Originally Posted by IslandRed
Spot on. I know it's a popular narrative out there to say Dusty turns these guys into hackers, but they're pretty much the same hitters they've always been.
Anyway, the take-and-rake philosophy that was so popular last decade is partially dependent upon pitchers' fear of "rake." When that fear isn't present and pitchers are coming right after hitters -- and the hitters themselves are a little contact-challenged -- then I don't have a problem with what Dusty's saying. They're making most of our guys hit their way on, and many times the most hittable pitch in an at-bat is the first or second one as the pitcher tries to get ahead in the count. That doesn't mean swing no matter what, though, which is the line between "aggressive" and "hacking."
I haven't done any in-depth studies or anything, but I'm coming around to Dusty's line of thinking as well. Gomes was a great example last year. He was extremely patient early in the year, but when pitchers figured it out, he was 0-2 every at bat and had nothing resembling the bat skills to claw his way out of pitcher's counts. I'm all for guys like Stubbs and Heisey letting it rip on a good pitch early.