CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Vote in the Internet Baseball Awards for a chance at a free copy of Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Voting ends in 16 days and 18 hours

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (06/26)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The... (06/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: A P... (07/01)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Painting the Black: Tr... (06/26)

June 26, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Patience is a Virtue

by Jason Collette

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Episode 230 of the Effectively Wild podcast featured an interesting discussion on strikeouts and walks this season. Strikeouts are up this season for a fifth consecutive year while walks continue to fall. Heading into play on Monday, there were 56 pitchers who had strikeout-to-walk ratios of at least 4.0 with a minimum of 25 innings pitched. That is seven more than in 2012, which shattered the previous record of 33 that was set in both 2010 and 2011.

Walks are a bit harder to come by these days, but for some hitters, getting that first walk solves some ills they are having at the plate. The best example of that would be Josh Donaldson. In 2012, Donaldson was twice optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento by Oakland in the first half of that season. In his final game before his second option, Donaldson walked. It was the first time he had walked in 2012 and he went to the minors with a .153/.160/.235 slash line in 100 plate appearances.

He was recalled in August, and since that date has gone on to hit .299/.366/.488 in 516 plate appearances with a nine percent walk rate, thus spawning my latest bit of statistical fun. Never underestimate the power of that first walk.

This season, Jeff Keppinger fell into that role, as he began the season with 135 walk-less at-bats. That number actually goes to 145 if you include his final 10 plate appearances from the 2012 season, and he hit .182/.191/.203 before drawing a bases-loaded walk on May 16 against Michael Kohn to break the streak. Keppinger has hit .305/.345/.354 since earning that first walk and now has a six percent walk rate and an eight percent strikeout rate—all numbers that are right in line with his recent seasons.

YEAR

BA

OBP

SLG

K%

BB%

BABIP

2010

.288

.351

.393

6%

9%

.298

2011

.277

.300

.377

6%

3%

.280

2012

.325

.367

.439

7%

6%

.332

2013

.232

.250

.264

10%

3%

.251

The overall numbers in 2013 are still very unattractive for Keppinger, but the numbers over the past month offer some upside for those willing to acquire him at a discount and looking for help in batting average. There was some hope that Keppinger could hit for a little more pop moving from Tropicana Field to U.S. Cellular Field, but he simply has not been able to drive the ball too far this season with few of his batted balls reaching the fences.

While on the topic of patience, Wil Myers owners were finally rewarded for exercising extreme patience with his promotion on June 17. While it felt like Myers had been in Triple-A for 2,500 plate appearances, the reality was that he has just 728 career plate appearances at the level. That would give him fewer career plate appearances there than the likes of Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Yonder Alonzo, Josh Reddick, Neil Walker, and his teammate Desmond Jennings.

This was always the plan with Myers, as the Rays, while adhering to future budgets with one eye, watch the skills of the player with the other one. Once they call up these types of hitters, they stay up. Since Matt Joyce and Jennings were promoted to the big-league level, they have remained up, and the same will happen with Myers. If a player spends too much time in Triple-A, it is not always due to budgetary concerns. The Baseball Prospectus Stats team pulled a report showing all of the prospects making a top 100 list from 2007 to 2013 and their career Triple-A plate appearance totals. Here are players with 500 or fewer plate appearances in Triple-A who have yet to achieve a career WARP of at least 10.0 in the majors:

In each of those cases, we can still hear echoes of the “Free ______” campaigns waged on social media in hopes MLB general managers were reading them. Conversely, each of those players has struggled for lengthy periods of their playing career while some, such as Gomez, are just now reaching their potential while others continue to work on finding it.

Patience pays off for real-life players pressing for results as well as fantasy owners pressing for player promotions to happen on their mystical schedule rather than the team’s. Or, as Margaret Thatcher once said, we “are extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.”

Jason Collette is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

Related Content:  MLB,  Fantasy,  Jeff Keppinger,  Josh Donaldson

5 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (06/26)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The... (06/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: A P... (07/01)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Painting the Black: Tr... (06/26)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Previe...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Josh D...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: The '80' Pitches In This Yea...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Playing a Hinch
The Lineup Card: Awards We Wish We Could Giv...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Recap
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL Wild Card Game Previe...

MORE FROM JUNE 26, 2013
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, June ...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Meet the Detroit Tige...
The Lineup Card: 10 Hollywood Endings for Ma...
Premium Article Painting the Black: Trade Deadline Closeup: ...
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: June 26, 2...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, June 26
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: The 2014 First Round: A Look ...

MORE BY JASON COLLETTE
2013-07-10 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 51 is (Finally) ...
2013-07-02 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Not Dunn Yet
2013-06-28 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 50 is Live!
2013-06-26 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Patience is a Virtue
2013-06-20 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 49 is Live
2013-06-19 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Time for a Change
2013-06-13 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 48: Identity Thi...
More...

MORE FANTASY FREESTYLE
2013-07-09 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Trade Vetoes
2013-07-02 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Not Dunn Yet
2013-07-01 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: A Primer on Player Valuat...
2013-06-26 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Patience is a Virtue
2013-06-24 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The Biggest Losers (So Fa...
2013-06-19 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Time for a Change
2013-06-17 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Data: Where the B...
More...