PDA

View Full Version : The Revere Experiment: Range vs Arm



John Bonnes
07-05-2012, 08:22 AM
One of the things Aaron and I talked about on the podcast last winter was how Twins fans were going to be treated to an experiment of sorts in the outfield this season. Ben Revere has outstanding range but a pretty awful arm - the two extremes. The Twins kicked the experiment up a notch by putting him in right field, where range counts for less and the arm for more.

So I've been watching - how many times to I lament Revere's arm vs praise Revere's range?

So far, it's absolutely no contest. I'll take the range every time. There have been times that I've grimaced over the occasional extra base, but they don't compare in quantity or in impact to how many times I think Revere's range has saved extra-base hits.

But I kind of expected to see that, so I may be biased. I'd like to hear other's opinions, especially because there have been some very vocal critics of Revere's arm on these boards in the past. Am I off base?

Riverbrian
07-05-2012, 08:42 AM
My question is... how many times did you indeed see the extra base taken?

Way too much is made out of Bens arm and there were times when it was embellished to the point of silliness. I still think he should be playing left but the arm issue is such a minor thing.

OF range every day and twice on Sunday.

eagle
07-05-2012, 08:50 AM
Having a cannon in the outfield is highly overrated, especially those players who have limited range. With Revere, he gets to balls most guys don't, cuts off probable extra base hit opportunities and has really good footwork that allows him to get rid of the ball quickly. I'd take a decent arm with great accuracy over a cannon with mediocre accuracy anyday. How many times during a game do outfielders get a chance to throw a guy out? Maybe every other game?!?

minn55441
07-05-2012, 08:57 AM
John, I think you hit the nail on the head. Range has had a much bigger impact than "the arm". There are no adjustments that came be made to account for range, yet as we have seen many times, the cutoff man has gone way out to help with Ben's arm. There really haven't been too many times that I feel Ben's arm have definitely cost us a base.

Span and Ben in the outfield everyday, has really helped our pitching. They really need the help.

gunnarthor
07-05-2012, 09:29 AM
Yeah, his range is astonishing. And Dozier and Casilla (especially) both have pretty strong arms for MI that help negate a bit of his arm, too.

spideyo
07-05-2012, 09:40 AM
As long as he can hit the cutoff guy and doesn't just airmail a rainbow to home plate, I'm not worried at all about his arm. There have been quite a few balls that he caught that would have been doubles or triples easily had he missed them (and most likely would've been missed by Doumit/Plouffe/Parmelee/Mauer/Komatsu/Thomas/Mastroianni)

mikeee
07-05-2012, 09:46 AM
I've kind of thought the range would make up for the throwing arm.
Hard to complain when someone is hitting .322 or so as well!!

jorgenswest
07-05-2012, 09:54 AM
Revere's career in the majors will be determined by his bat. His glove is a plus anywhere in the outfield. Hopefully he increases his walk rate as he develops.

Riverbrian
07-05-2012, 09:56 AM
I've kind of thought the range would make up for the throwing arm.
Hard to complain when someone is hitting .322 or so as well!!

With the exception of Tags. The reality is that players will take the extra base on an OF like Doumit... More often than Revere. . The reason... Revere gets to the ball faster and in better positin to make a throw with His speed and range. That is what runners use to decide if they are going or not. Where is the OF and where is the ball.

I haven't seen an example of a base gained because of Bens arm this year. There will be some to come (not many) but I haven't seen it yet.

snepp
07-05-2012, 10:03 AM
I haven't seen an example of a base gained because of Bens arm this year. There will be some to come (not many) but I haven't seen it yet.

And you chastise others for exaggeration?

Riverbrian
07-05-2012, 10:05 AM
And you chastise others for exaggeration?

I don't see the exaggeration.

stringer bell
07-05-2012, 10:05 AM
It is outs vs bases. Outs are usually much more important than bases. Once in awhile the extra base really matters, but most of the time the difference is negligiible. The flip side of this is stolen bases--taking an extra base while sometimes giving an out. Most think that base stealers need to be successful at least 70-75% of the time to take that extra base. It would figure that if Revere yields an extra base occasionally while getting several more outs that he is a defensive asset.

drivlikejehu
07-05-2012, 10:09 AM
His arm is an issue but even in RF, it's probably outweighed 6 or 7 times over by his range. A Span trade wouldn't surprise me as a way to open up center for Revere, where he could have the most impact.

Fire Dan Gladden
07-05-2012, 10:11 AM
I think the range vs arm factor is not a simple discussion. When the Twins ran Gomez and Span in CF/LF, having Cuddyers cannon in right was probably more of a benefit than having Revere in that same situation.

My other question is how you can quantify this? UZR doesn't take into account reputation. Runners were less apt to run on Cuddyer due to his rep with the strong arm. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought you needed quite a bit of time for defensive metrics to be truely accurate (like 1-2 full seasons). Christening the revere experiment a success or failure at this point would be premature.

That being said, I like love our outfield as it is constructed, with one caveat: Span is an above average CF, but he was a Gold Glove LF. I believe the gains would be better if you put Revere in CF and moved Span to RF.

jimbo92107
07-05-2012, 10:22 AM
Another factor to go with having a strong arm is accuracy. Michael Cuddyer's reputation for gunning down runners had as much to do with throwing strikes to second base from deep right field as did the velocity when the ball left his hand. Sadly, Ben Revere's arm is not only relatively weak, but it's also not very accurate. He may never be a threat to throw out a runner rounding first unless he's running in for a ball. Even then you'll have fast runners testing him, because Revere's arm just isn't very accurate, either.

That said, I agree with most of the guys that observed how much more important it is to have great range and a good glove than a strong arm. Guys don't go to second if their fly ball gets caught, and we have seen how Revere's range has saved the butts of Twins pitchers in the past. Last year Scott Baker should have sent half his paycheck to Ben Revere... ;-)

Mauerzy4Prez
07-05-2012, 10:22 AM
I have said all along on multiple different threads here that Revere is a premier player to come, and his speed and instincts in the outfield significantly make up for his lack of arm strength. Anybody that understands how baseball is played and really gets the outfield position, should know that good reads/good angles to the ball/accurate cut off throws/great speed/relentless effort without care for ones body, outweigh a weak arm any day. Now add the fact that the kid can just flat out hit, and we have a piece of the puzzle that needs to be held on to. I probably watch almost every game the Twins play, and have been watching Ben closely ever since comments were made on here about how runners will have no problem at all going from 1st to 3rd on routine singles to right. Not once have I seen a play where a runner advanced to third due to his lack of arm strength. Where are all the Revere haters now?!

Boom Boom
07-05-2012, 10:37 AM
Range in the outfield always trumps arm strength.

Cuddyer's defense in RF was overrated because he had a great arm. But he moved like a wood burning stove out there.

roger
07-05-2012, 10:48 AM
I agree with your comments John. And doesn't Revere's constant smile say it all?

nokomismod
07-05-2012, 10:56 AM
Ben Revere has made me a believer in range > arm (not even close). I also will admit that I thought he was a 4th OF and after watching him play the past 2 months, I really like his game.

John Bonnes
07-05-2012, 11:15 AM
My gawd, what a love fest we have going here.

I thought I remembered multiple commenters this spring saying Revere would never make it as an outfielder because of his arm. Am I mis-remebering? Are they just ducking for cover? C'mon, someone out there has to take the other side here. Or has this truth just become that self-evident?

Or have some, like nokomosid, changed their minds?

jmlease1
07-05-2012, 11:27 AM
My gawd, what a love fest we have going here.

I thought I remembered multiple commenters this spring saying Revere would never make it as an outfielder because of his arm. Am I mis-remebering? Are they just ducking for cover? C'mon, someone out there has to take the other side here. Or has this truth just become that self-evident?

Or have some, like nokomosid, changed their minds?

I think some of the people questioning Revere's chances were partly including him not getting to play CF because of Span and questioning if he could hit enough to play elsewhere, so some of the arm issues may have been more the "final straw" if you will.

I've always believed range is more important than arm; range has both greater impact and greater frequency of impact than arm strength. My biggest beef is that Revere isn't playing CF, where we'd get the greatest benefit from his incredible range and the least penalty from his poor arm. Span is a fine CF, but he's also a superior LF, and Willingham's issues in the field wouldn't be any worse in RF. Our best defensive OF alignment is Span in LF, Revere in CF, and Willingham in RF. but we don't have it because Gardy prefers to cater to our players' mindset over best results on the field. Do we really believe Span and Willingham would suddenly drop off significantly if they were asked to play where it'd be best for the team over what they like the best?

Seth Stohs
07-05-2012, 11:36 AM
First, I still think that Revere makes more sense in LF with Willingham in RF (or DH)... However, it is pretty clear that the range is much more important than the arm. I don't notice extra bases being taken too often, not enough to find it upsetting.

I'll admit being wrong (it happens a lot, I'm sure!).

USAFChief
07-05-2012, 11:42 AM
Some points:

1. Revere's arm has, and will, cost the Twins a base here and there. His arm is truly awful. But, range makes up for some of that. Maybe all of it. And opposing teams go 1st to 3rd sometimes on every right fielder, so it's not a zero sum game.

2. However, the "he can't play right field" crowd has always been wrong. First, while arm strength is slightly more important in RF than LF, again it's not a zero sum game. It's not like his arm won't cost bases in left, too. Second, "his range counts for less in RF" is incorrect. That makes no sense. His "range" is the same in right as left. In fact, his range might account for more outs in right, since more balls are hit to right than left.

3. I was one of the people who was convinced Revere was going to end up a 4th outfielder, but based on his offense not his arm. I admit to having doubts about my position. If he can hit like he has, he can be an asset as a starting OFer.

Highabove
07-05-2012, 12:08 PM
There is another reason why I am appreciative of Revere. Watching a parade of waver wire pickups in right field was starting to get painful.
I can see the Clete Thomas's of the world at Saint Paul Saints games.

spideyo
07-05-2012, 12:12 PM
Some points:

1. Revere's arm has, and will, cost the Twins a base here and there. His arm is truly awful. But, range makes up for some of that. Maybe all of it. And opposing teams go 1st to 3rd sometimes on every right fielder, so it's not a zero sum game.

2. However, the "he can't play right field" crowd has always been wrong. First, while arm strength is slightly more important in RF than LF, again it's not a zero sum game. It's not like his arm won't cost bases in left, too. Second, "his range counts for less in RF" is incorrect. That makes no sense. His "range" is the same in right as left. In fact, his range might account for more outs in right, since more balls are hit to right than left.

3. I was one of the people who was convinced Revere was going to end up a 4th outfielder, but based on his offense not his arm. I admit to having doubts about my position. If he can hit like he has, he can be an asset as a starting OFer.


Y'know, factoring the offense into the equation is an important aspect too. If Ben continues to hit and run like he's been doing, I think any extra bases he gives up because of his arm will be cancelled out by all the extra bases he'll take on the offense.

ashburyjohn
07-05-2012, 12:35 PM
all the extra bases he'll take on the offense.

Any stats to back that up? Presumably they would be for bases taken when the next guys are hitting; because, at the moment, Ben has a grand total of 6 doubles and 2 triples for the season, for the extra bases gained all on his own.

Given all his speed, you'd expect a much greater level of legged-out doubles, and maybe an inside-the-park HR by now, so it's pretty clear that nearly all his hits are of the punch-and-judy variety, and thus don't give his speed much chance to shine.

This thread started with a look at Revere's arm versus range, and has now broadened to his total game. With an OPS of only .725, it's still a pretty ordinary production level for RF. Adequate yes, and I didn't expect even this much from him, so I'm cheerfully ready to admit I was wrong to peg him as 4th OF for this season, and he's young so we can hope for more and more improvement. But it's a little soon to anoint him as an asset versus his league competition yet, in a lineup with too many table setters and not enough all-around hitters.

I still haven't seen any stats mentioned that show bases taken against right fielders. Is it really the case that league-wide Revere is not showing up as markedly worse at this than other players?

spideyo
07-05-2012, 12:46 PM
I wasn't thinking of extra bases hits, I was thinking of the stolen bases, and the singles that would have been easy outs for a lot of other guys. If he can beat out an ugly bunt for a single, steal 2b, and then score on a single to the outfield, that easily cancels out a guy going from 1st-3rd instead of from 1st-2nd

Kris James Kulsrud
07-05-2012, 12:47 PM
My gawd, what a love fest we have going here.

I thought I remembered multiple commenters this spring saying Revere would never make it as an outfielder because of his arm. Am I mis-remebering? Are they just ducking for cover? C'mon, someone out there has to take the other side here. Or has this truth just become that self-evident?

Or have some, like nokomosid, changed their minds?

Oh hell yeah, I'll take the other side of this. There is no way that Revere should be playing right field and I bet anyone who is having a Ben Revere love fest that the second we lose a 1 run game with a sac fly to right field you all will change your tune. Is Revere a good player? Yeah. But we should trade him before the season is done and keep our CF who is team controlled for the next couple of years and hits for AVG, OBP, and has good range and an ARM in CF. Trade Revere for a starter. Let him go play CF in a park where he might have a chance of throwing the ball to the infield instead of bouncing every throw about 50 feet from the dirt.

I think our OF would be much better suited with Willingham in RF and Revere in LF... but that won't happen. Trade Revere, let Parmalee roam in RF and hopefully you get a decent pitching prospect for Revere or maybe even a #3 or #4 guy to help out this year...

Also, I am very sick and tired of every time Revere dives for a ball, or falls after catching a ball, or runs into the wall, or does a somersault after catching a ball that everyone goes on calling it the greatest catch in baseball history. He's fast, and gets to many balls other guys can't... but to usurp a guy like Span who does everything Revere does plus hits for occasional power, and has a decent arm he has a LONG way to go and until he can do it, I don't want him taking Denard's spot.

p.s. Let's not forget that what we are seeing out of Revere right now AVG wise might not stay true... he has shown spurts of this throughout the year but has yet to put it all together consistently for a season...

Jocko87
07-05-2012, 12:48 PM
Y'know, factoring the offense into the equation is an important aspect too. If Ben continues to hit and run like he's been doing, I think any extra bases he gives up because of his arm will be cancelled out by all the extra bases he'll take on the offense.

I've been more frustrated the year with Revere not taking the extra base much more often than giving one up because of the arm. Somebody mentioned earlier that everybody goes first to third, I say except for Revere. I don't know what it is but it doesn't seem like the baserunning is nearly as good as it should be for someone with his speed.

I just picked through some stats, Revere has gotten first to third 3 times in 17 chances this year. For comparison, Prince Fielder is 4/21 with 2 throw outs.

To answer the question, the arm hasn't bothered me at all while there are a couple of games won strictly because of his range.

greengoblinrulz
07-05-2012, 12:48 PM
No surprise that MN good play since May 7 has come with the team ditching the RF by committee & goin with Ben out there which offsets Josh's defense (which has been very good since April).
The difference between last 5 yrs of Cuddy/Kubel in RF vs the early 2012 RFs vs Revere is pretty severe....both from watching the game & from defensive metrics. Kubel/Cuddy were 2 of the games worst defensive OF over a several yr run.
Cuddy's arm rep was more a MN thing. He has an above average arm, but was never someone others refused to run on....ala Choo or Suzuki.
Best part of Ben's arm is he realizes his limitations & isnt ashamed anymore. Hits the cutoff religiously & quickly....doesnt try to trick the runner into taking the base as players with good arms do.
With Buxton, Benson, Hicks all in minors....they are all 3 considered Gold Glove caliber gloves with all around defense....Revere in RF esp & CF probably isnt gonna last long....he will be in his natural LF soon enough.

Kris James Kulsrud
07-05-2012, 12:53 PM
Y'know, factoring the offense into the equation is an important aspect too. If Ben continues to hit and run like he's been doing, I think any extra bases he gives up because of his arm will be cancelled out by all the extra bases he'll take on the offense.


Can you really relate the two stats? That's like saying all the runners Joe Mauer throws out as a catcher make up for his lack of homerun hitting... Defense is defense. Offense is offense... If he gives up two sac flys in a game but then hits two singles and steals two bases but is stranded at 2nd both times is that an even trade off? Not in my mind.

Jocko87
07-05-2012, 12:54 PM
Any stats to back that up? Presumably they would be for bases taken when the next guys are hitting; because, at the moment, Ben has a grand total of 6 doubles and 2 triples for the season, for the extra bases gained all on his own.

Given all his speed, you'd expect a much greater level of legged-out doubles, and maybe an inside-the-park HR by now, so it's pretty clear that nearly all his hits are of the punch-and-judy variety, and thus don't give his speed much chance to shine.

This thread started with a look at Revere's arm versus range, and has now broadened to his total game. With an OPS of only .725, it's still a pretty ordinary production level for RF. Adequate yes, and I didn't expect even this much from him, so I'm cheerfully ready to admit I was wrong to peg him as 4th OF for this season, and he's young so we can hope for more and more improvement. But it's a little soon to anoint him as an asset versus his league competition yet, in a lineup with too many table setters and not enough all-around hitters.

I still haven't seen any stats mentioned that show bases taken against right fielders. Is it really the case that league-wide Revere is not showing up as markedly worse at this than other players?
My gut feeling was that his baserunning was markedly worse than average and the stats seem to back that up. His extra base taken percentage is 32% while league average is 40%. He should be an almost automatic first to third but rarely does. If he would run the bases like he runs in the outfield it would be pretty sweet.

Curt
07-05-2012, 01:48 PM
The reasons why Revere is better suited for LF rather than RF are two-fold. As noted, in LF, his arm would be less of a liability on throws to third and, also, since LF at Target Field is larger than RF, his range would be more of an asset there.

I agree that, in both of those cases, the differences are not very consequential but they are there. You do have to factor in that Willingham would have to play right and doesn't want to. It seems like it would be do-able for him to transition there but might not be worth it if he plays worse there than he does in left.

Scheherezade
07-05-2012, 02:10 PM
My gawd, what a love fest we have going here.

I thought I remembered multiple commenters this spring saying Revere would never make it as an outfielder because of his arm. Am I mis-remebering? Are they just ducking for cover? C'mon, someone out there has to take the other side here. Or has this truth just become that self-evident?

Or have some, like nokomosid, changed their minds?

There were plenty. Ben's bat and feet made them duck out of this thread. =D

John Bonnes
07-05-2012, 02:11 PM
Some points:

2. However, the "he can't play right field" crowd has always been wrong. First, while arm strength is slightly more important in RF than LF, again it's not a zero sum game. It's not like his arm won't cost bases in left, too. Second, "his range counts for less in RF" is incorrect. That makes no sense. His "range" is the same in right as left. In fact, his range might account for more outs in right, since more balls are hit to right than left.


Is that true? It is not obvious - I would think the opposite. Most hitters are right-handed, and most hitters pull the ball, so I would think there would be a lot more balls to left field than to right field. That (along with the aforementioned bigger space and shorter throws to 3rd) would be the reason I think it would make a lot more sense for him to play LF over RF.

But I'll be interested to find out if I'm wrong.

USAFChief
07-05-2012, 02:22 PM
Is that true? It is not obvious - I would think the opposite. Most hitters are right-handed, and most hitters pull the ball, so I would think there would be a lot more balls to left field than to right field. That (along with the aforementioned bigger space and shorter throws to 3rd) would be the reason I think it would make a lot more sense for him to play LF over RF.

But I'll be interested to find out if I'm wrong.

This has been posted before: right fielders make more put outs than left fielders virtually every year, something on the order of 10 percent or so. I'm not going to do the research again, it can be found on baseball ref. Check put outs by RFer vs. by LFer. CFers make more than either left or right.

CDog
07-05-2012, 03:14 PM
This has been posted before: right fielders make more put outs than left fielders virtually every year, something on the order of 10 percent or so. I'm not going to do the research again, it can be found on baseball ref. Check put outs by RFer vs. by LFer. CFers make more than either left or right.

I know the above has been out there before, but is there corresponding data that you (or anyone else) knows of on balls hit to the various fields? I'm curious if there's just more balls hit to RF and that's all there is to it, or if there are more in the air but fewer on the ground, or if it's possible RF's are just showing more range, or something else.

USAFChief
07-05-2012, 03:20 PM
I know the above has been out there before, but is there corresponding data that you (or anyone else) knows of on balls hit to the various fields? I'm curious if there's just more balls hit to RF and that's all there is to it, or if there are more in the air but fewer on the ground, or if it's possible RF's are just showing more range, or something else.

Ive looked for spray chart data, can't find it. But if right fielders are annually catching more balls than left fielders isn't that what we care about?

rinkratfrits
07-05-2012, 03:31 PM
I have said all along on multiple different threads here that Revere is a premier player to come, and his speed and instincts in the outfield significantly make up for his lack of arm strength. Anybody that understands how baseball is played and really gets the outfield position, should know that good reads/good angles to the ball/accurate cut off throws/great speed/relentless effort without care for ones body, outweigh a weak arm any day. Now add the fact that the kid can just flat out hit, and we have a piece of the puzzle that needs to be held on to. I probably watch almost every game the Twins play, and have been watching Ben closely ever since comments were made on here about how runners will have no problem at all going from 1st to 3rd on routine singles to right. Not once have I seen a play where a runner advanced to third due to his lack of arm strength. Where are all the Revere haters now?!

Revere's routes to fly balls are atrocious! He makes up for it with great athletic ability and speed. That is why Span plays CF.

rinkratfrits
07-05-2012, 03:42 PM
I'm not saying that Revere is not turning into a major league outfielder. I'm one of the biggest Revere bashers out there, but he still has a ways to go...

CDog
07-05-2012, 04:08 PM
Ive looked for spray chart data, can't find it. But if right fielders are annually catching more balls than left fielders isn't that what we care about?

Probably, but it's different if they (right fielders) are catching a higher % of fly balls hit their way (which would surprise me, especially by that margin) or if they're actually getting that many more chances (which is also slightly surprising, but makes more sense). Or some combination. Mostly curiosity, though.

spideyo
07-05-2012, 04:18 PM
I'm not saying that Revere is not turning into a major league outfielder. I'm one of the biggest Revere bashers out there, but he still has a ways to go...

Yes, he has a ways to go before he becomes a superstar, but remember, he's only 24. He doesn't have the power that Span does, but he can still get stronger. He also steals more and gets picked off less than Span.

Turd Furgeson
07-05-2012, 06:33 PM
Superstar? That's a wee bit lofty of an expectation to put on the kid. I don't see it. A valuable player, absolutely but not a superstar.

spideyo
07-05-2012, 06:53 PM
Regardless, the point remains the same. He's still very young, and has plenty of time to grow his skills

diehardtwinsfan
07-05-2012, 07:05 PM
I'll admit to being one of the naysayers on Revere and thus far, I am quite happy to be wrong. I'm not, however, convinced in him just yet.

1) To answer the original question, I doubt anyone would say that the arm is more important than the range. I'd agree that range is the most important defensive aspect of OF because it eliminates base runners alltogether. The arm, however, does cost the Twins runs. The question is how many runs are picked up with range that are cost with the arm. If I were a guessing man, it's probably 3 to 1 or so, which is still a net win... that said...

2) Revere's biggest problem is a lack of power. That hasn't changed. I don't know where people get the idea that a SB is the same as a double. It isn't. It is certainly better than a single and nothing, but a double will clear the bases with just about any runner on 1st. A stolen base does not advance runners, and last I checked, we have a manager that talks the talk with SBs but doesn't call them nearly as often as he should. This just means that Revere at the plate with runners on will typically generate less runs than a Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, or Plouff in the same situation. Putting him up at the top helps limit that exposure, which is fine.

3) His other problem, that to date he has fixed, is his ability to get on base. I'm not convinced that major leaguers will not adjust to him a bit, but based on what I saw of him this week, the kid should be able to consistently hit around the .300 mark as long as he takes good at bats like he did this series and continues to make good solid contact on the ball.

4) Like his pitch to contact brethern on the mound, Revere's skillset walks a very, very, very fine line. His usefullness will be non-existent when the speed drops off should he not develop any power. A small tweak to the hammy or something like that will result in an entire lost season. This is not the type of guy you want to depend on.

That said, his ceiling is still a Jason Tyner type player with better defense. It's a nice stop gap, but it isn't a stand out guy either. Tyner didn't walk much and could hit for average. He had no power and played pretty decent defense. I can live with a guy like that in the OF as a stop gap, but in reality he's more or less a very very very good 4th OF. Given that the Twins are not in contention, this should make it easy to trade Span if they want to add some starting pitching, as Revere should be able to hold down a spot until Arcia, Hicks, and Benson arrive, but to count on him for more than that is not a good idea.

diehardtwinsfan
07-05-2012, 07:07 PM
oh, and just to go off topic for a minute... With Joe Mauer and his swing at the 1st pitch less than 10% of the time, why doesn't Gardy call a hit and run with Revere on and Mauer at the plate? You know Joe is going to get a meatball...

TheLeviathan
07-05-2012, 07:10 PM
I'm not picking a fight, just curious - did Jackson take third today on Revere? I heard the radio call and it seemed like Provost intentionally covered it up mid-call, but maybe I was reading into it.

snepp
07-05-2012, 07:19 PM
I'm not picking a fight, just curious - did Jackson take third today on Revere? I heard the radio call and it seemed like Provost intentionally covered it up mid-call, but maybe I was reading into it.

Can't put that one I Revere I don't think. Once Jackson decided he was going for third I don't think it mattered.

Maybe Jackson decides to stay at second if a stronger arm was out there, but I doubt it.

Scheherezade
07-05-2012, 07:36 PM
I'm not picking a fight, just curious - did Jackson take third today on Revere? I heard the radio call and it seemed like Provost intentionally covered it up mid-call, but maybe I was reading into it.

I can't remember it exactly, but I'm pretty sure Ben was on the warning track when he caught it. So, a pretty easy tag on most arms.

Kobs
07-05-2012, 07:38 PM
It's too bad you can only either have a guy with great range and no arm or no range and a great arm.

USAFChief
07-05-2012, 07:55 PM
I can't remember it exactly, but I'm pretty sure Ben was on the warning track when he caught it. So, a pretty easy tag on most arms.

I think they're talking about the triple.

FWIW, I was listening to the Tiger radio b'cast on the way to work, and they made it sound like a triple all the way.

The Greatest Poster Alive
07-05-2012, 08:36 PM
With the exception of Tags. The reality is that players will take the extra base on an OF like Doumit... More often than Revere. . The reason... Revere gets to the ball faster and in better positin to make a throw with His speed and range. That is what runners use to decide if they are going or not. Where is the OF and where is the ball.

I haven't seen an example of a base gained because of Bens arm this year. There will be some to come (not many) but I haven't seen it yet.

You obviously haven't been watching very closely... There were 3 in that disaster of a day game against the Chisox alone.

Turd Furgeson
07-05-2012, 09:06 PM
It was about midway along foul line wall in right field. Revere had to throw the ball to Dozier, the cutoff man though. Hard to say whether someone else would have made the throw, it would have been difficult but I think Jackson might think twice about trying for it if a strong arm was there instead.

whydidnt
07-05-2012, 10:24 PM
It was about midway along foul line wall in right field. Revere had to throw the ball to Dozier, the cutoff man though. Hard to say whether someone else would have made the throw, it would have been difficult but I think Jackson might think twice about trying for it if a strong arm was there instead.
Agreed.
It's too subjective to try and really quantify a net positive or negative from Revere's defense in RF. Bottom line is it is still extremely silly to put him in right and Willingham in left, especially at Target field. He has gotten on base at a higher rate than I expected so far, and that makes him an ok starter. He's a "fun" player to watch, and I'm glad he's holding his own. I just would love to see the Twins maximize his defensive value by playing him in left or center. We often talk about out it's only a few runs difference, but this team doesn't have any margin for error.

Riverbrian
07-05-2012, 11:26 PM
You obviously haven't been watching very closely... There were 3 in that disaster of a day game against the Chisox alone.

I didn't see that game. I also haven't seen runners flying around the bases because Ben is out there and I won't. Because too much is made of his arm.

TheLeviathan
07-05-2012, 11:32 PM
I didn't see that game. I also haven't seen runners flying around the bases because Ben is out there and I won't. Because too much is made of his arm.

Well, as long as you're being reasonable about it......

USAFChief
07-06-2012, 12:45 AM
Agreed.
It's too subjective to try and really quantify a net positive or negative from Revere's defense in RF. Bottom line is it is still extremely silly to put him in right and Willingham in left, especially at Target field. He has gotten on base at a higher rate than I expected so far, and that makes him an ok starter. He's a "fun" player to watch, and I'm glad he's holding his own. I just would love to see the Twins maximize his defensive value by playing him in left or center. We often talk about out it's only a few runs difference, but this team doesn't have any margin for error.

You can make a case for Revere in left, and Willingham in right, but extremely silly? No. The difference is very slight, at best. Revere's range plays the same in left or right. If indeed more balls are hit to right, and it's hard to read the baseball ref data any other way, then perhaps Revere's range even plays better in right. Some runners would advance on Revere's arm in left, just as they do when he's in right. Likely not as many, but it's not like a runner here and there wouldn't go first to third on a ball to Revere in left that wouldn't on Willingham, and a runner on third will occasionally tag and score on a fly ball to Revere in left that wouldn't score on Willingham.

People make way too much of this.

old nurse
07-06-2012, 12:57 AM
[QUOTE=USAFChief

People make way too much of this.[/QUOTE]

What else do you do when the team has lousy pitching, lousy clutch hitting and thus a losing season?

Riverbrian
07-06-2012, 07:58 AM
Well, as long as you're being reasonable about it......

Im trying for reason... I really am.

Q: Does his arm suck comparably to the average?
A: Yes it does.

Q: Can Ben throw the ball 200 feet
A: Yes he can

Denard Span has played 1219 innings since 2011 and has 3 assists over that span(pun not intended).
Ben Revere has played 1330 innings since 2011 and has 5 assists over that span.

Looking at 2011
Alex Gordon played 1309 innings in 2011 and led the league with 20 Assists.
Nick Swisher (Random RF) 1190 innings in 2011 9 assists.

Somehow Span gets a free pass for his arm and a large majority of posters wring their hands over Revere

In a similiar amount of innings Alex Gordon threw out 15 more runners than Revere which is a about 1 base runner every ten games. Keep in mind that Gordon was the top arm in 2011.

Random RF Nick Swisher threw out 9 last year. That's 1 more baserunner tossed every 35 games in comparison to Revere.

Swisher and Revere both have 2 this year. Ben has less innings this year. What exactly are we talking about here?

Its real simple... Bens arm does suck but Runners are advancing the extra base on Francouer and they are advancing on Ben Revere. They advance based upon where the ball is and where the fielder is.

Ben will get to the ball(assumption) 3 to 5 steps quicker than Ryan Doumit and should more often be able to get into a better throwing position with his Speed to the ball. This is what runners and base coaches use to determine if the extra base will be attempted to be taken. Does he have the ball in his hands or is he still running toward the ball. They don't want to get tossed out on the base paths. If Ben has the ball. They will stop the runner. He doesn't have a hose but he does have the ball and he can throw the ball faster than any of them can run despite his piss poor arm.

The Hose from the OF is a beautiful thing and it's a key out when it happens. Absolutely huge... It just doesn't happen that often and I haven't witnessed an over abundance of advancement of extra bases on Bens arm.

I missed the White Sox debacle. Would Parmelee or Willingham in RF made a difference in that game. I don't know... I didn't see it. In the games I've watched. The arm just hasn't come into play enough to say that it's a concern.

I say this as reasonably as I can.

Cody Christie
07-06-2012, 08:14 AM
There has been more than one time this season that I have been impressed with the throws from Revere. I liked his range better in CF last year but he has been fine in RF this season.

spideyo
07-06-2012, 09:25 AM
Can we just trade Span for Rick Ankiel and be done with this topic for good?

diehardtwinsfan
07-06-2012, 09:39 AM
I think they're talking about the triple.

FWIW, I was listening to the Tiger radio b'cast on the way to work, and they made it sound like a triple all the way.


It was, by the time the OF got to it, he was rounding 2nd.

mike wants wins
07-06-2012, 09:41 AM
Sorry, I also agree range is more important than arm, but I've always felt that. Revere's play is merely adding evidence that it is true.

TheLeviathan
07-06-2012, 09:43 AM
Its real simple... Bens arm does suck but Runners are advancing the extra base on Francouer and they are advancing on Ben Revere. They advance based upon where the ball is and where the fielder is.

I'm going to reiterate my point and then just hit this one. The rest of this post is...baffling....is the best way I can say it.

What I responded to was your claim that even when you watch games, and someone takes a base on Revere, you "won't" see it even when it happens. Essentially that you will cover your eyes, plug your ears, and sing "la-la-la" to avoid acknowledging this aspect of his game. That's pretty irrational. Hard to take you seriously.

Speaking of hard to take seriously....did you just use the statistic of outfield assists to judge whether or not people were taking extra bases on Revere? You do realize that doesn't work right? Your argument was "Well, Revere's outfield assist total is close to Francouers....therefore people are taking the same number of extra bases between these two fielders." That is a really fundamental misunderstanding of the argument and the stat. Almost comically fundamental. It's like arguing David Wright is as fast as Michael Bourn because they've both been caught stealing the same number of times.

Riverbrian
07-06-2012, 10:09 AM
I'm going to reiterate my point and then just hit this one. The rest of this post is...baffling....is the best way I can say it.

What I responded to was your claim that even when you watch games, and someone takes a base on Revere, you "won't" see it even when it happens. Essentially that you will cover your eyes, plug your ears, and sing "la-la-la" to avoid acknowledging this aspect of his game. That's pretty irrational. Hard to take you seriously.

Speaking of hard to take seriously....did you just use the statistic of outfield assists to judge whether or not people were taking extra bases on Revere? You do realize that doesn't work right? Your argument was "Well, Revere's outfield assist total is close to Francouers....therefore people are taking the same number of extra bases between these two fielders." That is a really fundamental misunderstanding of the argument and the stat. Almost comically fundamental. It's like arguing David Wright is as fast as Michael Bourn because they've both been caught stealing the same number of times.

OF assists was brought to point out how often the Rocket Arms are stopping the advancing runner but OK... Let's forget that if you like.

I acknowledge this part of his game. His arm is below par and I e said it. I see runners advancing on Revere. I believe that they would have advanced on (insert other OF'er here) cuz arm strength isn't the only answer... but let's forget that as well... I take it back.

Lets just say... Get to the ball quick and get it in quick. Problem solved. Or is that unreasonable. lol...

TheLeviathan
07-06-2012, 10:17 AM
OF assists was brought to point out how often the Rocket Arms are stopping the advancing runner but OK... Let's forget that if you like.

They don't show that because that stat only reflects how often a runner is caught trying to advance. It has NOTHING to do with how often they successfully advance.

I have no problem with the idea that Revere's range helps him. I'm not expert enough to judge his outfield routes so I don't touch that. His arm is an issue and it will cost the Twins runs and games. His range and his offense (since it has improved more than I ever thought it could) I believe are more than making up for that as of today.

Riverbrian
07-06-2012, 10:38 AM
They don't show that because that stat only reflects how often a runner is caught trying to advance. It has NOTHING to do with how often they successfully advance.

I have no problem with the idea that Revere's range helps him. I'm not expert enough to judge his outfield routes so I don't touch that. His arm is an issue and it will cost the Twins runs and games. His range and his offense (since it has improved more than I ever thought it could) I believe are more than making up for that as of today.

I understand exactly... What outfield assist means. My point is that runners are advancing on Everybody and they go when they feel safe regardless of the cannon and they feel safe to advance based more on where the ball is as opposed to who is throwing. My opinion... Not yours... I get that.

We really don't have a stat that suggests how often runners feel adventurous based on who is holding the ball in the OF. I believe that getting to the ball quicker makes up the arm strength difference more than you might think but we will have to agree to disagree I guess.

Will his arm cost the Twins runs or Games... Yes it will. So will Spans some day and Willingham. Doesn't happen enough to worry about. We currently do not have Francouer or Cuddyer in our OF... That is also something to point out.

Too much is made of his arm.

TheLeviathan
07-06-2012, 10:44 AM
My point is that runners are advancing on Everybody and they go when they feel safe regardless of the cannon and they feel safe to advance based more on where the ball is as opposed to who is throwing. My opinion... Not yours... I get that.

This is not an opinion. Outfield assists do...not...prove..that! They only demonstrate the success of gunning down guys advancing. If you want to post a stat on successfully taking bases - do so. But again, you're trying to argue Bourn is as fast as Wright by posting caught stealing. That isn't what the stat shows! I've been fairly kind on what is a completely ridiculous argument.

Riverbrian
07-06-2012, 10:49 AM
This is not an opinion. Outfield assists do...not...prove..that! They only demonstrate the success of gunning down guys advancing. If you want to post a stat on successfully taking bases - do so. But again, you're trying to argue Bourn is as fast as Wright by posting caught stealing. That isn't what the stat shows! I've been fairly kind on what is a completely ridiculous argument.

I'm being played here. Not continuing. Carry on. I spend too much time on this site.

TheLeviathan
07-06-2012, 10:56 AM
I'm being played here. Not continuing. Carry on. I spend too much time on this site.

You're not being played - you used a statistic wrong, was pointed out to you delicately, and then you tried to use it the wrong way again!

Outfield assists only demonstrate success at gunning down. They don't show success against runners advancing.

Milkman
07-06-2012, 11:18 AM
I'm being played here. Not continuing. Carry on. I spend too much time on this site.


RB, if you could provide stats showing the rate at which these outfielders are getting assists then we would be closer to a stat that would be benefitial. Honestly there is no way we are ever going to know the excact impact of Revere in RF because there is no way to know the intent of the runner. Would a different RF cause a runner to not attempt advancing on a given play? Well in that case that RF has no chance at an assist and in your argument this would essentially go against the RF.

chopper0080
07-06-2012, 11:27 AM
I am an out of town Twins fan so I don't see many games and would rather pose a question to consistent viewers than make too many guesses. To my knowledge, the ball in target field carries further to left field than it does to right field. Using this assumption, this would mean there are more playable balls hit to right field vs left field ala more balls travel over the fence in left field and more plays are made at the warning track in right field. Because of this, it would make more sense to me to have a player with better range in right field because he will able to get to more balls as there are more playable balls hit to that area. My question to those on the board is, is this true?

If it is, my thoughts would be why isn't Revere in CF and Span in RF? Both have plus range and Span has the better arm, so why wouldn't you flip the two? You would not be sacrificing as much in range as you would by moving Willingham over, and would benefit from having the better arm in RF.

Honestly, I don't think it will matter too much longer as I see Span being traded either this season or during next offseason for an arm for the bullpen which would move Revere to CF. If a trade like this happened, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Twins pursue a player like Nate Schierholtz from SF who has the reputation of being a plus outfielder but has been made expendable by the Giants moves lately.

snepp
07-06-2012, 12:01 PM
You can't move Span, he's "the centerfielder." Hurt feelings would ensue.


And as far as potential trades go, Span looks a little more enticing if he's playing center every day.

Steve Lein
07-06-2012, 01:49 PM
Not even a discussion, the range wins over arm in every plane of existence. However, that doesn't mean he's a "good fit" in RF either. That's the one spot where you can't take a "maximum" advantage of his range nor minimize the effects of his arm.


3) His other problem, that to date he has fixed, is his ability to get on base. I'm not convinced that major leaguers will not adjust to him a bit, but based on what I saw of him this week, the kid should be able to consistently hit around the .300 mark as long as he takes good at bats like he did this series and continues to make good solid contact on the ball.


If Revere can consistently hit around or above .300, the "ability to get on base" shouldn't be discussed, because he's obviously doing it. There are a lot of teams that would kill to have a .318/.348 table setter in the 1 or 2 spot, even a .300/.330. Believe me, Ben tries to take pitches and draw walks, but he makes too good of contact with his swing. Someone pull up swing and miss statistics for me, I'd bet he's very far below the league average for missing on his cuts. If he takes a hack, he's putting the ball in play. It's not always good, solid contact obviously, but to me it seems it's rare where he doesn't get enough of the bat on the ball where he doesn't put it in fair territory. He has struck out in only 7.7% of his AB's, which if you wanted to know, is exactly half of Joe Mauer's 15.4% rate this year. Is there such a thing as too good of a "contact hitter"? If you're wanting Revere to draw more walks, I think your answer to this question is by default "Yes", no matter how you argue it because of that ability, he's just not one to foul a bunch of pitches off.

Steve Lein
07-06-2012, 01:57 PM
I am an out of town Twins fan so I don't see many games and would rather pose a question to consistent viewers than make too many guesses. To my knowledge, the ball in target field carries further to left field than it does to right field. Using this assumption, this would mean there are more playable balls hit to right field vs left field ala more balls travel over the fence in left field and more plays are made at the warning track in right field. Because of this, it would make more sense to me to have a player with better range in right field because he will able to get to more balls as there are more playable balls hit to that area. My question to those on the board is, is this true?


No, that's not how it works. RF line is 328 feet, gap 367. LF line is 339 ft, gap 377. The deepest part of the field is just to the LF-side of dead center. It's the fact that there's a bunch more open ground to cover that allows you to take advantage of the range. Also, there are far more Right-handed hitters than left-handed, and batters tend to pull the ball more than push, thus by default and years upon years of proven data, far more balls are hit toward LF than RF. It's not about how the ball carries.

snepp
07-06-2012, 02:11 PM
thus by default and years upon years of proven data, far more balls are hit toward LF than RF.

This data should be posted.

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-06-2012, 02:16 PM
This data should be posted.

Yeah, I'd be curious to see that as well but wouldn't be shocked since there quite a few more Right handed hitters then lefties.

mnfireman
07-06-2012, 03:42 PM
According to baseball reference, Revere is right at league average for runners advancing the extra base, even with his very much below average arm. He has turned my opinion of him around. Congrats young master Revere and may you have continued success.

Steve Lein
07-06-2012, 04:10 PM
Wow, I feel like my saying more balls are hit to LF than RF should be a known fact about the game of baseball to anyone who understands the fundamentals of it and basic understanding that there are twice as many RH hitters in the league than LH.

Anyway, here's some concrete numbers (it is from 2003, but it displays the point): http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/004551.php

This guy tallied every hitter in the league up to that point in the season who had over 200 batted balls in play. The percentage equates to the players propensity to pull the ball vs. push it. A value of 50% means on average, the player is hitting the ball to dead center. Notice in a list of 264 players, only NINE of them hit the ball the other way more than pulled. If you believe in the thought that 2/3 of players in MLB bat right-handed (which I guarantee it's very close to), that means 176 of those players are Right handed vs 88 left-handed. That's twice as many guys who tend to hit the ball toward LF more often than RF. That's all the math I feel like doing for the day...

/EndOfDiscussion

Thrylos
07-06-2012, 04:34 PM
Hard to determine how good someone's arm is... Accuracy is another thing as well. For fun:
Fangraphs lists the "ARM" stat in their advance fielding stats (and it is one of the composites that make the UZR). Revere's this season is zero, which is league average. Last season was -3.9. Josh Willingham's this season is -0.6 and Span's 0.6, while last season, Span's was -1.8. So, really, gut feelings and suspicions aside, Revere's arm is not lacking that much in this OF... At some point, when Young, Gomez and Cuddyer were the OFs, the Twins did have strong arms out there. Not any more.

snepp
07-06-2012, 05:06 PM
/notendofdiscussion

You do realize of course that small bit of minimally useful data includes all balls in play, a huge percentage of which never make it to the outfield in the first place. Or that ground balls are much more likely to be pulled than a fly ball is, and that balls hit to the opposite field are more likely to be a fly ball.

Total chances by corner outfielders (putouts + assists + errors).

Year / LF / RF
2012 04723 04954
2011 09794 10156
2010 09463 10253
2009 09866 10284
2008 09668 10464
2007 10065 10468
2006 09823 10516
2005 09831 10337
2004 09532 10566
2003 09956 10305

That's roughly 5.5% more "total chances" for right fielders over the last 10 years than left fielders. Obvious problems with TC, it doesn't tell us anything about how many balls were actually hit to them, just balls they were able to make a play on. It also doesn't account for quality of fielders, though I suspect that over a large enough sample the difference is minimal.

Airmonos
07-06-2012, 05:33 PM
From baseball-reference.com
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/reverbe01-field.shtml#advanced_fielding_rf::none

This might fall along the lines of small sample size, but in 51 chances this year, he has 24 holds (47.1%) and the league average is 46%. I don't think Ben Revere's arm is what is causing problems for the Twins this year.

USAFChief
07-06-2012, 05:36 PM
/notendofdiscussion

You do realize of course that small bit of minimally useful data includes all balls in play, a huge percentage of which never make it to the outfield in the first place. Or that ground balls are much more likely to be pulled than a fly ball is, and that balls hit to the opposite field are more likely to be a fly ball.

Total chances by corner outfielders (putouts + assists + errors).

Year / LF / RF
2012 04723 04954
2011 09794 10156
2010 09463 10253
2009 09866 10284
2008 09668 10464
2007 10065 10468
2006 09823 10516
2005 09831 10337
2004 09532 10566
2003 09956 10305

That's roughly 5.5% more "total chances" for right fielders over the last 10 years than left fielders. Obvious problems with TC, it doesn't tell us anything about how many balls were actually hit to them, just balls they were able to make a play on. It also doesn't account for quality of fielders, though I suspect that over a large enough sample the difference is minimal.

If you just go by putouts, which would be almost 100% fly balls (or line drives), it's even more pronounced. Over the last 10 years, for example, the AL leader in putouts for right fielders has averaged 7% more putouts than the AL leader for left fielders.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/PO_lf_leagues.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/PO_lf_leagues.shtml

snepp
07-06-2012, 05:40 PM
If you just go by putouts, which would be almost 100% fly balls (or line drives), it's even more pronounced.

I thought about doing that, but I already had a bunch of the total chances looked up. Laziness ensued.

USAFChief
07-06-2012, 05:44 PM
I thought about doing that, but I already had a bunch of the total chances looked up. Laziness ensued.

Either way, it seems pretty clear more balls are hit in the air to right than left.

USAFChief
07-06-2012, 05:49 PM
Not even a discussion, the range wins over arm in every plane of existence. However, that doesn't mean he's a "good fit" in RF either. That's the one spot where you can't take a "maximum" advantage of his range nor minimize the effects of his arm.


I agree his arm hurts the team a bit more in right field vs left.

However, I do not understand the theory that Revere's range is somehow "worth more" in left field. Does Revere somehow run slower in right field? Does his range shrink?

Revere will get to "x" number of balls in the air, and that number doesn't change based on which side of the center fielder he's standing, unless you think Revere's "range" extends past the confines of right field but not left field. Which is, uh, preposterous.

Oxtung
07-06-2012, 06:34 PM
I agree his arm hurts the team a bit more in right field vs left.

However, I do not understand the theory that Revere's range is somehow "worth more" in left field. Does Revere somehow run slower in right field? Does his range shrink?

Revere will get to "x" number of balls in the air, and that number doesn't change based on which side of the center fielder he's standing, unless you think Revere's "range" extends past the confines of right field but not left field. Which is, uh, preposterous.

Right field is smaller, albeit only slightly, at TF. So there is some reason to think his range is worth more in left field. The statistics about where most balls are hit to is interesting and could override the small difference in dimensions but none the less there is still a difference and that means an argument can be made that Revere's range plays better in left.

Another difference in right is the high wall. That could keep more balls in play and therefore require more throws back into the infield from distance. I suspect the number of balls hit off the wall is quite low however it is another small piece of information that can be used in this discussion about his arm vs. range.

amjgt
07-07-2012, 12:24 AM
If there was ever a night that exemplified the importance of OF defense WAY beyond arm strength, tonight was the night.

Curt
07-07-2012, 02:15 PM
I agree his arm hurts the team a bit more in right field vs left.

However, I do not understand the theory that Revere's range is somehow "worth more" in left field. Does Revere somehow run slower in right field? Does his range shrink?

Revere will get to "x" number of balls in the air, and that number doesn't change based on which side of the center fielder he's standing, unless you think Revere's "range" extends past the confines of right field but not left field. Which is, uh, preposterous.

Regarding the size of the field making a difference in the value of a fielder's range, look at the extremes.

1. Left field is a 3 x 3 foot square. Revere has no advantage over Willingham here because Willingham can get to any ball hit to left field in the same amount of time as Revere. Neither has to move.

2. Move the left-field fence out to six hundred feet. Willingham never gets off the bench because there will be two or three inside the park homers a game with him out there. Revere and other speedsters become much more valuable because he/they can cover the larger area in less time... perhaps only two or three inside the park homers a week.

The cop whose beat is a couple of blocks can easily walk it. The highway patrolman is completely ineffective without a car.

Curt
07-07-2012, 02:24 PM
Regarding fielding chances in left and right field...

Using 2012 YTD data, about 70% of all plate appearances are against right-handed pitchers but the split on plate appearances by right-handed and left-handed batters is much closer, 53% to 47%.



Batter
Pitcher
Pct of PA


R
R
33%


L
L
10%


R
L
20%


L
R
37%



If we assume that the ball is hit to the opposite field more often in lefty vs. lefty and righty vs. righty situations than when the pitcher and batters are opposite-handed, there would be much more opportunity for the opposite field to be right field (33% vs 10%).

USAFChief
07-07-2012, 02:31 PM
Regarding the size of the field making a difference in the value of a fielder's range, look at the extremes.

1. Left field is a 3 x 3 foot square. Revere has no advantage over Willingham here because Willingham can get to any ball hit to left field in the same amount of time as Revere. Neither has to move.

2. Move the left-field fence out to six hundred feet. Willingham never gets off the bench because there will be two or three inside the park homers a game with him out there. Revere and other speedsters become much more valuable because he/they can cover the larger area in less time... perhaps only two or three inside the park homers a week.

The cop whose beat is a couple of blocks can easily walk it. The highway patrolman is completely ineffective without a car.

The size of the OF is irrelevant, unless they were much, much smaller (so small that no ball in the air could ever hit the ground in right field with Revere playing there). Since that isn't the case, what matters is the size of the "circle" that defines Revere's range for a given fly ball. That "circle" will obviously be bigger or smaller depending on the velocity and trajectory of the given fly ball, but in no case does that circle extend past the OF fence or the stands along the RF line for ANY given fly ball. Thus, in effect, Revere's "range" (the size of the circle) is smaller than right field. Thus, Revere will get to exactly as many balls in right field as he would in left, because the "circle" isn't bigger than left or right field. It's the same size. Revere has exactly the same range in left as right.

Curt
07-07-2012, 03:31 PM
in no case does that circle extend past the OF fence or the stands along the RF line for ANY given fly ball

Right, the important point is where the fence is. As you have pointed out, that is the limiting factor. It is what defines the range to be covered. As the range increases (i.e. the fence is moved back), speed becomes more relevant and useful. If the field was symmetrical, there would be no difference (assuming the center fielder has equal range going left and right as he is another limiting factor in the range to be covered). Target Field is not symmetric. Left field is larger than right field. How often it becomes an issue is debatable but the fact that speed helps cover more area faster is not debatable, logically. This is why speed is always prized in center field as, in all parks, the fences are furthest in center field, meaning there is more area to be covered there.

snepp
07-11-2012, 12:03 PM
Bump, still waiting on that "years upon years of proven data."

John Bonnes
07-11-2012, 01:08 PM
FYI, I asked Parker, who has access to the detailed batted ball data about this left field vs right field thing. He says that over the last five years, slightly more balls have been hit to left side of the field versus the right side of the field. However, that includes the infield, too. It might be that in the outfield, it is more even or could favor right field. Either could make sense to me.

What I'm gathering is that the argument that I've myself have touted - that there are more balls hit to left field than right field - probably isn't valid. At the very least, it doesn't seem significant. BTW, Revere has not played over 300 inning in right field this year and UZR credits him for saving 7 runs over an average right fielder. That would translate to 27 runs over a 150 games. He certainly seems to be having plenty of impact there.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 01:13 PM
FYI, I asked Parker, who has access to the detailed batted ball data about this left field vs right field thing. He says that over the last five years, slightly more balls have been hit to left side of the field versus the right side of the field. However, that includes the infield, too. It might be that in the outfield, it is more even or could favor right field. Either could make sense to me.

What I'm gathering is that the argument that I've myself have touted - that there are more balls hit to left field than right field - probably isn't valid. At the very least, it doesn't seem significant. BTW, Revere has not played over 300 inning in right field this year and UZR credits him for saving 7 runs over an average right fielder. That would translate to 27 runs over a 150 games. He certainly seems to be having plenty of impact there.

He's going to have a positive impact anywhere on the field, I think. Pretty sure the guy could play second if you gave him an infielder's glove and a few reps. It's more of a "where does his arm do the least damage?"

To me, it makes sense to put him in left. But if more flyballs are going to right, that balances out a bit. How much? I have no idea and I think at that point, it falls under the "no longer care" category for me.

Curt
07-11-2012, 01:15 PM
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf/scholars/levitt/articles/fielding_opps.htm

This article by Dan Levitt for BaseballThinkFactory.org is over ten years old and uses data from the Retrosheet files of 1980-1983. He includes both putouts and hits fielded by position. For our interests, here is the outfield breakdown:



Position

Outs
Pct

Hits
Pct

Total
Pct


LF

32,604
31.0%

38,592
36.7%

71,196
33.8%


CF

41,471
39.4%

34,430
32.7%

75,901
36.1%


RF

31,102
29.6%

32,210
30.6%

63,312
30.1%



In the data he uses, there are more outs recorded by left fielders than right fielders and an even higher percentage of hits fielded by left fielders than right fielders.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 01:28 PM
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf/scholars/levitt/articles/fielding_opps.htm

This article by Dan Levitt for BaseballThinkFactory.org is over ten years old and uses data from the Retrosheet files of 1980-1983. He includes both putouts and hits fielded by position. For our interests, here is the outfield breakdown:



Position

Outs
Pct

Hits
Pct

Total
Pct


LF

32,604
31.0%

38,592
36.7%

71,196
33.8%


CF

41,471
39.4%

34,430
32.7%

75,901
36.1%


RF

31,102
29.6%

32,210
30.6%

63,312
30.1%



In the data he uses, there are more outs recorded by left fielders than right fielders and an even higher percentage of hits fielded by left fielders than right fielders.


Okay, now I'm completely ****ing confused.

Oxtung
07-11-2012, 01:39 PM
Good find on that data Curt.

CDog
07-11-2012, 02:00 PM
Okay, now I'm completely ****ing confused.

Assuming the cited data sources are accurate (or close to it), doesn't Curt's latest data simply indicate that over time batted balls have shifted slightly from left field to right field? Note that "Curt's" most recent data is fairly old, while the others are more current.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 02:09 PM
Assuming the cited data sources are accurate (or close to it), doesn't Curt's latest data simply indicate that over time batted balls have shifted slightly from left field to right field? Note that "Curt's" most recent data is fairly old, while the others are more current.

Possibly, but why the change? It's an intriguing notion... Have specialized pitchers really had that much of an impact on where balls are hit? It's the only reasoning I could think to cause it. Or maybe more right-handed players are learning to bat left-handed at a young age. Dunno.

CDog
07-11-2012, 02:35 PM
Possibly, but why the change? It's an intriguing notion... Have specialized pitchers really had that much of an impact on where balls are hit? It's the only reasoning I could think to cause it. Or maybe more right-handed players are learning to bat left-handed at a young age. Dunno.

More at-bats going the other way maybe (and with more players being right-handed, that would shift things that way)? Don't know either.

Curt
07-11-2012, 02:46 PM
Assuming the cited data sources are accurate (or close to it), doesn't Curt's latest data simply indicate that over time batted balls have shifted slightly from left field to right field? Note that "Curt's" most recent data is fairly old, while the others are more current.

In an earlier post, I stated that, using 2012 YTD data, 70% of plate appearances were against right-handed pitchers and 53% were by right-handed hitters.

I just checked the data for 1982 and the split by pitching hand was 70%-30% just like 2012 but the split by batting-hand was 60%-40%.





1982
2012


LH Batter

40%
47%


RH Batter

60%
53%








LH Pitcher

30%
30%


RH Pitcher

70%
70%



This might go a ways in explaining a shift. I'm a little shocked at the difficulty in finding recent data.

Oxtung
07-11-2012, 02:55 PM
No, snepp and Curt's data are showing 2 different things. Snepp's data only shows putouts and assists (and errors but those are almost nonexistent in a sample that large) i.e. only where the outs where made. His data shows that more outs come each season from RF than LF. To me this implies that there are more flyballs to RF than LF. Curt's data on the other hand is ALL times an outfielder touches a ball. This includes balls where an out isn't recorded like base hits.

To me this shows one possibly two things. First there are probably more ground balls hit to left field than to right and probably more catch-able flyballs to right than to left. But there is a second possibility. This could also show that there are more line drives hit to left field that aren't outs. Perhaps the balls are hit harder and are getting into the gaps more often in LF than RF.

CDog
07-11-2012, 02:57 PM
In an earlier post, I stated that, using 2012 YTD data, 70% of plate appearances were against right-handed pitchers and 53% were by right-handed hitters.

I just checked the data for 1982 and the split by pitching hand was 70%-30% just like 2012 but the split by batting-hand was 60%-40%.





1982

2012



LH Batter


40%

47%



RH Batter


60%

53%









LH Pitcher


30%

30%



RH Pitcher


70%

70%




This might go a ways in explaining a shift. I'm a little shocked at the difficulty in finding recent data.

That makes sense, too. I know I looked fairly breifly once and got annoyed/frustrated/lazy at it (data) not being readily available like I wanted so I quit. Thanks for finding the stuff you have. It's interesting, too, to try and piece together partial bits of information.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 03:34 PM
In an earlier post, I stated that, using 2012 YTD data, 70% of plate appearances were against right-handed pitchers and 53% were by right-handed hitters.

I just checked the data for 1982 and the split by pitching hand was 70%-30% just like 2012 but the split by batting-hand was 60%-40%.





1982
2012


LH Batter

40%
47%


RH Batter

60%
53%








LH Pitcher

30%
30%


RH Pitcher

70%
70%



This might go a ways in explaining a shift. I'm a little shocked at the difficulty in finding recent data.

Ah, I always suspected that the right-left batter split has been closing in recent decades but I had never seen data to support it until now.

asmus_ndsu
07-11-2012, 03:43 PM
You can also think of this stat... How many timed have players with a "great arm" airmailed a throw to third or home into the duggout causing even more extra bases?

Steve Lein
07-11-2012, 04:06 PM
You guys realize that "Total Chances" and "Putouts" aren't everything that goes into attempting to calculate "Range", right? The data provided for this is interesting, but it doesn't change the fact that more "balls in play" are hit to left field - Range also comes into play on hits. Take for example about a week ago when Willingham wasn't able to cut the ball off on a liner and it reached the wall, allowing the runners to advance another base. Revere cuts that off and holds them back. More ground balls get hit down the left field line for hits (which is a long run to prevent a double for a LF), more grounders go through the hole between 3B and SS for hits (while this usually doesn't require the LF to move much, Revere's speed (e.g.: range) gets him to that ball faster), more line drive hits go to left field where the OF has to run them down, more doubles are hit to the LF gap. Range doesn't just count for outs, it counts for every ball that's hit out there. I do not lack any confidence in saying this, and the "pull percentage" data I provided earlier is pretty definitive in demonstrating that more balls get to a left-fielder than they do the right.

But, you want some data? Check out this page (its for the 2009 season, others are very similar): http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/split.cgi?t=b&year=2009&lg=MLB#hitlo

Simple addition clearly shows more balls are hit to LF.

For fun and your benefit however, I did some of my own number crunching based on what is on that page:

Give me the benefit of the doubt for not giving all the numbers used in these calculations, but I'm very confident in my math and statistics (in the academic, not baseball sense) background. This is for data on balls hit to the OF only, thus it also doesn't include such things as ground ball hits, which would skew the data to LF further.

Based on percentages of Balls hit data on that page, approximately 16,000 balls were hit to strictly LF in 2009.
In that same year, approximately 14,000 balls were hit to strictly RF.

That's 2,000 more balls hit to Left Fielders than Right Fielders in one season.

This may not sound like that big of a difference to you, but also keep in mind, this does NOT include any data for balls hit "toward CF", which is significantly more than LF and RF combined (by about 20,000 total ). It's taking into account only the "strictly LF" and "strictly RF" thirds of the OF. If you cut the OF in half and apply pull %'s to the CF data, the gap between total number of balls hit "toward LF" and "Toward RF" gets about 3 times bigger.

So, if we take the number 6,000 as the arbitrary figure, we can divide that by the total number of games played in the MLB each year: 2,430, and we get: 2.47. So Basically, two and a half more balls per game are hit toward Left Fielders than Right Fielders. Thus, I think "Range" in LF compared to RF can make a pretty big difference in a lot of games.

But in retrospect, this very clearly shows why CF is the most important OF position by far.

Steve Lein
07-11-2012, 04:09 PM
By the way, this conversation is awesome q;)

and I see a lot of guys got some data together while I was crunching mine.

USAFChief
07-11-2012, 05:23 PM
You guys realize that "Total Chances" and "Putouts" aren't everything that goes into attempting to calculate "Range", right? The data provided for this is interesting, but it doesn't change the fact that more "balls in play" are hit to left field - Range also comes into play on hits. Take for example about a week ago when Willingham wasn't able to cut the ball off on a liner and it reached the wall, allowing the runners to advance another base. Revere cuts that off and holds them back. More ground balls get hit down the left field line for hits (which is a long run to prevent a double for a LF), more grounders go through the hole between 3B and SS for hits (while this usually doesn't require the LF to move much, Revere's speed (e.g.: range) gets him to that ball faster), more line drive hits go to left field where the OF has to run them down, more doubles are hit to the LF gap. Range doesn't just count for outs, it counts for every ball that's hit out there. I do not lack any confidence in saying this, and the "pull percentage" data I provided earlier is pretty definitive in demonstrating that more balls get to a left-fielder than they do the right.

But, you want some data? Check out this page (its for the 2009 season, others are very similar): http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/split.cgi?t=b&year=2009&lg=MLB#hitlo

Simple addition clearly shows more balls are hit to LF.

For fun and your benefit however, I did some of my own number crunching based on what is on that page:

Give me the benefit of the doubt for not giving all the numbers used in these calculations, but I'm very confident in my math and statistics (in the academic, not baseball sense) background. This is for data on balls hit to the OF only, thus it also doesn't include such things as ground ball hits, which would skew the data to LF further.

Based on percentages of Balls hit data on that page, approximately 16,000 balls were hit to strictly LF in 2009.
In that same year, approximately 14,000 balls were hit to strictly RF.

That's 2,000 more balls hit to Left Fielders than Right Fielders in one season.

This may not sound like that big of a difference to you, but also keep in mind, this does NOT include any data for balls hit "toward CF", which is significantly more than LF and RF combined (by about 20,000 total ). It's taking into account only the "strictly LF" and "strictly RF" thirds of the OF. If you cut the OF in half and apply pull %'s to the CF data, the gap between total number of balls hit "toward LF" and "Toward RF" gets about 3 times bigger.

So, if we take the number 6,000 as the arbitrary figure, we can divide that by the total number of games played in the MLB each year: 2,430, and we get: 2.47. So Basically, two and a half more balls per game are hit toward Left Fielders than Right Fielders. Thus, I think "Range" in LF compared to RF can make a pretty big difference in a lot of games.

But in retrospect, this very clearly shows why CF is the most important OF position by far.

Sorry...I'm going to need to see the math.

Because when I look at your source, all I see that could possibly be relavent is "hit location." Am I missing something? "Hit location" doesn't cover all the necessary data.

Curt
07-11-2012, 05:36 PM
Here is what I see on that Baseball-Reference page...




Hits – HR
Pct

PO
Pct

Total
Pct


Left
10,221
26.6%

9,449
29.7%

19,670
28.0%


Center
20,125
52.3%

12,541
39.4%

32,666
46.5%


Right
8,113
21.1%

9,810
30.8%

17,923
25.5%




The "Hits - HR" include, as far as I can tell, infield hits. There doesn't seem to be a separation out of infield/outfield data by left/center/right. Infield hits make up 12 percent of all the "Hits - HR".

I did not include outfielder assists or errors. Assists do not reflect a ball hit somewher and errors could be throwing errors. The numbers are small for each anyway.

What is consistent here with the 1980-83 data I quoted earlier is that the percentage of hits to left field is significantly higher than the percentage of putouts by left-fielders in both sets of data.

There is much more hit activity to center field in the Baseball-Reference (2009) data (52.3%) than in the 1980-83 data (32.7%). This may be due to differences in definition and collection. The 1980-83 data was explained by the author as defined by the fielder who fielded the ball. Not sure about the 2009 data but I wonder if it is by zone rather than fielder (that would indicate left and right-fielders fielding a lot of hits in the center-field zone).

anthonyq77
07-11-2012, 06:08 PM
I don't see why people were so down on Revere earlier this year. Yes his arm was a bit of an issue last year and yes his time in the majors up until that point hadn't shown his hitting ability, but when you look at his minor league stats he hit.326 for his career in the minors. Why would you not expect that to continue into MLB? Sure some drop off could be expected and we see that in his OBP. However as has been said, this year his arm is rated as average his range is way above average and he is now starting to hit to his potential. If he adds a bit of muscle to up his slugging pct a little and can take a few more walks I see no reason that he can't hold off the younger guys and man CF for 5-8 years or more. He is going to be hard to unseat at any OF position. Sure I hope that someone like Benson, Hicks etc. can come up and force his way into Revere's position. I guess i will just wait and see because if Revere continues to develop even a little I see little chance that those guys can take his place.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 06:33 PM
I don't see why people were so down on Revere earlier this year. Yes his arm was a bit of an issue last year and yes his time in the majors up until that point hadn't shown his hitting ability, but when you look at his minor league stats he hit.326 for his career in the minors. Why would you not expect that to continue into MLB? Sure some drop off could be expected and we see that in his OBP. However as has been said, this year his arm is rated as average his range is way above average and he is now starting to hit to his potential. If he adds a bit of muscle to up his slugging pct a little and can take a few more walks I see no reason that he can't hold off the younger guys and man CF for 5-8 years or more. He is going to be hard to unseat at any OF position. Sure I hope that someone like Benson, Hicks etc. can come up and force his way into Revere's position. I guess i will just wait and see because if Revere continues to develop even a little I see little chance that those guys can take his place.

Aaron Hicks has been a better prospect than Revere almost every step of their MiLB careers. Benson was a better prospect until he went completely off the rails this season.

I'm not bashing Ben here, he might be a fine player. But Hicks is still a much better prospect and Benson might get there, too. Revere never OPSed higher than .740 in the upper minors. That's not exactly the type of production that makes you stop the presses.

Steve Lein
07-11-2012, 06:51 PM
Sorry...I'm going to need to see the math.

Because when I look at your source, all I see that could possibly be relavent is "hit location." Am I missing something? "Hit location" doesn't cover all the necessary data.

Hit Location is the right section. This is the only data I could find that quantified in any useful way where a batted ball was hit, so I used it. If I can be directed to a better database, I'd like to see it. But I still don't expect my numbers would change much either way.

But since my numbers aren't exact above, I'll get into a limited data set of specifics for you.

Basically I took the Total Number of Balls hit to LF ("Pulled-RHB" & "OppFld-LHB") and RF ("OppFld-RHB" & "Pulled-LHB"), and created percentages in relation to the Total numbers as the following: 22.5% to LF, 57.1% to CF, 20.4% to RF. I then applied these percentages to the "To Outfield" category.

22.5% of 71730 is 16132 balls to LF
20.4% of 71730 is 14665 balls to RF

That difference checks in at 1467, so I embellished a little above q;)

Adding CF into the equation using the same ratios as above (16132/30797=52.4% to LF) to split it in 2, with the 40932 more balls unaccounted for, you end up with:

.524*40932=21448+16132=37580
.476*40932=19484+14665=34149

And the difference checks in at 3431 more balls "toward LF" than "toward RF", which is a more modest 1.412 more-balls-to-LF-than-RF-per-game-ratio, but that still means theres more to LF than RF.

I like the data others have provided showing the differences as time has gone on, and if you look at this same data I used for the 1988 season, the embellished numbers above are spot on, so it has definitely shifted...but not yet really even close to a point where you can say RF is more common.

But seriously, don't you remember Little League? There's a reason your coaches put your teams worst player in RF, because it was the least likely spot for a ball to get hit...

anthonyq77
07-11-2012, 06:54 PM
Aaron Hicks has been a better prospect than Revere almost every step of their MiLB careers. Benson was a better prospect until he went completely off the rails this season.

I'm not bashing Ben here, he might be a fine player. But Hicks is still a much better prospect and Benson might get there, too. Revere never OPSed higher than .740 in the upper minors. That's not exactly the type of production that makes you stop the presses.

"Prospects" sure. But Revere was a better player at every step in the minors, there is something to be said for that. He has shown what he can do every step of the way. Players like Benson and Hicks are still talked about as toolsy of having upside. they haven't shown it yet. thats what i meant by taking "a wait and see" approach.

diehardtwinsfan
07-11-2012, 06:58 PM
not to state the obvious here, but why in the world are we debating statistics pulled from seaons in the 80s? We've already seen a huge trend progressing towards more LH hitters from the 80s to today... to this simple minded idiot, that would mean that there's going to be more hits to right than what there were in the 80s or 90s... We should be able to pull this data from 2011, which would tell us whether or not Revere and his range belong in left or in right.

scottz
07-11-2012, 07:39 PM
I knew I was slacking in my attention to twinsdaily, but this one really got away from me - 6 pages of replies before I got to it!

I will reply as one of the vocal dissents on Revere's arm, and I will stick with my assertion that his arm is awful. A noodle, if you will. Even if you won't, I will. I am impressed with what has been done to offset this though, from my subjective viewing. I don't think his arm is any better than last year, but it appears (again, subjective) that he is getting rid of the ball as quickly as he possibly can. Additionally, the infielders (particularly the 2Bers) appear to be hustling out farther and faster than on balls hit to Revere last year to take the cut. The result, I think, has been positive.

Stats are always fun, too. I won't define all the 5 baserunning situations that go into these, but they are easily discovered (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/reverbe01-field.shtml).
Revere (2010-2012)
(CF) 145 opportunities, 57 holds (40.1%)
league average 2010-2012 45.4%
(RF) 63 opportunities, 29 holds (46.0%)
league average 2010-2012 46.2%.
(LF) 21 opportunities, 12 holds (57.1%)
league average 2010-2012 63.7%

For comparison,
Span (2008-2012)
(CF) 539 opportunities, 221 holds (41.0%)
league average 2008-2012 45.6%
(RF) 128 opportunities, 64 holds (50.0%)
league average 2008-2012 47.1%.
(LF) 70 opportunities, 47 holds (67.1%)
league average 2008-2012 63.9%

Items of note:
1) Both Span and Revere register as below average in holding runners from centerfield in their careers.
2) Span is above average at both corner positions, while Revere remains below average. (Though for 2012, Revere is better than the 2010-2012 league average at 48.2%.)
3) Span has 12 "Kills" in his career. That is, he as made 12 direct throw-outs of a runner trying to advance. Revere has 0.
4) Span has 8 other assists that resulted in a throw-out of a runner trying to advance. Revere has 5.
5) Therefore versus Span, runners have been thrown out trying to advance 20 times (by Span or cut-off men) in 737 opportunities (2.7%). Versus Revere, runners have been thrown out trying to advance 5 times (by cut-off men) in 229 opportunities (2.2%).

None of this tells us if runners are actually taking advantage of Revere's weak arm and running more against him than against Span or anyone else. I'm not sure there are data readily available there for that, short of going through everyone's stats and calculating the number of opportunities per game. But carrying the Span/Revere data forward, Span has played in the outfield in 533 career games while Revere has played 166 in the outfield.

Span's 737 opportunities over 533 career OF games = 1.383 opportunities per game * 162 games/yr = 224.0 opportunities/season. A 2.7% "kill" rate (via himself or cut-off man) means 6 outs per year.
Revere's 229 opportunities over 166 career OF games = 1.380 opportunities per game * 162 games/yr = 223.6 opportunities/season. A 2.2% "kill" rate (via cut-off man alone) means 4.9 outs per year.

One out difference over a season of baseball. Given that there is likely some error in the tracking of the data, that seems an amount that would be lost in the noise of the data. So Ben Revere has a noodle arm, but it sure doesn't seem to matter much.

Forgive me for the data mashing, my wife and kids are out of town and this is the most uninterrupted thought I've had about baseball all season. I got carried away. I would love any comments about this "analysis" though - I was just winging this as I went.

scottz

scottz
07-11-2012, 07:53 PM
It occurred to me that the question isn't necessarily "are runners directly getting thrown out?", but instead "how often are runners advancing?"

So using the same data as above, Span has 332 total holds in 737 opportunities (45.0% hold rate, 55.0% advance rate) while Revere has 98 total holds in 229 opportunities (42.8% hold, 57.2 advance). Again projecting out using their respective opportunities/season rates:

Span's 224.0 opportunities/season and hold/advance rates results in runners holding 100.8 times and advancing 123.2 times.
Revere's 223.6 opportunities/season and hold/advance rates results in runners holding 95.7 times and advancing 127.9 times.

So over the course of a year, runners will advance on Revere roughly 5 more times than they will advance on Span. Depending on the game situation and which type of advance scenario is occurring, that could be very significant, but statistically, it still seems rather small.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 08:23 PM
"Prospects" sure. But Revere was a better player at every step in the minors, there is something to be said for that. He has shown what he can do every step of the way. Players like Benson and Hicks are still talked about as toolsy of having upside. they haven't shown it yet. thats what i meant by taking "a wait and see" approach.

That's just it, Revere wasn't a better player. That's my point. Revere spent most of his time in the minors OPSing just a little over .700 with stellar defense. Hicks has spent most of his time in the minors OPSing a little over .800 with, yes, stellar defense. Both players are the same age at each step of the minors. Even being labelled as a "toolsy guy with upside", Hicks has still been a vastly superior hitter to Revere while the defense is probably close to a wash.

Again, not knocking Revere, as he's really played well for the Twins. But I fully expect Hicks to be a better player in the near future, as he's consistently been a better player than Revere was in the minors.

USAFChief
07-11-2012, 08:36 PM
We've now gone 6 pages, plus time on BYTO, plus other threads here, and IMO we still haven't been able to difinatively nail down whether or not more balls are hit in the air to RF or LF.

Seems sort of odd in this day and age, no? Are we just looking in the wrong places? Don't have access to the data? Or isn't it out there?

Riverbrian
07-11-2012, 11:01 PM
I knew I was slacking in my attention to twinsdaily, but this one really got away from me - 6 pages of replies before I got to it!

I will reply as one of the vocal dissents on Revere's arm, and I will stick with my assertion that his arm is awful. A noodle, if you will. Even if you won't, I will. I am impressed with what has been done to offset this though, from my subjective viewing. I don't think his arm is any better than last year, but it appears (again, subjective) that he is getting rid of the ball as quickly as he possibly can. Additionally, the infielders (particularly the 2Bers) appear to be hustling out farther and faster than on balls hit to Revere last year to take the cut. The result, I think, has been positive.

Stats are always fun, too. I won't define all the 5 baserunning situations that go into these, but they are easily discovered (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/reverbe01-field.shtml).
Revere (2010-2012)
(CF) 145 opportunities, 57 holds (40.1%)
league average 2010-2012 45.4%
(RF) 63 opportunities, 29 holds (46.0%)
league average 2010-2012 46.2%.
(LF) 21 opportunities, 12 holds (57.1%)
league average 2010-2012 63.7%

For comparison,
Span (2008-2012)
(CF) 539 opportunities, 221 holds (41.0%)
league average 2008-2012 45.6%
(RF) 128 opportunities, 64 holds (50.0%)
league average 2008-2012 47.1%.
(LF) 70 opportunities, 47 holds (67.1%)
league average 2008-2012 63.9%

Items of note:
1) Both Span and Revere register as below average in holding runners from centerfield in their careers.
2) Span is above average at both corner positions, while Revere remains below average. (Though for 2012, Revere is better than the 2010-2012 league average at 48.2%.)
3) Span has 12 "Kills" in his career. That is, he as made 12 direct throw-outs of a runner trying to advance. Revere has 0.
4) Span has 8 other assists that resulted in a throw-out of a runner trying to advance. Revere has 5.
5) Therefore versus Span, runners have been thrown out trying to advance 20 times (by Span or cut-off men) in 737 opportunities (2.7%). Versus Revere, runners have been thrown out trying to advance 5 times (by cut-off men) in 229 opportunities (2.2%).

None of this tells us if runners are actually taking advantage of Revere's weak arm and running more against him than against Span or anyone else. I'm not sure there are data readily available there for that, short of going through everyone's stats and calculating the number of opportunities per game. But carrying the Span/Revere data forward, Span has played in the outfield in 533 career games while Revere has played 166 in the outfield.

Span's 737 opportunities over 533 career OF games = 1.383 opportunities per game * 162 games/yr = 224.0 opportunities/season. A 2.7% "kill" rate (via himself or cut-off man) means 6 outs per year.
Revere's 229 opportunities over 166 career OF games = 1.380 opportunities per game * 162 games/yr = 223.6 opportunities/season. A 2.2% "kill" rate (via cut-off man alone) means 4.9 outs per year.

One out difference over a season of baseball. Given that there is likely some error in the tracking of the data, that seems an amount that would be lost in the noise of the data. So Ben Revere has a noodle arm, but it sure doesn't seem to matter much.

Forgive me for the data mashing, my wife and kids are out of town and this is the most uninterrupted thought I've had about baseball all season. I got carried away. I would love any comments about this "analysis" though - I was just winging this as I went.

scottz

Great post Scottz... You did a better job pointing out what I've been unsuccessfully trying to point out... Yes Ben's arm is weak in comparison but it isn't going to matter much.

Players advance extra bases based more... On where the ball is and where the outfielder is in relationship to the ball. If Ben gets to the ball quicker and can we assume he does cuz I don't have stats on that. If Ben gets to the ball quicker and gets it in quick... That is effective at holding the runner. Regardless of his noodle arm. If he has the Rock in his hands and is set to throw it. They will not attempt trying to pick up the extra base.

In a nutshell... Getting to the ball quicker is just as effective at preventing the extra base(even more so in my opinion). As the guy who gets to the ball slower and possesses the best cannon arm in the majors.

Just another way that his best in class speed helps.

I concede that his arm will come into play negatively on tag situations at times but we are talking about a few yards difference and very few outs over the course of a season.

However the range plays that he makes can help prevent big innings by getting to balls that others can't reach. It's an out made that can stop teams from stringing some stuff together and piling up multiple runs in an inning.

Take the range over arm strength every single time.

Brock Beauchamp
07-12-2012, 06:35 AM
We've now gone 6 pages, plus time on BYTO, plus other threads here, and IMO we still haven't been able to difinatively nail down whether or not more balls are hit in the air to RF or LF.

Seems sort of odd in this day and age, no? Are we just looking in the wrong places? Don't have access to the data? Or isn't it out there?

Yep. I was stunned by the lack of easily-found data on the subject. I figured my Google-Fu was failing me but it turns out, that info just isn't really available.

Brock Beauchamp
07-12-2012, 07:08 AM
Also, I'd like to add that this has been a stellar discussion, best I've seen on the board yet. Great work by all the stat hounds.

snepp
07-12-2012, 07:15 AM
Also, I'd like to add that this has been a stellar discussion, best I've seen on the board yet. Great work by all the stat hounds.

Now you just need to fix the title of the thread. :rolleyes: