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View Full Version : Organizational approach to OBP needs to change?



Vottomatic
12-02-2012, 09:25 AM
I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but I heard Lance McAlister talking about this subject one day and wanted to bring it up then but I was busy.

The discussion started about Stubbs and proceeded to the OBP numbers of the Reds minor league teams, and they weren't good. I think nearly all of the teams finished near the bottom of their leagues in OBP.

Frankly, I think there needs to be more of an emphasis on plate discipline, taking walks, and also on bunting. I have no way of knowing what is going on in the farm system, and what their agenda and goals are. But this does need to be addressed. Other than Votto, it does seem like we have a bunch of free swingers, with poor baseball IQ's and poor plate discipline at times.

RedlegJake
12-02-2012, 10:56 AM
I wonder if it is really an organized "approach" or the fact that emphasis has shifted very fast from hitting to pitching and defense. Meanwhile offense, rather for lack of focus while such a huge organizational shift took place, suffered due to prospect quality as much as hitting philosophy. Change picks to hitters the past couple seasons in reverse numbers and quantity and the systems hitting might look more exciting. Still, Winker and a couple like Seth-Brean and Wright look to perhaps start a more balanced system in the future. Personally I think recharging the system with pitchers and solid defenders caused the hitting skills to take a discounted place in the selections. Not easy to go from pitching trash to pitching riches in a farm as rapidly as the Reds have.

Steve4192
12-02-2012, 11:23 AM
I don't know if I buy that.

I think it has to more to do with the individual players than it does with an organizational approach. Take Stubbs for example. He actually showed very good plate discipline in the minors and posted high OBPs. His problem has been that he can't make contact against major league pitchers. He still takes a fair amount of walks, but it's nowhere near enough to make up for his awful contact skills.

As far as looking at minor league team numbers goes, it is a pretty useless exercise. There are so many 'organizational players' floating around in the minors and muddying up the numbers that they become meaningless. For example, a grand total of ONE of the eleven guys who got more than 250 PAs for the Louisville Bats was 25 or under. Outside of Neftali Soto, none of those guys are ever likely to see an extended period on a major league roster. The only thing that matters is Soto's numbers. The rest is just useless filler.

Chip R
12-02-2012, 11:32 AM
Perhaps all the hitters in the low minor leagues should take a strike before they swing.

Steve4192
12-02-2012, 11:38 AM
Perhaps all the hitters in the low minor leagues should take a strike before they swing.

Worked wonders for Votto. ;)

Superdude
12-02-2012, 11:50 AM
As far as looking at minor league team numbers goes, it is a pretty useless exercise. There are so many 'organizational players' floating around in the minors and muddying up the numbers that they become meaningless. For example, a grand total of ONE of the eleven guys who got more than 250 PAs for the Louisville Bats was 25 or under. Outside of Neftali Soto, none of those guys are ever likely to see an extended period on a major league roster. The only thing that matters is Soto's numbers. The rest is just useless filler.

Yea any kind of organizational cross section means next to nothing IMO. On top of that, I don't think OBP and plate discipline are all that teachable honestly. You can ask every kid to be like Votto, but telling someone to wait on their pitch is futile advice if they can't identify said pitch and react to it. Some hitters just can't.

dougdirt
12-02-2012, 02:07 PM
Yea any kind of organizational cross section means next to nothing IMO. On top of that, I don't think OBP and plate discipline are all that teachable honestly. You can ask every kid to be like Votto, but telling someone to wait on their pitch is futile advice if they can't identify said pitch and react to it. Some hitters just can't.

I think that the first team who can truly find a way to improve a majority of hitters ability to do this will have a huge advantage over everyone else. There must be a way to do it, we just aren't sure how to yet.

Kc61
12-02-2012, 03:06 PM
It was no accident the Reds drafted Winker in the early rounds this year. I believe it was in recognition that the team needs more prospects with high OBP skills.

The best way to deal with this situation is to emphasize these skills in drafting players. Based on the last draft, I think the Reds are starting to do that.

cincinnati chili
12-02-2012, 03:12 PM
I don't know if I buy that.
Take Stubbs for example. He actually showed very good plate discipline in the minors and posted high OBPs. His problem has been that he can't make contact against major league pitchers. He still takes a fair amount of walks, but it's nowhere near enough to make up for his awful contact skills.


I agree, and I'd go further to say that Stubbs wasn't dominant at any level of the minors except his short stint at AA, and would have benefited from an entire extra year at AAA. Yes, you see a lot of journeyman there, but some of those journeyman throw breaking stuff. I would have liked to have seen him go into the majors after kicking ass rather than simply having a .360+ OBP and stealing bases against inferior competition.

Steve4192
12-02-2012, 04:08 PM
It was no accident the Reds drafted Winker in the early rounds this year. I believe it was in recognition that the team needs more prospects with high OBP skills.

The best way to deal with this situation is to emphasize these skills in drafting players. Based on the last draft, I think the Reds are starting to do that.

Agree 100% with the bolded part.

Not so sure I agree that the drafting of Winker indicates a sea change in how the Reds evaluate prospects. They also drafted plenty of toolsy guys who lack selectivity at the plate. Winker could just be a outlier, kind of like how Joey Votto was an outlier compared to other Jim Bowden draftees.

RedsManRick
12-02-2012, 04:54 PM
In the past, they've certainly prioritized athleticism over skills. And I think the system reflects that. But I don't know if it's a critique of Jocketty per se' as guys like Stubbs and Cozart weren't his and his acquisitions of guys for significant playing time weren't exactly anti-OBP. (save for Wilson Valdez)

There's definitely a problem with OBP on the major league roster and the way Dusty makes up his lineups, but it's not like he's got a ton to work with.

mth123
12-02-2012, 07:58 PM
In the past, they've certainly prioritized athleticism over skills. And I think the system reflects that. But I don't know if it's a critique of Jocketty per se' as guys like Stubbs and Cozart weren't his and his acquisitions of guys for significant playing time weren't exactly anti-OBP. (save for Wilson Valdez)

There's definitely a problem with OBP on the major league roster and the way Dusty makes up his lineups, but it's not like he's got a ton to work with.

I think we have to look at where we came from. We had a team with no pitching and defensive nightmares at nearly every position. Griffey, Dunn, Encarnacion, Keppinger/Hairston, Javy, David Ross, Paul Bako. It was pretty obvious that some defensive players and arms were needed. The Reds had a lot of picks in the top 100 but chose guys like Stubbs, Leake, Joseph, Boxberger Stewart, Cingrani, Cozart, Lamarre, Brodie Greene, Devin Lohman, Stephenson, Travieso to address the deficiencies. They got some hitters too though. Valaika didn't work out, but Frazier holds his own where OBP is concerned and Mesoraco showed the skills in the minors. Grandal and Alonso were both good OBP guys but were dealt for Latos. Winker looks pretty good. I just think its the cycle that teams go through as they address their needs.