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Thread: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Any guesses as to how long Volquez hangs around the majors?

    Its the same song and dance with him. Tantalizing stuff but so so control and throws way too many pitches. I was wondering when the Reds faced him, if you kept your bat on your shoulder, would he throw 3 strikes before 4 balls?
    As with most things it comes down to money. He has one more arbitration yr so if he agrees to a reasonable deal the Pads will likely give him one more yr to prove his worth but the big decision comes after next yr

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    I'm impressed with those numbers from Torreyes....that's good production in the fsl, for a middle fielder, for a 19 yo.

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Impossible for me to believe that luck is the only explanation.
    I am sure that it is more than just luck, but a big part of it probably is luck. Torreyes is a guy who for his entire career has carried a BABIP in the US of .365. Then for the first two months of the season he goes out and has a BABIP under .200. Then it magically goes back to the .350 range. Something tells me luck has a lot to do with it.

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Something tells me luck has a lot to do with it.
    I'm sure it's a factor. How much, none of us can say. But I am certain there's more to the story.
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Torreyes is the anti-Dunn. He doesn't walk. He doesn't strike out. He doesn't homer.
    IMO the lack of walks is deceptive. He's such a high level contact hitter, he's simply hitting everything that's in the zone. From everything I've seen and read, he's got fantastic plate discipline.
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    IMO the lack of walks is deceptive. He's such a high level contact hitter, he's simply hitting everything that's in the zone. From everything I've seen and read, he's got fantastic plate discipline.

    Sorry to disagree with the conclusion, but a non-power hitter like Torreyes will make his living on his ability to get on base. If he only walks 6.3% of the time, like this year, that will hurt him.

    His highest walk rate so far is 8.1% in Rookie ball. His walk rate was 4.6% in A ball last year, and now at High A it is 6.3%.

    I agree he has great ability to make contact, and with speed he can get infield hits too. But as an OBP man it will take fantastic hitting ability and great luck to overcome lack of walks.

    He's young, the walks may well come.

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    If he turns into Juan Pierre at 2nd base, that is a good thing.

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Sorry to disagree with the conclusion, but a non-power hitter like Torreyes will make his living on his ability to get on base. If he only walks 6.3% of the time, like this year, that will hurt him.

    His highest walk rate so far is 8.1% in Rookie ball. His walk rate was 4.6% in A ball last year, and now at High A it is 6.3%.

    I agree he has great ability to make contact, and with speed he can get infield hits too. But as an OBP man it will take fantastic hitting ability and great luck to overcome lack of walks.

    He's young, the walks may well come.
    I think you're misunderstanding me a bit. From what I've seen/read, he doesn't swing at balls often outside of the strike zone. So in other words, when a ball is in the strikezone, he doesn't swing and miss either. He's putting the ball in play. If he was not taking walks due to him swinging at balls, I'd be concerned...but that's not the case. If they throw him balls...he'll take the walks, but if they put one in there he can do something with, he's hitting it. Going in there looking for walks to increase your OBP just reeks of a passive approach IMO.

    Let me put it this way, what do you want a hitter to do?

    If a ball is in the strikezone? Watch it sail past? Swing and miss? Put it in play or foul it off? He leans towards this last one. That's what I'd want him to do.

    If a ball is OUT of the strikezone? Swing and miss it? Foul it off if it's close? Let it sail past? He leans towards the last 2. Again, exactly what I'd want him to do.
    Last edited by _Sir_Charles_; 08-06-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I think you're misunderstanding me a bit. From what I've seen/read, he doesn't swing at balls often outside of the strike zone. So in other words, when a ball is in the strikezone, he doesn't swing and miss either. He's putting the ball in play. If he was not taking walks due to him swinging at balls, I'd be concerned...but that's not the case. If they throw him balls...he'll take the walks, but if they put one in there he can do something with, he's hitting it. Going in there looking for walks to increase your OBP just reeks of a passive approach IMO.

    Let me put it this way, what do you want a hitter to do?

    If a ball is in the strikezone? Watch it sail past? Swing and miss? Put it in play or foul it off? He leans towards this last one. That's what I'd want him to do.

    If a ball is OUT of the strikezone? Swing and miss it? Foul it off if it's close? Let it sail past? He leans towards the last 2. Again, exactly what I'd want him to do.
    The difficulty I have with your post is that, while I'm sure Torreyes makes contact with good pitches and fouls off many bad pitches, I see no evidence that he lets bad pitches "sail past." If he did, he would have more walks.

    So, yes, you have a Juan Pierre type hitter who swings at many pitches, makes excellent contact, but doesn't let the bad ones "sail past." So, very few walks.

    This isn't a plus for an OBP hitter. Pierre has done pretty well at it, but there aren't many who succeed that way.

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The difficulty I have with your post is that, while I'm sure Torreyes makes contact with good pitches and fouls off many bad pitches, I see no evidence that he lets bad pitches "sail past." If he did, he would have more walks.

    So, yes, you have a Juan Pierre type hitter who swings at many pitches, makes excellent contact, but doesn't let the bad ones "sail past." So, very few walks.

    This isn't a plus for an OBP hitter. Pierre has done pretty well at it, but there aren't many who succeed that way.
    There aren't many guys who can make that amount of contact either.

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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Any guesses as to how long Volquez hangs around the majors?

    Its the same song and dance with him. Tantalizing stuff but so so control and throws way too many pitches. I was wondering when the Reds faced him, if you kept your bat on your shoulder, would he throw 3 strikes before 4 balls?
    If I had to guess, I'd say the Reds traded him because he was driving everyone in the organization crazy. He'll hang around because of his "stuff" for awhile, but any team that has him will understand why Texas and Cibcinnati got rid of him. My only regret is that we gave up something of value for him. Bet the Padres are thinking the same thing.
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The difficulty I have with your post is that, while I'm sure Torreyes makes contact with good pitches and fouls off many bad pitches, I see no evidence that he lets bad pitches "sail past." If he did, he would have more walks.

    So, yes, you have a Juan Pierre type hitter who swings at many pitches, makes excellent contact, but doesn't let the bad ones "sail past." So, very few walks.

    This isn't a plus for an OBP hitter. Pierre has done pretty well at it, but there aren't many who succeed that way.
    And if he swings and misses at balls, he'd have more K's. The thing with him is that how often do you have an AB where not one ball is thrown in the zone? Not very often. Most guys swing and miss more and look at pitches in the zone more. He hits them. Simply put, he's not your average hitter. If his K's were high and his BB's were low, I'd be concerned. But they're not. Don't just look at the stats, because they'll deceive you in regards to him IMO. Listen to the scouts and THEN look at the stats. He's reported to have EXCELLENT plate discipline. So once you take that into account, the low walk rate coupled with the extraordinary contact skills...it's not very worrisome.

    And he's not a typical OBP hitter. He has a high OBP because of his contact rate...not his walk rate. As long as you're not making outs, what's it matter HOW you get on base?
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The difficulty I have with your post is that, while I'm sure Torreyes makes contact with good pitches and fouls off many bad pitches, I see no evidence that he lets bad pitches "sail past." If he did, he would have more walks.

    So, yes, you have a Juan Pierre type hitter who swings at many pitches, makes excellent contact, but doesn't let the bad ones "sail past." So, very few walks.

    This isn't a plus for an OBP hitter. Pierre has done pretty well at it, but there aren't many who succeed that way.
    While I actually agree with your conclusion, I think you make a bad assumption along the way. If Torreyes is making contact almost every time he swings, how often is he going to get deep enough in to a count for accumulate 4 balls? He's not a power hitter, so it's not like guys are going to be pitching around him.

    Just look at the guys with the highest walk rates. Almost to a man, they're guys who hit for a lot of power. Sure, you have a few guys at the extreme like Brett Gardner, Kosuke Fukudome and Bobby Abreu who take a ton of walks and don't hit for power. But they also strike out 2 or 3 times as much as Torreyes.

    Back to your basic claim that Torreyes approach isn't a great one for an "OBP hitter". In some ways, you're right. But that's why we shouldn't consider him an "OBP hitter". Torreyes is a high average hitter, not a high OBP hitter. What's good about guys like that is that they don't rely on pitchers throwing the ball out of the zone to be successful. Of course, the downside is that they'll rarely put up a .400 OBP either. But that's not who they are.

    I've seen the Juan Pierre comp a few times. It's not bad, but I think it's a bit of a red herring. Pierre has basically zero power. Torreyes isn't a guy who slaps the ball in to the ground and burns down the line. He's a liners-gap-to-gap type. To find better comps, I went to Fangraphs, exported a leaderboard of 2010-2012 with minimum 600 PA and filtered for everybody with less than 10% BBs and 10% Ks. Obviously Torreyes is much lower than that, but he is quite extreme. That gave me a list of 14 guys. I've sorted the list based on their combined BB% and K%. Look where Torreyes would show up.

    Code:
    Name		BB%	K%	BB+K	SB	ISO	AVG	OBP	 SLG
    Ronald Torreyes	5.7%	5.7%	10.4%	 50	.134	.330	.387	.474
    Juan Pierre	5.9%	5.9%	11.8%	122	.048	.283	.338	.332
    Jeff Keppinger	6.6%	6.1%	12.7%	  5	.105	.289	.339	.394
    A.J. Pierzynski	4.3%	9.0%	13.3%	  3	.153	.282	.320	.435
    Vladimir Guerre	4.2%	9.4%	13.6%	  6	.162	.295	.332	.457
    Ben Revere	5.0%	8.7%	13.7%	 61	.047	.289	.327	.336
    Placido Polanco	6.3%	8.0%	14.3%	  8	.075	.281	.329	.356
    Aaron Miles	4.8%	9.8%	14.6%	  4	.062	.277	.313	.339
    Jose Reyes	7.0%	8.7%	15.7%	 96	.149	.303	.352	.452
    Carlos Lee	7.7%	8.7%	16.4%	  9	.157	.268	.325	.424
    Marco Scutaro	7.6%	9.0%	16.6%	 16	.109	.282	.339	.390
    Victor Martinez	7.6%	9.1%	16.7%	  2	.165	.317	.366	.481
    Yadier Molina	7.1%	9.6%	16.7%	 23	.140	.293	.346	.433
    But as I've argued, Torreyes isn't a slap hitter with no power, so I got rid of the guys with the very low ISOs (less than .070). Gone are Pierre, Revere and Miles.

    Of course, he's also not a power hitter, so I got rid of the guys with the high ISOs (more than .150). Gone are Pierzynski, Vlad, Lee and Martinez.

    That left a list of 5 guys:
    Code:
    Name		BB%	K%	BB+K	SB	ISO	AVG	OBP	 SLG
    Ronald Torreyes	5.7%	5.7%	10.4%	 50	.134	.330	.387	.474
    Jeff Keppinger	6.6%	6.1%	12.7%	  5	.105	.289	.339	.394
    Placido Polanco	6.3%	8.0%	14.3%	  8	.075	.281	.329	.356
    Jose Reyes	7.0%	8.7%	15.7%	 96	.149	.303	.352	.452
    Marco Scutaro	7.6%	9.0%	16.6%	 16	.109	.282	.339	.390
    Yadier Molina	7.1%	9.6%	16.7%	 23	.140	.293	.346	.433
    We know he's not a slow as Molina nor as fast at Reyes, but that's even more arbitrary than my ISO cuts, so let's leave them for now. That group, over the past 3 years, has producd an average batting line of .290/.340/.405.

    Is that an all-star quality OBP threat? Nope. You're right, the Torreyes skill set & approach is a not a OBP stud combination. But it is something that would look really, really nice at the top of this lineup right now. If Torreyes turns out to be another Keppinger, Polanco or Scutaro, I'm not sure we'd openly fret over having lost him. But those are the kinds of guys who round out teams and add wins on the margins.

    You're also right that not many players succeed using that approach. However, I would argue that the lack of players like that succeeding in the majors is not a function of it being an unproductive skill set. It's because it's a skill set that's rare. Very few players can put the bat on the ball as often as Ron Torreyes does and still have some pop when they do so. I'd be very interested to see if there are guys who put up BB% and K% below 8% and an ISO above .100 in the minors but who never panned out as major leaguers.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-07-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    While I actually agree with your conclusion, I think you make a bad assumption along the way. If Torreyes is making contact almost every time he swings, how often is he going to get deep enough in to a count for accumulate 4 balls? He's not a power hitter, so it's not like guys are going to be pitching around him.

    Just look at the guys with the highest walk rates. Almost to a man, they're guys who hit for a lot of power. Sure, you have a few guys at the extreme like Brett Gardner, Kosuke Fukudome and Bobby Abreu who take a ton of walks and don't hit for power. But they also strike out 2 or 3 times as much as Torreyes.

    Back to your basic claim that Torreyes approach isn't a great one for an "OBP hitter". In some ways, you're right. But that's why we shouldn't consider him an "OBP hitter". Torreyes is a high average hitter, not a high OBP hitter. What's good about guys like that is that they don't rely on pitchers throwing the ball out of the zone to be successful. Of course, the downside is that they'll rarely up a .400 OBP either, but that's not who they are.

    I've seen the Juan Pierre comp a few times. It's not bad, but I think it's a bit of a red herring. Pierre has basically zero power. Torreyes isn't a guy who slaps the ball in to the ground and burns down the line. He's a liners in to the gaps type. To find better comps, I went to Fangraphs, exported a leaderboard of 2010-2012 with minimum 600 PA and filtered for everybody with less than 10% BBs and 10% Ks. Obviously Torreyes is much lower than that, but he is quite extreme. That gave me a list of 14 guys. I've sorted the list based on their combined BB% and K%. Look where Torreyes would show up.

    Code:
    Name		BB%	K%	BB+K	SB	ISO	AVG	OBP	 SLG
    Ronald Torreyes	5.7%	5.7%	10.4%	 50	.134	.330	.387	.474
    Juan Pierre	5.9%	5.9%	11.8%	122	.048	.283	.338	.332
    Jeff Keppinger	6.6%	6.1%	12.7%	  5	.105	.289	.339	.394
    A.J. Pierzynski	4.3%	9.0%	13.3%	  3	.153	.282	.320	.435
    Vladimir Guerre	4.2%	9.4%	13.6%	  6	.162	.295	.332	.457
    Ben Revere	5.0%	8.7%	13.7%	 61	.047	.289	.327	.336
    Placido Polanco	6.3%	8.0%	14.3%	  8	.075	.281	.329	.356
    Aaron Miles	4.8%	9.8%	14.6%	  4	.062	.277	.313	.339
    Jose Reyes	7.0%	8.7%	15.7%	 96	.149	.303	.352	.452
    Carlos Lee	7.7%	8.7%	16.4%	  9	.157	.268	.325	.424
    Marco Scutaro	7.6%	9.0%	16.6%	 16	.109	.282	.339	.390
    Victor Martinez	7.6%	9.1%	16.7%	  2	.165	.317	.366	.481
    Yadier Molina	7.1%	9.6%	16.7%	 23	.140	.293	.346	.433
    But as I've argued, Torreyes isn't a slap hitter with no power, so I got rid of the guys with the very low ISOs (less than .070). Gone are Pierre, Revere and Miles.

    Of course, he's also not a power hitter, so I got rid of the guys with the high ISOs (more than .150). Gone are Pierzynski, Vlad, Lee and Martinez.

    That left a list of 5 guys:
    Code:
    Name		BB%	K%	BB+K	SB	ISO	AVG	OBP	 SLG
    Ronald Torreyes	5.7%	5.7%	10.4%	 50	.134	.330	.387	.474
    Jeff Keppinger	6.6%	6.1%	12.7%	  5	.105	.289	.339	.394
    Placido Polanco	6.3%	8.0%	14.3%	  8	.075	.281	.329	.356
    Jose Reyes	7.0%	8.7%	15.7%	 96	.149	.303	.352	.452
    Marco Scutaro	7.6%	9.0%	16.6%	 16	.109	.282	.339	.390
    Yadier Molina	7.1%	9.6%	16.7%	 23	.140	.293	.346	.433
    We know he's not a slow as Molina nor as fast at Reyes, but that's even more arbitrary than my ISO cuts, so let's leave them for now. That group, over the past 3 years, has producd an average batting line of .290/.340/.405.

    Is that an all-star quality OBP threat? Nope. You're right, the Torreyes skill set & approach is a not a OBP stud combination. But it is something that would look really, really nice at the top of this lineup right now. If Torreyes turns out to be another Keppinger, Polanco or Scutaro, I'm not sure we'd openly fret over having lost him. But those are the kinds of guys who round out teams and add wins on the margins.

    You're also right that not many players succeed using that approach. However, I would argue that the lack of players like that succeeding in the majors is not a function of it being an unproductive skill set. It's because it's a skill set that's rare. Very few players can put the bat on the ball as often as Ron Torreyes does and still have some pop when they do so. I'd be very interested to see if there are guys who put up BB% and K% below 8% and an ISO above .100 in the minors but who never panned out as major leaguers.
    Wow, all that work just for Ronald Torreyes, lol. Actually very impressive, and informative, I feel a lot smarter after reading this post.
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Wow, all that work just for Ronald Torreyes
    I like the analysis by RMR too. Puts Torreyes in an interesting group. If I recall correctly, some of us were making the Placido comp last year or even before.
    I remember they had Joe Morgan on one of the TV broadcasts several weeks ago, and I think they were talking about how Joe was small but he hit the ball hard -- Morgan then began talking about a trip he'd made to Dayton in 2011 and how there was a little guy there who hit the ball extremely hard. Of course, that was Torreyes. Just a cool player in many ways, and I'm still sorry they traded him (even though I recognize it was a good trade for the club).
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