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Thread: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

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    Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    His ridiculous assertion that clutch hitting does not exist was one of the only faults I thought he had. He has now come to his senses.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...tch/index.html

    What is interesting is that his evidence seems to prove out something that we have known for awhile, that Dunn and Jr are not great clutch hitters.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Maybe you can help me out 757690 since I didn't have time to read the article, but I think it showed that Dunn has a career .888 OPS in the clutch. That is certainly not terrible... Now some of Jr's looked pretty bad but I think he had a .823 OPS over the years James studied...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Walking with a RISP does not equal clutch if you are a power hitter

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by Bip Roberts View Post
    Walking with a RISP does not equal clutch if you are a power hitter
    What are you supposed to do swing at pitches out of the zone and get yourself out? If you avoid making an out you have done your job.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by kbrake View Post
    What are you supposed to do swing at pitches out of the zone and get yourself out? If you avoid making an out you have done your job.
    Yes if they pitch around you of course you dont swing but going up there just trying to not make an out is not always the best idea.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    I know what your saying but when Dunn hits 5th he is going to have a hard time getting pitched to in key situations. I would much rather he take what they give him then try to force the situation and do something stupid.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Dunn is too patient at the plate some times. He needs to learn how to take what the pitcher gives him and put it into play. He started doing that at the end of last year and it worked wonders.

    Different situations need different approaches.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    If you look at the numbers more in depth, you can see that Dunn's BA in clutch situations is .218 and Jr's is .243. They get almost all of the OPS from walks. Most power hitters in clutch situations will get lots of walks, for obvious reasons.
    I don't have a problem with Dunn getting lots of walks, it is what he does when he doesn't walk that matters.

    I would agree with Baseclogger that Griffey's # are not that bad. Actually about what I would think they would be after seeing him in a Reds uniform for the past 7 years.
    But Dunn's are much worse than I expected. He only drives in a run in 30% of his clutch AB's. That is not what one would want from a middle of the lineup guy. Hey, maybe he is better off batting 2nd?

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Taking walks with RISP great for guys like Norris Hopper, not so much for guys like Dunn

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    walking is never a bad thing unless the pitcher is up next. If everyone kept walking, the team would score an infinite number of runs
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    walking is never a bad thing unless the pitcher is up next. If everyone kept walking, the team would score an infinite number of runs
    I heartily agree. Walks are almost always a good thing.

    However, hits are always a good thing, and better than a walk. A single is better than a walk, a double is better than a single, a triple is better than a double and home run trumps them all.

    This is exactly why OBP is overrated (valuable, but overrated). It equates them all. In OBP, a home run counts the same as walk. That is why you need to look at both a players OBP and SLG to understand his true value, especially in clutch situations. Just as a lead off hitter can have a low SLG, but be valuable with a high OBP, a cleanup hitter can have a low OBP, but be valuable with a high SLG.

    One more thing, I think the most interesting tidbit in the article is James' explanation for why he changed his mind. He said that before, he used faulty logic. He assumed that since he couldn't find any statistical evidence that clutch hitting existed, that therefore, there was no such thing as clutch hitting. He then realized that logically, another explanation was that he was using a faulty system to define clutch hitting. He researched it more, and came up with a system that better defined clutch hitting, and presto, he found evidence of it. Proof that we will never get to the end of understanding this great, wonderful sport.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    I heartily agree. Walks are almost always a good thing.

    However, hits are always a good thing, and better than a walk. A single is better than a walk, a double is better than a single, a triple is better than a double and home run trumps them all.

    This is exactly why OBP is overrated (valuable, but overrated). It equates them all. In OBP, a home run counts the same as walk. That is why you need to look at both a players OBP and SLG to understand his true value, especially in clutch situations. Just as a lead off hitter can have a low SLG, but be valuable with a high OBP, a cleanup hitter can have a low OBP, but be valuable with a high SLG.

    One more thing, I think the most interesting tidbit in the article is James' explanation for why he changed his mind. He said that before, he used faulty logic. He assumed that since he couldn't find any statistical evidence that clutch hitting existed, that therefore, there was no such thing as clutch hitting. He then realized that logically, another explanation was that he was using a faulty system to define clutch hitting. He researched it more, and came up with a system that better defined clutch hitting, and presto, he found evidence of it. Proof that we will never get to the end of understanding this great, wonderful sport.
    I pretty much agree with everything you said 757690. There is no single statistical value we can look at to measure a player's complete value. However, if their are two outs and a RISP, the most important stat is OBP simply because we can't afford to make any more outs...
    I just feel like taking a walk generally means you didn't see anything to hit, so you are better off walking than making an out on a pitch out of the zone. In other words, if you walked there was not a very good chance of getting a hit...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Its the MLB not every pitch is going to be perfect. Learn to hit the ball. Waiting for the perfect pitch in certain situations is worthless.

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by Bip Roberts View Post
    Its the MLB not every pitch is going to be perfect. Learn to hit the ball. Waiting for the perfect pitch in certain situations is worthless.
    Why can't the guy after me in the batting order hit the ball with an extra guy on base?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Bill James Changes His Mind On Clutch Hitting

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    Why can't the guy after me in the batting order hit the ball with an extra guy on base?
    because not everyone has the same ability. Tell me would you rather have your power hitter swinging the bat with 2 men on or your 6/7/8 hole hitters trying to get a hit with 3 on.

    Id rather have my best hitters trying to get hits than leave it up to the lesser hitters.

    Dont get me wrong if you dont get a pitch to hit its one thing, but some times I think the likes of Dunn is going up there to walk 1st hit 2nd when people are on base.

    If no one is on base i couldn't care less if you walked its probably the smart thing to do actually. When people are on base the hitter needs to be more aggressive at the plate.


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