PDA

View Full Version : Joe Benson leading off?



Mave
03-05-2013, 05:19 PM
Joe hit leadoff today, and now I have a number of questions. I admittedly haven't been paying close enough attention to see if he has in previous ST games, but regardless, does this make sense to anyone else? Do the Twins realistically expect Joe to hit leadoff? Is this just an attempt to get him extra ABs at the start of the game? In Benson, aren't we looking at more of a Torii Hunter (free swinger, bigger power threat, plus fielder) than a Denard Span? Are we just stuck in a world where speedy CF's who provide plus defense= leadoff hitter? Am I just anxious/confused/making-a-mountain-out-of-a-molehill because I'm looking at 6 inches of fresh powder (and more still falling), opening day is just weeks away, it's midterms week and I really just want baseball to start again?

It just strikes me as odd-- like when the Tigers kept trotting Granderson out as their leadoff hitter when he didn't really possess the complete skill set required of the position.

USAFChief
03-05-2013, 05:23 PM
Um, let's see: yes, no, maybe, probably, conceivably, undoubtedly. Any more questions?

Oldgoat_MN
03-05-2013, 05:32 PM
USAFChief - you kind of stop the comments when you answer all the questions in the first post.
Think about the rest of us.
Thank you

P.S. Mave - I wouldn't make too much out of Benson leading off a ST game. He's fast, but I don't expect his OBP to push him to leadoff.

ashburyjohn
03-05-2013, 05:54 PM
Um, let's see: yes, no, maybe, probably, conceivably, undoubtedly. Any more questions?

Possibly.

Mave
03-05-2013, 05:59 PM
Chief-- Nope. All clear. Much appreciated.

Goat-- I agree-- in the minors his OBP isnt terrible, but the strikeout totals... ouch... pretty much an annual minimum of 2:1 K/BB, topping 100 K's/year several times.

I won't put the topic to bed just yet-- one more hypothetical question. Let's say for the sake of said scenario that Benson not only makes the team but is slated as the everyday leadoff hitter. I'm thinking he would be right-handed Jacque Jones 2.0 (with a better defense). Thoughts?

Seth Stohs
03-05-2013, 06:35 PM
Power-wise, the Right-handed Jacque Jones comp is pretty good. However, Benson had very good Isolated Discipline in the minors, so he should walk more than Jones and strikeout just as much. Better defense too. When Hicks or Mastroianni have been in the lineup, they've led off and Benson has hit 6th or 7th or so.

twinsnorth49
03-05-2013, 06:41 PM
Are we just stuck in a world where speedy CF's who provide plus defense= leadoff hitter?

Yes, it's Gardy's world and we all have to live in it.

kab21
03-05-2013, 07:38 PM
My comp for Benson is Drew Stubbs (high k's and BB's, late blooming power and decent CF defense). Baker has batted Stubbs 1st or 2nd 75% of his career so far and I would not be shocked if Gardy did the same with Benson.

In addition to a world where CF = leadoff hitter and 2nd base = #2 hitter the Twins really don't have a lot of options for leadoff and the #2 hitter. Assuming that Mauer, Morneau and Willingham are 3/4/5. There is no conceivable way that Gardy won't have Mauer #3.

jokin
03-05-2013, 08:19 PM
Yes, it's Gardy's world and we all have to live in it.

Outstanding...

jokin
03-05-2013, 08:21 PM
My comp for Benson is Drew Stubbs (high k's and BB's, late blooming power and decent CF defense). Baker has batted Stubbs 1st or 2nd 75% of his career so far and I would not be shocked if Gardy did the same with Benson.

In addition to a world where CF = leadoff hitter and 2nd base = #2 hitter the Twins really don't have a lot of options for leadoff and the #2 hitter. Assuming that Mauer, Morneau and Willingham are 3/4/5. There is no conceivable way that Gardy won't have Mauer #3.

So, you're saying Mauer's going to be coming up to the plate with the bases empty, a lot, this year?

cmathewson
03-05-2013, 08:41 PM
The twins are looking to replace Denard Span in CF. There are three candidates: Mastroiani, Hicks and Benson. The fact that Benson cannot hit leadoff will hinder his chances of making the team. You might think this isn't fair to him, but when you look at the other people in this order who can hit a little (Mauer, Morneau, Plouffe Parmelee and Doumit), it makes sens that the CF has to lead off. If we had a shortstop or second baseman who could lead-off, Benson might make more sense as a number 8 hitter. But we don't. And we do have a natural leadoff hitter in the CF competition (Hicks). Benson (or Mastorianni) hitting lead off in spring games is just a way to show everybody who the leader of the competition is (Hicks). It is clear to all the scribes that the Twins want Hicks to replace Span and are giving the others opportunities to compete in order to motivate them.

Twins Twerp
03-05-2013, 08:45 PM
Does benson being out of options mean he cant start in minors or that once up he cant be sent down?

snepp
03-05-2013, 08:57 PM
Doesn't Benson have an option remaining?


Anyway, technically everybody on the 40-man roster is already "up" because there is no 25-man roster during the offseason/spring. Any player without options would have to pass through waivers to get to the minors.

Brad Swanson
03-05-2013, 09:13 PM
My comp for Benson is Drew Stubbs (high k's and BB's, late blooming power and decent CF defense). Baker has batted Stubbs 1st or 2nd 75% of his career so far and I would not be shocked if Gardy did the same with Benson.

In addition to a world where CF = leadoff hitter and 2nd base = #2 hitter the Twins really don't have a lot of options for leadoff and the #2 hitter. Assuming that Mauer, Morneau and Willingham are 3/4/5. There is no conceivable way that Gardy won't have Mauer #3.

Stubbs is a solid comp for Benson, but Benson might be better defender. As for the number 2 hitter, if the Twins really believe in Chris Parmelee, he should hit 2nd. He'd get far more at bats batting 2nd, compared with 7th or 8th. If they like him enough to basically hand him a job in right field, why not hand him the second spot in the order as well?

Benson definitely has at least one option left.

Boom Boom
03-05-2013, 09:52 PM
Whoever is the opening day CF will hit leadoff. Gardy constructs lineups on autopilot- hence Redmond batting third, Tolbert batting second and Gomez leading off.

Badsmerf
03-05-2013, 10:05 PM
Parmelee will never hit 2nd. Gardy is much too old school for that. He wants a #2 hitter that can bunt and move runners. Personally, I'd bat Joe Mauer lead-off. Why wouldn't you want the guy that gets on base the most in the league receiving the most AB's on the team? Stubbornness is the answer, in case anyone was asking that question to themselves for a fraction of a second.

jokin
03-05-2013, 10:55 PM
Stubbs is a solid comp for Benson, but Benson might be better defender. As for the number 2 hitter, if the Twins really believe in Chris Parmelee, he should hit 2nd. He'd get far more at bats batting 2nd, compared with 7th or 8th. If they like him enough to basically hand him a job in right field, why not hand him the second spot in the order as well?

Benson definitely has at least one option left.

Agree with this and have advocated for such in the past. With no obvious potentially successful candidates for typical Gardy batting order construction and his adamant opposition to moving Mauer up in the order, why not try an AL East-style bopping #2 hole hitter instead of a Slap-N-Punch-N-Judy that inexplicably has Gardy so enamored to? This would be a good chance in a 1st Down-Punting season to experiment with Parmelee hitting just behind Hicks/Mastro and just in front of Mauer. Now, all we need is someone to spike Gardy's cherry juice to get this done.

SpiritofVodkaDave
03-05-2013, 11:33 PM
Parmelee will never hit 2nd. Gardy is much too old school for that. He wants a #2 hitter that can bunt and move runners. Personally, I'd bat Joe Mauer lead-off. Why wouldn't you want the guy that gets on base the most in the league receiving the most AB's on the team? Stubbornness is the answer, in case anyone was asking that question to themselves for a fraction of a second.

1. Hicks
2. Mauer

That is the top of the lineup that can win you some ball games.

Parmelee isn't a #2 hitter, you need a guy who at least has a little speed or preferably can get on base at a good clip. Parmelee personally projects as a #6/#7 hitter to me.

h2oface
03-06-2013, 12:01 AM
the nats did pretty damn good with werth hitting lead off last year. now they are tampering with success and hitting span first and werth second. benson now has 3 hits in 20 ABs with 7 Ks and 4 walks. he seems really over matched.

Shane Wahl
03-06-2013, 01:00 AM
1. Hicks
2. Mauer

That is the top of the lineup that can win you some ball games.

Parmelee isn't a #2 hitter, you need a guy who at least has a little speed or preferably can get on base at a good clip. Parmelee personally projects as a #6/#7 hitter to me.

Yeah, I would be hella on board with a Hicks-Mauer top of the order. Other than that it just seems like it would have to be Carroll-Mauer. But Gardy's choice might be something like Mastro-Dozier-Mauer.

Hicks-Mauer-Willingham-Morneau-Doumit-Plouffe-Parmelee-Dozier-Florimon is actually a formidable lineup. If Hicks is down, I would honestly just put Boggs in there at leadoff. Yeah.

Shane Wahl
03-06-2013, 01:03 AM
Back to the original issue, I do see that Benson could be a 5 or 6 hitter. That said, I do imagine that he will be traded no later than 2015.

jokin
03-06-2013, 03:34 AM
Yeah, I would be hella on board with a Hicks-Mauer top of the order. Other than that it just seems like it would have to be Carroll-Mauer. But Gardy's choice might be something like Mastro-Dozier-Mauer.

Hicks-Mauer-Willingham-Morneau-Doumit-Plouffe-Parmelee-Dozier-Florimon is actually a formidable lineup. If Hicks is down, I would honestly just put Boggs in there at leadoff. Yeah.



1. Hicks
2. Mauer

That is the top of the lineup that can win you some ball games.

Parmelee isn't a #2 hitter, you need a guy who at least has a little speed or preferably can get on base at a good clip. Parmelee personally projects as a #6/#7 hitter to me.


1) Hicks/Mauer is my personal preference, as well, w/ Carroll @ #9 (terrific in 2012 batting 9th: 274/357/333 vs. League Average of 233/292/349). Unfortunately, we all understand that it is unlikely to happen.

2) I think we all know that Dozier is going to be given every chance to bat Second, but Parmelee fits into the AL East concept of the 2-Hole batter to a certain extent and could possibly answer the concerns about OBP, while providing a pull-hitting LHB to hit behind Hicks and offset his lack of speed by providing a much more favorable GB/FB ratio to the alternatives and increased OF gap power to limit the DP possibilities and increase the overall TB numbers.

Consider- if OBP is the main concern, these are Parmelee's career batting slashes, which are encouraging enough to suggest that if given a chance, Parm could develop into a superior OBP guy in the 2-Hole:

MLB: 265/336/448 (w/ MOB 278/354/426)
AAA: 338/457/645
MiL: 273/365/455

Here's the AL average at the 2-Hole in 2012:

AL#2: 254/314/389

Here's the Twins average at the 2-Hole in 2012 vs. AL East team slashes (Revere skews up the Twins numbers, getting half the ABs @ #2):

MNT2: 273/321/329

NYY2: 253/341/479
TBJ2: 247/319/422
BOS2: 263/312/397
BAL2: 230/277/375
TBR2: 230/304/423

2012 AL East Average: 249/311/419.

This data shows that OBP is clearly less important in the AL East- while power is clearly emphasized, even to light-hitting Tampa Bay! Parmelee could provide clearly superior OBP numbers to the AL East average while possibly matching or exceeding their power numbers.

More data:

XBHs in the 2-Hole for the Twins in 2012: 27
XBHs AL East average at 2-Hole in 2012: 59.5

SFH for Twins from 2-Hole in 2012: 10
SFH for AL East average @#2 in 12: 5.1

I have no hope that the Twins would at least try this option, but the alternatives for this year are comparatively pathetic. (Sadly, after retrieving all these numbers, it made putting Mauer at #2 all-the-more-obvious decision).

USAFChief
03-06-2013, 08:05 AM
IMO, who is in the lineup is much more important than where they hit in the lineup. Your best hitters should be somewhere near the top so they come to the plate more often over the course of a season. Other than that, "leadoff," "#2 hitter," etc are just names that have little to do with how many runs a team scores.

fairweather
03-06-2013, 08:08 AM
Welcome to sur la table. It's improbable but not impossible.

kab21
03-06-2013, 10:57 AM
I expect Hicks to struggle this year. He has some flaws and he's always taken a year to adjust when he was simply moving up a level in the minors. Moving up to the majors is a huge jump.

I also like the idea of parmelee 2nd but realistically there is almost no chance it happens.

Oldgoat_MN
03-06-2013, 11:24 AM
Benson had a .388 OBP at AA in 2011. Last year was a disaster for him.
IF AA was not his ceiling and IF he comes back and proves to be a MLB player his OBP could very well be fine, based on history.
Don't really care if he strikes out a lot if he gets on base at a good clip (though without a high BABIP the two don't go together well).

Rosterman
03-06-2013, 11:24 AM
Benson has options this year and, I believe, next season too. Wouldn't have to be exposed until 2015. But if he doesn't produce, expect him to be at least packaged in a trade before then.

Kwak
03-06-2013, 11:50 AM
How much would the Twins receive in a trade for a guy who has failed at the major league level and plays a position the Twins are known to have in excess?

Willihammer
03-06-2013, 12:55 PM
A while back I went through the hitting results for teams based on position in the order, trying to find a relationship to the scoring that teams did.

I'm not totally sure how to interpret the data. The strongest correlation between lineup production and team scoring is at the 1st and 4th spots in the order. My theory is that, because the 1st spot will lead off at least once per game, and the 4th spot is guranteed to leadoff the 2nd inning in about 1/3 of all games (and then more or less randomly for the rest of the game), production in those two spots is more critical than elsewhere in the lineup.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5pIzP28qdp-WTZ5aHBJWHRRQ3c/edit?usp=sharing

ashburyjohn
03-06-2013, 01:01 PM
How much would the Twins receive in a trade for a guy who has failed at the major league level and plays a position the Twins are known to have in excess?

Depends on whether you can find one team needing good CF work and wanting to take a chance on his bat, or two of them.

ThePuck
03-06-2013, 01:40 PM
Benson has options this year and, I believe, next season too. Wouldn't have to be exposed until 2015. But if he doesn't produce, expect him to be at least packaged in a trade before then.

Benson only has one option year left...this year.

cmathewson
03-06-2013, 01:52 PM
Benson has an option remaining. He was added to the 40-man roster before the 2011 season, and optioned out that year and in 2012.

Thrylos
03-06-2013, 02:15 PM
Parm could develop into a superior OBP guy in the 2-Hole:.

And will increase Mauer's GIDP by lots, compared to a speedy infielder batting second. I think that Mauer's double plays is part of the reason that Gardenhire likes to bat speedy people in front of him.

Boom Boom
03-06-2013, 02:24 PM
And will increase Mauer's GIDP by lots, compared to a speedy infielder batting second. I think that Mauer's double plays is part of the reason that Gardenhire likes to bat speedy people in front of him.

I think I'd rather have a slow guy who can get on base and risk the double play than a speedy guy with questionable on base skills.

twinsnorth49
03-06-2013, 03:01 PM
I think I'd rather have a slow guy who can get on base and risk the double play than a speedy guy with questionable on base skills.

Yep, having someone on base to advance more often is a better scenario than Joe coming up with nobody on and 1 out.

Boom Boom
03-06-2013, 03:29 PM
When Mauer hits a ground ball on the right side, it's usually sharp enough that any runner going from 1st to 2nd is going to get doubled up.

USAFChief
03-06-2013, 05:34 PM
When anyone hits a ground ball on the right side, it's usually sharp enough that any runner going from 1st to 2nd is going to get forced.
FTFY. It's the hitter who gets "doubled up," not the runner on first, and as you said, the baserunner's speed isn't typically the issue, unless he has already stolen 2nd base. Any runner is going to get forced. Which, I guess might have been Thrylos' point. Of course, if that was his point, I don't think it's a valid one, since IMO teams should worry more about how often a player gets to first base to begin with than how likely they are to steal second once they get there. Not to mention as I said, unless he's already stolen second, or at least moving on the pitch, it doesn't matter if it's Usain Bolt at 1st base, most ground balls fielded cleanly by an infielder are going to result in a force out at second base. Whether the team can turn two isn't dependent on the baserunner, it depends on the hitter, the fielders, and how hard the ball was hit.

birdwatcher
03-06-2013, 06:22 PM
Um, let's see: yes, no, maybe, probably, conceivably, undoubtedly. Any more questions?

That dang Chief thinks he has ALL the answers.

edavis0308
03-06-2013, 06:33 PM
So is the main argument if people would rather have Ben Revere or a mid 2000's Nick Johnson in the two hole?

twinsnorth49
03-07-2013, 09:23 AM
So is the main argument if people would rather have Ben Revere or a mid 2000's Nick Johnson in the two hole?

Hmmmm, that would be interesting to consider. I think the mid 2000's Johnson flashed enough HR power to not be wasted in the two hole but a 2009 version maybe. in '09 he scored 1 run more than Revere did last year in roughly 20 more PA's. He stole 38 less bases but posted an OBP almost 100 points higher than Ben. Maybe Washington or Florida cold have scored even more runs with Johnson hitting 2 or even lead off.

snepp
03-07-2013, 10:10 AM
Yeah, it would suck to get too many home runs from the 2nd spot in the order.

USAFChief
03-07-2013, 10:17 AM
Yeah, it would suck to get too many home runs from the 2nd spot in the order. Yeah fur sure. Although...it would cut down on Mauer's GIDP.

kab21
03-07-2013, 10:39 AM
Yeah, it would suck to get too many home runs from the 2nd spot in the order.

I think it would suck to have so many runners on base that we are concerned about Mauer's GIDP's.

twinsnorth49
03-07-2013, 11:17 AM
Yeah, it would suck to get too many home runs from the 2nd spot in the order.

Lol, that's not quite what I meant but I get the point, http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/fighting/slap-in-the-face.gif. The mid 2000's Johnson would serve just as well or better that the '09 version at #2 or lead-off. The point in the discussion was that high OBP guys who are big and slow are likely more valuable in those spots than speedy guys who can't get on base much in the first place.

But I deserve the abuse, keep it coming.

snepp
03-07-2013, 11:34 AM
Lol, that's not quite what I meant but I get the point. The mid 2000's Johnson would serve just as well or better that the '09 version at #2 or lead-off. The point in the discussion was that high OBP guys who are big and slow are likely more valuable in those spots than speedy guys who can't get on base much in the first place.

The real question is, can he bunt?


:D

twinsnorth49
03-07-2013, 11:38 AM
The real question is, can he bunt?:D

See,there you go, that's why the HR's would be wasted, the priority for a solid Gardy #2 is bunting. Can't sacfrifice RISP with actual runs.

edavis0308
03-07-2013, 11:42 AM
I lol'ed at this exchange.

Badsmerf
03-07-2013, 05:20 PM
The real question is, can he bunt?


:D
All the... small things... truth care.... truth brings.........

Kwak
03-07-2013, 06:25 PM
Discussion about Benson leading off--moot point. Unless Mastroianni is on the DL, Benson will be in Rochester.

LaBombo
03-07-2013, 06:41 PM
The real question is, can he bunt?


:D

Don't you mean 'can he bunt for power'?