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Thread: Most over-rated skill in baseball

  1. #46
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    the most overrated skill is probably not stepping on the base lines when exiting the field

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  3. #47
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    It's also funny that you, w/o a doubt, cherry picked his best year. Why didn't you reference 1947 (114 walks, 76 runs) or 1950 (103 walks, 79 runs)?
    Yeah that's funny... silly me, such a clown.

  4. #48
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    It's a little difficult to prove that, especially since you cannot prove (w/o a ton of research) that most of his runs came after he had walked.
    Research doesn't scare me, and better yet I'll do it for you.

  5. #49
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    Couldn't that be because the pitcher has not hit his spot. My brief foray into umpiring I was calling balls and strikes based on where it crossed the plate. I didn't even notice where the catcher caught it.
    Maybe, maybe not. I have coached several teams where the catcher could not sit still and was always jumpy, moving up and down, stabbing at the ball and generally looking like a train wreck. The best catchers are the guys that can just sit there and make it look easy. Smooth. No wasted motion. Here it is Mr. Umpire. Call it a strike.

    Hate to bring it up again, but Jason Larue is a perfect example of a catcher that is not real smooth and does not frame pitches well.

    If you were consistently calling balls and strikes based on where the ball crossed the plate, you are my kind of umpire. There are many who have a problem with that, even at the big league level.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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  6. #50
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post

    Again....walks are nice, but give me a hit any day of the week. Walks have been and always will be supplementary to hitting the ball.
    You're focusing on results and ignoring the process. Yes, hits are great -- they're the best possible positive outcome of an AB. Unfortunately, the process behind getting a hit isn't all that simple. "See the ball, hit the ball" generates a lot of outs.

    You have to wait for a pitch you can handle, and walks (and strikeouts, too) are a by-product of that approach. Walks come from patient hitters, and patient hitters have been and always will be essential to the long-term success of an offense.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  7. #51
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Walks come from patient hitters, and patient hitters have been and always will be essential to the long-term success of an offense.

    Hits also come from patient hitters. Getting lots of walks doesn't guarantee long term success nor does getting lots of hits. It depends on situation and any other number of variables.

  8. #52
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyder View Post
    Chipper Jones says hi, glad you werent my hitting coach.
    You talked to Chipper? Exceptions do not prove rules. If it did, then someone like Javy Valentin nullifies your example. The problem with arguing either way is that there is really no objective way to approach the problem other than saying a switch hitter who has bad splits should abandon switch hitting and go with his strong hand. I consider it to be "an overrated skill" because it seems that switch hitters are valued higher than they should be based on their ability to swing from either side of the plate regardless of the competence level of one side or the other.

  9. #53
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    SS is a position that switch hitting nullifies lifting a key defensive player late in the game, that's why most SS are RH or switch hit.
    Aren't most shortstops RH hitters because they are RH fielders? To me, it all comes down to competence on both sides of the plate, not just the ability to swing from one's non-natural side and get a few hits. I don't think one should switch hit simply because they can, but because they are able to nullify same handed matchups by being effective from either side of the plate. That doesn't seem to be the reasoning behind switch hitting, though.

  10. #54
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    Aren't most shortstops RH hitters because they are RH fielders? To me, it all comes down to competence on both sides of the plate, not just the ability to swing from one's non-natural side and get a few hits. I don't think one should switch hit simply because they can, but because they are able to nullify same handed matchups by being effective from either side of the plate. That doesn't seem to be the reasoning behind switch hitting, though.
    I'd imagine that the majority of SS are RH hitters because they are RH, still the long term LH hitting only SS is rare.

    Check out the all time list compared to RH and SH and then look at LH 3rd baseman, which seems to have more in modern times.

    Code:
    CAREER
    MODERN (1900-)
    SS
    LEFT HANDED HITTERS
    
    AT BATS                         AB     
    1    Ozzie Guillen              6686   
    2    Arky Vaughan               5878   
    3    Joe Sewell                 4690   
    4    Craig Reynolds             4179   
    5    Tony Kubek                 4167   
    6    Al Bridwell                3740   
    7    Cecil Travis               3159   
    8    Charlie Hollocher          2936   
    9    Johnny Pesky               2536   
    10   Ernie Johnson              2330   
    
    CAREER
    MODERN (1900-)
    SS
    SWITCH HITTERS
    
    AT BATS                         AB     
    1    Ozzie Smith                9396   
    2    Omar Vizquel               8966   
    3    Larry Bowa                 8418   
    4    Garry Templeton            7664   
    5    Don Kessinger              7651   
    6    Dave Bancroft              7182   
    7    Donie Bush                 7054   
    8    Alfredo Griffin            6780   
    9    Maury Wills                6345   
    10   Tony Fernandez             6042   
    
    CAREER
    MODERN (1900-)
    SS
    RIGHT HANDED HITTERS
    
    AT BATS                         AB     
    1    Luis Aparicio             10230   
    2    Cal Ripken                 9217   
    3    Bert Campaneris            8459   
    4    Rabbit Maranville          8368   
    5    Luke Appling               8360   
    6    Alan Trammell              8288   
    7    Honus Wagner               8277   
    8    Dave Concepcion            8247   
    9    Barry Larkin               7937   
    10   Pee Wee Reese              7728   
    
    CAREER
    MODERN (1900-)
    3B
    LEFT HANDED HITTERS
    
    AT BATS                         AB     
    1    Wade Boggs                 8842   
    2    Graig Nettles              8682   
    3    Eddie Mathews              8209   
    4    Stan Hack                  7218   
    5    Robin Ventura              6803   
    6    George Brett               6675   
    7    Larry Gardner              6271   
    8    Home Run Baker             5985   
    9    Darrell Evans              4968   
    10   Red Rolfe                  4548

  11. #55
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. I have coached several teams where the catcher could not sit still and was always jumpy, moving up and down, stabbing at the ball and generally looking like a train wreck. The best catchers are the guys that can just sit there and make it look easy. Smooth. No wasted motion. Here it is Mr. Umpire. Call it a strike.

    Hate to bring it up again, but Jason Larue is a perfect example of a catcher that is not real smooth and does not frame pitches well.
    In complete agreement about LaRue. I cringe when he's behind the plate. I'm not saying it doesn't make any difference, I'm saying its over-rated. The difference between LaRue and Matheny would be a few strikes a game. Not inconsequential, but hardly worth the amount of lipservice it gets from broadcasters (who are often ex-catchers).
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  12. #56
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Handofdeath View Post
    Hits also come from patient hitters. Getting lots of walks doesn't guarantee long term success nor does getting lots of hits. It depends on situation and any other number of variables.
    Except it has been proven to you ad nauseum that BA is not nearly as improtant as OBP. Rickey Henderson was dangerous when he hit over .300 AND when he hit .260.

    Situational hitting arguments are fine in the micro. but let's take that a step further.

    If you have a guy that excels in the close/late situations, but stinks in all other situations and you have a guy that is the opposite of that, who is more valuable?

    I prefer the guy that will get on base at a good clip in what will end up being 80% of his PA's.

    Hits are great. yes a hit is better than a walk in ALMOST every situation. In some situations, it's dead even, and in others the walk actually benefits the team more. a 1 pitch single is not as good for the offense as a 10 pitch BB if the bases are empty. There are situations within situations.

    Baseball lore love the hit. But the reality is winning teams have more players come to the plate between outs. Walks are a huge part of that.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  13. #57
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    Baseball lore love the hit. But the reality is winning teams have more players come to the plate between outs. Walks are a huge part of that.
    I know it's only one example, but I know the 2006 Tigers did pretty well....

  14. #58
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I know it's only one example, but I know the 2006 Tigers did pretty well....
    In the AL they had a low OBP. it is true. They also were middle of the pack in hits, and 11th in BA.

    It wasn't there offense that got them there, it was lights out pitching. Which is why they went and traded for Sheffield.

    Now if the Tigers were better at getting on base with that pitching staff, they might be ordering rings right now.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  15. #59
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    Except it has been proven to you ad nauseum that BA is not nearly as improtant as OBP. Rickey Henderson was dangerous when he hit over .300 AND when he hit .260.

    Situational hitting arguments are fine in the micro. but let's take that a step further.

    If you have a guy that excels in the close/late situations, but stinks in all other situations and you have a guy that is the opposite of that, who is more valuable?

    I prefer the guy that will get on base at a good clip in what will end up being 80% of his PA's.

    Hits are great. yes a hit is better than a walk in ALMOST every situation. In some situations, it's dead even, and in others the walk actually benefits the team more. a 1 pitch single is not as good for the offense as a 10 pitch BB if the bases are empty. There are situations within situations.

    Baseball lore love the hit. But the reality is winning teams have more players come to the plate between outs. Walks are a huge part of that.
    These are the top ten MLB teams in runs scored
    1. Yankees
    2. Indians
    3. White Sox
    4. Phillies
    5. Braves
    6. Rangers
    7. Mets
    8. Tigers
    9. Red Sox
    10. Dodgers

    1.The Yankees finished 3rd in BB and 1st in OBP.
    2.The Indians finished 3rd in OBP and did not finish in the Top 10 in BB.
    3.The White Sox finished 8th in OBP and did not finish in the Top 10 in BB.
    4.The Phillies finished 4th in BB and 6th in OBP.
    5.The Braves did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
    6.The Rangers did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
    7.The Mets did not finish in the Top 10 in either category.
    8.The Tigers did not finish in the Top 10 in either category
    9.The Red Sox finished 1st in BB's and 2nd in OBP.
    10.The Dodgers finished 6th in BB and 4th in OBP

    Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed. Runs are what wins games. There is no direct correlation between runs scored and BB/OBP. Of the 10 teams with the most runs scored, 6 are in the Top 10 in OBP and 6 are in the Top 10 in AVG. There are 5 teams in both Top Ten lists. There are certain tendencies but no absolutes. You cannot treat Sabermetrics as law. Those of you who do, read the above.

  16. #60
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Most over-rated skill in baseball

    Sabermatricians take note, your system has just been proven flawed.


    OBP is Life. Life is OBP.

    That's not mine. It's Gary Huckabay's, one of the many pithy-but-salient observations he's made over the years. It's one I've been repeating a lot this morning as I talk about the Yankees' success. Despite losing $24 million worth of corner outfielders, getting nothing from a $10 million starter (Carl Pavano) and below-average pitching from another $20 million combo (Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson), the Yankees are 35-22, atop the AL East by a game-and-a-half and tied for the second-best record in baseball.

    The Yankees have achieved their success by leading the majors in runs scored with 344, and they've done that by leading the planet in OBP with a whopping .375 mark. You can't understate how impressive that figure is. The post-1900 record for OBP is .385, set by the 1950 Red Sox. (Six teams, including three John McGraw/Hughie Jennings Orioles squads, topped that figure between 1894 and 1897.) Just 19 teams have ever had a .375 OBP, and none have done so since those '50 Sox. Since then, a mere two teams have cracked .370: the 1994 Yankees and the 1999 Indians. The latter is the only team in the last 56 years to score 1000 runs, while the former went into the season-ending strike second in the AL in runs scored.

    Even during the recent high-offense era--called another name by some, but not by me, not without more perspective--team OBPs tended to peak in the .360s. From 1993 through 2005, 21 teams had OBPs between .360 and .369, but only the aforementioned two cracked .370.

    The Yankees' OBP is a reflection of both good hitting and a high walk rate. They're second in the AL with a .291 BA, and tied with the Red Sox for the league lead in walks drawn (252). Individually, they're being led by Jason Giambi--hey, did I ever point out how stupid I was for getting on the "Giambi needs two weeks in Columbus" bandwagon last year?--at .458. Derek Jeter is combining a career-high walk rate (32 in 248 PA) with a near-career-high BA (.344) to post a .435 OBP. Jorge Posada is resurgent at .420 while Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon are right around expectations.

    When you have a core of players who combine for better than a .400 OBP, you can get away with a lot of lineup problems. You can get away with a DH/OF hitting .265/.312/.365, the way Bernie Williams is. You can survive a spate of injuries that forces Bubba Crosby and then Terrence Long into the lineup. You can survive the decline of Randy Johnson and the pumpkinization of Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small, not to mention a bullpen so shaky that Scott Proctor might throw 110 innings.

    That's why the Yankees are in first place right now, and why they may very well stay there all season long in spite of a series of injuries and disappointing performances. The power of a high team OBP is that strong.

    Take a look at the list of high-OBP teams. Since the strike zone and mound were returned to their upright and locked positions in 1969, 22 teams have posted a .360 OBP or better.

    Code:
       OBP   Record   Place
    
    1994 Yankees        .374    70-43       1
    1999 Indians        .373    97-65       1
    1996 Indians        .369    99-62       1
    2000 Indians        .367    90-72       2
    1994 White Sox      .366    67-46       1
    1996 Mariners       .366    85-76       2
    1999 Yankees        .366    98-64       1
    1998 Yankees        .364   114-48       1
    1999 Mets           .363    97-66       2
    1993 Tigers         .362    85-77       4
    1997 Yankees        .362    96-66       2
    2000 Rockies        .362    82-80       4
    2000 Giants         .362    97-65       1
    2000 Mariners       .361    91-71       2
    1999 Rangers        .361    95-67       1
    2000 Astros         .361    72-90       4
    1995 Indians        .361   100-44       1
    1996 White Sox      .360    85-77       2
    1996 Yankees        .360    92-70       1
    2001 Mariners       .360   116-46       1
    2003 Red Sox        .360    95-67       2
    2000 A's            .360    91-70       1
    All data thanks to Lee Sinins' Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia and baseball-reference.com.

    I haven't gotten into park or era factors here, and those are obviously important given that every one of the above teams played in the past 13 years. Nevertheless, the relationship between a very high OBP and team success is pretty clear. Not only were most of these teams good, the list includes two record-breaking teams--the 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners--plus a team that might have been just as good as those two but played a shortened season, the 1995 Indians. Twenty-one of 22 teams finished above .500, 19 finished no worse than in second place and 16 of them made the postseason.

    In the divisional era, having a .360 team OBP gives you a better than 70% chance of being a playoff team. The Yankees have more going for them than just a high OBP, but it's that high OBP--in fact, a historic one--that drives their offense and their chance of winning a ninth consecutive AL East crown.
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=5193


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