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

  1. #481
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    I fundamentally disagree with some of the conclusions in the last several posts.

    There is a lot of conjecture that Torreyes doesn't walk because he hits everything in the zone and that's why pitchers don't go deep in the count against him. I think it is equally likely that he swings at most pitches, good AND bad, makes contact and isn't patient enough to draw walks.

    RMR says Torreyes is employing a "rare skill" of making contact without the walks and that Torreyes is a high average hitter rather than a high OBP hitter. True in the lower minor leagues. But this year, advanced to High A ball, after 396 PA, his skill set has resulted in a very ordinary BA of .271 with little power.

    Which is not to say that I disagree that a player like Torreyes CAN succeed with a low walk rate. But IMO it requires a very, very, very proficient contact hitter to do so.
    I still believe that Ron (as some call him) would be far better served to be more patient and draw more walks, a combo more likely to result in higher level success. Which was my original point.

    Finally, comparing Torreyes work in the lowest minor leagues to major league hitters does serve to show that some players have succeeded with this skill set, which I don't doubt. But it does not show that Torreyes is LIKELY to succeed with that skill set at higher levels. He may, we'll see, but the odds would be better if he expanded his repertoire to include walks.

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  3. #482
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Not many people hit for power in the Florida State League. I don't know how many times that needs to be repeated. Top it off with the fact that he is the second youngest player in the league and only one of two teenagers and are we really going to be worried about the fact that he is only a little bit better than league average right now despite a low BABIP?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Not many people hit for power in the Florida State League. I don't know how many times that needs to be repeated. Top it off with the fact that he is the second youngest player in the league and only one of two teenagers and are we really going to be worried about the fact that he is only a little bit better than league average right now despite a low BABIP?
    All I'm saying is the guy should try and walk more.

  5. #484
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    All I'm saying is the guy should try and walk more.
    No he shouldn't. Trying to walk means taking hittable pitches. That is a bad idea. Hits > walks. If he isn't out there swinging at non-strikes, and from what I saw of him last year, he wasn't, then he shouldn't go to the plate thinking about taking pitches. You don't take pitches just to take them. It is a bad hitting philosophy.

  6. #485
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I fundamentally disagree with some of the conclusions in the last several posts.

    There is a lot of conjecture that Torreyes doesn't walk because he hits everything in the zone and that's why pitchers don't go deep in the count against him. I think it is equally likely that he swings at most pitches, good AND bad, makes contact and isn't patient enough to draw walks.

    RMR says Torreyes is employing a "rare skill" of making contact without the walks and that Torreyes is a high average hitter rather than a high OBP hitter. True in the lower minor leagues. But this year, advanced to High A ball, after 396 PA, his skill set has resulted in a very ordinary BA of .271 with little power.
    When we're talking about batting average, 396 PA is a small sample. His 2012 batting average is functionally useless as an input to this conversation.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=17659

    Yes, his BABIP is low this year. It is low either because he's making weaker contact, because of random variation with where his batted balls have gone or because of the performance of the fielders he's played against. We have no way of determining which of those is the case and it's probably some combination thereof. We certainly cannot assume it's the first of the three and, even then, we don't have reason to believe that's a skill issue instead of a performance one.

    Finally, comparing Torreyes work in the lowest minor leagues to major league hitters does serve to show that some players have succeeded with this skill set, which I don't doubt. But it does not show that Torreyes is LIKELY to succeed with that skill set at higher levels. He may, we'll see, but the odds would be better if he expanded his repertoire to include walks.
    You're right. It doesn't. And if somehow I implied that low minors success is the same thing as major league success, my bad. I fully admit that what I showed says nothing about his likelihood of becoming a successful major leaguer -- hence my interest in looking at a sample of comparable minor leaguers.

    However, your claim that he would be more successful if he expanded his repertoire to include more walks is simultaneous self-evident (walks > outs) and completely unhelpful. It's like asserting Adam Dunn would be more productive if he hit for a higher batting average. It's only true if we assume that nothing else changes. Unfortunately, his performance outcomes are the result of a complex interaction of skills. Change one thing and there are ripples. That is if you can actually change the thing substantially in the first place.

    So he doesn't walk much. Why is that? One of two things is happening -- he's either swinging at pitches out of the zone and putting them in play (we know he's not striking out) or he's not seeing very much pitches out of the zone in the first place.

    Part of the reason the guys who walk a lot are the guys who strike out a lot is because both involve not putting the ball in play for at least 3 pitches. If you are exceptionally skilled at putting the ball in play, you're not going to have much opportunity to watch 4 pitches out of the strike zone. Add on a lack of power and pitchers aren't inclined to purposefully throw out of the zone. It's a recipe for very few opportunities to take a walk.

    Of course, it's quite possible he's been chasing stuff out of the zone. But his career BABIP suggests he generally makes solid contact. If the suggestion is that he trades solid contact for a ball, I'd object. If it's that he should be trading weak contact for a ball (especially early in the count), I'd agree -- and ask for the evidence that he's expanding his zone and making weak contact.

    I'm 100% behind taking more walks if they're there for the taking. But I don't think this is a Brandon-Phillips-chasing-sliders kind of thing. And it's certainly not a Drew-Stubbs-swinging-through-meatballs thing.

    If Torreyes is able to sustain his incredibly low K% while hitting for a modicum of power (unlike Pierre or Miles), I have a hard time seeing how he's not a major league contributor. For reference, 88% of his plate appearances end in a ball play. Let's give him 1 HR per 100 PA (less than he's hit so far). Given a 6% walk rate, a .300 BABIP on that produces a .288 batting average and a .331 OBP. Add on a 100 ISO and you've got a .288/.331/.388 line from your middle infielder. Give him average defense and that's a 3-win player (see Jason Kipnis).

    And for reference, of the guys who struck out less than 10% of the time in the 2010-2012 sample, only 1 guy walked more than he struck out. Jeff Keppinger with a 6.6 BB% and 6.1 K%. It just doesn't happen. Sure, you do get the guys who maintain parity (Pujols, Kinsler, Mauer, Pedroia, Utley) -- but those guys hit for more power than Torreyes.
    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.

  7. #486
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    No he shouldn't. Trying to walk means taking hittable pitches. That is a bad idea. Hits > walks. If he isn't out there swinging at non-strikes, and from what I saw of him last year, he wasn't, then he shouldn't go to the plate thinking about taking pitches. You don't take pitches just to take them. It is a bad hitting philosophy.
    I'm all for "hit your pitch when it comes," but not all strikes are equally hittable, and just because a guy can put the bat on the ball doesn't mean it's the right pitch to swing at. He'll need to be more selective on stuff in the zone as he moves up, or he's going to spend a lot of time getting himself out on pitcher's pitches. But he still has plenty of time to refine that.
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  8. #487
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    I'm all for "hit your pitch when it comes," but not all strikes are equally hittable, and just because a guy can put the bat on the ball doesn't mean it's the right pitch to swing at. He'll need to be more selective on stuff in the zone as he moves up, or he's going to spend a lot of time getting himself out on pitcher's pitches. But he still has plenty of time to refine that.
    Very few pitchers, even in the Majors, can throw a 'pitchers pitch' within the strikezone.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Very few pitchers, even in the Majors, can throw a 'pitchers pitch' within the strikezone.
    I'm not interested in turning this into a lingo debate, so if I used the wrong term, fine, my apologies. I'm not talking about perfect pitches. I'm talking about good, solid, non-meatball strikes. The ones a pitcher needs to throw frequently if he's going to succeed in the major leagues.
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  10. #489
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I fundamentally disagree with some of the conclusions in the last several posts.

    There is a lot of conjecture that Torreyes doesn't walk because he hits everything in the zone and that's why pitchers don't go deep in the count against him. I think it is equally likely that he swings at most pitches, good AND bad, makes contact and isn't patient enough to draw walks.

    RMR says Torreyes is employing a "rare skill" of making contact without the walks and that Torreyes is a high average hitter rather than a high OBP hitter. True in the lower minor leagues. But this year, advanced to High A ball, after 396 PA, his skill set has resulted in a very ordinary BA of .271 with little power.

    Which is not to say that I disagree that a player like Torreyes CAN succeed with a low walk rate. But IMO it requires a very, very, very proficient contact hitter to do so.
    I still believe that Ron (as some call him) would be far better served to be more patient and draw more walks, a combo more likely to result in higher level success. Which was my original point.

    Finally, comparing Torreyes work in the lowest minor leagues to major league hitters does serve to show that some players have succeeded with this skill set, which I don't doubt. But it does not show that Torreyes is LIKELY to succeed with that skill set at higher levels. He may, we'll see, but the odds would be better if he expanded his repertoire to include walks.
    Players CAN slump KC. Torreyes' first half was poor. There's no doubt about that. But he's adjusted and his production thus far in the second half isn't remarkable...it's back to his norm. But for the first half there are several things that could rather easily explain those struggles.

    1. Adjusting to a new, higher level. Many players struggle when they first get bumped up. And in Torreyes' case, to a difficult hitters' league.

    2. Poor luck. As Doug pointed out, his first half babip was VERY far below his norm. And a player like Torreyes, a poor babip will affect him more than most I'd think.

    3. New franchise. They could have him trying new things with new coaches. That's not uncommon. It's all about making adjustments.

    I'm sure there are even more possibilities, but those were the main ones to pop into my head. I was very sad to see him go as he was my favorite prospect at the time of the deal...by far. I hate the fact that he gets kind of pushed aside as a legitimate prospect due to his size. All he's done is field, run and hit...well. Other than lacking the longball...simply put, I've yet to see a hole in that kids game. I hope the Cubs have no clue what they've got and we snag him back...but I don't think my luck's that good.
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    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    No he shouldn't. Trying to walk means taking hittable pitches. That is a bad idea. Hits > walks. If he isn't out there swinging at non-strikes, and from what I saw of him last year, he wasn't, then he shouldn't go to the plate thinking about taking pitches. You don't take pitches just to take them. It is a bad hitting philosophy.
    THANK YOU. It's always bugged the heck out of me when someone says he should try to take more walks. I don't want that, I want good pitch recognition and plate discipline. If you have those, you don't swing at balls and you don't let strikes sail past. If the walks come when you do that, fine. But don't let strikes fly past in an attempt to take a free pass. This is something that gets misunderstood when Dusty says it. He wants his hitters to be aggressive IN THE ZONE. He doesn't hate walks, he hates seeing his guys not swing at strikes.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    THANK YOU. It's always bugged the heck out of me when someone says he should try to take more walks. I don't want that, I want good pitch recognition and plate discipline. If you have those, you don't swing at balls and you don't let strikes sail past. If the walks come when you do that, fine. But don't let strikes fly past in an attempt to take a free pass. This is something that gets misunderstood when Dusty says it. He wants his hitters to be aggressive IN THE ZONE. He doesn't hate walks, he hates seeing his guys not swing at strikes.
    It's not about "try to take more walks"; that's jumbling process and outcome. Dusty's philosophy is the same balanced approach good hitters have used for as long as baseball's been around, you're right -- except that I don't believe he means for his players to swing at EVERY strike. A strike does not automatically equate to a good pitch to hit, especially against major-league pitching, and strike-zone judgment and plate discipline are not exactly the same thing.
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  13. #492
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Very few pitchers, even in the Majors, can throw a 'pitchers pitch' within the strikezone.
    Logan Ondrusek can. At least that's what I've been told by some on here.

  14. #493
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    Re: Tracking - Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, Boxberger, Sappelt, Wood, Torreyes

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    THANK YOU. It's always bugged the heck out of me when someone says he should try to take more walks. I don't want that, I want good pitch recognition and plate discipline. .
    I guess, then, that I bugged the heck out of you.

    But obviously what I meant was that a hitter like Torreyes should be as patient as possible because, as a non-power hitter, getting walks is a positive outcome. It shouldn't be the primary objective, but it shouldn't be precluded by swinging away at any pitch, any time.

    I'm finished discussing Torreyes and his patience or lack thereof. As he goes up the ladder, it would be good if he exhibited some patience at the plate IMO. I'm on to other things.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I guess, then, that I bugged the heck out of you.

    But obviously what I meant was that a hitter like Torreyes should be as patient as possible because, as a non-power hitter, getting walks is a positive outcome. It shouldn't be the primary objective, but it shouldn't be precluded by swinging away at any pitch, any time.

    I'm finished discussing Torreyes and his patience or lack thereof. As he goes up the ladder, it would be good if he exhibited some patience at the plate IMO. I'm on to other things.
    LOL. No, that wasn't directed at you (or in reference to Torreyes either), just a general thing that bugs me. "Trying" to take a walk implies that you're looking to NOT get a hit.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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

    Update 8-30-12:

    Ronald Torreyes - .264, 6 HR's, 5 TR, 22 Doubles, 112 games

    Dave Sappelt - .268, 7 HR's, 4 TR, 26 doubles, 15 SB, 132 games

    Travis Wood - triple A - 3-3, 4.57 e.r.a., 39 K's, 41 IP
    - Cubs - 4-11, 4.71 e.r.a., 84 K's, 114 IP

    Juan Francisco - Braves - 181 at-bats, .250, 9 HR's, 56 K's

    Brad Boxberger - triple A Padres - 2.76 e.r.a.
    - Padres - 3.52, 15 IP, 16 hits, 20 K's, 13 BB's, 2 HR's

    Yasmani Grandal - Padres - 33 games, 6 HR, 22 rbi, .283, .888 OPs

    Yonder Alonso - Padres - 125 games, .276, 7 HR's, .741 OPs

    Edison Volquez - Padres - 9-9, 4.10, 150 K's, 155 IP, 91 BB's

    Paul Janish - Braves - 43 games, .197, .512 OPs, 1 error

    Donnie Joseph - KC triple A - 4.85 e.r.a., 13 IP, 13 hits, 15 K's, 11 BB's, 1.84 WHIP (geez)

    JC Sulbaran - KC double A - 0-3, 9.95 e.r.a., 2.37 WHIP (geez again)

    Chris Dickerson - NYY triple A - .321, .944 OPS, 68 games

    Adam Rosales - Oak triple A - .280 in 76 games
    - Oakland - .234 in 76 plate appearances

    Jeremy Horst - Phi triple A - 2.11 e.r.a.
    - Phillies - 0.92 e.r.a. in 19 IP

    Jonny Gomes - Oak A's - 78 games, .248, .837 OPS, 15 HR's

    Edwin Encarnacion - .287, 34 HR's, .946 OPS

    Zach Stewart - CWS - 1-2, 6.00 e.r.a., 30 IP, 41 hits, 10 HR's
    Boston - 0-1, 27.00 e.r.a., 3 IP, 10 hits, 9 ER, 2 HR's (geez)

    Josh Roenicke - Rockies - 51 games, 2.83 e.r.a., 76 IP, 70 hits
    "I can't take this homerism anymore." - 10xWSChamps, August 11, 2010. A Cardinals fan having a problem with all the homerism on Redszone. Classic.

    "Man do I miss the days where were didn't need a calculator and an encyclopedia of baseball metrics to enjoy a baseball game ... - MikeS21" - 8/2/12 game thread


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