Originally Posted by RedsManRick
I'm not sure that it's as much about instincts as it is simply matching up expected behavior with skill set. Stubbs is and probably always will be a poor contact hitter. Batting leadoff, he was encouraged to both see pitches for the sake of the guys behind him and to put the ball in play. This put him behind in the count and then encouraged him to swing -- a death sentence for a guy with contact problems. Batting lower in the order, he's freed up to simply find a pitch he can hit and put wood on it.
Phillips, by contrast, is a decent contact hitter. But batting cleanup, he wasn't as willing to shorten up his stroke and drive the ball where it was pitched. Cleaning up fed in to a power-hitter mentality that really didn't suit his skill set. I think batting at the top of the lineup has forced in to play more to his actual strengths as a hitter.
semantics. we could call it ookey dookey if we wanted. But you basically said the same thing I did. I chose insticnts because its more nebulous.
Stubbs body wants him to hit a certain way. IS he athlete enough to hit differently? Sure, but he's fighting what comes naturally. Instinct.
You want a good comp for Stubbs? this'll blow everyones mind, but try Adam Dunn. He's probably 80% Adam Dunn potentially in power. Similar contact. Dunn will BB 90+ time for you, Stubbs probably 70+. Power. Dunn has perennial 40 HR power. Stubbs is looking like he COULD be a 30 HR guy. The difference is speed, which Stubbs is NOT taking full advantage of. Oh, he's got the SB's, but 9 doubles? 9? That's an anomaly. He should be in the high teens right now. I think that will correct itself.
If Adam Dunn were all that he is right now WITH Stubbs speed, he'd be the best player in the game. period. If Stubbs can continue to improve his power and contact he's easily the best CF in baseball, and could be for the next 7-8 years too.