option, but that's a whole different argument.


Merry Christmas everyone:thumbup::beerme:

mlbfan30
12-26-2007, 01:10 AM
No, he needs to to show he can learn to walk before we let him leadoff, not just play Centerfield. An OBP of .340 isn't all that bad for an 8 hitter.

I don't see why everyone doesn't think this stat will improve. He's new to the majors and he will learn to be more selective no matter what age he is. I saw Delmon Young in a Spring Training game swing at 13 straight pitches...literally...I don't think he does a whole lot of that any more. Hopper won't be all that different. Professional hitters know how to adjust. People don't make it to the Major Leagues if they don't know how to do that. They've been mastering that their whole careers. Just because Hopper is older and a "marginal" prospect doesn't mean he can't improve.

David Ross once hit .253 and still kept his OBP around .353. If Hopper were to hit .300 I can't see it being any lower than .360 give or take.

With that being said I still don't like the idea of Hopper being our everyday CF, BUT at this point I think that's the direction we're headed in. Hamilton would have been a far better option, but that's a whole different argument.


Merry Christmas everyone:thumbup::beerme:

Hopper isn't some 20 year old rookie still learning the game. Hopper is 28 and has played 10 seasons in the minor leagues. He's not going to suddenly learn how to walk. The only time Hopper had more than 35 BB in any minor league season was back in 2000. Here are his BB totals since 2001.
32/31/27/33/27/32/21.
He is not going to get more than 50 BBs a season. 40 is a huge reach. Players who are young learn patience and can develope it, but Hopper is way past that. He will get 30 BB a season, and his OBP will be AVG dependent and there is no way that will change. His career minor league line is .289/.343/.335. His power is pathetic

Stephenk29
12-26-2007, 01:19 AM
28 huh? Man that sucks for him. Didn't realize he was that old.

anyway...although like you said I'll agree now his walk total isn't going to hit some fantasy number of 55, but he also doesn't strike out a whole lot either and . If he hits a slump he's going to be completely worthless basically. Bunt hits will do down of course too for obvious reasons.

CF is going to be a frustrating thing for the Reds this year....

mlbfan30
12-26-2007, 01:41 AM
Hopper will strike out about 10% of the time. It's decent, but it's not an amazing or great SO rate. How is CF going to be frustrating. Bruce is far superior to Hopper. The average NL CF last year hit .273/.335/.427/762. There is no way Bruce will OPS lower than .762. It just isn't happening with his hitting ability, and career .905 OPS in the minors. Hopper's minor league OPS is .678, almost 100 points lower than the average. Hopper may improve, but you can't count on such a large increase to even league average. Bruce, however is still learning how to hit. You can assume he will improve his approach, even if he's "overmatched". Bruce can lose 100 points on his OPS moving up to the majors, and still have above average stats for a CF.
What's more likely, Hopper gaining 84 points in OPS to be average.
Or Bruce Losing less than 143 points in OPS to be above average.

Come on, it's ridiculous to say Bruce shouldn't be starting. He's so much better and should still be improving. Hopper can improve, but it's much less likely since he's older.
So... Bruce has a 227 point advantage in OPS and should improve, while Hopper has had a lucky BABIP year and will likely stay around his career averages. Who should be starting?

flash
12-26-2007, 01:47 AM
I like hopper starting in center. Let me explain why.

Hopper has the best range of any outfielder in baseball. Last year his RF was 2.99. His nearest compitition was Gary Matthews was a distant second at 2.90. Witlis was at 2.51. Hopper also had a fielding percentage was .995 Witlis was at .989.

It is true that Hopper has throwing problems. Being a converted second baseman he throws the ball sidearm. That is something that coaching can correct. It should be improved next season.

Hopper's batting patience has been questioned. I think the assumption is incorrect. Hopper strikes out only once in more than every ten AB's. In the minors it was once every 20 AB's so I believe that will improve also and his walks will increase. Wiltis does get more walks, but he also strikes out once every six AB's.

I would like to see Hopper batting second. Since he gets a lot of hits to the right side he makes a ideal hit and run guy. His drag bunting also is ideal in sacrifice situations. If Griffey is batting third. Hopper's presence increases the likelihood of a pitching mistake to Griffey.

mlbfan30
12-26-2007, 01:55 AM
I like hopper starting in center. Let me explain why.

Hopper has the best range of any outfielder in baseball. Last year his RF was 2.99. His nearest compitition was Gary Matthews was a distant second at 2.90. Witlis was at 2.51. Hopper also had a fielding percentage was .995 Witlis was at .989.

It is true that Hopper has throwing problems. Being a converted second baseman he throws the ball sidearm. That is something that coaching can correct. It should be improved next season.

Hopper's batting patience has been questioned. I think the assumption is incorrect. Hopper strikes out only once in more than every ten AB's. In the minors it was once every 20 AB's so I believe that will improve also and his walks will increase. Wiltis does get more walks, but he also strikes out once every six AB's.

I would like to see Hopper batting second. Since he gets a lot of hits to the right side he makes a ideal hit and run guy. His drag bunting also is ideal in sacrifice situations. If Griffey is batting third. Hopper's presence increases the likelihood of a pitching mistake to Griffey.

Hopper:
Career SOs in minors : 374
Career ABs in minors : 3407
Percentage : 10.98%

Don't make up statistics. It doesn't work.

flash
12-26-2007, 10:01 AM
Point conceded. I was refrering to his last two years with Chattanooga and Louisville when he K 55 times in 942 AB's and exagerrated. The actual ratio was less than one K every 17 AB's. I could not find his stats for his time in the Mexican Winter league.

Stephenk29
12-26-2007, 02:07 PM
I do want Bruce to start in CF and think he should without question. I say it could be frustrating if the Front Office doesn't bring up Bruce. I expect Bruce will struggle a little bit if he does start. That will be frustrating in itself. Understandable yes, but hopefully that won't be the case either.