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Superdude
04-15-2008, 12:13 AM
There's an good article on fangraphs.com about Patterson's hot start. It's right on the front page, so I don't think I need to direct you or anything, but it's worth checking out. It's still early, but that drop in K's is an encouraging sign...especially once his BABIP cracks the .200 mark.

reds44
04-15-2008, 12:36 AM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/busting-out-corey-patterson



Corey Patterson has always been thought of as a guy with tremendous potential. From 1999 to 2001, Baseball America ranked him as the 16th, 3rd, and 2nd best prospect in baseball respectively. The physical talents were obvious; terrific athleticism, quick bat, legitimate home run power, and serious speed from a guy playing a premium defensive position well. However, Patterson struggled to refine his approach at the plate, and by repeatedly chasing pitches out of the strike zone, he made himself a fairly easy out for opposing pitchers. If you canít make contact, it is tough to be an offensive asset. For seven years, Patterson simply didnít hit the ball often enough to live up to his natural talent, which led to him being bounced out of both Chicago and Baltimore and finding himself as an unwanted free agent this winter.

After an offseason of rejection, the Cincinnati Reds offered him a minor league contract on March 3rd, giving him a chance to fight for a roster spot in spring training. After they decided to send Jay Bruce to Triple-A to start the year, Patterson found himself with a regular job, and with the way his 2008 season has started (.57 WPA/LI and the Reds best hitter to date), he may just have found a home where he can remind people of the player they thought he would be.

It all starts with his strikeout rate. Look at the graph of his contact ability throughout his career.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/300_of_season_blog_4_20080413.png

During his time in Chicago, he was a strikeout machine. As you can see, this is something heís clearly worked on improving, as the line from his 2005 to 2008 strikeout rate shows a huge decline. So far this year, heís struck out two times in 46 plate appearances. Thatís pretty remarkable for a guy with a career K% of 22.7%. His current K% of 4.8% puts him in a group with noted contact kings Casey Kotchman and Placido Polanco. When you look at the pitch data summary from his Baseball-Reference page, you can see the difference. Even though heís seeing less strikes than in any other season, heís only swinging at 72% of those pitches in the strike zone, compared to a career average of 81%.

By being more selective in which pitches to swing at, Patterson has managed to put himself in positions to hit pitches he can do something with, and thatís been manifest in his performance. Of his 11 hits, five are doubles and four are home runs, giving him a .405 Isolated Slugging Percentage that ranks fifth in all of baseball. Pattersonís early season performance isnít going to be sustained at this level (a 7% swinging strike rate is impossible to keep up), but there are legitimate reasons to believe that heís adopted a new approach at the plate, and his continued contact ability could be just the ticket to stardom that people have been projecting on Patterson for most of this decade.


And the best one, may be from the comments.



For all the crap that Baker and the Reds get for the things they do wrong, they nailed this one and deserve credit for doing so. Pattersonís a legitimate asset, and picking him up for free is the kind of move that earned Billy Beane the genius label. This was a classic case of finding an undervalued talent and turning it into a competitive advantage.

Screwball
04-15-2008, 12:37 AM
I must've been to that site about a dozen times the last few days and didn't even notice it. Thanks for the heads up! :thumbup:

Steve4192
04-15-2008, 01:24 AM
2006 - Acquired 2B Brandon Phillips for a bag of balls
2007 - Acquired SS Jeff Keppinger for some rosin bags
2008 - Acquired CF Corey Patterson for a pouch of chewing tobacco

I'm not drinking the Patterson Kool Aid just yet, but if he really does pan out, Wayne Krivsky has done a ridiculously good job of rebuilding the Reds up the middle on the cheap. Will he find the Reds a catcher next year?

RedEye
04-15-2008, 10:29 AM
Cameron also has an interesting comment for a reader who points out that Patterson is not walking:


When you’re hitting the ball like a .327 hitter and slugging like a .676 power hitter, walks are just getting in the way of your extra base hits.

Perhaps also a rejoinder for those folks who are constantly deriding Jay Bruce's lack of walks?

Benihana
04-15-2008, 10:31 AM
2006 - Acquired 2B Brandon Phillips for a bag of balls
2007 - Acquired SS Jeff Keppinger for some rosin bags
2008 - Acquired CF Corey Patterson for a pouch of chewing tobacco

I'm not drinking the Patterson Kool Aid just yet, but if he really does pan out, Wayne Krivsky has done a ridiculously good job of rebuilding the Reds up the middle on the cheap. Will he find the Reds a catcher next year?

Don't forget Josh Hamilton.

BRM
04-15-2008, 10:33 AM
2006 - Acquired 2B Brandon Phillips for a bag of balls
2007 - Acquired SS Jeff Keppinger for some rosin bags
2008 - Acquired CF Corey Patterson for a pouch of chewing tobacco

I'm not drinking the Patterson Kool Aid just yet, but if he really does pan out, Wayne Krivsky has done a ridiculously good job of rebuilding the Reds up the middle on the cheap. Will he find the Reds a catcher next year?

A $3M pouch of chewing tobacco? Wow, that must be good stuff. ;)

RedsManRick
04-15-2008, 10:35 AM
Patterson is slugging well, but nobody seems to be talking about his .262 average or .304 OBP. Obviously you'd take those if he keeps slugging .600+, but if he doesn't he's really going to need to find ways to get on base. It's odd to me because you'd expect the lower K rates to show up in batting average and/or OBP, and it really hasn't. So far I'm not complaining, but it will be interesting to see what happens when he stops hitting homers every other day.

flyer85
04-15-2008, 10:35 AM
There's an good article on fangraphs.com about Patterson's hot start. It's right on the front page, so I don't think I need to direct you or anything, but it's worth checking out. It's still early, but that drop in K's is an encouraging sign...especially once his BABIP cracks the .200 mark.he experienced a large drop in Ks last year.

2006 94Ks in 463ABs - 757 OPS
2007 65Ks in 461ABs - 690 OPS

He was trading Ks for something ... but is wasn't hits.

after 6 full seasons he likely is who he is ... and is not very likely to morph into something else.

TRF
04-15-2008, 11:22 AM
he experienced a large drop in Ks last year.

2006 94Ks in 463ABs - 757 OPS
2007 65Ks in 461ABs - 690 OPS

He was trading Ks for something ... but is wasn't hits.

after 6 full seasons he likely is who he is ... and is not very likely to morph into something else.

Except he is morphing, nobody is sure what he is morphing into, but he is changing as a hitter. His K's are decreasing, but his BA and OBP are not increasing. so he's making different kinds of outs. From 2004 through 2007 His K's lowered each year. Lowered a lot to the point that in 2007 he had less than half as many K's as he did in 2004. And he had a lower OBP too. That's just weird. His walks stagnated in 2005. 23 in '05 21 in '06 and '07. For 2008 he looks to be on pace to K about 25-30 times, which is ridiculous for a guy not getting on base. He also projects to BB about 25-30 times.

That's just odd.

I think he can post sub 50 K numbers this year. But he needs 50+ BB's to make him a real leadoff hitter.

I sure would like to know what he traded the K's for though. I'm thinking lot's of flyball outs.

flyer85
04-15-2008, 11:26 AM
Except he is morphing, nobody is sure what he is morphing into, but he is changing as a hitter. as you point out he is trading one kind of for another. From my perspective, out are outs, be it Ks or GOs or FOs. He is making different kinds of outs but he stat line is saying the same thing. Middling BA, low OBP, some power.

TRF
04-15-2008, 11:33 AM
I'm going with a different approach. He's not K'ing, but his bat control is improving. Now he needs to learn to lay of pitches he can't drive, but can put wood on. Dun get's this, Casey did not. I swear Casey could put the bat on almost any pitch, but when he was at his best, he was spraying line drives. If Patterson can learn just a smidgen of patience, he could be a dangerous hitter. It seems to me he has continued to evolve his game, but he's going a bit sideways instead of forward.

TRF
04-15-2008, 11:34 AM
hey, I passed 7,000 posts!

RedsManRick
04-15-2008, 12:21 PM
Looking at his PA outcome splits at Fan Graphs, it's pretty clear that Patterson has traded strikeouts for flyballs, along with some grounders and line drives for flyballs. For a guy with a lot of speed, the process of reducing his strikeouts and increase his contact rate has led to no more production. The gains of making contact instead of striking out are being offset by putting the ball in play more weakly in times where he would've made more productive contact in the past.

TOBTTReds
04-15-2008, 12:48 PM
2006 - Acquired 2B Brandon Phillips for a bag of balls
2006 - Hatteberg for nothing as well.
2006 - David Ross for Bobby Basham (who is out of baseball)
2007 - Acquired SS Jeff Keppinger for some rosin bags
2007 - Josh Hamilton (Volquez) and Jared Burton for 50k?
2008 - Acquired CF Corey Patterson for a pouch of chewing tobacco

I'm not drinking the Patterson Kool Aid just yet, but if he really does pan out, Wayne Krivsky has done a ridiculously good job of rebuilding the Reds up the middle on the cheap. Will he find the Reds a catcher next year?

Added a few

KronoRed
04-15-2008, 01:09 PM
hey, I passed 7,000 posts!

Well done :thumbup:

nate
04-15-2008, 02:52 PM
He has a .189 BABIP on the year. Wouldn't that explain the reduced Ks and no increase in OBP?

TRF
04-15-2008, 03:09 PM
He has a .189 BABIP on the year. Wouldn't that explain the reduced Ks and no increase in OBP?

It explains the OBP to an extent. I don't think BABIP has anything to do with K's


Krono, good god man. 53,000+ posts? I was thinking I post too much. :eek:

Raisor
04-15-2008, 03:20 PM
It explains the OBP to an extent. I don't think BABIP has anything to do with K's


Krono, good god man. 53,000+ posts? I was thinking I post too much. :eek:

The poster we know as "Krono" is actually a team of 58 people working in a sweatshop in Romania.

KronoRed
04-15-2008, 03:24 PM
Bulgaria...err I mean..what? :D

Reds1
04-15-2008, 04:00 PM
as you point out he is trading one kind of for another. From my perspective, out are outs, be it Ks or GOs or FOs. He is making different kinds of outs but he stat line is saying the same thing. Middling BA, low OBP, some power.

I do have to disagree here. Outs are not outs. When you put the ball in play you move runners over, you get errors, put more pressure on the defense - all kind of things can happen. When you K that's it. You walk to the duggout with your head down.

Reds1
04-15-2008, 04:02 PM
Added a few

Pretty nice tenure I think WK has had. If Cueto develps like he is under his watch he may actually keep his job! :D

Patrick Bateman
04-15-2008, 04:07 PM
The poster we know as "Krono" is actually a team of 58 people working in a sweatshop in Romania.

That is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.

IslandRed
04-15-2008, 04:38 PM
I do have to disagree here. Outs are not outs. When you put the ball in play you move runners over, you get errors, put more pressure on the defense - all kind of things can happen. When you K that's it. You walk to the dugout with your head down.

One of the things that can happen is hitting into a double play, and it happens a lot. On a macro level, the damage from DPs cancels out most of the benefits from so-called productive outs, making "just put it in play" largely a wash.

*BaseClogger*
04-15-2008, 04:41 PM
I do have to disagree here. Outs are not outs. When you put the ball in play you move runners over, you get errors, put more pressure on the defense - all kind of things can happen. When you K that's it. You walk to the dugout with your head down.


One of the things that can happen is hitting into a double play, and it happens a lot. On a macro level, the damage from DPs cancels out most of the benefits from so-called productive outs, making "just put it in play" largely a wash.

Can we get this like permanently etched in a thread somewhere?

Reds1
04-15-2008, 07:21 PM
One of the things that can happen is hitting into a double play, and it happens a lot. On a macro level, the damage from DPs cancels out most of the benefits from so-called productive outs, making "just put it in play" largely a wash.

Maybe with some hitters, but I would guess (don't have stats) with Patterson's speed would keep him out of many DP. He's also lead off so no one would be on base in many of his ABs.

Raisor
04-15-2008, 07:40 PM
Maybe with some hitters, but I would guess (don't have stats) with Patterson's speed would keep him out of many DP. He's also lead off so no one would be on base in many of his ABs.

CP GIDP 1 per 117 PA's.

RedsManRick
04-15-2008, 08:32 PM
Part of Corey's problem from a BABIP perspective is bad luck. However, part of it is that the quality of his batted balls has dropped as his contact rate is going up. He's trading strikeouts for non-HR flyballs -- the least valuable batted ball there is.

Steve4192
04-15-2008, 09:19 PM
One of the things that can happen is hitting into a double play, and it happens a lot. On a macro level, the damage from DPs cancels out most of the benefits from so-called productive outs, making "just put it in play" largely a wash.

The flip side of that is, if you believe in BABIP and the randomness of hits falling in, that every ball you put in play has about a 30% of chance of finding a hole.

Anytime you can replace 30 K's with 30 balls in play, you stand a pretty good chance of getting 9 extra hits out of the deal. Sure, you might also get an extra GIDP or two, but that is largely offset just by the increased chance of a 'productive' out or of reaching base via an error, to say nothing of those nine extra hits.

Steve4192
04-15-2008, 09:22 PM
He's trading strikeouts for non-HR flyballs -- the least valuable batted ball there is.

What makes you think he is trading strikeouts for warning track fly balls? The guy has been driving the ball out of the park at a much higher rate than at any other time during his career.

I'd say some of those extra fly balls most definitely turned into home runs.

RedsManRick
04-15-2008, 09:39 PM
What makes you think he is trading strikeouts for warning track fly balls? The guy has been driving the ball out of the park at a much higher rate than at any other time during his career.

I'd say some of those extra fly balls most definitely turned into home runs.

The actual batted ball data suggests that. This contact trend is not new, but Corey has not seen any growth in his SLG over that time. His fly ball rate has gone up significantly, but his HR rate has not. His HR/FB has actually decreased. Yes, this year is an exception - but if you think he's going to keep slugging .667, he's not.

Patterson is striking out less, that much is clear. But he's not getting many more hits, he's not walking more, and he's not hitting for any more power. So that fewer strike outs are great, except for the fact that the aren't actually leading to any measurable increase in production. And this year's 50ish at bats don't count yet, sorry. If he keeps up what he's doing right now, we would expect his AVG and OBP to come up a bit -- but that remains to be seen.