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  #51  
Old 04-17-2019, 11:24 AM
Boozahol Squid, P.I. is offline
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Originally Posted by Munch View Post
Joe has a variable range from .330 to .370 - that's significant, and doesn't suggest that he doesn't care who's pitching. I think it's fair to assume he hits closer to .370 against the shitty pitchers, and .330 against the better ones. (Or more likely, probably .400 against the shitty ones, and .280 against the better ones.)
I don't see the problem here. Let's say your splits are right, I'll still take .280 from my 2B against the best pitching in MLB. The best hitting second baseman in the playoffs last year was Travis Shaw, who only hit .260.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:36 AM
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Joe has a variable range from .330 to .370 - that's significant, and doesn't suggest that he doesn't care who's pitching.
The OP stated that Joe would bat between .330 to .370 over the course of every season. That is an incredibly, inhumanly tight band of batting average. I doubt any regular position player in the history of baseball has been that consistent in batting average over a 12-year span.

That doesn't mean he can't have a wide spread depending on the situation, but it would certainly be odd for a switch hitter who always hit about .350 to be unusually situationally dependent.
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  #53  
Old 04-17-2019, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Boozahol Squid, P.I. View Post
I don't see the problem here. Let's say your splits are right, I'll still take .280 from my 2B against the best pitching in MLB. The best hitting second baseman in the playoffs last year was Travis Shaw, who only hit .260.
Yes - I would too. I was just suggesting that the opposing team isn’t going to throw their worst pitcher against his lineup just because he isn’t significantly better against them.

Last edited by Munch; 04-17-2019 at 05:38 PM.
  #54  
Old 04-17-2019, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
The OP stated that Joe would bat between .330 to .370 over the course of every season. That is an incredibly, inhumanly tight band of batting average. I doubt any regular position player in the history of baseball has been that consistent in batting average over a 12-year span.

That doesn't mean he can't have a wide spread depending on the situation, but it would certainly be odd for a switch hitter who always hit about .350 to be unusually situationally dependent.
Excepting Ty Cobb, the closest I can find is Ted Williams from 1946-1958. But even Williams broke his arm, which put him off his game for two seasons; lost most of two others to military service; and broke his collarbone in another.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:24 PM
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Excepting Ty Cobb, the closest I can find is Ted Williams from 1946-1958. But even Williams broke his arm, which put him off his game for two seasons; lost most of two others to military service; and broke his collarbone in another.
I was thinking about Charlie Gehringer (second baseman for the Tigers in the 1920s and 1930s, and Hall of Famer). Gehringer's nickname was "The Mechanical Man," due to his consistency, of which a teammate once said, "You wind him up Opening Day and forget him."

Looking at his stats, while he was consistently a very good hitter, even he didn't have the tight BA range that "Joe" would have over that long of a time period. That said, he was still pretty darned consistent: from 1927 through 1940, he only had one season (1932) in which he didn't hit at least .306, and in nine of those thirteen seasons, he hit between .320 and .371.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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Wade Boggs - 9 of his first 10 years hit between .325 - .368. But Boggs actually walked a lot, so he's not a great comp for Joe. I still think Tony Gwynn is the best comp. High BA, not a ton of walks, very few Ks, almost no home runs.
  #57  
Old 04-18-2019, 03:21 PM
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Wade Boggs - 9 of his first 10 years hit between .325 - .368. But Boggs actually walked a lot, so he's not a great comp for Joe. I still think Tony Gwynn is the best comp. High BA, not a ton of walks, very few Ks, almost no home runs.
I agree that he's probably about the best fit we'll find. However (and it may be a matter of semantics), I'd disagree with "almost no home runs." Gwynn hit 135 career HRs, and hit double-digit homers in four seasons. He wasn't Babe Ruth, but he wasn't Ozzie Smith, either.

And, while he didn't walk a ton, he still added 50 points to his OBP via walks (career BA .338, career OBP .388).
  #58  
Old 04-18-2019, 09:56 PM
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Like I said, lead off with a fast guy, hit Joe second, and put you basic lefty-righty power duo behind him, and I'll be in the playoffs for 10 straight years.
I don't know about this.

Depending on who else you have, I might be tempted to put Joe in the #4 or #5 slot. He's a guy you can count on to drive the runners home with a steady frequency. Place some top OBP guys with a bit of speed in the #1 and 2 slots and your big power at #3 and let Joe hit singles to the outfield and doubles down the line to drive them in at least once or twice in each game. Remember, if he averages .350 that means he's hitting something on average once or twice per game. At a minimum he's coming up about 4 times per game and with luck someone will be on. If that someone's on second that's a run. If Joe hits a double that's a run. It's not the worst outcome.

I just ran ten simulations using OOTP and put Joe in a lineup at #4 with replacement level players - so they're not that good - against average pitching (using a 2018 stat set) and the team scored a lot of runs. Enough to be more than competitive.

The average run set was 4.46 runs per game. That's right around where the Angels were in 2018 and they sat at #15 in the league. But put him with a decent, non-replacement lineup and it should - I haven't done the sim - launch Joe into the top five in terms of runs-per-game. The #5 team last year was the Astros at 4.94 runs-per-game. That's a swing of 0.48 RPG. Good teammates can make that up.

So Houston scored 797 runs that year. I'd take that 10 years out of 10 if I could get it.

I haven't run a sim of 8 or 9 Joes and I'm not going to as it's late. But I wouldn't be surprised if they came out at 900-1000 runs per season. So that would be 5.55 - 6.17 RPG. You'd win a lot of games that way.

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 04-18-2019 at 09:58 PM.
  #59  
Old 04-19-2019, 11:43 AM
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I don't know about this.

Depending on who else you have, I might be tempted to put Joe in the #4 or #5 slot. He's a guy you can count on to drive the runners home with a steady frequency. Place some top OBP guys with a bit of speed in the #1 and 2 slots and your big power at #3 and let Joe hit singles to the outfield and doubles down the line to drive them in at least once or twice in each game. Remember, if he averages .350 that means he's hitting something on average once or twice per game. At a minimum he's coming up about 4 times per game and with luck someone will be on. If that someone's on second that's a run. If Joe hits a double that's a run. It's not the worst outcome.
If our hypothetical lineup only has one fearsome power hitter, it might make sense to bat Joe fourth, to protect the slugger from being pitched around. But my hypothetical lineup has two power hitters (preferably one who bats left, the other batting right.) That's a fearsome set of weapons in the top half of the lineup.

With a BA of .330-.370 and never striking out, Joe will help anywhere you put him in the lineup. But if you bat him second, he's more likely to come up five times per game. Plus, no pitcher will ever walk Joe intentionally when he's in the 2 spot, because that would mean they'd have to pitch to the 3 and 4 hitters. And while Joe has only average speed, batting him behind a fast runner at least reduces the chance of a 3-6-3 double play if Joe fails to punch the ball through the right side on a failed hit and run.
  #60  
Old 04-19-2019, 12:27 PM
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And while Joe has only average speed
Actually, Joe is almost undoubtedly an above-average runner, based on the information in the OP:

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He can run, too; on a typical team he'll steal maybe 40 bases against 50 attempts on a yearly basis.
That's a 80% success rate, and is pretty darned good. Whit Merrifield's name comes up again, as he led MLB in stolen bases last year with 45, in 55 attempts (82%). So, given the current use of the stolen base in MLB, Joe would be among the best base thieves in the game.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-19-2019 at 12:30 PM.
  #61  
Old 04-19-2019, 12:30 PM
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Actually, Joe is almost undoubtedly an above-average runner, based on the information in the OP:
Even more of a reason to bat him higher in the lineup.
  #62  
Old 04-19-2019, 01:04 PM
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People always say that, but I'm not at all sure it's true.

Yes, speed has its uses - and it's hard to teach - but less than one might think.

I've usually favored LaRussa's argument that one needs to put good hitters and baserunners through the lineup to maintain pressure on the opposing pitcher and defense. Focusing on placing top hitters and speedsters at the top of the lineup may get a marginal advantage but there may also be a marginal disadvantage for a team should the drop off in hitting talent be significant after the #4 spot in the lineup. The opponents need to bear down and then can let up and cruise for an inning wherein the thread is significantly lessened.

Or here's an analogy. Which would you rather have? A player who hits .400 before the all star break and .200 after or a play who hits .300 the entire season? Both are .300 hitters but the consistent one contributes more to winning games over the long haul than the non-consistent one.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:24 AM
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People always say that, but I'm not at all sure it's true.

Yes, speed has its uses - and it's hard to teach - but less than one might think.

I've usually favored LaRussa's argument that one needs to put good hitters and baserunners through the lineup to maintain pressure on the opposing pitcher and defense. Focusing on placing top hitters and speedsters at the top of the lineup may get a marginal advantage but there may also be a marginal disadvantage for a team should the drop off in hitting talent be significant after the #4 spot in the lineup. The opponents need to bear down and then can let up and cruise for an inning wherein the thread is significantly lessened.

Or here's an analogy. Which would you rather have? A player who hits .400 before the all star break and .200 after or a play who hits .300 the entire season? Both are .300 hitters but the consistent one contributes more to winning games over the long haul than the non-consistent one.
Neat discussion in this thread. I've learned a lot.

I agree with your first point about speed. Has it been shown how many extra runs a significant stolen base threat adds by his stealing? Moreover, with SB attempts as low as they are, even with Outcome Joe, I'm not sure his basestealling makes that much of a difference. 'That much of a difference' being defined as his difference in RAR or WAR, whether he steals 10 bases a season at 80 percent, or 40. Did it even significantly increase WAR/RAR for someone like Rickey Henderson?

As to LaRussa's theory, I'm curious whether there's evidence to support it. I like the idea of second-order effects like a pitcher fatiguing faster because he can't mentally take an inning off anymore, but I don't know if it significantly exists. Even if it does, I don't like the idea of degrading the heart of a lineup, as I think that really lowers the chance of a multi run inning, and lowers the chances of it more than they'd be raised by facing a more fatigued pitcher.

If we believe Marilyn vos Savant's statement (and she probably got it from James, but she's where I read it first.), that 'in most cases, the winning baseball team scores more runs in one inning than the other team does all game,' then a rational team should do everything it can to ensure that big inning.

For you final example, I'd rather have the hot/cold player. I can always replace him during his cold streak. As the Astros eventually did with, e.g., Evan Gattis https://www.baseball-reference.com/p...&year=2018&t=b

Where his May 2018 was: .281/.342/.609, with 6 HR, yet his final numbers were: .226/.284/.452. And he helped them win quite a few games in May and June, yet played all of 34 games after July 31.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:04 AM
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Neat discussion in this thread. I've learned a lot.

I agree with your first point about speed. Has it been shown how many extra runs a significant stolen base threat adds by his stealing?
Not much. Roughly speaking you add one run for every five steals and subtract a run for every two caught stealing. That's VERY rough but close enough, and obviously the situation matters a lot. Joe is adding maybe 5-6 runs a year with basestealing.

That said, a fast runner adds additional runs with good baserunning, assuming they're not stupid. Joe's speed, overall, could be worth ten runs or so. That's a fair amount, worth about one full win a year.

Where Joe should hit in the lineup depends who his teammates are, of course. He might be the best leadoff hitter his team has. If his team has Rickey Henderson, he should probably bat second, but maybe his team also has Tim Raines and he should bat fifth.
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