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Kc61
08-23-2012, 11:34 AM
I may be overstating it, but these two guys arguably saved the Reds season. They deserve enormous credit.

I'm on record that Chapman is the team's MVP. But these two guys as a tandem have an argument.

This team lost Votto in July. The team has played better and HIT better since the best hitter in the league, possibly in MLB, has been out.

Frazier now has a .913 OPS. 18 homers. But even better, he has a .352 OBP. This is the team's weak spot, OBP. .352 is pretty darn good for a power hitter like Todd.

Ludwick has been the Greg Vaughn type, if not quite so prolific with the long ball. Has become a big presence in the lineup. .911 OPS, 25 homers. And again, in the difficult OBP area, he's at .341. Very, very solid.

Even more -- these two guys have natural roles for the future. Frazier at third. He's not Rolen defensively but he can be average or better as he improves.

Ludwick playing in the NL Central and GABP can be the clean up hitter the Reds have sought. And since he's not a big star, his next contract shouldn't destroy the payroll.

Add Votto back in, the team's lineup is looking much better. Maybe one more OBP guy to share CF with Stubbs, lineup would look terrific.

Sorry for the optimism. Thought these two guys deserved a thread.

bellhead
08-23-2012, 11:36 AM
KC61,

Bringing the noise,

I cannot wait to see Votto back with Ludwick hitting behind him. Think of how good his numbers will be when someone has to pitch to him.

Tom Servo
08-23-2012, 11:40 AM
Love 'em.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 11:42 AM
I was sort of thinking about the Reds success the other day. Do you think adding Votto back might actually decrease the offensive output? No question it will be good for you guys to have him back. However, do you think there is a psychological effect on guys like Ludwick or Frazier? Since Votto was out, Ludwick and Fraizer HAD to step up their play, something they didn't have to do when they had that offensive monster in the lineup. These guys are playing out of their mind right now but why weren't they when Votto was in there? I've seen it here in St. Louis at times when Pujols was out. Guys would step in his absence but would fail again once he came back. I think it's kind of goofy that someone like Ludwick would struggle all season but now becomes a world beater when Votto's gone.

Tom Servo
08-23-2012, 11:48 AM
I was sort of thinking about the Reds success the other day. Do you think adding Votto back might actually decrease the offensive output? No question it will be good for you guys to have him back. However, do you think there is a psychological effect on guys like Ludwick or Frazier? Since Votto was out, Ludwick and Fraizer HAD to step up their play, something they didn't have to do when they had that offensive monster in the lineup. These guys are playing out of their mind right now but why weren't they when Votto was in there? I've seen it here in St. Louis at times when Pujols was out. Guys would step in his absence but would fail again once he came back. I think it's kind of goofy that someone like Ludwick would struggle all season but now becomes a world beater when Votto's gone.
Frazier was hitting before Votto was injured, and has just gotten better with his increased playing time. Ludwick started hitting more than just the occasional HR in June after an April/May where he only played sparingly. He has said several times that he feels he's at his best when he knows he'll be in the lineup everyday.

I'm not saying there won't be a potential drop-off with Votto's return, but I think you are underestimating both players greatly.

redsfan30
08-23-2012, 11:49 AM
For me, Ryan Ludwick is the MVP of this team...even over Aroldis Chapman.

PuffyPig
08-23-2012, 11:53 AM
I was sort of thinking about the Reds success the other day. Do you think adding Votto back might actually decrease the offensive output? No question it will be good for you guys to have him back. However, do you think there is a psychological effect on guys like Ludwick or Frazier? Since Votto was out, Ludwick and Fraizer HAD to step up their play, something they didn't have to do when they had that offensive monster in the lineup. These guys are playing out of their mind right now but why weren't they when Votto was in there? I've seen it here in St. Louis at times when Pujols was out. Guys would step in his absence but would fail again once he came back. I think it's kind of goofy that someone like Ludwick would struggle all season but now becomes a world beater when Votto's gone.

Randomness would explain most of this.

The Reds likely won't hit a whole lot better once Votto comes back, becuase Frazier and Ludwick will not continue hitting at a 1.000 OPS clip which they have done for awhile.

If Votto doersn't come back, expect the Reds offense to regress as players start geting back to their norms.

Much like the Cards offense in April/May. Did you really believe that guys like Beltran, Molina, Furcal, Jay etc would continue to hit OPS in the high .900's? Thos eplayers have continued to produce, but their OPS has slowly declined to more manageable numbers. The Cards may continue to lead the NL in runs scored, but the Redfs have outscored them since the end of May.


Guys stepping up and failing is more random then anything else.

Frazier and Ludwick might keep their OPS close to .900, but they aren't going to keep hitting at a 1.000 level.

Ludwick's hitting has improved as the season has gone on. I think that Petco Park was in his head. I don't think it had anything to do with Votto's absence. It might also reflect the fact that the Reds schedule was agaisnt better pitching in the first 2 months, and softer pitching thereafter. We've faced alot of bad pitching since the all star break. A healthy Votto would have gone wild.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 11:54 AM
Frazier was hitting before Votto was injured, and has just gotten better with his increased playing time. Ludwick started hitting more than just the occasional HR in June after an April/May where he only played sparingly. He has said several times that he feels he's at his best when he knows he'll be in the lineup everyday.

I'm not saying there won't be a potential drop-off with Votto's return, but I think you are underestimating both players greatly.

I liked the Ludwick signing and was one of the few advocates here when he was signed by the Reds, but there is a reason why the Cardinals traded him for Jake Westbrook. He's a nice player.

Frazier is legit, I'll give you that but he wasn't a consistent hitter like he is now.

In May his batting line was .246 .288 .565 .853
In June his batting line was .250 .337 .444 .782

As you pointed out, playing time has increased so maybe that was a factor. That said, he wasn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball before July.

Cooper
08-23-2012, 11:56 AM
I think Ludwick's and Rolen's low babip had more of an impact of matters then anything. They were hitting the ball hard and not getting the full benefits of doing so. IIRC, in late May they both had a babip in the .220's -their LD rates were solid. My concern was that with this being the case, i did wonder if they weren't done. Players are beginning to slip back to historical norms (pre-steroid) and age 32 used to be a cliff for a lot of players.

Voros's discovery has made it a lot easier to know if a player is going to continue their spiral or make a case for continued playing time.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 11:57 AM
I'm not trying to downgrad Ludwick and Frazier. Both are having amazing seasons and I wouldn't be shocked if the offense continues when Votto comes back. I just find it odd that nothing was happening before Votto got out and now you can't get them out.

Brutus
08-23-2012, 12:02 PM
I'm not trying to downgrad Ludwick and Frazier. Both are having amazing seasons and I wouldn't be shocked if the offense continues when Votto comes back. I just find it odd that nothing was happening before Votto got out and now you can't get them out.

I think it's a psychological thing, but I don't think it's the reason you mentioned but simply confidence. Ludwick and Frazier both were not completely mainstays in the order when Votto got hurt, but both solidified themselves after he went down simply because they got an extended opportunity to do so.

I would imagine that when Votto gets back, that performance is likely to carry over somewhat, although Frazier will be back to not playing every day.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 12:08 PM
I think it's a psychological thing, but I don't think it's the reason you mentioned but simply confidence. Ludwick and Frazier both were not completely mainstays in the order when Votto got hurt, but both solidified themselves after he went down simply because they got an extended opportunity to do so.

I would imagine that when Votto gets back, that performance is likely to carry over somewhat, although Frazier will be back to not playing every day.

That could be it as well. I feel sometimes people overlook the psychological factor when evaluating a players performance. By no means should psychological factors be the main thrust of an argument though but it can be a factor.

Kc61
08-23-2012, 12:11 PM
Reds will need Votto, Ludwick, Rolen, and Frazier because there could be as many as three DH games in the World Series.

Raisor
08-23-2012, 12:45 PM
As you pointed out, playing time has increased so maybe that was a factor. That said, he wasn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball before July.

Pre All-Star Break .901
Post All-Star Break .925

RedsManRick
08-23-2012, 12:47 PM
Agreed, KC. If you look at just raw offensive production, they're #2 and #3 on the team after Votto and ahead of Bruce and Phillips despite having 100+ fewer PA. They have been lifesavers.

Frazier is probably playing a bit over his head, as his inflated BABIP indicates but I'd happily take .260/.325/.475 from 3rd base. And of course, there's a possibility that he's just going to continue to the sting the ball -- a 22.6 LD% would support a higher than average BABIP.

As for Ludwick, we should take his San Diego years with a giant grain of salt, just like we'd do from somebody in Coors. His performance is pretty much in line with what he did in St. Louis. From 2007-2009, in nearly 1500 PA, he hit .280/.350/.512. So far this year he's hit .270/.341/.571. Yes, the power is inflated a bit, but looking at his splits, lucka nd GABP seem to be the easy explanations.

Home: .254/.332/.599, .345 ISO, .254 BABIP
Raod: .288/.351/.538, .250 ISO, .305 BABIP

GABP turns would be doubles in to a combination of HRs and outs, raising ISO and lowering BABIP.

In any event, I see no reason to think Ludwick shouldn't continue to put up very solid numbers, though I would try to just pick up next year's option and worry about 2014 if he's still producing this time next year.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 12:50 PM
Pre All-Star Break .901
Post All-Star Break .925

I think the pre-all star break numbers are slightly inflated due to 15 plate appearances in April/March where he put up a 1.236 OPS.

traderumor
08-23-2012, 12:55 PM
I think you are seeing a correction from the first two months of putridness when Votto carried the offense. Thanks to the nature of baseball randomness, the timing was right...oh, and the pitching continues to hold up.

mdccclxix
08-23-2012, 01:07 PM
Saw Frazier's May looked like 3 bb's and 23 k's, but he still hit well. Now with some rhythm to his appearances he has stabilized his approach. Plus, he's not moving around the field defensively and neither is Ludwick. That typically helps a guy's concentration.

Raisor
08-23-2012, 01:41 PM
I think the pre-all star break numbers are slightly inflated due to 15 plate appearances in April/March where he put up a 1.236 OPS.

Frazier put up a .901 OPS in 200 PAs (exactly) in the first have. If you take away those "15 PAs in April/March, shouldn't you take away 15 pa's from June?

I would imagine they would probably even out.

Patrick Bateman
08-23-2012, 01:49 PM
I think the pre-all star break numbers are slightly inflated due to 15 plate appearances in April/March where he put up a 1.236 OPS.

I don't get this type of analysis, and never will.

His offensive stats were inflated during a period in which he provided good offense?

PuffyPig
08-23-2012, 02:09 PM
I think the pre-all star break numbers are slightly inflated due to 15 plate appearances in April/March where he put up a 1.236 OPS.


I must be missing something here. Plate appearances in April/March are pre-all-star break are they not?

Wonderful Monds
08-23-2012, 02:09 PM
The good news is, we are probably more prepared for WS play than any other NL team because of the DH. I don't think there will be a better player on the bench of any team in all of baseball than Todd Frazier when Votto returns.

Kc61
08-23-2012, 02:09 PM
I think you are seeing a correction from the first two months of putridness when Votto carried the offense. Thanks to the nature of baseball randomness, the timing was right...oh, and the pitching continues to hold up.

I don't agree with this, look, if the Reds played Valdez and Cairo instead of Ludwick and Frazier I don't think "randomness" would create the same result.

While I respect your point, sometimes I think we too often chalk baseball performance up to BABIPs, regressions to the mean, randomness and the like.

To me, the bottom line is that these two guys have come on strong and did so when the Reds needed them. I'll chalk it up to regular at bats, in Lud's case adjusting to the new ballpark and division, in Todd's case getting a regular major league role, and overall to good hitting ability, and intensity and focus when the need was there.

So forgive my anti-statistical analysis here. I just want these two guys to get credit for playing great ball when the chips were down.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 02:13 PM
I don't get this type of analysis, and never will.

His offensive stats were inflated during a period in which he provided good offense?

It's a classic example of a small sample size in April. When he got more consistent playing time in May and June, his numbers regressed.

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 02:15 PM
I must be missing something here. Plate appearances in April/March are pre-all-star break are they not?

I'm kind of surprised about your response here considering you're always talking to me, at least, about sample sizes.

Cooper
08-23-2012, 02:18 PM
The biggest surprise for me was/is Rolen. Imo, he looked like toast ....i just didn't think he had anything to offer and i thought it was kinda silly to expect anything. Since the AS break he's been great and he's helped stabilize the infield. If he didn't come back, the guys at the end of the bench might have got a lot more playing time and the drop off in production may have been substantial (relative to the 30-40 games Rolen has played since coming back).

Patrick Bateman
08-23-2012, 02:20 PM
It's a classic example of a small sample size in April. When he got more consistent playing time in May and June, his numbers regressed.

.... and then over an even larger sample size they double regressed?

What are you talking about?

MikeThierry
08-23-2012, 02:29 PM
.... and then over an even larger sample size they double regressed?

What are you talking about?

I'm just countering the argument that he was "hitting" before the All Star break. Aside from 15 plate appearances in April where he hit out of his mind, he was average when he saw significantly more playing time.

Patrick Bateman
08-23-2012, 02:33 PM
I'm just countering the argument that he was "hitting" before the All Star break. Aside from 15 plate appearances in April where he hit out of his mind, he was average when he saw significantly more playing time.

I mean, you are trying to define which small sample size is most appropriate. They are all small sample sizes. Taking out a specific string of at bats to get a better picture of the small sample size is just creating more noise. I'm sure you could find an awful set of 15 at bats that Frazier had to reverse it in order to create the narrative that he was crushing the ball pre July.

The best way of determining whether he was hitting the ball pre July, is to simply look at the stats he accumulated, pre July.

I would argue that Frazier has put up good stats throughout the season, and that's without molesting any of the numbers.

Raisor
08-23-2012, 02:45 PM
.... and then over an even larger sample size they double regressed?

What are you talking about?

200 PAs in the first half are too much of a sample size.

PuffyPig
08-23-2012, 03:25 PM
I'm kind of surprised about your response here considering you're always talking to me, at least, about sample sizes.

Small sample sizes may mean little, yes. But over a much larger sample size his hitting has continued. We are not dealing with a small sample size here. You are just artificially creating one.


I gotta tell you, I have absolutely no idea where you are coming from here?

Should every game be excluded from a players yearly stats because that game is, in itself, a small sample size? SHould we exclude Wainwright's recent shut-out becuase it was a small sample size?

Becuase that's what you seem to be saying.

RedEye
08-23-2012, 03:38 PM
Ludwick and Frazier

Wasn't that a Sylvester Stallone/Kurt Russell buddy movie from the 80s?

Benihana
08-23-2012, 05:15 PM
It's really amazing how much these two guys have stepped up. I'd even add Cozart to the mix albeit to a lesser extent.

If someone told you before the year started that after 125 games:

1. Ryan Madson will have 0 saves
2. Devin Mesoraco will be in Louisville
3. Drew Stubbs will have a sub-.300 OBP
4. Joey Votto will have played 86 games
5. Scott Rolen will have played 70 games

How many games would you have guessed the Reds would have won?

REDREAD
08-23-2012, 05:43 PM
Great thread.. I was thinking the same thing.

Chapman has been huge, no doubt, but I think Ludwick is probably the MVP of the team. Frasier a close second. Frasier was such a pleasant surprise, especially after forecasts of "he might still as a utility infielder".. The Reds certainly knew what they were doing and kept the right 3b prospect.
I expect Frasier is not going to OPS 900 forever, but I think he has a good future ahead of him.

Ludwick has just been dominating. The cleanup hitter we've been looking for since Rolen's injuries derailed him.. Not bashing Rolen.. he's been excellent when healthy.

And yes, Cozart has been HUGE this season as well. Best SS we've had since Larkin. Great upgrade from the black holes we've been subjected to.

Bottom line, without Frasier and Ludwick, we probably aren't in first place now.
Maybe WAR and other metrics don't agree, but those guys have carried the offense in the second half.

cincrazy
08-23-2012, 05:45 PM
It's really amazing how much these two guys have stepped up. I'd even add Cozart to the mix albeit to a lesser extent.

If someone told you before the year started that after 125 games:

1. Ryan Madson will have 0 saves
2. Devin Mesoraco will be in Louisville
3. Drew Stubbs will have a sub-.300 OBP
4. Joey Votto will have played 86 games
5. Scott Rolen will have played 70 games

How many games would you have guessed the Reds would have won?

75 MAX.

Kc61
08-23-2012, 06:23 PM
It's really amazing how much these two guys have stepped up. I'd even add Cozart to the mix albeit to a lesser extent.

If someone told you before the year started that after 125 games:

1. Ryan Madson will have 0 saves
2. Devin Mesoraco will be in Louisville
3. Drew Stubbs will have a sub-.300 OBP
4. Joey Votto will have played 86 games
5. Scott Rolen will have played 70 games

How many games would you have guessed the Reds would have won?

Terrific post. And agree on Cozart.

Tom Servo
08-23-2012, 09:21 PM
They need to resign Ludwick so we can get an actual version of this picture that not's poorly edited like my version

http://i.imgur.com/MkBft.jpg

nate
08-23-2012, 09:36 PM
I don't get this type of analysis, and never will.

His offensive stats were inflated during a period in which he provided good offense?

This made me LOL.

Therefore:

High five!

Chip R
08-24-2012, 09:37 AM
They need to resign Ludwick so we can get an actual version of this picture that not's poorly edited like my version

http://i.imgur.com/MkBft.jpg

He looks like he has Bitter Beer Face. :laugh:

Degenerate39
08-24-2012, 10:50 AM
They need to resign Ludwick so we can get an actual version of this picture that not's poorly edited like my version

http://i.imgur.com/MkBft.jpg

Looks like someone broke Ludwick's neck