06-16-2012, 11:09 AM #1
Ben Revere Part II,
I will accept that fact that Ben Revere will not scare any pitchers so they will challenge him, thus he won't walk much. What I cannot accept is his poor bunting skills he has shown so far. I want to say I can recall back to back games when he popped out trying to bunt for a hit. I know this can come back to the fact he doesn't have the power to make pitchers fear him. What I don't understand is with Rod Carew hanging around lately that the Twins haven't begged the HOF'er to try to work with Ben on his bunting. With his speed he could probably beat out alot of them for hits improving his average and setting up RBI chances for the heart of the order.
06-16-2012, 11:53 AM #2
I agree that with Ben's skill set he should be a better bunter and I'm sure it's something he is working on.
A couple of things to keep in mind.
1. He's young... One of those blown bunts he was just too young to make the right decision. It was an obvious bunting situation and the pitcher knew it and threw up and in... like a smart major league pitcher will do. Ben made a mistake trying to get that bunt down. This should get better with more experience.
2. In order to make the Major Leagues... You are a good hitter. It doesn't matter how you are comparably with the rest of Major League Baseball. The guy hitting .200 in the Majors was a damn good hitter growing up... While playing Youth Baseball up to High School or even into College. You have to be a fantastic hitter at those levels... Most likely the best hitter on your team... to even be considered for Major League ball.
If you are the best hitter on your team... You are not asked to bunt much... You don't practice it... So guys like Ben despite their skill sets probably don't start working on bunting until their pro career starts and they are busy playing a bunch of games.
3. Baseball is moving away from the bunt. It's generally accepted by everyone that you don't want to give up outs. Sacrifices are saved for the final innings when 1 run makes the difference. Bunting for hits are no sure thing either. You bunt for hit when you think you can pull it off. You don't bunt when the infield is in your face.
4. Guys with Speed like Revere and Gomez are not going to sneak up on anyone. 3B is already up on the grass when Revere steps into the box. You can't force it and if the they are already positioned to stop it... Slapping it past 3B makes more sense and Ben does that pretty good from what I see and if 3B just camps out. It gives you less time to practice the craft in game situations.
5. A little patience can be rewarded. He won't be amazing at it tomorrow but he will be eventually. Every player is different. Ben is Young.
06-16-2012, 03:27 PM #3
Anecdotally, it sounds like Ben has been a little resistant before this year to really work on his bunting. There was lots of talk by the coaching staff in spring training about him working on that - and then there was a lot of talk by the announcers how he was never bunting, and then he lost his starting job, and then he ended up in AAA. It seems he's taking it a lot more seriously now, and even occasionally seeing the value in trying to bunt for a hit. It might also help that he sees Plouffe and Dozier also doing so occasionally.
06-16-2012, 04:31 PM #4
All in all, better late than never. Chuck Berry didn't pick up a guitar until age 19. Robby Krieger had only been playing for 6 months before joining the Doors. So come on baby "Light my Fire" and "Ben-ny B. Goode".
06-16-2012, 08:15 PM #5
I want to say I can recall back to back games when he popped out trying to bunt for a hit.
[QUOTE][What I don't understand is with Rod Carew hanging around lately that the Twins haven't begged the HOF'er to try to work with Ben on his bunting./QUOTE]
Carew isn't really around very often. Just awhile in spring training, and from all reports, they have had Revere work on it. 1.) Carew can give him every good tip to bunting, and it doesn't really matter until Revere does it. 2.) Carew was a horrible hitting coach for a couple of organizations. Not sure how much that would help.
With his speed he could probably beat out alot of them for hits improving his average and setting up RBI chances for the heart of the order.
06-16-2012, 10:28 PM #6
Have you been watching the games? The two times he failed to get a bunt down were on sacrifice attempts. No doubt it was ugly but he has 3-5 bunt singles and is hitting well over .300. What is the great Denard Span hitting again after another 0-4 day. It's time to trade Span while he is still healthy!!
Last edited by Fanatic Jack; 06-16-2012 at 10:32 PM.
06-17-2012, 02:23 AM #7
Here're the numbers compiled on bunts from 2002-2012 ('12 numbers prorated to full year projection):
07-12- .3890 That's a 4.35% improvement from 02-06.
11-12- .3994 That's a 7.14% improvement from 02-06
07-12- 1584 That's down 2.8% from 02-06.
11-12- 1636 That's up .4% from 02-06.
11-12: 3167 That's down 1.8% from 02-06, but up 3.5% from 07-12.
So, SH, TBA and BAB are all trending back up from recent lows (presumably the "end" of the steroid era). Bunting batting average is moving up more quickly, presumably indicating both more successful SH attempts, but also better use of the bunt as a defense-challenging, base hit weapon. I'm all in favor of a guy like Plouffe, who obviously knows how to bunt, plopping one down on occasion when the IF is playing deep. It's great for the whole line-up against the bad 3B and 1B fielders like Dunn, Cabrera, Fielder, Reynolds, etc. It also doesn't hurt to break up a tough pitcher's rhythm. If you knew you could bat close to .400 whenever the IF is playing back and/or you have bad defensive IFers, or a tough pitcher, why wouldn't you use it as a weapon in your arsenal as often as possible (begs the question why more players don't practice bunting more often, is it a macho thing?)? The value of walks and BB% is prized in sabremetrics- it's a difficult skill that few master- short of the IBB route, yet the BB% rate for all players since 2002 is 7.95%- there are only 47 guys during this time that have a BB% rate over 10% (of those w/ at least 4000 PAs, 2002-12). If "a walk is as good as a hit", it seems like a bunt hit is better than a walk, and easier to obtain than a walk- at a much higher rate, when, as is often the case, the defense is "giving" you the base through either the defensive scheme and/or the horrible gloves at the key positions. It seems like an OBP-embracer like Joe Mauer, once he saw the math, would love enhancing his gaudy OBP with, say, 20 bunt hits a year, it sure beats those repeated 5-hop groundouts. ( I know, I know, I remember his last bunting fiasco a couple years ago...)
As suspected, overall MLB OBP is trending down somewhat alarmingly- for 2011-12, the OBP is .320, versus a fairly steady trend of around .333 for the preceding years 2001-10. Those years are, in turn, a drop from the heavy steroid era of the 90s when OBP was .340 (1994-2000). Does this suggest that teams might be looking to improve their offense by employing more speed in the lineup now that "power" is diminishing? And will more teams look to a broadening of the player-by-player-sharpening of their overall bunting skills?
Last edited by jokin; 06-18-2012 at 02:32 AM.
06-17-2012, 05:30 PM #8
I have nothing statistical to back this up but I believe the game speed is increasing overall as the years go by. It may not be a steroid era remnant. I just think that the players are getting faster. There is some amazing speed out there and it's a big reason why I'm such a Revere supporter.
When it comes to speed... Revere may be best in Class. Speed can beat you and if you have a guy who is best in class at anything. You got something. I think of Revere as Giancarlo Stanton with his legs.
Back to the subject of bunting for hits. I think that all players should be working on it. It doesn't matter if they have speed or not. Especially those left handed pull hitters.
With the Charting taking place we are seeing some rediculous shifts in baseball today. Some lefthanded pull hitters are looking at shifts with 3B playing SS and SS positioned on the 1st base side of the second base bag. I don't care if your Jim Thome... Drop it down the 3b Line... If you do that enough times. They will shift back and your hole is open again.
Revere should definently be working on it but I think it's a club that can be added to anyone's bag.
06-18-2012, 08:10 AM #9
I've long wondered if this stubbornness is due to the player not wanting to learn how to bunt or whether it's another case of baseball managers completely ignoring a logical solution to a problem in favor of doing what everyone else is doing. The average baseball manager hasn't proven himself to be terribly bright when it comes to applying logic to a situation and finding a solution to a new (or in this case, ancient) problem.