Outfield Dilemma …

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  • #122899
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    People get so caught up in the “unknown”…I’m sure Washington had some worries about losing Harper and depending on often injured Eaton, rookie Robles and Soto in the OF in last year. I’m confident that the outfield will be fine. Carlson, O’Neill were or are top 50 prospects with plenty of skill and runway, Bader is elite at least with the glove, Thomas is a solid guy and Fowler has shown enough to be a member of the outfield rotation. If they falter, there’s Edman who looked solid out there last year. It’s the lack of a star that makes us feel like the OF is faltering.

    #122901
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    25 – My problem with the OF is that it has only Fowler for veteran presence. He’s been far less than average. And Bader and O’Neill
    had K rates of 29% and 35% last year. I wish I shared your enthusiasm for those two players. I’m putting hopes on Thomas,
    Dean, Williams, and Carlson.

    #122903
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    K’s are just one way of making an out, and I find it hard to look at K% without acknowledging BB%. For instance Bader had the same BB/K ratio as Yadi last season. O’Neill had one of the worst BB/K. All these K and BB numbers eventually wind up in OBP. DeJong .318, Bader .314, Molina .312, O’Neill .311 last season.

    So while O’Neill and Bader are struggling chasing sliders away, w/a high K%, they did have an OBP comparable with other regulars. You mention Dean, who has similar career PA’s as O’Neill. Dean does have a much lesser K%, than O’Neill, but their OBP’s are significantly different, O’Neill .307, Dean .268, so sometimes just K% doesn’t tell the whole story.

    #122905
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    25 – My problem with the OF is that it has only Fowler for veteran presence. He’s been far less than average. And Bader and O’Neill
    had K rates of 29% and 35% last year. I wish I shared your enthusiasm for those two players. I’m putting hopes on Thomas,
    Dean, Williams, and Carlson.

    Veterans are only useful if they’re still decent players. While the Ks are a concern, it should be noted that O’Neill’s K% did improve some as he got regular playing time. It still wasn’t great, but you can accept some strikeouts if he’s producing the kind of power he does. I’d still caution against using a small MLB sample size to make too many judgments. Based on all his numbers, he looks like a plus defender who will hit .260 with an OK walk rate (7-8%), a 25-28% K rate and 30+ HRs. That’s basically Ozuna with a few more Ks and better defense.

    As for Bader, the glove plays but he has to hit better, to be sure. If he’s slightly below average hitting, he’s a very good starter in CF. I think last year got away from him and that’s what he’ll be this year.

    I don’t think Dean or Williams will amount to anything at the MLB level besides filler, Thomas will be a good backup and Carlson will be an occasional All Star type guy (OF version of Carpenter, perhaps).

    #122908
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    K’s are unproductive outs. They put no pressure on the defense and they don’t move runners over.

    #122910
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    Bader’s main problem is the low and away (read- outside) slider. He just can’t resist it. He went to Memphis for a spell and managed to get his resistance to that pitch……for a while but by the end of the season he was once again biting on that low and away slider. Time to get back on the horse Harry’s Son.

    #122911
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    When you put the ball in play, anything can happen – it’s a slow roller you beat out, it finds a hole through the infield, takes a bad hop, the infielder makes a fielding or throwing error, etc.
    And as gscottar said, it can move runners over, which won’t show up on the scorecard. Like moving the runner over from second to third by hitting a grounder to the right side. Or a runner advancing a base on a fly ball.

    #122913
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    mm –

    It’s not only the low and away slider. It’s also the letter high 4 seam with upward movement that Bader and O’Neill can’t lay off of. They try to jack it, but they miss because of their launch angle.

    #122917
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    K’s are unproductive outs. They put no pressure on the defense and they don’t move runners over.

    I agree, but overmatched hitters can look like all sorts of things. Some of them hit weak grounders right into the teeth of the defense for double plays, which are even less productive.

    The bottom line is that O’Neill and Bader have to improve their plate discipline, which no one disputes. The disagreement comes from the thought that they can’t or won’t improve. I think both will.

    #122918
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    mm –

    It’s not only the low and away slider. It’s also the letter high 4 seam with upward movement that Bader and O’Neill can’t lay off of. They try to jack it, but they miss because of their launch angle.

    There’s no such thing as a fastball with upward movement.

    That said, most of the league struggles with the high heat, so that’s not new. O’Neill and Bader seem to miss on the low sliders more than most. There’s still hope.

    #122920
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Advancing runners, sac flies, etc., all positive outcomes of putting the ball in play, when considering the 24 base out states. A pitchers best friend is also a ball in play.

    So how were Bader and O’Neill last season per RE24? Bader + 0.5, O’Neill -1.1; and the players with lesser production w/runners on? Carpenter -2.6, Munoz -3.8, Molina -4.6, Wieters -5.4, DeJong -8.6

    We all hate K’s from our lineup but Bader and O’Neill were far from our least productive batters.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl.
    #122922
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    There’s no such thing as a fastball with upward movement.

    Ahhs, so we’re talking Newton’s 3rd law of motion. There is a real upward force. It’s relative due to the Magnus effect, moreso with fastballs having heavy rotation (backspin). This causes the ball to drop more slowly than the human eye anticipates. The illusion is a riser, and makes it hard to catch up to, which yields the relative effect of upward movement.

    #122924
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    Ah, those pesky laws of physics.

    #122926
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    Why can fastballs “sail” on you?

    #122927
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    Major league career strike out percentages –

    O’Neill – 38%
    Bader – 29%
    DeJong – 25%
    Goldy – 23%
    Fowler – 22%
    Carp – 20%
    Wong – 15%
    Yadi – 10%

    #122930
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    Why can fastballs “sail” on you?

    It’s the Magnus effect that I referred to earlier — named for Heinrich Magnus, not Magneuris Sierra. When a ball is thrown with rotation to the right or left, it bends right or left. When a ball rotates with heavy topspin, it breaks down like a Waino 12-6 Uncle Charlie. Balls rotating left, right, or with topspin aren’t fighting gravity.

    With a fastball, there is underspin, which creates an upward force. There have been experiments on this, but humans can’t throw with enough underspin rotation to overcome gravity and make the ball actually rise with respect to the horizontal plane. However, a fastball that rotates heavily will “rise” relative to a fastball with average or low rotation — in other words, it drops more slowly. It is a sort of illusion that it rises, but it is a real factor and definitely leads to swings and misses. Similarly, the ball can appear to accelerate, or speed up, right before it pops the mitt — but it doesn’t really do that either.

    This is why rotational speed is a big deal in analyzing pitchers. It is a different factor that point-to-point velocity and adds another dimension as to why some pitchers are more difficult to hit.

    #122932
    RatsbuddyRatsbuddy
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    Strikeout percentages from some current and past greats:

    Babe Ruth – 16%
    Albert Pujols – 12%
    Hank Aaron – 11%
    Ken Griffey Jr. – 18%
    Mike Trout – 26%
    Nelson Cruz – 25%
    Christian Yelich – 23%
    Joey Votto – 22% (this one surprised me)
    Nolan Arenado – 17%

    O’Neill, Bader, and DeJong strikeout too much – period!
    Goldberg, Fowler, and Carpenter are almost at that point too.
    Wong and Yadi are certainly tolerable.

    As I’ve said before, its swinging like a maniac with two strikes that is a HUGE problem. Just put the ball in play, maybe something good will happen.

    r/Esteemed Rat

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by RatsbuddyRatsbuddy.
    #122939
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    Totally agree, Rats. The name of the game now is the long ball. Drives me nuts to see a guy with 2 strikes down on the nub of the bat
    hoping the pitcher will make a mistake and grove one. Or in the same circumstance, to look at a third strike because it’s not in his sweet zone.

    #122941
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    I can’t oppose people citing Bader’s K% and ability to catch on as concerning; however, O’Neill deserves a chance as a regular. He has so a high proportion of pinch hit appearances, irregular playing time whenever he comes up, and he has far fewer ABs than Bader. I think that distorts his K% in the MLB to date. He might not straighten that out, but as a former top 50 prospect, I think we should give him the chance to play regularly for a little while

    #122943
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    I agree with your sentiment GA but part of O’Neill’s problem has been lack of health. He can’t get consistent playing time if he is constantly on the IL. You would think that someone who is so obsessive about physical fitness wouldn’t be hurt so much but it seems to happen to him.

    #122944
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    Pitchers are so good today that Ruth, Gehrig, Musial, Mays, etc would all strike out around 20% of the time, if not higher.

    #122945
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    25 – Spahn, Koufax, Marichal, Drysdale, etc. we’re pretty good.

    #122946
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Trouts career K% is 21.2%
    Dude needs to choke up!

    #122950
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    …and if the elite hitters now were batting against the elite pitchers of long ago, they would hit 100 home runs ….. and if pigs had wings, they could fly.

    #122953
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    25 – Spahn, Koufax, Marichal, Drysdale, etc. we’re pretty good.

    Talent for talent, they were good. But it’s just a fact that there are hundreds…maybe even thousands of pitchers with better stuff than all but a very few pitchers in that era. I’m just saying that comparing K rates in the olden days is not a good comparison unless you also want to adjust for the quality of pitching.

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