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Brutus
05-05-2009, 04:20 PM
Right now on the front page of ESPN.com, there is a terrific article written by Jerry Crasnick on the art of selectivity and patience at the plate.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=4136793

I think Jeff Francouer and J.J. Hardy's examples are important to remember before taking the extreme that all players should be looking for walks.

For instance, I certainly subscribe to the concept that baseball players should look to 'avoid outs' instead of 'get hits.' However, I also think you put a bat in these players' hands for a reason - to swing it. I'll take a walk over an out any day (well, unless it's a productive out). That said, sometimes if you try too hard to get these players simply to take pitches so they can draw walks, they'll miss out on the good pitches they should be swinging at.

Anyhow, that aside, it's a great article. It goes in-depth to some of the things that the A's and Red Sox (among others) have done to work on selectivity with their young hitters.

GIDP
05-05-2009, 04:23 PM
Adam Dunn is an example of someone who looks to walk too often, while Jay Bruce is the example of someone who swings a little too often.

Brutus
05-05-2009, 04:41 PM
Adam Dunn is an example of someone who looks to walk too often, while Jay Bruce is the example of someone who swings a little too often.

Agreed.

And let's face it, another factor is knowing who is hitting behind you. If you're a 3-hitter and you have two sluggers behind you, extreme patience with a runner at third might not be a bad thing. But if you're paid to be a cleanup hitter and drive-in runs, and you don't have the luxury of having great hitters protecting you, sometimes taking a walk with one out and a runner at third is not as good as getting the ball in the air and making sure that runner scores.

At-bats are not created equal. With that conclusion in mind, it's not always advised a player should enter a plate appearance with the goal of taking five pitches before ideally swinging.

OesterPoster
05-05-2009, 05:08 PM
Slightly ironic, because I was just checking strikeout leaders earlier today. I was a bit surprised to see no Reds in the top 50 of the majors, and no Reds in the top 30 of the NL. Votto, EE, Dickerson, and Bruce all are right outside the top 30. Milwaukee has a ton of hackers in their lineup, and the Marlins are well represented in the top 30 as well.

GIDP
05-05-2009, 05:09 PM
strike outs arent the only thing that happens if you swing too much

tommycash
05-05-2009, 11:12 PM
Adam Dunn is an example of someone who looks to walk too often, while Jay Bruce is the example of someone who swings a little too often.

I said that about Dunn last year, and was accosted by this board for it. Nice to know other people think that way.

GIDP
05-05-2009, 11:17 PM
I said that about Dunn last year, and was accosted by this board for it. Nice to know other people think that way.

I think he just never had the ability to hit a lot of pitches so he learned and stopped trying.

schmidty622
05-06-2009, 12:55 AM
I said that about Dunn last year, and was accosted by this board for it. Nice to know other people think that way.


I don't know if you can walk too often. However, I see a lot of guys look at pitches that seem to be right down the pipe, and perfectly hittable.

I'm not an MLB player though so I shouldn't talk.

fugowitribe
05-06-2009, 01:02 AM
I love to see Willy lead off a game by taking a pitch or two and fighting deep into the count. I think his role as a lead off hitter is so crucial in how the Reds get started. Although we may want to see him run more, I believe his patience and goals at the plate have helped the team out in ways that can't be seen or measured. With a young team like the Reds we have guys seeing pitchers for only the first or second time on a frequent basis, seeing those pitches and having an example of what to do at the plate is a big help for them IMO.