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The Voice of IH
12-21-2010, 11:48 PM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101221&content_id=16355912&vkey=news_cin&c_id=cin

I do wonder why Drew Stubbs can not be a lead off hitter. If he can become more patient at the plate and put the ball in play his speed will have his average climbing in no time.

anyone care to tell me why it is a bad idea?

Blitz Dorsey
12-22-2010, 12:10 AM
I despise the idea of Stubbs batting leadoff. He has a low OBP and is too much of a free-swinger. I like him batting seventh where he can relax and knock in some runs.

corkedbat
12-22-2010, 12:54 AM
I despise the idea of Stubbs batting leadoff. He has a low OBP and is too much of a free-swinger. I like him batting seventh where he can relax and knock in some runs.

This is likely BP's last year with the Reds. Ideally, I'd like to see the Reds find a way to come up with a young 2B/SS combination capable of getting on base and batting 1/2. I'm not just talking about batting anybody 1st or 2nd jus be cause SS bats 1srt and the 2B bats second. I'm talking about a pair of guys who can take a walk and post a high OBP. Speed would be a bonus. Much easier said than done.

Of course, I'm kind of old school in terms of lineup construction. I believe the four corners should be bashers who make uo the core of the order (4-6) The catcher is usually not a leadoff candidate and these days, doesn't usually provide middle of the order power (Mes may just buck this though), so they usually hit 7th or 8th.

That leaves CF, 2B and SS to fill out the top two spots in the order with the odd man out at the bottom of the order. If I'm running a club, I do everything I can to acquire MIs that can not only field but hit for Avg & OBP.

Unfortunately, the Reds FO seems to have been all too intersted in drafting MIs that are fine defensively, but OBP challenged. Hopefully, that will change as Hamilton, Arias and possibly HRod continue their climb.

I agree with you on Stubbs not leading off. I like him in the 7th spot in the order as he develops. I thinkit's much more likely that he develops into a 4-6 hitter than a top of the order guy, Trying to force him into the leadoff role may hurt his development.

If it does appear that Rolen's power has tailed off this year, but his OBP remains high, I'm fine with Scott in the two-hole though.

camisadelgolf
12-22-2010, 01:47 AM
I despise the idea of Stubbs batting leadoff. He has a low OBP and is too much of a free-swinger. I like him batting seventh where he can relax and knock in some runs.
The average hitter in the first slot had an OBP of .328 in the NL. Drew Stubbs was above that in 2010, and he was barely more than a rookie. I'm not saying I disagree, but I don't think you can use his low OBP as evidence when he's actually above average in the on-base department.

Dan
12-22-2010, 07:32 AM
I'd like to see the Reds pick up a speedy, high OBP guy (Reyes?) to bat leadoff and then hit Stubbs 2nd in the order. With Reyes on base, Stubbs would see a lot more fastballs than he would see batting in the 7th hole in front of Janish.

Redsfan320
12-22-2010, 07:37 AM
Bruce is easy for me- I want him batting clean-up for years to come. Stubbs I wrestle with- I don't know if I want that speed hitting lead-off (my name's not Dusty, but it is helpful there), or if I want something like Blitz and for him to hit sixth or seventh.

320

RedsManRick
12-22-2010, 08:34 AM
I don't understand why a leadoff man needs to be a good contact and sac bunt guy. Isn't leadoff the spot where those things will matter least, since they won't likely have guys on base for them?

Mario-Rijo
12-22-2010, 10:09 AM
I don't understand why a leadoff man needs to be a good contact and sac bunt guy. Isn't leadoff the spot where those things will matter least, since they won't likely have guys on base for them?

I can only assume Sheldon is mentioning sac bunts as evidence Stubbs isn't that great a bunter in general. Which we all know he could brush up there that's no big secret. But to answer your question from my point of view I believe an "ideal" leadoff man (or most ideal) as Sheldon seems to be looking for in this piece should be adept at bunting and making contact. It just improves his chances of getting on base. The bigger the toolbox...

The problem I have with Sheldons thoughts is that he believes the leadoff hitter is just a table setter once. Well a guy may only lead off an inning once or not but he will always come to the plate just prior to the 3rd place hitter who is the most likely guy in the lineup to drive in a run because of his abilities.

All that said Stubbs could do it and probably would be adequate if he took the same approach he does in the 7 hole. It may be a slight detriment to the team in that you want your leadoff guy to kind of gauge the starting pitchers stuff that night because he is usually the best guy equipped to take a bunch of pitches and still have a decent shot of getting on base. But Stubbs cannot afford to sit and watch good pitches go by with his contact issues.

Cedric
12-22-2010, 06:44 PM
I was gonna post a long thesis on why I think Stubbs hitting leadoff and having success is key to this team.. But I came onto Redszone and Scarlett Johansen keeps popping up and getting me angry at the world, so I'm out.

The Voice of IH
12-22-2010, 09:12 PM
I honestly feel if Stubbs puts the ball in play, rather then striking out, he will be an ultimate lead off hitter. I think with the experiences he gained last year, he will have a more developed approach suited for a big league plate and I think because of that will raise his average and production.

PuffyPig
12-22-2010, 09:30 PM
I despise the idea of Stubbs batting leadoff. He has a low OBP and is too much of a free-swinger. I like him batting seventh where he can relax and knock in some runs.

A free swinger?

He's the opposite of a "free swinger'

Not every high K guy is a "free swinger", whatever that really means.


He K's alot because he takes a ton of pitches and gets deep into the count. Many suggest he lets to many hittable pitches go by. Patience is not his problem.

He'll improve his K'W ratio once he improves his pitch recognition (if ever).

If he hits as well as he dis last year, he's likely our best lead off hitter, The question is whether he hits as well hitting first as lower in the lineup.

He didn't do that last year.

TheNext44
12-22-2010, 09:45 PM
A free swinger?

He's the opposite of a "free swinger'

Not every high K guy is a "free swinger", whatever that really means.


He K's alot because he takes a ton of pitches and gets deep into the count. Many suggest he lets to many hittable pitches go by. Patience is not his problem.

He'll improve his K'W ratio once he improves his pitch recognition (if ever).

If he hits as well as he dis last year, he's likely our best lead off hitter, The question is whether he hits as well hitting first as lower in the lineup.

He didn't do that last year.

Excellent anaylsis.

I usually don't mind where a batter hits in a lineup, but it really seemed to mess with Stubb head when he leadoff. Threre's no reason to believe that he can't adjust and become a good leadoff hitter, but he does have make that adjustment and not be overwhelmed with the task of leading off. And in the end, it really does just come down to his ability to improve his pitch recognition. It took Bruce about two years to improve his.

Ron Madden
12-22-2010, 10:04 PM
I think Drew Stubbs could be an adequate leadoff hitter if he were left in that slot. I believe Dusty will go with Brandon Phillips.

dougdirt
12-22-2010, 10:11 PM
Why shouldn't Drew Stubbs bat lead off? Simple, you don't put a guy who can hit you 25 HR's in a spot where hardly anyone is going to be on base for them.

Griffey012
12-22-2010, 10:23 PM
Batting leadoff last year Phillips had a .302 OBP, but had a .332 OBP overall. If Phillips can just OBP .320 in the leadoff spot then he is going to be a better option than Stubbs leading off. Simply due to the fact, as Doug mentioned, Stubbs has 25 HR power and will get a lot of opportunities to drive runs in hitting behind Votto, Rolen, Bruce, and maybe Gomes/LF'er.

However, I wouldn't mind seeing Stubbs in the 2 hole either depending on the LF and SS situations. If it is Gomes and Janish, we need someone to get on base in front of Joey, and neither of those two are going to do it at a good ratio most likely.

If Stubbs bumps his OBP up in the .350-.360 range, then he has likely just became that much more dangerous of a hitter, and should be put right in the thick of the 3-4-5-6 range.

TheNext44
12-22-2010, 11:02 PM
Why shouldn't Drew Stubbs bat lead off? Simple, you don't put a guy who can hit you 25 HR's in a spot where hardly anyone is going to be on base for them.

Which is exactly why adding a real leadoff hitter is so essentilal for the Reds in 2011. Stubbs in the middle of the lineup is far more valuable than him leading off.

traderumor
12-23-2010, 06:52 AM
A label of "leadoff hitter"...top of the order, get on base so that the middle of the order can drive them in with extra base hits. Is there a prototype for that other than "gets on base?"

dougdirt
12-23-2010, 08:31 AM
A label of "leadoff hitter"...top of the order, get on base so that the middle of the order can drive them in with extra base hits. Is there a prototype for that other than "gets on base?"

Ideally you want a top of the order guy who doesn't have much power, but still gets on base often. You are typically going to waste power in the leadoff spot when no one is on base, so guys with power bat further down in the line up.

Mario-Rijo
12-23-2010, 09:12 AM
Ideally you want a top of the order guy who doesn't have much power, but still gets on base often. You are typically going to waste power in the leadoff spot when no one is on base, so guys with power bat further down in the line up.

Huh, power is never a bad thing Doug. Rickey Henderson was maybe the ultimate leadoff guy and he had some pop. Hit as many as 28 HR's in a season (twice) and 297 for his career. I do agree there comes a point where you have to maybe consider a guy further down the lineup if he has significant power production but if he possesses the other ingredients to be a prime leadoff hitter I think you lead him off despite the power. Or at the very least hit him #2. Those leadoff qualities are just too tough to find and power isn't as tough to find for lower in the lineup.

Raisor
12-23-2010, 10:46 AM
Why shouldn't Drew Stubbs bat lead off? Simple, you don't put a guy who can hit you 25 HR's in a spot where hardly anyone is going to be on base for them.

Rickey Henderson thinks you're crazy

kpresidente
12-23-2010, 11:16 AM
Huh, power is never a bad thing Doug. Rickey Henderson was maybe the ultimate leadoff guy and he had some pop. Hit as many as 28 HR's in a season (twice) and 297 for his career. I do agree there comes a point where you have to maybe consider a guy further down the lineup if he has significant power production but if he possesses the other ingredients to be a prime leadoff hitter I think you lead him off despite the power. Or at the very least hit him #2. Those leadoff qualities are just too tough to find and power isn't as tough to find for lower in the lineup.

Yeah, but Stubbs doesn't possess the other ingredients. If he had a .400 OBP, like Rickey Henderson, nobody would care that his 25 HRs were "wasted". The question is, "where will Stubbs generate the most runs, leadoff or 6th?" I say he's and ideal 6th hitter, because his power will drive in runs, and his speed will get him in scoring position so the weaker bats at the bottom of the order can drive him in by hitting singles.

dougdirt
12-23-2010, 01:51 PM
Rickey Henderson thinks you're crazy

I think the managers who hit Rickey Henderson leadoff were crazy. That dude should have been hitting 2-5. He was a very good hitter and they wasted some of his talents in the leadoff spot.

Ron Madden
12-23-2010, 02:09 PM
I want my leadoff hitter (or any hitter) to avoid outs and acquirer bases.

The more bases he acquirers the better, it leads to run production.

dougdirt
12-23-2010, 02:14 PM
I want my leadoff hitter (or any hitter) to avoid outs and acquirer bases.

The more bases he acquirers the better, it leads to run production.

Then why don't we just hit Votto first? He best fits your description. While I agree that your description is good, you want guys who fit your description batting beyond leadoff because those extra bases they acquire also move guys up those extra bases as well.

Griffey012
12-23-2010, 02:38 PM
Huh, power is never a bad thing Doug. Rickey Henderson was maybe the ultimate leadoff guy and he had some pop. Hit as many as 28 HR's in a season (twice) and 297 for his career. I do agree there comes a point where you have to maybe consider a guy further down the lineup if he has significant power production but if he possesses the other ingredients to be a prime leadoff hitter I think you lead him off despite the power. Or at the very least hit him #2. Those leadoff qualities are just too tough to find and power isn't as tough to find for lower in the lineup.

Rickey Henderson was the greatest lead-off hitter of all time though. He OBP'd .394 or higher 18/20 years from 1980 to 1998. He is a hall of famer. Drew Stubbs will never be in the same discussion as Rickey Henderson, and should not be now.

While Rickey had some pop he only hit over 20 home runs 4 times in his career. He really didn't pack a lot of power. Stubbs has light tower power. Not to mention Rickey was an absolute pest when it came to making the pitcher work, and work deep.

Another difference is Rickey spent a majority of his career in the AL, where he was not batting after the pitcher, but was instead batting after another MLB hitter.

TheNext44
12-23-2010, 02:38 PM
If teams had lineups full of Votto's and Pujols' then it would be okay to bat a 25 home run guy leadoff. But teams are full of players with different skills and each spot in the batting order is able to best capitalize on different skills.

The leadoff spot capitalizes on OBP and minimizes the value of home runs and SLG. Spots 3-5 best capitalize on SLG Therefore, it's most productive to put high OBP, low SLG hitters in the top of the lineup, and high SLG guys in the middle.

But all of this depends on who you have available.

bucksfan2
12-23-2010, 04:44 PM
If teams had lineups full of Votto's and Pujols' then it would be okay to bat a 25 home run guy leadoff. But teams are full of players with different skills and each spot in the batting order is able to best capitalize on different skills.

The leadoff spot capitalizes on OBP and minimizes the value of home runs and SLG. Spots 3-5 best capitalize on SLG Therefore, it's most productive to put high OBP, low SLG hitters in the top of the lineup, and high SLG guys in the middle.

But all of this depends on who you have available.

Too much trying to reinvent the wheel in this thread. Suggesting that the greatest lead off hitter in the history of baseball shouldn't have been hitting leadoff?

What you said here makes the most sense to me and its what managers (even Abner LaRussa) have done throughout the course of baseball history. Put your hitters who are good at getting on base but lack power in front of your hitters that are good at both.

We can bang our head against the wall as long as we want but the Joey Votto's of the world are going to hit 3rd and if your lucky enough to get a Ricky Henderson he is going to first.

dougdirt
12-23-2010, 05:12 PM
Too much trying to reinvent the wheel in this thread. Suggesting that the greatest lead off hitter in the history of baseball shouldn't have been hitting leadoff?

What you said here makes the most sense to me and its what managers (even Abner LaRussa) have done throughout the course of baseball history. Put your hitters who are good at getting on base but lack power in front of your hitters that are good at both.

We can bang our head against the wall as long as we want but the Joey Votto's of the world are going to hit 3rd and if your lucky enough to get a Ricky Henderson he is going to first.

Eh, Babe Ruth would have been the greatest leadoff hitter too if someone hit him leadoff. Fact of the matter is, Rickey Henderson had 16 seasons of a 120 OPS+ (Jay Bruce for example was at 127 this season) or higher (including leading the league in OPS in 1990 where his OPS+ was much better than Joey Votto's was this past season). He shouldn't have been hitting leadoff with a profile like that, regardless of how fast and good of a base stealer he was.

Ron Madden
12-23-2010, 05:21 PM
Then why don't we just hit Votto first? He best fits your description. While I agree that your description is good, you want guys who fit your description batting beyond leadoff because those extra bases they acquire also move guys up those extra bases as well.

I'm not saying Votto should lead off. What I am saying is,

If Stubbs leads off the game I want him to avoid makeing an out. If he walks or hits a single that's good.

If he hits a double that's great. If he hits a triple that's better. If he hits a HR that's even better.

dougdirt
12-23-2010, 05:25 PM
I'm not saying Votto should lead off. What I am saying is,

If Stubbs leads off the game I want him to avoid makeing an out. If he walks or hits a single that's good.

If he hits a double that's great. If he hits a triple that's better. If he hits a HR that's even better.

Well sure, but if Drew Stubbs is going to hit 20+ HR's, you shouldn't bat him 1st no matter how often he gets on base because you are wasting his power up there.

PuffyPig
12-23-2010, 08:32 PM
IIRC, computer simulations on various lineups often show that the most runs are scored when the best hitter (based on OPS) hits first, and so on.

Griffey012
12-23-2010, 11:30 PM
IIRC, computer simulations on various lineups often show that the most runs are scored when the best hitter (based on OPS) hits first, and so on.

Computer simulations also contain a lot of assumptions. I would like to know the assumptions made when they run these simulations.

TRF
12-24-2010, 11:37 AM
Ideally you want a top of the order guy who doesn't have much power, but still gets on base often. You are typically going to waste power in the leadoff spot when no one is on base, so guys with power bat further down in the line up.

Um, no.
Ideally, the guy at the top of the order gets on base a ton with speed. His power pptenrial is irrelevant. if he has power, that's a bonus. Stubbs doesn't get on at a high rate, YET. I think that is becase of approach. Which, is why I prefer him in the sixth spot.

_Sir_Charles_
12-24-2010, 12:46 PM
I think the power is irrelevant. Simply put, if the guy possesses the skills to excel at leading off, that's where you slot him. Even if the guy DOES have 20-30 HR potential. Because we're talking about 20-30 at bats there. Its what he does with those other AB's that make him a leadoff hitter. Besides, he's only at the plate with NOBODY on base 1 time per game for certain. There's nothing saying that the HR's would be "wasted".

dougdirt
12-24-2010, 12:52 PM
I think the power is irrelevant. Simply put, if the guy possesses the skills to excel at leading off, that's where you slot him. Even if the guy DOES have 20-30 HR potential. Because we're talking about 20-30 at bats there. Its what he does with those other AB's that make him a leadoff hitter. Besides, he's only at the plate with NOBODY on base 1 time per game for certain. There's nothing saying that the HR's would be "wasted".

Then why doesn't Joey Votto bat leadoff? It's simple, because the power does matter and those HR's would be wasted. We are probably talking about 20 additional runs in the NL for a guy hitting 30 HR's from the leadoff spot and the #3 spot because of people being on base (or not) for him.

Sure, its not a given that no one is on base for the leadoff guy other than once a game. But it is a given that they are going to get more chances with runners on base hitting 3-6 than they will batting first by the simple fact that the pitcher bats before the leadoff hitter with a sub .250 OBP, while actual hitters bat before the 3-6 hitters and are going to get on base much more often than the pitcher will.

kpresidente
12-24-2010, 01:23 PM
IIRC, computer simulations on various lineups often show that the most runs are scored when the best hitter (based on OPS) hits first, and so on.

I've never seen one that only takes OPS as input. Usually they figure OBP and SLG seperately. But I generally thought hitter should bat 2nd. But your best hitters tend to have high OBPs. "best hitter" isn't always the same as "best power", though.

I just did one for the reds and they have Votto 2nd in the top 5 lineups. But, again, that's mostly because of his .424 OBP. If I lower his OBP to .353 (same as Bruce) while keeping his .600 SLG (still our best OPS by a long shot), the simulator moved him back to cleanup.

That pretty much confirms the conventional wisdom....OBP early, SLG in the middle.


Best lineups with Votto with his real numbers...


Runs per Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
5.071 Hernand Votto Phillip Bruce Rolen Stubbs Gomes Pitcher Cabrera
5.070 Hernand Votto Phillip Bruce Rolen Gomes Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
5.069 Hernand Votto Phillip Rolen Bruce Stubbs Gomes Pitcher Cabrera
5.069 Hernand Votto Phillip Rolen Bruce Gomes Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
5.068 Hernand Votto Gomes Bruce Rolen Stubbs Phillip Pitcher Cabrera
5.066 Votto Rolen Phillip Bruce Hernand Stubbs Gomes Pitcher Cabrera
5.066 Hernand Votto Gomes Rolen Bruce Stubbs Phillip Pitcher Cabrera
5.066 Hernand Votto Gomes Bruce Rolen Phillip Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
5.066 Votto Rolen Phillip Bruce Hernand Gomes Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
5.065 Hernand Votto Stubbs Bruce Rolen Gomes Phillip Pitcher Cabrera

(Notice where Stubbs is?)


And with Votto having a hypothetical .353 OBP...


Runs per Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
4.937 Hernand Rolen Phillip Votto Bruce Stubbs Gomes Pitcher Cabrera
4.937 Hernand Bruce Phillip Votto Rolen Stubbs Gomes Pitcher Cabrera
4.936 Hernand Rolen Phillip Votto Bruce Gomes Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
4.936 Hernand Bruce Phillip Votto Rolen Gomes Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
4.934 Hernand Rolen Gomes Votto Bruce Stubbs Phillip Pitcher Cabrera
4.933 Hernand Bruce Gomes Votto Rolen Stubbs Phillip Pitcher Cabrera
4.932 Hernand Rolen Gomes Votto Bruce Phillip Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
4.932 Hernand Bruce Gomes Votto Rolen Phillip Stubbs Pitcher Cabrera
4.931 Hernand Rolen Stubbs Votto Bruce Gomes Phillip Pitcher Cabrera
4.931 Hernand Bruce Stubbs Votto Rolen Gomes Phillip Pitcher Cabrera

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py?Player0=Phillip&OBA0=+0.332&Slug0=+0.430&Player1=Votto&OBA1=+0.424&Slug1=+0.600&Player2=Stubbs&OBA2=+0.349&Slug2=+0.444&Player3=Gomes&OBA3=+0.327&Slug3=+0.431&Player4=Bruce&OBA4=+0.353&Slug4=+0.493&Player5=Cabrera&OBA5=+0.303&Slug5=+0.354&Player6=Rolen&OBA6=+0.358&Slug6=+0.497&Player7=Hernand&OBA7=+0.364&Slug7=+0.428&Player8=Pitcher&OBA8=+0.175&Slug8=+0.175&Model=0

TRF
12-24-2010, 03:06 PM
Then why doesn't Joey Votto bat leadoff? It's simple, because the power does matter and those HR's would be wasted. We are probably talking about 20 additional runs in the NL for a guy hitting 30 HR's from the leadoff spot and the #3 spot because of people being on base (or not) for him.

Sure, its not a given that no one is on base for the leadoff guy other than once a game. But it is a given that they are going to get more chances with runners on base hitting 3-6 than they will batting first by the simple fact that the pitcher bats before the leadoff hitter with a sub .250 OBP, while actual hitters bat before the 3-6 hitters and are going to get on base much more often than the pitcher will.

Votto doesn't bat leadoff because his power is also supplemented by a high BA. So, Votto gets on base a ton, he walks a lot, hits a lot and hits for power. You put that at the #3 or 4 spot. Stubbs... has power. He does not hit for average and he does not walk alot. That you put in the 6-7 spot.

Stubbs IS a free swinger, and I can be happy with that batting 6th or 7th. I one said he's a poor man's Adam Dunn, but that really isn't correct. He'll K as much as Dunn, but his BB's are roughly half of a typical Dunn year.

Stubbs 1st half/2nd half splits are very interesting. I don't think he's the player he showed in either half, but rather the sum. And that is a lot more than I though he'd ever be. I think he very likely is about a .330 OBP guy. I think he'll eventually be a 30+ HR guy, maybe 35+. But he's historically been a contact challenged guy that simply doesn't BB enough. And that's ok lower in the order.

Stubbs so far in his young career has about 300 AB's as a leadoff hitter and 300 batting seventh. At leadoff his OBP is .327, 7th it's .332. Not much of a difference. At leadoff his SLG is.409, 7th it is .452.

And a very telling stat, when leading off an inning, Stubbs numbers: .249 .302 .450 .752 w/10HR's. The HR's are very nice, but he makes an out 70% of the time he leads off an inning. Not good for the guy starting the game.

And THAT is why Stubbs shouldn't lead off. It isn't his tools, it's how he approaches or appears to approach being the leadoff hitter. 90% of the game is mental, the other half is physical. :)

Chip R
12-24-2010, 03:27 PM
One of the reasons people like Stubbs at the leadoff spot is that he's fast and can steal bases. You hear people talk about him stealing 50-70 bases a year. But will he even have 50-70 attempts? For all the talk about Dusty being old school and playing in the 70s when the stolen base was used often, I haven't seen it that much from him last year. Stubbs had 131 base hits last year. Add 55 walks and 5 HBPs in there and that's almost 200 times he reached 1st base. Of course there could have been someone on 2nd base which would lessen the odds of a SB but Stubbs only attempted 36 stolen bases. If he's such a threat to steal, why did he only attempt to steal a sixth of the time he made it on 1st?

dougdirt
12-24-2010, 06:13 PM
And THAT is why Stubbs shouldn't lead off. It isn't his tools, it's how he approaches or appears to approach being the leadoff hitter. 90% of the game is mental, the other half is physical. :)

I don't really care about why Stubbs shouldn't lead off really. It applies to everyone. If you can hit 20 HR's, you should be batting leadoff. Its wasting the power at the #1 spot.

TheNext44
12-24-2010, 06:34 PM
I don't really care about why Stubbs shouldn't lead off really. It applies to everyone. If you can hit 20 HR's, you should be batting leadoff. Its wasting the power at the #1 spot.

That's true, unless your team has four 30 HR guys in the lineup, and he a good leadoff hitter.

It really all depends on your team.

TRF
12-24-2010, 07:07 PM
I don't really care about why Stubbs shouldn't lead off really. It applies to everyone. If you can hit 20 HR's, you should be batting leadoff. Its wasting the power at the #1 spot.

No. a million times no. You are putting the power aspect in a vacuum. A leadoff HR gives a team at best a 1-0 advantage, and at worst draws a team 1 run closer (assuming a bad top of the first.) Power is never wasted. In the leadoff spot, assuming the batter has the OBP to be a leadoff hitter (IMO, .345 or better) it's a bonus, nothing more.


BTW, Merry Christmas doug, it's been fun arguing with you this past year. :)

Mario-Rijo
12-24-2010, 07:15 PM
Yeah, but Stubbs doesn't possess the other ingredients. If he had a .400 OBP, like Rickey Henderson, nobody would care that his 25 HRs were "wasted". The question is, "where will Stubbs generate the most runs, leadoff or 6th?" I say he's and ideal 6th hitter, because his power will drive in runs, and his speed will get him in scoring position so the weaker bats at the bottom of the order can drive him in by hitting singles.

Not really arguing that. Just the idea of batting a guy further down in the order because he has pop. But to be fair Stubbs has all the ingredients with the exception of hitting for avg. His inability to make contact is surely an issue but if he starts getting adept at bunting it won't matter nearly as much because he will OBP% reasonably high. He's perfectly capable of OBP% .350ish right now and that would easily be the best we have currently. I'd probably prefer to bat him 2nd with this expected lineup behind BP.

dougdirt
12-24-2010, 09:12 PM
No. a million times no. You are putting the power aspect in a vacuum. A leadoff HR gives a team at best a 1-0 advantage, and at worst draws a team 1 run closer (assuming a bad top of the first.) Power is never wasted. In the leadoff spot, assuming the batter has the OBP to be a leadoff hitter (IMO, .345 or better) it's a bonus, nothing more.


BTW, Merry Christmas doug, it's been fun arguing with you this past year. :)

A 1-0 lead is nice, but I would rather see 8-10 HR's with guys on base and 12-15 solo shots than 20 solo shots and 5 multi run HR's.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. As long as the Reds are winning, the arguing is plenty fun!

_Sir_Charles_
12-24-2010, 10:09 PM
Then why doesn't Joey Votto bat leadoff? It's simple, because the power does matter and those HR's would be wasted. We are probably talking about 20 additional runs in the NL for a guy hitting 30 HR's from the leadoff spot and the #3 spot because of people being on base (or not) for him.

Sure, its not a given that no one is on base for the leadoff guy other than once a game. But it is a given that they are going to get more chances with runners on base hitting 3-6 than they will batting first by the simple fact that the pitcher bats before the leadoff hitter with a sub .250 OBP, while actual hitters bat before the 3-6 hitters and are going to get on base much more often than the pitcher will.

Because he doesn't possess ALL the other skills you want in a leadoff guy. Speed being the biggest & most obvious one.

And by the way, I'm not advocating Stubbs for leadoff...just saying that because the guy has some power doesn't mean he's a bad choice for leading off. Especially when you take the rest of the roster in mind. It's all a matter of context. Given our roster...he "might" be the best option.


I don't really care about why Stubbs shouldn't lead off really. It applies to everyone. If you can hit 20 HR's, you should be batting leadoff. Its wasting the power at the #1 spot.

But what if he can hit 19 HR's? 18? 21? What's the cutoff? What is TOO much power? You're looking at it in a vacuum. You have to take it in context of the entire roster. (again, not saying Stubbs is the right guy)

pedro
12-24-2010, 10:12 PM
Ricky was usually not only the fastest guy on his teams but the best. To me, giving him more AB's then everyone else was the best plan.

_Sir_Charles_
12-24-2010, 10:15 PM
Ricky was usually not only the fastest guy on his teams but the best. To me, giving him more AB's then everyone else was the best plan.

Totally agree. However, Ricky's....Ricky. You can't really compare him to ANYBODY. IMO, he was the most exciting player to watch that I ever got the pleasure to watch. I've never seen one player change the scope of the game more than Henderson. Probably my favorite non-Red all time (at least top 5 for sure)

pedro
12-24-2010, 10:37 PM
Plus having him on base distracting the pitcher and forcing the fielders to hold him on certainly was advantageous to the batters that followed him.

Mario-Rijo
12-26-2010, 08:20 AM
Totally agree. However, Ricky's....Ricky. You can't really compare him to ANYBODY. IMO, he was the most exciting player to watch that I ever got the pleasure to watch. I've never seen one player change the scope of the game more than Henderson. Probably my favorite non-Red all time (at least top 5 for sure)

Who is comparing him to Ricky? The point was power is wasted at the top vs. it isn't perse'. Doug wants to take him out of the #1 hole because he has power and his dingers will be more solo than could be, understood. How about his (potential) OBP% and Speed being wasted with Ramon bouncing to 2nd on a regular basis, or Janish pulling it to SS? Putting him in front of Votto be it at #1 or #2 I think offsets the loss of RBI with Runs scored (and then some IMO). Now I will admit hitting him #2 gives you a little bit better of both worlds ideally speaking.

I just simply think power is more plentiful than OBP% and speed combined so you take advantage of the lesser available commodity. Gomes could potentially out slug Drew in a given year so it's not hard to replace his pop down in the order but try finding a guy with the ability to score his potential for scoring.

kaldaniels
12-29-2010, 11:22 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/joe_sheehan/12/20/2011.predictions/index.html?eref=sihp

Fun to see that Sheehan sees Stubbs possibly making the superstar leap.

Not fun to see him project the Reds missing the postseason.

WebScorpion
12-30-2010, 04:02 AM
I like Stubbs as the leadoff hitter. If he can become a polished bunter, he could jack his OBP up into the acceptable, even exceptional level. His OBP is already 75 points higher than his BA, so getting his average into the .280 range would do the trick. I think he can do it.
I much prefer him at leadoff than #2. Phillips is a better #2 hitter (he hits better there than in the leadoff spot) and if Stubbs steals second nobody will walk Phillips to get to Votto and Bruce. If Stubbs is batting #2 and steals second, Votto gets walked immediately. Plus you have Phillips in the leadoff, stealing and getting thrown out 60% of the time. Bat Phillips #2 and never let him steal; let Stubbs run rampant from the #1 spot.
Yes, he's got more power than you'd like in the leadoff spot, but power is ALSO wasted if you leadoff with Janish or have him at #2, but it's Votto and Bruce's power being wasted since nobody is ever on base for them. I like Stubbs in the #6 hole too, but he's the best leadoff option we have on THIS team.
I'd tell him I want to see him try to bunt his way on at least once every series in 2011. That's about 50 bunts and if he's successful 25% (I think it will be MUCH higher than that) of the time, he'd add 13 hits. That would put him in the .280 range and bump his OBP up to the .350-.360 range...an above average leadoff hitter who can make pitchers nervous with his ability to steal.
He's not the ideal leadoff hitter, but he's the player with the best chance to be an above average leadoff hitter on THIS team. That's my http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-forum/2c.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Will M
12-30-2010, 08:40 AM
I too am coming around to the idea of Stubbs hitting leadoff. I understand the arguement that his power is 'watsed' in the #1 slot. However, he will get a lot more ABs as a #1 hitter vs a #6 hitter. I am guessing ~80.
I'd also like to see Stubbs let loose with his speed. Both bunting as well as swiping 75 bases. Either he or the Reds played it safe last year. Time to let him fly.

Based on who is still available I'd like the Reds to get Fred Lewis to play LF vs a right handed starter. steals a few bases at ~80% success rate. obp ~350 & ops ~800 vs right handed starters the last few years.

vs a right handed starter:
Stubbs
Lewis (L)
Votto (L)
Rolen (when Francisco plays bat Bruce 4th & Francisco ~6th)
Bruce (L)
Phillips
Hanigan/Hernandez
Janish/Cozart

vs a left handed starter:
Stubbs
Phillips
Votto (L)
Rolen
Gomes or Heisey
Bruce (L)
Hanigan/Hernandez
Janish/Cozart

lollipopcurve
12-30-2010, 10:49 AM
All this talk about Stubbs and bunting is starting to bother me. Take a look at this list of players who have led the league in bunt hits recently.

Two things should stick out: height and handedness. All are smaller guys, 10 of the 13 are lefthanded. It should be clear to folks that Stubbs, even though he's very fast, is at a disadvantage when it comes to being an effective bunter.

Year Name Bunts Hits Pct
1992 Brett Butler 67 40 .597
1992 Kenny Lofton 67 31 .463
2003 Alex Sanchez 64 31 .484
2005 Willy Taveras 59 30 .508
2003 Juan Pierre 70 29 .414
2004 Alex Sanchez 58 29 .500
2007 Willy Taveras 36 27 .750
2005 Juan Pierre 59 25 .424
2002 Juan Pierre 52 24 .462
1971 Del Unser 36 23 .639
1979 Frank Taveras 28 23 .821
1991 Otis Nixon 50 23 .460
1990 Brett Butler 45 22 .489
1969 Bobby Tolan 34 21 .618
1980 Frank Taveras 24 21 .875
1991 Brett Butler 43 21 .488
1993 Brett Butler 49 21 .429
1995 Otis Nixon 34 21 .618
2006 Willy Taveras 38 21 .553
1964 Maury Wills 43 20 .465
1964 Don Blasingame 23 20 .870
1965 Maury Wills 34 20 .588
1979 Paul Molitor 34 20 .588
1989 Brett Butler 38 20 .526
1997 Otis Nixon 35 20 .571
1998 Neifi Perez 34 20 .588
2004 Juan Pierre 46 20 .435

Because he's 6'5" -- and with a high setup to his stance -- it takes Stubbs a lot longer, relatively speaking, to get into bunting position, meaning one of two things: either he starts as late as possible -- so as not to tip off fielders until absolutely necessary -- result being, he's got less time to react to the pitch; or, he starts soon, to give himself time to get into position and react to the pitch, yet this tips off fielders earlier than if the bunter were a smaller, more compact guy. Additionally, he's got a longer way to go to get down to balls below the belt, which are the easier balls to bunt.

Factor in that Stubbs is righthanded, putting him farther from 1B than a LH hitter has to go, and it's ludicrous to assume that simply a lot of practice would allow him to get to 20 bunt basehits a year (which would put him near the top of the league).

There have been some epic misunderstandings about this player, and this is the latest one.

camisadelgolf
12-30-2010, 11:14 AM
All this talk about Stubbs and bunting is starting to bother me. Take a look at this list of players who have led the league in bunt hits recently.

Two things should stick out: height and handedness. All are smaller guys, 10 of the 13 are lefthanded. It should be clear to folks that Stubbs, even though he's very fast, is at a disadvantage when it comes to being an effective bunter.

Year Name Bunts Hits Pct
1992 Brett Butler 67 40 .597
1992 Kenny Lofton 67 31 .463
2003 Alex Sanchez 64 31 .484
2005 Willy Taveras 59 30 .508
2003 Juan Pierre 70 29 .414
2004 Alex Sanchez 58 29 .500
2007 Willy Taveras 36 27 .750
2005 Juan Pierre 59 25 .424
2002 Juan Pierre 52 24 .462
1971 Del Unser 36 23 .639
1979 Frank Taveras 28 23 .821
1991 Otis Nixon 50 23 .460
1990 Brett Butler 45 22 .489
1969 Bobby Tolan 34 21 .618
1980 Frank Taveras 24 21 .875
1991 Brett Butler 43 21 .488
1993 Brett Butler 49 21 .429
1995 Otis Nixon 34 21 .618
2006 Willy Taveras 38 21 .553
1964 Maury Wills 43 20 .465
1964 Don Blasingame 23 20 .870
1965 Maury Wills 34 20 .588
1979 Paul Molitor 34 20 .588
1989 Brett Butler 38 20 .526
1997 Otis Nixon 35 20 .571
1998 Neifi Perez 34 20 .588
2004 Juan Pierre 46 20 .435

Because he's 6'5" -- and with a high setup to his stance -- it takes Stubbs a lot longer, relatively speaking, to get into bunting position, meaning one of two things: either he starts as late as possible -- so as not to tip off fielders until absolutely necessary -- result being, he's got less time to react to the pitch; or, he starts soon, to give himself time to get into position and react to the pitch, yet this tips off fielders earlier than if the bunter were a smaller, more compact guy. Additionally, he's got a longer way to go to get down to balls below the belt, which are the easier balls to bunt.

Factor in that Stubbs is righthanded, putting him farther from 1B than a LH hitter has to go, and it's ludicrous to assume that simply a lot of practice would allow him to get to 20 bunt basehits a year (which would put him near the top of the league).

There have been some epic misunderstandings about this player, and this is the latest one.
Another thing that sticks out from this list is that nearly all those guys are on the left-handed side of the batters box. Why would anyone want to waste Stubbs' 30-HR power potential on all that bunting anyway? I'll take a .260/.330/.450 hitter over a .280/.350/.390 hitter any day of the week.

REDREAD
12-30-2010, 11:26 AM
I think the managers who hit Rickey Henderson leadoff were crazy. That dude should have been hitting 2-5. He was a very good hitter and they wasted some of his talents in the leadoff spot.

There's another school of thought though.
Henderson was arguably one of the top 3 hitters on every team he ever played for.
If you bat him leadoff, you maximize his at bats.

I don't see how a leadoff HR is wasted. The team still gets a run for it.

I am trying to remember, but didn't the Reds bat Stubbs near the top of the order towards the end of the year? I could've sworn they did, but maybe it was just a game or two.

jojo
12-30-2010, 11:27 AM
I want my leadoff hitter (or any hitter) to avoid outs and acquirer bases.

The more bases he acquirers the better, it leads to run productioner.

Fixed that for ya... :D

bucksfan2
12-30-2010, 11:48 AM
All this talk about Stubbs and bunting is starting to bother me. Take a look at this list of players who have led the league in bunt hits recently.

I don't think the idea is to get him to bunt more often. I think the idea is to add that to his game which would help his overall game out.

lollipopcurve
12-30-2010, 11:58 AM
I don't think the idea is to get him to bunt more often. I think the idea is to add that to his game which would help his overall game out.

In my view, it's going to be tough for him to learn to be all that good at it -- to be able to bunt for a hit an acceptable % of the time he tries. The obstacles he faces, despite his speed, are significant.

Will M
12-30-2010, 12:28 PM
For me I don't want Stubbs becoming Brett Butler. However, if Stubbs learns how to drop down a bunt it forces the 3rd baseman & 1rst baseman to play in a bit. Otherwise they can plat a few steps back. By forcing them in it gives them less time to react to ground balls & line drives. Basically the THREAT that he might bunt at any time will cause him to get more hits when he doesn't bunt.

lollipopcurve
12-30-2010, 02:48 PM
For me I don't want Stubbs becoming Brett Butler. However, if Stubbs learns how to drop down a bunt it forces the 3rd baseman & 1rst baseman to play in a bit. Otherwise they can plat a few steps back. By forcing them in it gives them less time to react to ground balls & line drives. Basically the THREAT that he might bunt at any time will cause him to get more hits when he doesn't bunt.

In order for him to create the threat that he "might bunt at any time" he will have to bunt a lot. I think that would be counterproductive. He should try to hone his skill (and I think he has worked at it) so that when an opportunity arises -- easy pitcher to bunt off, 3rd baseman playing back or weak at defending bunts -- he can lay one down with a reasonable shot at success. But that should be the extent of it, IMO.

dougdirt
12-30-2010, 03:06 PM
Drew Stubbs made an out 50% of the time he bunted last year. He isn't very good at it. It's almost like Adam Dunn.... people want to turn him into something he isn't rather than embrace what he is.

edabbs44
12-30-2010, 03:12 PM
Drew Stubbs made an out 50% of the time he bunted last year. He isn't very good at it. It's almost like Adam Dunn.... people want to turn him into something he isn't rather than embrace what he is.

It doesn't mean that he can't get better at it.

lollipopcurve
12-30-2010, 03:56 PM
It doesn't mean that he can't get better at it.

Perhaps, perhaps not. But people have been talking as if it's a simple path for him to improving his game. It isn't.

Griffey012
12-30-2010, 04:02 PM
Drew Stubbs made an out 50% of the time he bunted last year. He isn't very good at it. It's almost like Adam Dunn.... people want to turn him into something he isn't rather than embrace what he is.

And Drew Stubbs made an out about 74% of the time overall :thumbup:

On a serious note, I would like to see Stubbs get better at bunting regardless of where he hits in the order. Simply because it becomes another weapon, especially if he is leading off an inning and we really need a baserunner. In those scenarios, if he can lay down a bunt successfully at a 50+% clip then that is very valuable.

Puffy
12-30-2010, 04:14 PM
A 1-0 lead is nice, but I would rather see 8-10 HR's with guys on base and 12-15 solo shots than 20 solo shots and 5 multi run HR's.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. As long as the Reds are winning, the arguing is plenty fun!

This is ridiculous. The lead off hitter only hits leadoff once per game. There is nothing that says the other 3 or 4 times he bats in the game that there will not be people on base. As a matter of fact anytime the 8th hitter in lineup gets on the pitchers bunt him over to scoring position - hence you'd theoretically like someone batting first who has ability to drive in runs.

If a guy (1) gets on base at a .370 clip, (2) has speed to score from first on a double and (3) can consistently go first to third on a single then I don't care if he has "too much" power. I want the guy leading off who does those three things and any power is just a bonus.

Puffy
12-30-2010, 04:16 PM
By the way, that is not advocating Stubbs leading off - just that his power is not the reason why I don't like him there. I don't like him there because he doesn't get on base at .370 clip.

He might have that ability - but last year he pressed when leading off and was comfortable batting lower in lineup, so for now I'd rather have him lower.

dougdirt
12-30-2010, 04:34 PM
This is ridiculous. The lead off hitter only hits leadoff once per game. There is nothing that says the other 3 or 4 times he bats in the game that there will not be people on base. As a matter of fact anytime the 8th hitter in lineup gets on the pitchers bunt him over to scoring position - hence you'd theoretically like someone batting first who has ability to drive in runs.

If a guy (1) gets on base at a .370 clip, (2) has speed to score from first on a double and (3) can consistently go first to third on a single then I don't care if he has "too much" power. I want the guy leading off who does those three things and any power is just a bonus.

Batting in front of what should eb the two worst guys at getting on base in your lineup (#8 and the pitcher) likely means you are not going to get nearly the same chances to use your power to do damage as you would batting 2-7.

As for the .370 clip.... I don't know, and I don't want to look, but does anyone know who led off last year in baseball who had a .370 OBP? Ichiro? Who else?

bucksfan2
12-30-2010, 04:42 PM
In order for him to create the threat that he "might bunt at any time" he will have to bunt a lot. I think that would be counterproductive. He should try to hone his skill (and I think he has worked at it) so that when an opportunity arises -- easy pitcher to bunt off, 3rd baseman playing back or weak at defending bunts -- he can lay one down with a reasonable shot at success. But that should be the extent of it, IMO.

I don't really buy this. Even if he doesn't bunt a lot doesn't mean he can't become a good bunter. If you have that ability it helps out. If you have a reputation in the league of being a good bunter it helps. You don't necessarily mean he bunts a lot.

TRF
12-30-2010, 04:51 PM
As for the .370 clip.... I don't know, and I don't want to look, but does anyone know who led off last year in baseball who had a .370 OBP? Ichiro? Who else?

Just Furcal, and he was injured most of the year.

lollipopcurve
12-30-2010, 05:45 PM
Even if he doesn't bunt a lot doesn't mean he can't become a good bunter. If you have that ability it helps out. If you have a reputation in the league of being a good bunter it helps. You don't necessarily mean he bunts a lot.

Just because Stubbs is fast doesn't mean he can become a good bunter. It's a logical fallacy.

Height and handedness -- both are working against him. Folks need to recognize that and acknowledge that no matter how hard Stubbs works at it, he may never be able to make bunting a key cog in his offensive game. In fact, the odds are against him.

Red Leader
12-30-2010, 06:15 PM
Just because Stubbs is fast doesn't mean he can become a good bunter. It's a logical fallacy.


:clap:

Quoted for truth. Most of the players you saw on the list above that led the league in bunt hits were fast like Drew Stubbs, but were lower SLG% guys. Drew Stubbs is not that type of player and never has been as far as I can remember following him.

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 06:28 PM
Being fast is a huge advantage for someone learning to bunt for a hit. That doesn't mean Stubbs can learn. Nothing illogical about that.

lollipopcurve
12-30-2010, 06:57 PM
Being fast is a huge advantage for someone learning to bunt for a hit.

Being fast has absolutely nothing to do with being able to lay down a good bunt. And no matter how fast you are, you're going to have a hard time beating out a bad bunt, especially if you're righthanded.

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 07:34 PM
Being fast has absolutely nothing to do with being able to lay down a good bunt. And no matter how fast you are, you're going to have a hard time beating out a bad bunt, especially if you're righthanded.

Being fast helps you reach base if you are bunting for a hit.

Being fast does not make you a better bunter. No one said that.

Red Leader
12-30-2010, 08:42 PM
Being fast helps you reach base if you are bunting for a hit.



if you are a good bunter...

I'm not disagreeing with you, or anyone else that feels that Drew Stubbs could work on his bunting. Heck, everyone could afford to work on their bunting, it's one of the fundamentals of the game. What my position is, is that Drew Stubbs has never been the type of guy to attempt 20-30 base hit bunts a year in his professional or even amateur career as far as I know. Drew Stubbs is a young player and has some things to work on overall offensively. I think last year he took a step forward. I would hate to throw a new skill at him and force him to learn it just because he's fast. Yes, he can work on it, but no, I don't want him putting 20-30 bunts down a year. I feel that might actually make him regress offensively.

jojo
12-30-2010, 09:07 PM
When having to choose concerning bunting, I'd rather be fast than good.

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 09:09 PM
I'd love to see Stubbs put the fear of a bunt hit into opposing teams. It's an idea worth pursuing....and if it doesn't work out so be it.

I'm a bit confused by Dougs remark that he got out 50 percent of the time he bunted...how is that bad?

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 09:12 PM
When having to choose concerning bunting, I'd rather be fast than good.

I can see both sides of this debate but I can't get past a few posts ago where it was said logically speaking Stubbs' speed was not logically a factor in this discussion. (paraphrase)

jojo
12-30-2010, 09:21 PM
I'd love to see Stubbs put the fear of a bunt hit into opposing teams. It's an idea worth pursuing....and if it doesn't work out so be it.

I'm a bit confused by Dougs remark that he got out 50 percent of the time he bunted...how is that bad?

I'd take that result every other time..... Buh, bum, bump.. :cool:

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 09:56 PM
Bunting really is a skill, not a talent. Anyone can bunt, literally. Anyone on this board who can hold a bat can bunt if they are are taught properly and practice.

If Stubbs can just learn the basics, and bunt at least one pitch a game, he can add dozens of points to his OPS, without losing any of his power, or aggressiveness.

Griffey012
12-30-2010, 11:18 PM
Bunting really is a skill, not a talent. Anyone can bunt, literally. Anyone on this board who can hold a bat can bunt if they are are taught properly and practice.

If Stubbs can just learn the basics, and bunt at least one pitch a game, he can add dozens of points to his OPS, without losing any of his power, or aggressiveness.

There is a big difference between sacrifice bunting and bunting for a base hit, and I believe everyone here is talking about bunting for a base hit. Sacrificing is pretty easy, bunting for a hit is a much more difficult skill.

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 11:47 PM
There is a big difference between sacrifice bunting and bunting for a base hit, and I believe everyone here is talking about bunting for a base hit. Sacrificing is pretty easy, bunting for a hit is a much more difficult skill.

There is a difference between bunting for a base hit and bunting to sacrifice, but both are just skills that can be learned.

If he, or any professional baseball player, spent an hour a day working on it for a month, they would have it down. To teach Stubbs how to bunt would not change his swing, nor his approach, and he could use as often or as little as he wants. There really is no downside.

dougdirt
12-30-2010, 11:50 PM
I'd love to see Stubbs put the fear of a bunt hit into opposing teams. It's an idea worth pursuing....and if it doesn't work out so be it.

I'm a bit confused by Dougs remark that he got out 50 percent of the time he bunted...how is that bad?

It is bad because it was among the worst rates in all of baseball for anyone with at least 10 bunts that went fair, he was 9th worst in baseball. It is bad because comparatively, he sucks at it, and the most you are ever going to get out of it is a single. When you are taking the bat out of the hands of a 20 HR guy in order to try for a single, I always think its a poor decision if its before the 8th inning.

dougdirt
12-30-2010, 11:52 PM
Bunting really is a skill, not a talent. Anyone can bunt, literally. Anyone on this board who can hold a bat can bunt if they are are taught properly and practice.

If Stubbs can just learn the basics, and bunt at least one pitch a game, he can add dozens of points to his OPS, without losing any of his power, or aggressiveness.

Except you absolutely are going to lose power because you are talking about taking away 50 times he swings away from him.

kaldaniels
12-31-2010, 12:01 AM
It is bad because it was among the worst rates in all of baseball for anyone with at least 10 bunts that went fair, he was 9th worst in baseball. It is bad because comparatively, he sucks at it, and the most you are ever going to get out of it is a single. When you are taking the bat out of the hands of a 20 HR guy in order to try for a single, I always think its a poor decision if its before the 8th inning.

9th worst out of how many? I'd love to see a list.

dougdirt
12-31-2010, 12:02 AM
9th worst out of how many? I'd love to see a list.

It was in a recent article at Beyond the Box Score. Not sure how many qualified.

kaldaniels
12-31-2010, 12:04 AM
It was in a recent article at Beyond the Box Score. Not sure how many qualified.

Just doesn't make sense to me. If he goes up to the plate once a series to drop down a bunt with approx. a 50 percent chance of a single....thats a good thing to me.

TheNext44
12-31-2010, 12:05 AM
Except you absolutely are going to lose power because you are talking about taking away 50 times he swings away from him.

There will plenty of times during the season when bunting for Stubbs makes sense. Leading off and inning, facing a tough pitcher, against a poor fielding third baseman, when it's more important for him to get on base than to swing for the fences...

Maybe once a game is too much, but if he has the skill, there will be plenty of times he can use it to his advantage. If he doesn't have it, it's a waste.

kaldaniels
12-31-2010, 12:19 AM
It was in a recent article at Beyond the Box Score. Not sure how many qualified.

Just doesn't make sense to me. If he goes up to the plate once a series to drop down a bunt with approx. a 50 percent chance of a single....thats a good thing to me.

reds1869
12-31-2010, 12:23 AM
Except you absolutely are going to lose power because you are talking about taking away 50 times he swings away from him.

But you are also going to get in the other team's head which is a very good thing. I love sabermetrics but sometimes the mental aspect of the game is completely ignored. Rattling a pitcher and infield is a very valuable tool for any batter--especially one who also has the power to drill you with a vicious line drive.

dougdirt
12-31-2010, 12:24 AM
But you are also going to get in the other team's head which is a very good thing. I love sabermetrics but sometimes the mental aspect of the game is completely ignored. Rattling a pitcher and infield is a very valuable tool for any batter--especially one who also has the power to drill you with a vicious line drive.

I think the threat of a 450 foot HR rattles the pitcher more than the bunt single.

TheNext44
12-31-2010, 01:05 AM
I think the threat of a 450 foot HR rattles the pitcher more than the bunt single.

That's already in every pitchers mind after last season, and will be his whole career.

Why not also add the image of Stubbs bunting for a base hit, stealing second and starting a 3 run rally? This changes how teams pitch to him and defend him. Even if he never gets a bunt hit, it might be worth it just to get the infielders in a step and allow Stubbs to sneak more grounders into the outfield, or doubles down the line.

RANDY IN INDY
12-31-2010, 04:09 AM
Bunting for a hit isn't a bad skill to have when you are in one of those stretches when there seems to be a hole in your bat, and your swing is off, particularly if you have good speed. It helps your team and it sometimes helps to get you back on track. Stubbs should use all the tools he has at his disposal. Nobody wants to see him become a punch and Judy hitter, but I don't mind seeing a few bunt singles from one of the fastest guys in the league.

kpresidente
12-31-2010, 06:38 AM
If Stubbs can just learn the basics, and bunt at least one pitch a game, he can add dozens of points to his OPS, without losing any of his power, or aggressiveness.


Except you absolutely are going to lose power because you are talking about taking away 50 times he swings away from him.

Nothing a little math can't solve. If Stubbs bunted 50 extra times last year, it saves you 9 outs but costs you 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

mth123
12-31-2010, 08:02 AM
Nothing a little math can't solve. If Stubbs bunted 50 extra times last year, it saves you 9 outs but costs you 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

With the hope that it pulls the IF in and raises his BABIP on his other non-bunt ABs. It may take away an IF single or two where he would have beat out a grounder had the IF been playing deeper, but hopefully would add some singles and doubles on grounders that get by defenders who have less time to react. Balls down the 3B line might be triples if they get by the 3B and go to the corner.

lollipopcurve
12-31-2010, 09:08 AM
If Stubbs bunted 50 extra times last year, it saves you 9 outs but costs you 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

The calculus is not that simple. Trying to bunt cost Stubbs a strike in many instances -- he either fouled it off, missed it completely or took it for a strike. I don't have numbers, but I watched a sh**load of games and he just wasn't very efficient in getting the ball in play when he went into bunt mode. This is a symptom of his being somewhat awkward in the art -- and this is due, I contend, to his natural deficiencies (height and set-up, to name a couple).

So, losing a strike in the count, due to an empty bunt attempt, in ABs when he didn't actually use a bunt to record a hit or out, is a hidden drag on Stubbs' offense that we can attribute to bunting.

As for the notion that bunting a lot, or attempting to, will pull the defense in, leading to more groundballs getting through for hits, I don't necessarily buy that, on a couple grounds.

1. Stubbs gets a fair amount of hits on "swinging bunts" and slow rollers. Teams have seen enough of this that the defense is likely already pulled in to an extent. And this includes the 2B and SS, because several of those hits go into the middle regions of the infield.

The bunt threat affects only the 3B at this point in time. (Stubbs has shown he cannot bunt to the right side with any success.) Thus, the overall impact of a legitimate bunt threat on defensive positioning would be negligible, if there were any impact at all. However much more a 3B would come in if Stubbs could bunt consistently (unlikely, in my opinion) may not increase the likelihood of hard-hit or fortunately-placed groundballs getting through to any significant extent.

2. If in fact the phenomenon people are claiming would happen did indeed come to pass, and Stubbs was getting lots of balls through the infield, teams would simply reposition. Teams track this stuff these days.

Again, it is a misconception to think that because Stubbs is fast he can exploit the threat of bunting to his advantage. Bunting is a skill, and Stubbs is at a disadvantage vs. most speedy home-to-first guys because of his height and handedness. Talking as if all Stubbs has to do to improve his offensive game is to learn to bunt, spouted by the Brennamans and other media types, betrays a shallow understanding of what bunting involves and of Stubbs the player. Not to mention the fact that by all reports Stubbs has worked hard to become a better bunter.

I am not saying Stubbs should not work on his bunting. He should. He should use the weapon -- but not as a once a game strategy. That's too much. He should pick his spots -- when certain pitchers are on the mound, when certain 3B are playing or the 3B is playing back. He should keep trying to develop the ability to bunt to the right side. However, folks need to understand that there is no guarantee he can improve his skills. If he's not very good at it, it doesn't mean he's not working on it. It means he's not very good at it. And that should come as no surprise in the case of a 6'5'' RH hitter.

kaldaniels
12-31-2010, 09:55 AM
The calculus is not that simple. Trying to bunt cost Stubbs a strike in many instances -- he either fouled it off, missed it completely or took it for a strike.

This is where actual numbers need to be involved, because in many of Stubbs' non-bunting AB's last year I recall him fouling a pitch off, missing it completely, or taking it for a strike. :dunno:

lollipopcurve
12-31-2010, 11:10 AM
This is where actual numbers need to be involved, because in many of Stubbs' non-bunting AB's last year I recall him fouling a pitch off, missing it completely, or taking it for a strike.

Good point. However, I imagine if you were to compare Stubbs' efficiency in getting bunts down (bunts in play vs. strikes) vs. the good bunters, you'd find that he just is not very skilled at it.

membengal
12-31-2010, 11:11 AM
I sometimes wonder if all fans want to change players into something they are not. Probably. But it sure seems pronounced with this fanbase. This kind of discussion already reminds me of the Dunn threads over the years, with a large segment of the fanbase (including the radio booth) never able to accept Dunn for what he was, and constantly trying to make him into something he was not.

Stubbs is indeed crazy fast, and maybe he can get better at bunting, but I sure don't want to see him make a pronounced effort to incorporate it into his game in a systematic way, as he is not good at it and it robs the team of what he does do well in terms of natural power. Stubbs is, quite frankly, not the player I thought he was and I have been delighted to be wrong. That kind of power/speed combo is rare. So let him do what he does and be content is my thought.

Big Klu
12-31-2010, 11:48 AM
This reminds me of the conversations people used to have about Eric Davis 25 years ago. "If only Eric would hit the ball on the ground more and use his speed, he would be much more dangerous." No. How about, "Let Eric Davis do what he does--he's the most dangerous offensive player in the NL."

By the same token, we should let Drew develop into the player that best suits his talents, and not shoehorn him into some preconceived idea of a leadoff hitter just because he's really fast. His body type and skill set makes him much more similar to Davis than it does to Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, or (gasp!) Willy Taveras!

Ron Madden
12-31-2010, 11:59 AM
This reminds me of the conversations people used to have about Eric Davis 25 years ago. "If only Eric would hit the ball on the ground more and use his speed, he would be much more dangerous." No. How about, "Let Eric Davis do what he does--he's the most dangerous offensive player in the NL."

By the same token, we should let Drew develop into the player that best suits his talents, and not shoehorn him into some preconceived idea of a leadoff hitter just because he's really fast. His body type and skill set makes him much more similar to Davis than it does to Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, or (gasp!) Willy Taveras!

Well said. :thumbup:

edabbs44
12-31-2010, 12:05 PM
This reminds me of the conversations people used to have about Eric Davis 25 years ago. "If only Eric would hit the ball on the ground more and use his speed, he would be much more dangerous." No. How about, "Let Eric Davis do what he does--he's the most dangerous offensive player in the NL."

By the same token, we should let Drew develop into the player that best suits his talents, and not shoehorn him into some preconceived idea of a leadoff hitter just because he's really fast. His body type and skill set makes him much more similar to Davis than it does to Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, or (gasp!) Willy Taveras!

Let's not overreact to this idea. There is a difference between telling someone to hit the ball on the ground and telling someone to drop a bunt down here or there to keep the defense honest.

Stubbs has speed. Ridiculous speed. If he never threatens to drop one down, the corners can sit back and take away potential doubles b/c of their positioning. Having them play a step or two in on him is great.

All he would be doing is keeping them honest. I see zero issue with having Stubbs working on his bunting. There is a lot of middle ground between where he is now and Juan Pierre.

lollipopcurve
12-31-2010, 12:36 PM
If he never threatens to drop one down, the corners can sit back and take away potential doubles b/c of their positioning. Having them play a step or two in on him is great.

He does show bunt. Usually it costs him a strike. And teams already play him in, because he beats out swinging bunts and slow rollers.

Saying there's an easy change for Stubbs to make that will improve his game is misguided, in my view. It ignores the player's skillset, the obstacles he faces and the situation as it played out on the field in 2010. He has worked hard on bunting but has not gained much proficiency. Teams play him in already. There just is not much to be gained at this point. He should continue to strive to improve, but there's no magic bullet here.

edabbs44
12-31-2010, 01:22 PM
He does show bunt. Usually it costs him a strike. And teams already play him in, because he beats out swinging bunts and slow rollers.

Saying there's an easy change for Stubbs to make that will improve his game is misguided, in my view. It ignores the player's skillset, the obstacles he faces and the situation as it played out on the field in 2010. He has worked hard on bunting but has not gained much proficiency. Teams play him in already. There just is not much to be gained at this point. He should continue to strive to improve, but there's no magic bullet here.

I don't know what he he or hasn't done. If, for whatever reason he cannot get it done, then so be it. But if he can improve his bunting game it can only help him and the team.