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Thread: See the ball....Hit the ball...

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    See the ball....Hit the ball...

    With Tuesday Night's 16 strikeout performance by REDS' hitters, it made me wonder how good are the REDS at seeing the ball.

    So, here are the REDS' rankings of players that qualify as starters around the both leagues on their Walk-to-Strikeout ratio.

    Junior is having a tremendous season...clearly an All-Star season

    Again, this is among both league's players that qualify as starters.

    The Angels have #3, #5, and #15.
    The Tigers have #7, #10, #12, and #21 .
    The Cubs have no one in the Top-50.

    Junior is 10th! Wait. While I was typing this it got updated with Tuesday's results and the 2 K's by Junior moved him to 14th.

    Don't laugh too much at the Cubs. Other than Junior, the REDS don't have anyone in the Top-100.

    Cincinnati REDS' hitters have no clue about the strike zone.

    EdE is #103.
    Dunn and Phillips are tied at #150.
    Gonzo is #174.

    To put those numbers in perspective, there are only 183 qulifying players, so Gonzo is dead last and Phillips and Dunn are in the bottom 20%.

    Dunn sets a bad precedent that it's OK to be horrible at judging the strike zone.

    To also put things in perspective, here are the players in the Top-10%:

    Barry Bonds
    Todd Helton
    Vladimir Guerrero
    Luis Gonzalez
    Casey Kotchman
    Kenny Lofton
    Gary Sheffield
    David Ortiz
    Shannon Stewart
    Maglio Ordonez
    Jose Vidro
    Placido Polanco
    Albert Pujols
    Ken Griffey, Jr.
    Orlando Cabrera
    Mike Lowell
    Frank Thomas
    Pat Burrell
    Jose Reyes

    That's a great group.

    The Bottom-10%:

    Ivan Rodriguez
    Miguel Olivo
    Tony Pena, Jr.
    Josh Barfield
    Aubrey Huff
    Chris B. Young
    Delmon Young
    Johnny Estrada
    Robinson Cano
    Alex Gonzalez
    Craig Monroe
    Kenji Johjima
    Craig Biggio
    Khalil Greene
    Sammy Sosa
    Ronnie Paulino
    Xavier Nady
    Mike Cameron
    Ryan Garko

    This list is comprised mostly of players who are considered struggling or young and learning or at the end of their careers or just bad.

    It's not rocket science. Clearly you're a better hitter the closer you are to the walk-more-strikeout-less end of the spectrum.

    Where do the rest of the REDS rank if they had enough at-bats to qualify?

    Javier Valentin would be #1 (better than Bonds). He's got a good eye, there's no denying that. How many PH HR's does he have as a RED?

    Scott Hatteberg would be #6. Any player that came up through the Mariner's organization and got to watch Edgar Martinez hit became a better hitter because of it, including A-Rod. You need to be smart at the plate, and guys who hit .219 for their career with RISP aren't smart at the plate.
    Hatteberg is good to have on this team for guys who are willing to learn, but the key is that have to be willing to learn. Dunn is willing, but maybe he's too old to change now. I love the season Dunn has been having, don't get me wrong, but he lacks intelligence at the plate (and in the field). He's clearly not stupid, he just has bad habits.

    Jeff Conine would be #38.
    Josh Hamilton would be #78.

    Are you getting an idea yet how bad Dunn and Phillips are in this area?

    Freel would be at #99 right there with EdE.

    Hopper would be at #150, tied with Dunn and Phillips. How many players overall, starters and non-starters, are ahead of Hopper, Dunn, and Phillips?....Three-Hundred-and-Thirty-Six...336.

    David Ross would be at #180 and Castro's even worse...though he'd also be at #180, his ratio is 0.18 to Ross' 0.22. Kyle Lohse is 0.33.

    Chad Moeller is 0.00. He has yet to get a walk.

    Keppinger is also at 0.00 as he never walked.

    Wise is at 1.00, which would place him at #24.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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  3. #2
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    But, maybe they just do things differently.

    Here are the rankings for RunsCreated/27 Outs listing where players rank among all Major League starters or where they would rank if they had enough At-Bats:

    They players at the top of this list are better than the BB/K list.

    Ken Griffey, Jr........................#18 @ 7.48 (Awesome!)
    Get out to the ballpark. You're witnessing the last great year of one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

    Dewayne Wise............would be #33 @ 7.07
    Josh Hamilton.............would be #38 @ 6.76 The future's bright.
    Jeff Conine.................would be #62 @ 6.12
    Scott Hatteberg..........would be #64 @ 6.05 That is a good platoon.
    Adam Dunn..............................#65 @ 5.93 When he's doing as well as Conine and Hatteberg, it might be time to trade him for good pitching before the gigantic salaries kick in.
    Edwin Encarnacion....................#73 @ 5.52 EdE's going to continue climbing up this chart.
    Brandon Phillips........................#87 @ 5.33 He's still learning and getting better.
    Alex Gonzalez.........................#102 @ 4.84 That's a lot better than we expected to get from him. That's a good number for a #7 hitter, which is where it seems he might end up to stay.
    Javier Valentin..........would be #124 @ 4.35 Is that good enough for a 3rd catcher?
    Ryan Freel................would be #163 @ 3.59 Only 183 qualify as everyday players, so 3.59 is a really bad number.
    Norris Hopper is right there @ 3.58
    Jeff Keppinger is also right there @ 3.54

    Freel, Hopper and Keppinger would be among the bottom 10% in the Majors if they had enough at-bats to qualify as starters.

    I had to go past another 115 non-qualified players past Keppinger including lots of pitchers to get to.......

    David Ross who would be next to last among starters @ 2.20.....now for the search for Castro.....

    There's Moeller @ 1.93 Man, we need one catcher to replace these three.

    Had to go past Kyle Lohse and Bobby Livingston....there he is....

    Juan Castro @ 1.25. Abyssmal. The team will be better by subtraction the day he's gone.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    What I'd like to know is how in the world did the Reds not only win that game last night but score 5 runs striking out that many times?

    I'd also like to congratulate Hector Carrasco for finally learning how to cover 1st base. Nice work, Hector.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    I think you're being a bit too broad-brush by assuming that a poor K/BB rate indicates a player doesn't know the strike zone. That's one possibility, sure, but not the only one. Strike-zone judgment is just one factor; plate discipline and actual hitting ability factor into it as well.

    In Dunn's case, he historically draws plenty of walks, which indicates that he generally knows the difference between a ball and a strike. He whiffs a lot because he swings and misses a lot, and I think he gets fooled on third strikes more than he should, but that's a consequence of looking for a pitch to hit rather than slapping at the ball just to avoid striking out. His walk rate is down this year, which either means pitchers are less afraid of him or he's swinging at more stuff he shouldn't.

    Vladimir Guerrero has lousy strike-zone judgment and plate discipline. He doesn't really need it, though. He rarely strikes out because he can hit practically anything, and whether he chooses to swing at a pitch or not has only a tenuous relation to the pitch being a strike.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    What's a good source for contact rate data?
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    I think you're being a bit too broad-brush by assuming that a poor K/BB rate indicates a player doesn't know the strike zone. That's one possibility, sure, but not the only one. Strike-zone judgment is just one factor; plate discipline and actual hitting ability factor into it as well.

    In Dunn's case, he historically draws plenty of walks, which indicates that he generally knows the difference between a ball and a strike. He whiffs a lot because he swings and misses a lot, and I think he gets fooled on third strikes more than he should, but that's a consequence of looking for a pitch to hit rather than slapping at the ball just to avoid striking out. His walk rate is down this year, which either means pitchers are less afraid of him or he's swinging at more stuff he shouldn't.

    Vladimir Guerrero has lousy strike-zone judgment and plate discipline. He doesn't really need it, though. He rarely strikes out because he can hit practically anything, and whether he chooses to swing at a pitch or not has only a tenuous relation to the pitch being a strike.
    Oh, for sure. I wish Dunn wasn't so selective. I think he'd hit for a higher average with RISP. He has so much power, he just needs to make contact with the ball.

    When you play a style that is pitching and defense, which is the direction the REDS are heading, offensively, you need to have guys that walk and make contact, so you can take advantage of scoring opportunities.

    It's really easy to pitch around REDS' hitters because they strike out so much. Dunn's as easy as it gets to pitch around because he won't swing at hittable pitches that are close.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    Oh, for sure. I wish Dunn wasn't so selective. I think he'd hit for a higher average with RISP. He has so much power, he just needs to make contact with the ball. ... Dunn's as easy as it gets to pitch around because he won't swing at hittable pitches that are close.
    It might have been WOY who posted the stat once upon a time, but Dunn has generally been one of the worst hitters in baseball at hitting pitches out of the strike zone. It's the last thing he should be doing. In my opinion, when he's struggling it's usually because he's swinging at too many pitches, not too few.

    Anyway, at this stage of his career, expecting him to become a different style of hitter isn't going to happen.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    I'd much rather a player who walks 100 times a year, and strikes out 200 times (a 1/2 ratio) than someone who walks 50 times a year and strikes out 50 times (a 1/1 ratio) assuming all else is equal.

    A walk is a non out and very beneficial. A strike out is an out and not much differnt than any other out.

    The Reds struck out 16 times last night, yet scored 5 runs and won the game.

  10. #9
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    With Tuesday Night's 16 strikeout performance by REDS' hitters, it made me wonder how good are the REDS at seeing the ball.

    So, here are the REDS' rankings of players that qualify as starters around the both leagues on their Walk-to-Strikeout ratio.

    Junior is having a tremendous season...clearly an All-Star season

    Again, this is among both league's players that qualify as starters.

    The Angels have #3, #5, and #15.
    The Tigers have #7, #10, #12, and #21 .
    The Cubs have no one in the Top-50.

    Junior is 10th! Wait. While I was typing this it got updated with Tuesday's results and the 2 K's by Junior moved him to 14th.

    Don't laugh too much at the Cubs. Other than Junior, the REDS don't have anyone in the Top-100.

    Cincinnati REDS' hitters have no clue about the strike zone.

    EdE is #103.
    Dunn and Phillips are tied at #150.
    Gonzo is #174.
    Nice idea for a thread ED.

    One thing to remember about Dunn, is that this is really his first bad season in this regard. His career is 0.60 which would comfortably put him in the top 100. This season you are right though, he has gone up to the plate with a much more undisciplined approach for the 1st time. If that continues, his production will continue to struggle. If he can get it back, Dunn can get back to a .900+ OPS. Discipline is the key with Dunn.

    The Reds normal hitters aren't quite as bad as you say. Both Hatteberg and Conine may not individually make the qualifications, but combined they would be one of the best 1st basemen in this regard.

    Hamilton too doesn't have enough at-bats, but that's mainly due to injury. He's had a very solid approach so far which is quite incredible knowing his problems.

    The guys who really have a terrible approach at the plate are Gonzalez, Ross, and Phillips. I'm willing to exclude Dunn because up until this year he has been fine. I'm hopeful that he can regain his form he displayed up until now. There really shouldn't be a logical reason why he is simply getting worse. Plus as a whole, the bench players do not have very good approaches.

  11. #10
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: See the ball....Hit the ball...

    Dunn is such an enigma.

    Fox' version of gameday has a hotzone dividing the plate into 9 squares. Dunn has a 0.00 BA both in the low-inside and high-middle squares of the plate. You rarely see anyone with a 0.00 mark anywhere. He's at 5.19 when it's right down the middle and over .300 in most of the other areas.

    Dunn's Hotzone:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/playerH...tegoryId=85502

    So, I noticed that Lackey's first 3 pitches in the 4th were all at Dunn's knees, then he got one up a little to a zone where Dunn hits well and Dunn promptly turned it into a single.

    Maybe he's always been poor at the high fastball and low and inside pitch, and with RISP, that's all he gets when a pitcher gets it close enough to the plate.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."


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