The gist of my comment wasn't that Hatteberg was willing to take a walk -- certainly I think that's a good thing. Rather it's that he was being over-selective. He watched a few good pitches to hit. It's like he knows he's better off trying to work the walk than trying to get a hit. I'll grant that this was a VERY limited sample and perhaps it was just a function of his approach in the 4 at bats I saw. However, I'd bat Kearns ahead of him for a few reasons:Originally Posted by Crash Davis
1. Hatteberg is Casey-slow and probably wouldn't score from 1st on a double by Kearns in most cases. Kearns is no speed demon but definitely moves better.
2. Those guys batting low in the order should be driving in runs. Surely OBP matters and if he's 50 points better than Kearns, I'm happy to have him ahead. But if it's 15-20 points, I want the guy with the higher SLG% b/c he's more likely to turn baserunners in to runs even if he himself gets on base slighly less often. I'm not too worried about setting the table for the 8th hitter and the pitcher.
3. Protection. Yes, it's probably overrated, but I think Kearns would benefit more from having a "professional" hitter behind him. Perhaps he would feel more comfortable being more selective if he didn't feel like he was the last chance to get some runs driven in -- complete and utter speculation on my part.
#2 is really the big one for me. With two outs and a guy on first, I'd rather Kearns be there to drive him in than Hatteberg trying to work a walk and extend the inning. Unless Hatteberg is vastly superior at getting on base, I'll take Kearns.