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Thread: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

  1. #91
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I think the threat of a 450 foot HR rattles the pitcher more than the bunt single.
    That's already in every pitchers mind after last season, and will be his whole career.

    Why not also add the image of Stubbs bunting for a base hit, stealing second and starting a 3 run rally? This changes how teams pitch to him and defend him. Even if he never gets a bunt hit, it might be worth it just to get the infielders in a step and allow Stubbs to sneak more grounders into the outfield, or doubles down the line.
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  3. #92
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Bunting for a hit isn't a bad skill to have when you are in one of those stretches when there seems to be a hole in your bat, and your swing is off, particularly if you have good speed. It helps your team and it sometimes helps to get you back on track. Stubbs should use all the tools he has at his disposal. Nobody wants to see him become a punch and Judy hitter, but I don't mind seeing a few bunt singles from one of the fastest guys in the league.
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  4. #93
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    If Stubbs can just learn the basics, and bunt at least one pitch a game, he can add dozens of points to his OPS, without losing any of his power, or aggressiveness.
    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Except you absolutely are going to lose power because you are talking about taking away 50 times he swings away from him.
    Nothing a little math can't solve. If Stubbs bunted 50 extra times last year, it saves you 9 outs but costs you 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

  5. #94
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    Nothing a little math can't solve. If Stubbs bunted 50 extra times last year, it saves you 9 outs but costs you 2 doubles and 2 home runs.
    With the hope that it pulls the IF in and raises his BABIP on his other non-bunt ABs. It may take away an IF single or two where he would have beat out a grounder had the IF been playing deeper, but hopefully would add some singles and doubles on grounders that get by defenders who have less time to react. Balls down the 3B line might be triples if they get by the 3B and go to the corner.
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  6. #95
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    If Stubbs bunted 50 extra times last year, it saves you 9 outs but costs you 2 doubles and 2 home runs.
    The calculus is not that simple. Trying to bunt cost Stubbs a strike in many instances -- he either fouled it off, missed it completely or took it for a strike. I don't have numbers, but I watched a sh**load of games and he just wasn't very efficient in getting the ball in play when he went into bunt mode. This is a symptom of his being somewhat awkward in the art -- and this is due, I contend, to his natural deficiencies (height and set-up, to name a couple).

    So, losing a strike in the count, due to an empty bunt attempt, in ABs when he didn't actually use a bunt to record a hit or out, is a hidden drag on Stubbs' offense that we can attribute to bunting.

    As for the notion that bunting a lot, or attempting to, will pull the defense in, leading to more groundballs getting through for hits, I don't necessarily buy that, on a couple grounds.

    1. Stubbs gets a fair amount of hits on "swinging bunts" and slow rollers. Teams have seen enough of this that the defense is likely already pulled in to an extent. And this includes the 2B and SS, because several of those hits go into the middle regions of the infield.

    The bunt threat affects only the 3B at this point in time. (Stubbs has shown he cannot bunt to the right side with any success.) Thus, the overall impact of a legitimate bunt threat on defensive positioning would be negligible, if there were any impact at all. However much more a 3B would come in if Stubbs could bunt consistently (unlikely, in my opinion) may not increase the likelihood of hard-hit or fortunately-placed groundballs getting through to any significant extent.

    2. If in fact the phenomenon people are claiming would happen did indeed come to pass, and Stubbs was getting lots of balls through the infield, teams would simply reposition. Teams track this stuff these days.

    Again, it is a misconception to think that because Stubbs is fast he can exploit the threat of bunting to his advantage. Bunting is a skill, and Stubbs is at a disadvantage vs. most speedy home-to-first guys because of his height and handedness. Talking as if all Stubbs has to do to improve his offensive game is to learn to bunt, spouted by the Brennamans and other media types, betrays a shallow understanding of what bunting involves and of Stubbs the player. Not to mention the fact that by all reports Stubbs has worked hard to become a better bunter.

    I am not saying Stubbs should not work on his bunting. He should. He should use the weapon -- but not as a once a game strategy. That's too much. He should pick his spots -- when certain pitchers are on the mound, when certain 3B are playing or the 3B is playing back. He should keep trying to develop the ability to bunt to the right side. However, folks need to understand that there is no guarantee he can improve his skills. If he's not very good at it, it doesn't mean he's not working on it. It means he's not very good at it. And that should come as no surprise in the case of a 6'5'' RH hitter.
    Last edited by lollipopcurve; 12-31-2010 at 09:11 AM.
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  7. #96
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The calculus is not that simple. Trying to bunt cost Stubbs a strike in many instances -- he either fouled it off, missed it completely or took it for a strike.
    This is where actual numbers need to be involved, because in many of Stubbs' non-bunting AB's last year I recall him fouling a pitch off, missing it completely, or taking it for a strike.

  8. #97
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    This is where actual numbers need to be involved, because in many of Stubbs' non-bunting AB's last year I recall him fouling a pitch off, missing it completely, or taking it for a strike.
    Good point. However, I imagine if you were to compare Stubbs' efficiency in getting bunts down (bunts in play vs. strikes) vs. the good bunters, you'd find that he just is not very skilled at it.
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  9. #98
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    I sometimes wonder if all fans want to change players into something they are not. Probably. But it sure seems pronounced with this fanbase. This kind of discussion already reminds me of the Dunn threads over the years, with a large segment of the fanbase (including the radio booth) never able to accept Dunn for what he was, and constantly trying to make him into something he was not.

    Stubbs is indeed crazy fast, and maybe he can get better at bunting, but I sure don't want to see him make a pronounced effort to incorporate it into his game in a systematic way, as he is not good at it and it robs the team of what he does do well in terms of natural power. Stubbs is, quite frankly, not the player I thought he was and I have been delighted to be wrong. That kind of power/speed combo is rare. So let him do what he does and be content is my thought.
    Last edited by membengal; 12-31-2010 at 11:16 AM.

  10. #99
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    This reminds me of the conversations people used to have about Eric Davis 25 years ago. "If only Eric would hit the ball on the ground more and use his speed, he would be much more dangerous." No. How about, "Let Eric Davis do what he does--he's the most dangerous offensive player in the NL."

    By the same token, we should let Drew develop into the player that best suits his talents, and not shoehorn him into some preconceived idea of a leadoff hitter just because he's really fast. His body type and skill set makes him much more similar to Davis than it does to Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, or (gasp!) Willy Taveras!
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  11. #100
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    This reminds me of the conversations people used to have about Eric Davis 25 years ago. "If only Eric would hit the ball on the ground more and use his speed, he would be much more dangerous." No. How about, "Let Eric Davis do what he does--he's the most dangerous offensive player in the NL."

    By the same token, we should let Drew develop into the player that best suits his talents, and not shoehorn him into some preconceived idea of a leadoff hitter just because he's really fast. His body type and skill set makes him much more similar to Davis than it does to Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, or (gasp!) Willy Taveras!
    Well said.

  12. #101
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    This reminds me of the conversations people used to have about Eric Davis 25 years ago. "If only Eric would hit the ball on the ground more and use his speed, he would be much more dangerous." No. How about, "Let Eric Davis do what he does--he's the most dangerous offensive player in the NL."

    By the same token, we should let Drew develop into the player that best suits his talents, and not shoehorn him into some preconceived idea of a leadoff hitter just because he's really fast. His body type and skill set makes him much more similar to Davis than it does to Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, or (gasp!) Willy Taveras!
    Let's not overreact to this idea. There is a difference between telling someone to hit the ball on the ground and telling someone to drop a bunt down here or there to keep the defense honest.

    Stubbs has speed. Ridiculous speed. If he never threatens to drop one down, the corners can sit back and take away potential doubles b/c of their positioning. Having them play a step or two in on him is great.

    All he would be doing is keeping them honest. I see zero issue with having Stubbs working on his bunting. There is a lot of middle ground between where he is now and Juan Pierre.

  13. #102
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    If he never threatens to drop one down, the corners can sit back and take away potential doubles b/c of their positioning. Having them play a step or two in on him is great.
    He does show bunt. Usually it costs him a strike. And teams already play him in, because he beats out swinging bunts and slow rollers.

    Saying there's an easy change for Stubbs to make that will improve his game is misguided, in my view. It ignores the player's skillset, the obstacles he faces and the situation as it played out on the field in 2010. He has worked hard on bunting but has not gained much proficiency. Teams play him in already. There just is not much to be gained at this point. He should continue to strive to improve, but there's no magic bullet here.
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  14. #103
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: Lead Off Hitter

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    He does show bunt. Usually it costs him a strike. And teams already play him in, because he beats out swinging bunts and slow rollers.

    Saying there's an easy change for Stubbs to make that will improve his game is misguided, in my view. It ignores the player's skillset, the obstacles he faces and the situation as it played out on the field in 2010. He has worked hard on bunting but has not gained much proficiency. Teams play him in already. There just is not much to be gained at this point. He should continue to strive to improve, but there's no magic bullet here.
    I don't know what he he or hasn't done. If, for whatever reason he cannot get it done, then so be it. But if he can improve his bunting game it can only help him and the team.


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