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Thread: Drew Stubbs: What if?

  1. #61
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Both this year and last year are a step down from the decent power production he put up in 2010. The AtomicDumpling has it right IMO: Stubbs pitch recognition will prevent him from ever making consistent contact regardless of what kind of swing he takes. If he really is up there just guessing, I'd say let it rip and capitalize on the times he actually guesses correctly.
    That could be true. But then, looking at his career stat lines, 2010 is the year that looks like an outlier, power-wise. And if he's making adjustments to make more contact and is still whiffing 28% of the time, what's his K rate swinging from the heels at everything? 35-40%?

    Bottom line, he has a fatal flaw that limits his performance and at this juncture it can't be considered fixable. I was fine with being patient with him because of the potential payoff, but I've seen enough. I believe the Reds need to make other plans for the future of center field. Not just long term (Hamilton) but starting next year.
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  3. #62
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    I you look at Fangraphs plate discipline stats you learn a lot about Stubbs, focusing on this year.

    In a nutshell Stubbs numbers are fine in terms of deciding when to swing. He doesn't swing at too many bad pitches and overall, if anything, swings less often than the average player.

    But his contact rate on pitches outside the zone is way below average and his contact rate on pitches within the strike zone is below average. Overall, Fangraphs estimates that an average contact rate is 81% and Stubbs' is 73.6%.

    But that's not the whole story. Bruce and Ludwick have contact rates just slightly better than Stubbs'.

    So obviously a big part of the problem is what Drew has been doing when he DOES make contact.

    Among the main hitters on the team (guys with 200 or more PAs), Stubbs has by far the lowest line drive rate. His is 14.3%. Next lowest is Cozart with over 19%. Votto over 30 percent. And Drew's grounder rate is over 50%.

    So Stubbs is a low contact hitter who doesn't hit line drives and hits grounders more than half the time. His walk rate of 8 percent is nothing special.

    There are just a number of problems with his offensive season, which is disappointing given his raw talent level.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-19-2012 at 10:22 AM.

  4. #63
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    This kind of statement rarely turns out to be true.
    Fair point, one season generally doesn't turn out to be emblematic of what to expect from a guy for his whole career. Yet Stubbs' 2011 is closest to his career averages and has more or less taken shape as a major league player.

    Here's the things I think we can definitively say about Stubbs:

    1) His speed is excellent

    2) His minor league career (at the plate) was lackluster

    3) His defense is good, but not elite

    4) He struggles mightily vs. RHPs

    5) He's quite good vs. LHPs

    6) His numbers have declined the past two seasons during a phase of his career where you normally would hope for improvement

    7) He has occasional power, but his BA issues prevent it from translating into a high SLG

    8) His current BB rate is worrisome

    For all intents and purposes, he looks like a platoon/backup OF. If he were on another team I doubt anyone here would be making the case to bring him in and make him an everyday CF.

    Anyway, I think it's pretty difficult to look at the Reds' roster and come away with any conclusion other than CF stands out as the clear choice as the position most in need of an upgrade.
    Last edited by M2; 09-19-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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  5. #64
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    There are just a number of problems with his offensive season, which is disappointing given his raw talent level.
    I think there's been a consistent disconnect for people on the issue of Stubbs' raw talent level. He oozes raw athleticism. Yet his raw talent for hitting a baseball has always been on the low side. It was the red flag scouts raised when he was in college. It dogged him in the minors. It has come home to roost in the majors.
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  6. #65
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    I think that about covers it (coming from a Stubbs fan). He's a very good platoon CF while he's cheap. After that, he's a guy that will be replaced long term.

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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    I think there's been a consistent disconnect for people on the issue of Stubbs' raw talent level.
    The main focus in debate re: Stubbs was whether he "has power." Folks who saw low HR numbers in the minors said he didn't have power. Others paid heed to scouting reports and said "the power's in there." Looking at his HR totals in the majors, I'd say the power was always there. Really hasn't been much of a debate on his contact issues. Were there in the minors, still there in the majors.

    Personally, my take is that the guy has been miscast as a leadoff hitter. He should be down in the order, told his job is to be as complete a hitter as he can be, hit situationally in RBI spots to the best of his ability and not worry about striking out or bunting. If I'm a a team in need of an OF, I'd give him a shot at a starting job, with those instructions. There's still a chance he can return to 2010 levels, IMO. But definitely agree that it's time for the Reds to move on, especially with Hamilton on the horizon.
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  8. #67
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The main focus in debate re: Stubbs was whether he "has power." Folks who saw low HR numbers in the minors said he didn't have power. Others paid heed to scouting reports and said "the power's in there." Looking at his HR totals in the majors, I'd say the power was always there. Really hasn't been much of a debate on his contact issues. Were there in the minors, still there in the majors.
    Stubbs is a classic case of a guy who clearly has a good deal of raw power but who doesn't have great in-game power due to his contact issues. As scouts say, you can't hit for power if you can't hit.

    I just wish people were a bit more frank about his weakness as a contact hitter. He's literally as bad as you can be at making contact with the baseball without having it so completely undermine the value you produce elsewhere so-as to keep you out of the major leagues. He just doesn't have major-league caliber hand-eye coordination. His power and speed generally offset it enough for his bat to play, but he walks that fine line where a bad BABIP year completely craters his offensive value.
    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.

  9. #68
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The main focus in debate re: Stubbs was whether he "has power." Folks who saw low HR numbers in the minors said he didn't have power. Others paid heed to scouting reports and said "the power's in there." Looking at his HR totals in the majors, I'd say the power was always there..
    It always depended on how you define "power." He's a big piece of meat who can poke one out every now and then. Yet, as I mentioned above, it doesn't translate to SLG. Brandon Phillips, who has less raw power, hits more HR because he squares the ball better on his bat. Add in the BA and doubles advantage Phillips has and he's significantly better in the SLG department. When it comes to actual power, Phillips has more.

    Stubbs does not have the kind of power to override his faults at the plate (which was always the issue for me). His occasional HR just isn't that valuable.
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  10. #69
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Stubbs does not have the kind of power to override his faults at the plate (which was always the issue for me). His occasional HR just isn't that valuable.
    That's fair.
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  11. #70
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    I just wish people were a bit more frank about his weakness as a contact hitter. He's literally as bad as you can be at making contact with the baseball without having it so completely undermine the value you produce elsewhere so-as to keep you out of the major leagues. He just doesn't have major-league caliber hand-eye coordination. His power and speed generally offset it enough for his bat to play, but he walks that fine line where a bad BABIP year completely craters his offensive value.
    Was his LD% significantly higher in 2010?
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  12. #71
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Was his LD% significantly higher in 2010?
    Nope. Only 15.5% in 2010. It's 14.3% this year.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  13. #72
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Was his LD% significantly higher in 2010?
    No. But his ISO and BABIP were both 40 points higher and he put the ball in the air with more regularity (1.1 GB:FB vs. 1.5). It's hard to hit HRs on ground balls. And his infield hit rate was no different.
    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.

  14. #73
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    No. But his ISO and BABIP were both 40 points higher and he put the ball in the air with more regularity. It's hard to hit HRs on ground balls.
    Rick, that's kind of contradictory. BABIP is higher when you hit more grounders, at least typically.

    Grounders go for hits roughly 28% of the time. Fly balls are under 20%. His xBABIP is actually higher this year than it was in 2010.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  15. #74
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Rick, that's kind of contradictory. BABIP is higher when you hit more grounders.

    Grounders go for hits roughly 28% of the time. Fly balls are under 20%.
    Oh, I'm aware of that. And for Stubbs, with his speed, his hit rate on grounders should be even higher. But the numbers are what the numbers are.

    We know that hitters' GB:FB rate is relatively "stable" -- that is, not especially random. So the shift we see in his GB:FB rate is not likely a function of luck, but rather something about Stubbs' approach (and possibly the way he's being pitched). So we know he's hitting the ball on the ground more often, presumably on purpose. His plate discipline stats are nearly unchanged.

    But his BABIP is down 40 points. To your point, it begs the question: If Stubbs is putting the ball on the ground more often, why is his BABIP 40 points lower than 2010 -- without even accounting for the fact that his GB spike suggests it should be higher, if anything?

    The answer isn't complicated: It's some combination of him making lower quality contact and luck (hitting the ball at guys, victim of good defense, perhaps a defensive shift). It's not driven by a comparative lack of infield hits, which could be one theory.

    So, by my logic, we have to think one of two things (or a combination of the two). Either Stubbs is just getting really unlucky, hitting ground-balls that just aren't finding the holes they should OR when he's making contact, he's generally making lower quality contact (essentially not hitting the ball as hard).

    If it's the former, we should all just stop complaining and wait for the inevitable regression to the mean. When his BABIP comes back up to where it should be, he'll hit something like .260/.320/.400 and all will be right with the world.

    If it's the latter, then I would suggest the Reds let him go back to doing what he was doing in 2010 when he put the ball in the air more often. And if it's the latter, but more a function of how's he being pitched than his approach, then he's basically toast as an everyday player.
    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.

  16. #75
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    Re: Drew Stubbs: What if?

    From 2010 to 2012 -

    Stubbs' LD% went from 15.5 to 19.5 to 14.3.
    Stubbs GB% went from 44 to 47.2 to 51.4
    Stubbs FB% went from 40.5 to 33.2 to 34.4.
    Stubbs BB% went from 9.4 to 9.3 to 8.0.
    Stubbs K% went from 28.8 to 30.1 to 29.3.
    Stubbs BABIP went from .330 to .343 to .283.
    Stubbs OBP went from .329 to .321 to .280.
    Stubbs SLG went from .444 to .364 to .344.

    Without getting into a lengthy analysis, which I'm sure one could, here's my take on Stubbs: If you are going to strike out this much and make little contact, it's hard to compensate hitting mostly ground balls and not walking that much.

    When a guy is a low contact hitter, the easiest way to compensate is with long balls and extra base hits.

    If you look at the low contact hitters in Stubbs' range this year (Drew at 73.6% contact rate), many of them have succeeded with power. Jay Bruce is an example. Others are Chase Headley, Soriano, Corey Hart, Granderson. Uggla. Dunn. Reynolds. These guys are low contact hitters, some worse than Stubbs. They compensate with power.

    Stubbs, on the other hand, has low contact AND low power production. It's very hard to compensate for the lack of contact hitting grounders, particularly if you don't walk much.

    BABIP will help some, but not enough IMO. Low contact hitters just don't put enough balls in play to succeed because of BABIP, unless they hit the jackpot with amazing luck.

    Unless Stubbs learns more contact, doubtful, his best road to success is to try and get the SLG closer to the .444 of 2010 as opposed to the .344 of this year.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-19-2012 at 04:05 PM.


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