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Thread: Small Ball

  1. #406
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    When I look at the list below both Dunn and Burrell there are only two players in this list that I wouldn't take over Dunn.
    I wouldn't take Dunn over Dunn either!



    But when you begin to get a statline, even one flashed on the screen while watching baseball games you can get a pretty good understanding of a players game. If during a TV game they broadcast AVG, OBP, SLG, RBI, HR you can get a pretty good picture of a player.
    I don't really get a measure of a player via RBI. Only his place in the batting order and the rest of his team. Seeing the other stats are nice but as far as getting a good idea at how likely a player is to produce a run, OPS works for me.
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  3. #407
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    In my coaching experience, with runners on base, I always wanted my better hitters to swing the bat, rather than let a lesser hitter have that opportunity.

    Don't get me wrong, I want all my hitters to work the count and draw walks, and get on base, but there is a time that I want my better hitters to swing the bat and have the chance to drive in runs that my lesser hitters probably won't.
    you're absolutely right, IMO

    also, there can be great disparity in such situations among good hitters. Adam Dunn plates 30 percent of those runners; Carlos Lee plates 40 percent of them. Therefore, IMO, the thought that the next hitter will be similar in quality and can pick up the slack doesn't necessarily hold.

    disparity is probably even greater against better pitchers, which are often the games that you really want to win. differences like that keep a manager employed or put him on the street.

  4. #408
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    It's begging the question to assume a hitter who plates 30% of RISP could increase that percentage by swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone.
    "This isnít 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

  5. #409
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    It's begging the question to assume a hitter who plates 30% of RISP could increase that percentage by swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone.
    Or you could say that said player is able to hit/handle more pitches in the strike zone.

  6. #410
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    It's begging the question to assume a hitter who plates 30% of RISP could increase that percentage by swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone.
    Maybe hitting a few more that he takes that are in the strike zone.
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  7. #411
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    It's begging the question to assume a hitter who plates 30% of RISP could increase that percentage by swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone.
    yep.

  8. #412
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    Maybe hitting a few more that he takes that are in the strike zone.
    Therein lies the rub....
    "This isnít 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

  9. #413
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    Maybe hitting a few more that he takes that are in the strike zone.
    Absolutely, and I think few would argue that if a guy gets a pitch he can handle he should take a whack at it. How aggressive the guy should be is more likely the fine line were walking here.

    Redszone suffers from Dunn-itis here.

    You can watch the gears spin in posters heads as these discussions role out. Dunn is the guy they picture in their minds when this is debated. Our biggest problem (as a Redszone group) is that Dunn is such a unique case, a real honest to goodness outlier, that it clouds everything else.

    Dunn had enough trouble hitting balls in the zone, much less asking him to expand it, so for him it didn't make much sense to have him expanding his zone. Some view this as a deficiency for the big guy, and IMO it was, second to only his defense. All players have deficiencies. Watching Dunn in a Reds uniform was like dating a hot stripper with a bit of a drinking issue. If you were looking for a night on the town and a possible threesome you were in the right place, if you were looking for Sunday school and brunch with the Family you were setting yourself up for disaster. Dunn was high highs, and low lows. Not everyone can cope with that, or wants to.

    The Reds are always trying to make their strippers into Sunday school teachers and trying to convince their Sunday school teachers to wear 5" heals and a mini-skirt to church. It's no wonder they are constantly frustrated at the outcome.

    GL

  10. #414
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    Re: Small Ball

    Dunn is such a unique case, a real honest to goodness outlier, that it clouds everything else.
    Ice Nine I'm telling ya, Ice Nine.

  11. #415
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I agree with you point. But I think you need many more data points in order to determine the value of each player. You may want to start with OPS thats fine. I may want to start with AVG and that doesn't mean we won't come to the same conclusion once more data points are compared. At the same time what may separate a particular player is a desired skillset.
    But you don't always have the time or opportunity to look at the whole set of data points. So given that, why start with one that doesn't tell you very much and may, in fact, be quite misleading? In what situation does starting with batting average make sense?

    The argument I would concede is that you know batting average very well. You're very comfortable with it and know instantly how to interpret it. It's second nature to you. Thus, it makes sense to you as a starting point because it immediately gives you an anchor point to consider other things. I don't deny that. But I don't think that's an argument for its continued place as the #1 hitting metric. That decision should be made on the merits, on the utility of the stat -- and AVG falls short.

    AVG tells us less about a player than OBP or SLG, and conceptually it's no easier to understand. It's just more familiar. We use average today because we used it yesterday, not because of anything special about it as a metric.

    When I look at the list below both Dunn and Burrell there are only two players in this list that I wouldn't take over Dunn. Guillen and Atkins are ones I would pass on if you hold contract and contract length the same.
    Would you prefer those guys because you believe the composition of their OPS leads to greater total run production (an assertion which begs proof) or because it is more aesthetically pleasing?

    Also, are you just considering offensive production or also defense, aging curves, and position scarcity as well? Certainly those things matter a whole bunch when it comes to making personel and contract decisions, but that's not what this conversation is about.

    If it's about park effects, I'd concede that Dunn has gotten a bit of a boost and any rigorous analysis of performance would adjust accordingly.

    But to my earlier point, this conversation isn't about best practice in player valuation and or rigorous analysis of offensive performance. That conversation has advanced way beyond this one, as Jojo intimated. I'm talking about what stats can easily understood and widely used by the most casual of fans on a daily basis in the stands, by the watercooler, or on radio call-in shows. In those contexts, batting average just doesn't hold up for any reason other than tradition.
    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.

  12. #416
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong View Post

    You can watch the gears spin in posters heads as these discussions role out. Dunn is the guy they picture in their minds when this is debated. Our biggest problem (as a Redszone group) is that Dunn is such a unique case, a real honest to goodness outlier, that it clouds everything else.
    I don't think that Dunn is so unique. There are a lot of guys with low batting averages, and those guys tend to fare poorly in the situation described by Randy. Whether a guy can get more base hits by cutting down his swing and guessing less depends on the player-- some guys can do it. But usually the guys that can do it are the ones that are already good hitters, not the Dunn types.

    Dunn is very valuable in the great bulk of his plate appearances. however, there are hitters better suited for the situation described. if I'm a pitcher, I want to face Dunn and not a lot of other hitters in those situations.

  13. #417
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Would you prefer those guys because you believe the composition of their OPS leads to greater total run production (an assertion which begs proof) or because it is more aesthetically pleasing?

    Also, are you just considering offensive production or also defense, aging curves, and position scarcity as well? Certainly those things matter a whole bunch when it comes to making personel and contract decisions, but that's not what this conversation is about.
    When I looked at the list I considered not only offense but age, defense, position, etc. I just assumed that it was a level playing field based upon contract value and length. I would prefer that a player have a higher BA driven OBP. Its not necessarily a knock on taking a walk or getting on base because that is important in itself. Rather most of those players on the list are middle of the order type players and I don't want my money hitters to have contact issues. When you look at Dunn's BB driven OBP he belongs more in the 2 slot rather than the 3-5 slot.


    But to my earlier point, this conversation isn't about best practice in player valuation and or rigorous analysis of offensive performance. That conversation has advanced way beyond this one, as Jojo intimated. I'm talking about what stats can easily understood and widely used by the most casual of fans on a daily basis in the stands, by the watercooler, or on radio call-in shows. In those contexts, batting average just doesn't hold up for any reason other than tradition.
    I agree but I also think you throw out any stat and without more information the stat by itself not enough. If you throw out that a player has an OPS of .800 does that tell you enough about a player? Wouldn't it matter what the composition of the OPS was, the position he played, the spot in the order he hit? If you have a lead off hitter that has an high OBP driven OPS then that would be very good thing. But at the same time a middle of the order hitter with an OPS of .800 wouldn't be such a good thing.

    To me BA is a decent starting spot because it has been the stat used to determine hitters since the beginning. But at the same time you need more information to get a better description of a hitter. If someone tells me a hitter is batting .300 I would think good hitter but would want to know some other measures that lead to a better overall description.

  14. #418
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    But you don't always have the time or opportunity to look at the whole set of data points. So given that, why start with one that doesn't tell you very much and may, in fact, be quite misleading? In what situation does starting with batting average make sense?

    The argument I would concede is that you know batting average very well. You're very comfortable with it and know instantly how to interpret it. It's second nature to you. Thus, it makes sense to you as a starting point because it immediately gives you an anchor point to consider other things. I don't deny that. But I don't think that's an argument for its continued place as the #1 hitting metric. That decision should be made on the merits, on the utility of the stat -- and AVG falls short.

    AVG tells us less about a player than OBP or SLG, and conceptually it's no easier to understand. It's just more familiar. We use average today because we used it yesterday, not because of anything special about it as a metric.



    Would you prefer those guys because you believe the composition of their OPS leads to greater total run production (an assertion which begs proof) or because it is more aesthetically pleasing?

    Also, are you just considering offensive production or also defense, aging curves, and position scarcity as well? Certainly those things matter a whole bunch when it comes to making personel and contract decisions, but that's not what this conversation is about.

    If it's about park effects, I'd concede that Dunn has gotten a bit of a boost and any rigorous analysis of performance would adjust accordingly.

    But to my earlier point, this conversation isn't about best practice in player valuation and or rigorous analysis of offensive performance. That conversation has advanced way beyond this one, as Jojo intimated. I'm talking about what stats can easily understood and widely used by the most casual of fans on a daily basis in the stands, by the watercooler, or on radio call-in shows. In those contexts, batting average just doesn't hold up for any reason other than tradition.
    But that is exactly the reason why Batting Average is, and likely always will be, the statistic of choice. Why do we use pounds and ounces, or gallons and quarts, or inches and feet? The metric system is by all accounts a superior system--easier to learn, easier to convert to different units, and more precise. But Americans persist in using our measurements because they are more familiar, and we are comfortable with them. Scientists and other professionals in certain industries use the metric system, just as sabermetricians use baseball stats that tell more of the story than AVG does. But the average fan (no pun intended) is always going to use BA.
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  15. #419
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    The mindset, in the box, has to be "go, go, go," and if the pitch is out of the zone, at the last split second, let it go. It can't be, "I'm only looking for this particular pitch and if I get it, I'll swing." In that scenario, you really let a lot of good pitches go by. I've seen it with a lot of players that I've coached. They come back to the bench with that look on their face, "I really had a pitch to hit in that at bat. I should have hit it when I got it." Hitting isn't easy, but you always have to be ready to pull the trigger when you get a pitch to hit. It may be the only one you will get in that particular at bat. There are periods where players go through funks and just can't pull the trigger. I think the main reason for that is they are looking for the perfect pitch. You don't always get the perfect one, but you usually get one you can drive somewhere.

    Problem is, hitters don't have the amount of time to react in the box that a lot of folks have, analyzing, and looking at all the numbers. That is not a swipe. It (hitting) just isn't an easy thing to do nor as easy as these guys make it look on TV.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 01-29-2009 at 11:32 AM.
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  16. #420
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Small Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    But that is exactly the reason why Batting Average is, and likely always will be, the statistic of choice. Why do we use pounds and ounces, or gallons and quarts, or inches and feet? The metric system is by all accounts a superior system--easier to learn, easier to convert to different units, and more precise. But Americans persist in using our measurements because they are more familiar, and we are comfortable with them. Scientists and other professionals in certain industries use the metric system, just as sabermetricians use baseball stats that tell more of the story than AVG does. But the average fan (no pun intended) is always going to use BA.
    Change doesn't' just magically happen. It is made. It's rarely easy, but that doesn't mean we should just be content with the status quo.

    I would argue that as the world continues to globalize, the US will be on the metric system by 2050.
    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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