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Thread: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

  1. #976
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Maybe, but I just don't see how he'd profit from doing so...

    Where'd you get the cool Dan O'Brien pic?
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
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  3. #977
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=8396

    December 30, 2008
    Prospectus Today
    The OBP Pit

    by Joe Sheehan

    I am almost always too optimistic about the Reds.


    Predicted Wins vs. Actual
    Code:
    Year    Sheehan   Reality
    2008      82         74
    2007      72         72
    2006      83         80
    2005      81         73
    2004      80         76
    Before I was predicting records, I picked the Reds to win the division in 2003 as well. They went 69-93 and finished last. I suspect that I've been overrating the value of their left-handed power—typically Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr.—while not docking them enough for poor defense, mediocre back-end pitching, and some lineup holes in each season. In any case, I have usually seen them as a .500 team with some upside, and they haven't been relevant in the NL since BP was an entirely free site.

    Now, the team's composition has changed considerably over the last calendar year, as some young talents (Jay Bruce, Joey Votto) have earned lineup spots; as Dunn and Griffey have been traded away; as young starters Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez took rotation slots and combined for 63 starts of 3.96 ERA with good peripheral statistics. The 2009 Reds are going to be built . . . well, let's let GM Walt Jocketty tell it.

    "With the addition of Willy Taveras and Ramon Hernandez, along with Alex Gonzalez and Brandon Phillips, our defense substantially improves up the middle." (AP)

    Well, just two of those are technically additions, and neither is clearly an upgrade. The Reds did sign Willy Taveras to a two-year contract over the weekend, and Taveras should make their center-field defense better by enough to make a difference in the team's run prevention . . . except that his numbers have been lousy the last two seasons in Colorado; a net negative defensive player per the Plus/Minus system, eighth of ten NL qualifiers in Revised Zone Rating last year, and below average in the same stat in '07. Taveras has the skill set of a good center fielder, but he has not performed like one since he was in Houston, so it's a jump to conclude that he'll make a big difference in Cincinnati. Hernandez had lousy defensive numbers the last two seasons in Baltimore, throwing out just 44 of 211 basestealers. Gonzalez was a slightly plus defender at 29 and 30 years old; he'll be 32 and coming off of a season missed to knee surgery. Of Jocketty's four examples, only Brandon Phillips is clearly an asset with a glove on.

    What the four players do all have in common isn't helpful:
    Code:
                 Age  OBP/2008  OBP/Career
    Hernandez     33   .308      .326
    Taveras       27   .308      .331
    Gonzalez      32    N/A      .295
    Phillips      28   .312      .308
    I encourage you to try and construct a lineup with those four players (and a pitcher) that doesn't break down very badly at some point. Acquiring Taveras exacerbates a real problem for this team, something that Jocketty doesn't seem to recognize:

    "Willy Taveras fills two significant needs for our ballclub, a speed base-stealing threat at the top of the order, and superior defense in center field."

    The second part, as noted, is in question. The first isn't actually a need. It's 2008, nearly 2009, and you can still hold a GM job saying stuff like the above. I do not get it. The most important thing that a leadoff hitter does is not make outs. You need a high-OBP guy in that slot to bat in front of what should be your best hitters in the second and third slots, the players who bat for average and power that will advance the runner around. Basestealing actually matters less for a leadoff hitter, because the cost of an out is high and the value of the marginal base is low given the caliber of batters to follow. This is all basic stuff, Sabermetrics 040 for the kids who didn't pass in high school, and yet Walt Jocketty thinks Willy Taveras and his .331 career OBP—.308 last year, .333 or less in three of four seasons—is a leadoff solution.

    The problem with Taveras is that his only skill is speed. He never walks (115 unintentionals in 2,170 PAs, or a bit more than once a week in his career) and he has no power (.054 ISO, and even that is inflated by "leg" extra-base hits), which means he has to bat .320 to be a viable offensive player. He did that once, in '07 with the Rockies. With a career strikeout rate of one every six at-bats or so, he needs to hit .370 on contact, minimum, to be a viable player. Hie career mark is .338. There just aren't enough actual skills here to build a regular baseball player. Taveras can run, and that's just about all he can do. He strikes out too much for a player with no power, and he doesn't walk enough for a player with his batting average. Ichiro Suzuki or Luis Castillo, guys who Taveras might emulate, both do at least one thing better than he does.

    Now, in the short term, this could work out well. Taveras' value is in some large part determined by what happens when he puts the ball in play, and the outcomes there can vary a bit. What would make him a contributor, and would make Jocketty look like a genius, is if he could get a slew of bunt singles, find some holes, and accidentally hit .330 in 2009. That's the entire upside, the potential for an on-contact career year that gets Taveras to first base 36 percent of the time.

    As much as the Reds needed a center fielder, they needed OBP more. This lineup spot would have been better used on one on the many corner outfielders lurking on the market, leaving Jay Bruce to patrol center field for another season. Adding Taveras to the many low-OBP right-handed batters already in Cincinnati is likely the straw that breaks the offense's back. When Joey Votto hits .304 with 31 homers and 77 RBI next year and gets derided as "unclutch," remember this signing.

  4. #978
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Where'd you get the cool Dan O'Brien pic?
    Believe it or not, I found it in a binder.
    Championships Matter.
    23 Years and Counting...

  5. #979
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    I know I hate this acquisition, but I won't know exactly how much I hate it until someone can tell me how much Taveras will be paid.

    I feel the same way.


  6. #980
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Trouble is, until they figure out how to put a farm together, dumpster-diving might in fact be the only method of putting a MLB on the field. Either that or concentrating a bunch of money on one player (Griffey). I'm all for letting the kids play when there are kids to play. And I don't mean Dickerson. Right now, the best this farm has to offer is on the current 25 man roster. Either way (dumpster-diving or playing the kids a la Montreal of the 90s), contention ain't part of the bargain until they can come up with a Pedro Martinez to front the rotation and Pujols to drive the offense.

    For all the "improvement" of the farm, the talent isn't nearly what it was, say, in the mid-80s, when the 90 team was in embryo.

    It's all twaddle till they can identify talent. Or loosen the purse-strings. They're still doing neither.
    You are talking about the same farm that produced Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Johnny Cueto in the same season?

  7. #981
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    You are talking about the same farm that produced Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Johnny Cueto in the same season?
    Let them all play multiple seasons before we crown them.

    Season 1 looked good, but let's see how seasons 2-4 look...

  8. #982
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Let them all play multiple seasons before we crown them.

    Season 1 looked good, but let's see how seasons 2-4 look...
    At the same time, lets not complain about the farm that just put those guys on the field.

  9. #983
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    At the same time, lets not complain about the farm that just put those guys on the field.
    I don't think it's completely unreasonable to remain jadedly skeptical regarding what our farm has or will produce when compared to what's has actually come from the farm.

  10. #984
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Believe it or not, I found it in a binder.
    Two things Redszone needs more of -

    1. Vintage DanO binder jokes
    2. More usage of this smilie :obrien:
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  11. #985
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Any argument that pulls "luck" into the argument is a weak one.
    I have to disagree here. The argument isn't that Taveras has been successful because of luck; the argument is that Taveras isn't successful. What people are pointing out is that in his one season of being almost average, some of that probably had to do with luck. Even if luck is taken out of the equation, Taveras is still bad, and more than enough data has been provided to back that up.

  12. #986
    Man Pills
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    You are talking about the same farm that produced Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Johnny Cueto in the same season?
    Well, the guy responsible for Cueto's gone, and Bruce would have been impossible to pass up as a draft pick. They do deserve credit for finding Votto, true, but I don't know--they still don't seem to have that knack for producing those tweeners that fill out bullpens and the fringy guys that cheaply supply things that teams otherwise pay too much for.

  13. #987
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    So what happens at 1000 posts? Does the thread auto-lock or something?
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  14. #988
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    So what happens at 1000 posts? Does the thread auto-lock or something?
    I hope so.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  15. #989
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    If you sneeze while making the thousandth post, your eyeballs fly out of their sockets
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  16. #990
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Reds sign Willy Taveras to 2 year deal....

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    If you sneeze while making the thousandth post, your eyeballs fly out of their sockets
    awe.some.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."


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