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Those swing thoughts make sense. I really appreciate your response.
As a hitting instructor I have a lot of youth ball players come to me that try and stride and swing at the same time because they feel it generates power. I think that is where the concept of "getting the front foot down early" comes from. Even in the 2014 version of Jose he does not start his path to the ball until his front foot is down.
I have to reevaluate myself and find a different way to communicate this swing concept so that I don't have kids swinging with nothing left in their lower body.
First division Mookie?
Which makes the Cabby extension even more head scratching.
As a hitting instructor I rejoined BP just for these articles. The one question I have is about "letting the ball get deep". How does this pertain to hitting outside pitches. If you try to contact that ball at the same point that you would contact an inside pitch you would be out on your front foot.
Thanks for taking the question.
Consistently crush it.
The Twins one.
Still a weekly favorite.
At the high school level we do not show our players their stats during the season to prevent this. The only statistical feedback we give them is Quality At Bats comprised of hard contact, walks, executed bunts, ect. While high school players are naturally quite a bit weaker mentally than an MLB player we have found it helpful to keep the focus process oriented instead to outcome based.
Thanks for the piece Ian.
Very good stuff.
What I am still trying to reconcile is how many in the zone balls the best catchers rack up. It seems to me that in order to win a large amount of pitches outside the zone you have to give something up inside the zone. It just strikes me as odd that the best catcher outside the zone would not also be the best catcher inside the zone.
Doug- You crushed it again. We made the decision to have all of our high school guys throw from the stretch at the JV level and have seen improvements. After reading this about MLB guys what was once a tough decision for us is now a no brainer.
Thanks for your work at BP.
If you have MLB.tv you can watch it in the "Classic" section. I did the other day and just fast forwarded the Cubs ABs. Saw a ton of new things that I forgot about.
Without being self righteous I find it really hard to watch football anymore knowing that all these players are turning into mush.
It was tough to resist the urge to scoop out my eye balls with my spoon while eating breakfast this morning. Great job with the article Colin. I enjoyed how you added an academic angle to the "debate".
I honestly give credit to Brian Kenny for not losing his mind even more than he does now. I don't think I could talk pitcher wins with HR and have any hair left.
This continues to be my favorite article of the week.
One thing that strikes me about Lucroy is how many pitches that he has "lost" inside the strike zone. Sure, he more than makes up for by by "winning" pitches outside the zone, but it seems counter intuitive that he would be the best receiver outside of the zone while being a seemingly average receiver inside the zone.
Sam, no one will ever say that you will lost a step or two.
Russell, I am pretty sure that this does not exist, but any way to find out if a high BABIP produces a higher BABIP? What I am trying to say is that could the effect of a couple "lucky" hits boost the confidence of a hitter leading to more frequent higher BABIP outcomes such as line drives.
I suspect that this is likely confirmation bias, or a placebo effect. The question just got me thinking. Thank you for your work!
Great work! Thank you.
It is interesting that we might be able to bake factors such as turf into xBABIP. My question then becomes would these seemingly small corrections in expectations just become awash in the randomness that we know is at least partially associated in DIPS.
Thanks! I appreciate it.
This article will be mandatory reading for all my high school catchers. Thanks Sam!
I watch a ton of Tigers games and as a lifelong catcher I have always had mixed feelings about AA's framing. I think he does a solid job (numbers would stay better than that) even if he does not look conventional when he does it. I think it is because of his narrow base with no one on and less than two strikes. I do a ton of catching instruction and I have much more success with my catchers when I get them to "sit down" a la Yadi and Co.
Ben- Does the data give a spot in the strike zone that the least amount of extra strikes are won? I personally always had the most trouble with the ball just below my left knee cap. I think this would happen because I would get caught between flipping the glove over or not. Thanks for this piece I absolutely can't wait to read it every week.
Outstanding series guys.
I feel like I owe it to Kevin to support the 'Stros.
Does a middle ground exist between saying no to contracts that players simply can't live up too (Pujols, Hamilton, ect.) and arguing for collusion? Honest question.
Will the track record of big money free agents backfiring time and time again drive the price down? It seems like MLB teams keep missing the nail and crushing their thumbs, but refuse to move their thumbs. You shouldn't have to pay a player for what he has done regardless of tradition.
Did Gwynns ability to hit to the opposite field have anything to do with his selection? Williams was a great hitter of course, but did his mostly pull swing influence his scouting grade at all?
Bravo. To my works like this are what takes BP from a "6" to a "7". In the right situation it can even play up.
Favorite thing on BP right now. Great work Doug.
I think that James is dead on regarding his point on happiness. If your surroundings are the main source of your happiness it is not something that is sustinable in most cases. Generally, true happiness has to be largely intrensic.
I think I might need to book my trip for next years convention!
It is hard enough to get US pitchers to travel across the state of Arizona let alone across the world. I would love if this happened, but I am not convinced that it would improve competiton. It is out of the box ideas like this that will lead to hitting on the ideas that will really improve the WBC. Thanks, Doug.
Thanks, Jason I love the insight.
Is the next frontier for MLB The Show to turn into Out Of The Park baseball with world class graphics? I may never leave my house if that becomes a reality.
I enjoyed this:
"We don’t hear about a person’s turning 100 and scoff that it should not be news because the ability to live a long life is so dependent on variables outside an individual’s control that it is not an accurate barometer of his or her survival skills. We might request that they provide us with more relevant data before hiring them as a nutritionist or personal trainer, but we would not hesitate to offer congratulations for, or perhaps even marvel at, their continued existence above the ground."
Best explanation of RBI I have ever heard. I must confess I do stop reading/listening to anything when I hear RBI. I guess that I need to accept them as part of the whole picture the same way "old-school" people need to accept WAR. I have found the more I learn about baseball analysis the more I learn about life.
More Buck and McCarver!!
Sam, more Sandlot analysis please! I have to assume Benny The Jet was at least a 15 win player in his prime.
I love that I can use this stuff with my high school guys. Thanks, Doug!
I really, really am trying to see a 90+ win Yankees team, but I just can't.
Isn't a diminished WBC infinitely better than no WBC for the growth of the game? That being said I completely understand the economic argument.
Porcello is 4/5 guy at best.
I second this!
I am a huge fan of the way that BP is always pushing forward making a great product even better.
Reading this it made me wonder if some organizations are better suited to high roster turn over. Great work because it really made me think even though I think it would be impossible to prove anything because of all the outside factors that are at play here.
I think $1.99 would price me out for a single game. If they were free though only two things would happen: 1. People would like baseball more (thus making MLB more money). 2. They would still make money from the ad revenue. More than the $0.00 they are making from me now.
Another option could be to offer a $1.99 a month subscription to the vault where you can watch unlimited amount of games. I would possibly even pay a little more a month for that right.
Being someone who knows nothing about internet media revenue what is stopping MLB from posting whole games from the past? I don't care if you show me an ad between every half inning I would watch the heck out of those.
Ben- Thank you for not making slide shows.
MLB- Thank you for letting more people enjoy your product while also generating more revenue.
Detroit. Detroit. Detroit.
It is something that even as a lifelong catcher through college that should matter, but it doesn't. I guess that the vantage point is just too different to offer an advantage from a visual standpoint. Where I think it would come in handy at the professional level is the approach. If you are able to "think like a catcher" behind the dish why couldn't you do it when you are at the plate? For me it falls into the easier said that done category.
If the Indians do underperform their py-thag it will because of the karma debt that Trevor Bauer racked up with his musical stylings.
Using (F)WAR it was about ~2 win difference between Kimbrel and the closer with the 20th most saves (Jansen). Take out Kimbrel, and it is even less than that between a top 5 guy and a bottom 10 guy. Just really hard for me to think that the division comes down to the Tigers closer. I think they win enough to get in, and once they are in SSS can do anything.
Agreed. I would take the under on the PECOTA projection.
What is the range of WAR(P) for a closer anyways? At the most it is a swing of 5 wins. If the Tigers are within 5 games of anyone in that division a lot of other things have went seriously wrong.
That is the thing about "closer mentality", you get to go back and assign it in hindsight. If he pitches well then being "excitable" helps him. If he pitches poorly then it was because he was too "excitable".
I would love to see the Tigs play the match ups at closer this year if Rondon can't find the zone. Closer mentality, blah. Three of the last four teams playing last season lost their closer, or even worse have their closer do what Papa Grande did.
I think back to the debate Kevin and Jason had on Up and In over what makes up a top system. One was in favor of a system that produced superstars vs. one that produced depth. I over simplified their arguements completely, but I still think it is important to take into account personal philosophies in regards to org rankings.
Baseball is cool.
It will be interesting to see what they do if they ever get a first round draft pick again.
As a Tigers fan, I hope so!
I am using this information in private catching instruction and coaching that I do. As a former catcher I am biased, but this is my favorite article that I have ever read on BP.
Reason # 1,429 why I choose to pay for BP over SI. As someone who knows relatively little about advanced statistical methods (normally I just enjoy the results of your hard work) I find it interesting to see the running dialogue of research that takes place.
Quickly becoming my favorite feature of BP. I love the mix of the stills along with the GIFs because it allows me to finally see the specific flaw/strong point in the live action shot.
I should clarify my point. I mean irrelevant to me in the way that I choose to get my baseball news. I would vote with my dollar, page clicks, ect. to non BBWAA members. Again, this would just be my decision.
Personally, I love the growing salaries in baseball. I live just outside an MLB city on the same street with a couple prominent players. The houses that they have built has raised the profile, and property value of my house. It is also nice having them around to spend the millions of dollars they are now getting paid in my neighborhood. That money makes it down to stake house waiters, car salesmen, and sprinkler companies. I thought I would offer a different perspective to the astronomical salaries.
The 2012 AL MVP vote makes it nearly impossible to take much of anything that the BBWAA says/does seriously. Hopefully Susan can change some of that before the group becomes irrelevant to the thinking baseball fan.
If you believe steroids do what writers think they do (I don't) shouldn't Clemens get a lot more credit for what he did even if he might have used?
Also, does the fact that pitchers and hitters used cancel it out?
Sorry to bring up 'roids in the comment section of such an outstanding article. I look forward to more in the future from this series.
A tip of the cap in your direction Mr. Wyers.
I loved this idea Doug. Have you ever thought about taking a journey into the way-way back machine and look at some guys from the 30's or earlier. I know that footage would be an issue, but it would be really cool.
Next season is going to be a blast to watch as a fan. With so many teams really going for it, it will be something to watch all season. Only one team can end up with a ring at the end of the year. I think it is especially fun that the teams making the moves aren't the Sox and Yanks.
That Wade Boggs list just killed me.DP is pretty special.
Posted this on the wrong article. I am in fact an idiot.
Did Bauer's makeup problems stem from his "wanting to do things his own way" attitude? Seems like he always worked his tail off even if it was in different ways.
"In doing so, they’ve turned themselves into middle-aged Holden Caulfields trying to stop children from losing their innocence by pointing out all the phonies. “Things were better back then” doesn’t mean that things were better back in the ’60s, but rather that things were better when they were kids. It’s not a valid historical viewpoint."
Extremely insightful. Loved the article.
For the simple fact that knowledge in lifting and better nutrition came around the exact same time as steroids we will never know what real impact 'roids had. Not to mention smaller parks and baseballs that jumped off the also improved bats.For that reason alone you have to let them in. If you look at baseball history almost all great records required something outside of the players pure ability to set it.
Tough to see people paying actual American dollars to watch that baseball team.
Doug, this is great work. I came for Jason Parks, but I am staying for the pitching analysis. Still love Parks though.
It really did makes these lists that much more fun.
This makes me happy.
BBWAA is brutal on all accounts. It is easy to just say that the awards and Hall don't matter, but as a baseball fan they do. I think the BBWAA does a huge disservice to baseball by the way it votes.
How depressing would/will the back end of Fielders/ Hamilton's contract be?
A lot of "non-stats" people that I have talked too miss the point of WAR in many ones. A major one that I think this article speaks to is the "Chicken or the egg" part of the debate. Mike Trout wasn't the most valuable because he had the highest WAR. He had the highest WAR because he was the most valuable (read: best) player.
A tip of the cap in your direction Mr. Lindbergh. Good find.
Pleasure to read.
One would think that the increased velo across the board as well as batter selectiveness on the rise would be making it easier for catchers to make a quick throw to second.
I love BP.
Great article. It seems that I have to split my baseball conversations into "BP people" and "non- BP people". Here is to hoping that someday I won't have to draw that line!
Interesting look at the "crunch time" argument. Thanks.
Most Tiger fans do appreciate what they he did down the stretch. However, games still all count for one no matter how big they "feel".
Jason, you just crush it time and time again.
Shhh, don't tell this to the announcers.
As a Tigers fan, no.
"The way a player should think to get optimal results on the field isn't necessarily how a GM should think."
As I coach and fan I really hate RBIs, but you make an outstanding point. I would never tell a player that. It makes sense that people value Cabrera higher because their experience comes from playing. That being said Trout brings more value.
This article and the intelligent comments that followed are the reason I enjoy BP so much.
Any precedent for an MLB team taking away a plus-plus pitch from a pitcher at the highest level?
Fairly new BP reader,so forgive me if this question is laughable. Is any work being done with RBI efficiency? It seems to me that RBI / RISP chances would at the start be a lot better than RBI as a counting number. This could be improved further by adding the weighted outcomes of all the different out and baserunner opportunities that exist. This would factor out a lot of the reasons that make RBI (almost) worthless. However, you still have the variables of baserunner skill and speed just to mention a couple. I am sure something is wrong with my line of think, but it just struck me as interesting.
I really enjoyed this article. If anything I think the O's performance this year is the exception that proves the rule.
Even if he shaves it off I feel like Mr. Hernandez will always have an implied mustache.
Very, very cool article.
Thank you for your work.
This is an outstanding piece. Great work.
Really enjoyed this piece.
I think it makes the WBC more relevant.