Re: The Changing Landscape of Baseball and (maybe) a new Roster Approach
Hamilton at leadoff. Let's assume the .350+ OBP.
His value at the top of the order goes beyond who is batting behind him. Yes Votto can drive him home from first, but Say Hamilton walks to leadoff the game.
Instantly, the pitcher is in the stretch, and while some baserunners warrant fastballs being thrown, a pitcher cannot risk a slider away or a curve with him on. one curve and Hamilton is on 2B.
Now Hamilton is making a nuisance of himself at 2B with nobody out. Pitcher is still in the stretch because he knows Hamilton can and will steal 3B, a steady stream of FB's to BP results in a 2 run HR. to start the game.
This is what the Reds lacked last year, the quick start. They were the team that came back, scored late and held on with superior pitching.
But with Hamilton, and to a somewhat lesser extent Choo, the Reds now have OBP at the top of the order plus a SB threat.
or in other words, what Sea Ray said.
“I’ll just take my walk,” he said, to laughter. One reporter followed up that Hamilton might be able to score from first on a single. “If he does, that’s great. Isn’t that crazy? Think about that: I hit a single and got an RBI. Like I said, crude stat, right?”