Originally Posted by mth123
Do you really think Stubbs will be able to put up numbers like he did in 2009 and 2010 again? Those numbers were accumulated when he was new to the league and they were still figuring him out. The league has adjusted and he just doesn't have the ability to adjust back. He wasn't a good hitter in college. He wasn't a good hitter in the minors. What makes you think he has the ability to adjust in the majors when he was never a good hitter against lesser competitiion? There are tons of guys of all types, be it power, speed or even pitchers, who have had a similar pattern. Come up, put up their best numbers in their first couple of years and deteriorate from there because they can't adjust. The spike he showed when he first came up was the anomaly, not the sub-.700 OPS he's put up in the 900+ PAs since then. Using career numbers that have been skewed by his early spike is creating the wrong expectation from this guy. His actual ability just doesn't support it. He can be a decent role player if used correctly (which is as a spot player who plays against LHP, comes in late for defense and pinch runs). On a powerhouse, like say Texas, he could play CF to cover ground in the OF to save the legs of a guy like Hamilton while the rest of the offense carries him and his act of making outs by the bushel at the bottom of the order. Even then it would only be until a better solution could be found.
He does well covering CF, but honestly, center fielders are supposed to be good defenders and finding a guy to play defense and cover a lot of ground out there isn't that hard if your willing to settle for a sub-standard offensive player (which is what Stubbs is). His defense looks good because we got so used to horrible during the Griffey years, but he doesn't do anything special out there to make carrying his bat a must.
I'm not saying he will get back to his numbers from his first full year. Not even close. I'm saying mostly what you're saying, we are just arriving at slightly different numbers.
Big differnece is thst I actually do see improvement. His strikeouts are down, and he is swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone. Most of the blame for his poor numbers goes to his extremely low BABIP. .272 compared to a career .325. That cannot be ignored, especially when his LD rate is where it was in 2010.
This is the result partly of luck, and partly because he is hitting many more GB his season and less FB. He should do better than most hitters with GB, but teams have learned to play in a few steps, and he's just not finding the holes.
I think the biggest problem is what our RMR feared. That Stubbs would change his approach to attempt to take advantage of his speed. Hit down on the ball more instead of driving it. He started the season with the approach, to terrible results. His slugging is way down. He went back to his old ways, and was fine until this stretch of bad luck. If he continues with his old approach, I think he'll be the low OBP, high SLG, with around a .715 OPS.