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Thread: Kahrl: Twins Could Jump Up

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Actually, he did make some adjustments. His April was just abysmal: a .356 OPS. But May, June and July were not horrible, .707, .708, and .671 respectively. Not world beating, but with his defense, adequate. The Twins just wanted more, and sent him down to work on things. Unfortunately, he did not respond to the demotion as they hoped. So it was a lost season and he will need to start over. But he has shown resilience throughout his career.

    I expect him to put up an OPS of about .700 in 300 PAs or so in the majors. That's certainly not going to make the difference for the Twins.
    Even if you throw out his first 10 games which were abysmal something like 2 for 46 and go through the end of July he had a .687 OPS. For comparison Denard Span has a .703 OPS over the last four years. It's easy to get fixated on the terrible batting average and not realize he wasn't completely awful last year. For a rookie who skipped a level to struggle seems pretty normal. It won't take a lot for Hicks to put up a .750 OPS in the future IMO.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Actually, he did make some adjustments. His April was just abysmal: a .356 OPS. But May, June and July were not horrible, .707, .708, and .671 respectively. Not world beating, but with his defense, adequate. The Twins just wanted more, and sent him down to work on things. Unfortunately, he did not respond to the demotion as they hoped. So it was a lost season and he will need to start over. But he has shown resilience throughout his career.

    I expect him to put up an OPS of about .700 in 300 PAs or so in the majors. That's certainly not going to make the difference for the Twins.
    And his adjustments made for some bizarre batting lines.

    From 11 BBs in April, to only 13 the rest of the year. 6 HRs in May, 0 in April, 2 the rest of the year.

    His BB% was 13.3% in April, but only ~6% for the rest of the year.

    His K% did improve from April, but not that much. For a guy who is as selective at swinging as Joe Mauer, a contact rate like Michael Cuddyer, a swinging strike percentage like Andrew McCutcheon, an O-Swing rate in the top 10 lowest, his BB% was just a little better than Carlos Gomez....... he must have led the league in callled third strikes percentage, if that stat is kept somewhere.

    His ISO was an impossible-to-fathom low .014 in April and then an incredibly high .255 in May and then bouncing back to .149 in July.

    He's a Ground Ball (66%)/HR hitter, with only a 10% LD rate, when he pulls the ball from either side. When he goes away or to CF, his Line Drive rate is double (20%), while his GB rate is only ~30%.

    As a pull hitter, he's got All Star numbers from both sides of the plate: .382/.763/.1145, although qualitatively different: LH pull- .362/.672/.1034 RH pull- .444/.1056/.1500. Going away or to CF, he's a .170BA/.500 OPS hitter. Against outside pitches, should he be bunting more and looking to put the ball on the ground more? Should he better try to sharpen and define his approach as either a speed guy or a power guy? Can he morph into a MLB competent defensive type of patient batter that seems to fit his personality? Or can he have one approach from the left side and another from the right side?
    Last edited by jokin; 12-31-2013 at 03:08 PM.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    There's a lot of talk here about Hicks, but how about Florimon too? Perhaps we could see a statistical improvement in on-base percentage similar to Dozier's sophomore season:

    Player's OBP Minors (PA) 1st Year (PA) 2nd year (PA)
    Dozier .370 (1613) .271 (340) .312 (558)
    Hicks .376 (2192) .259 (313)
    Florimon .321 (2900) .281 (446)*

    (*Florimon had 160 plate appearances in 2011-12)

    Dozier's OBP climbed 41 points between his 1st and 2nd full seasons with the Twins (his slugging percentage also climbed 82 points). It may be unrealistic for both Florimon and Hicks' OBP to climb over .300 OBP in their second full MLB seasons, but even a modest increase should tilt the balance toward more overall runs scored.

    Also, factor the uptick both Hicks and Florimon bring in the field over/against all of the other available options. We want these guys in the field. Now if they can only reach base...

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfchest View Post
    Even if you throw out his first 10 games which were abysmal something like 2 for 46 and go through the end of July he had a .687 OPS. For comparison Denard Span has a .703 OPS over the last four years. It's easy to get fixated on the terrible batting average and not realize he wasn't completely awful last year. For a rookie who skipped a level to struggle seems pretty normal. It won't take a lot for Hicks to put up a .750 OPS in the future IMO.
    2 for 48, it appears. Throw that out, and he OPS'd .676 for the rest of the season. ZiPS had him projected for .672 before the season (85 OPS+) -- might be the goal to maintain that for all of 2014. That would get him near Revere & Span territory, offensively.

    However, I am not sure whether to be pleased by his extra power (.146 ISO, up to .176 after the 2-for-48, vs only .126 projected) or discouraged by the lack of walks (.067 isolated discipline, only .054 after the 2-for-48, vs .082 projected). Something tells me power is never going to be a plus tool for him, so I would have liked to see him really establish that plate discipline.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    There's a lot of talk here about Hicks, but how about Florimon too? Perhaps we could see a statistical improvement in on-base percentage similar to Dozier's sophomore season:
    I think those numbers highlight how much Dozier and Hicks cratered at the MLB level, rather than suggesting anything too promising about Florimon's future performance.

    Hopefully Dozier's rebound and development bodes well for Hicks following suit.

  6. #66
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    And his adjustments made for some bizarre batting lines.

    From 11 BBs in April, to only 13 the rest of the year. 6 HRs in May, 0 in April, 2 the rest of the year.

    His BB% was 13.3% in April, but only ~6% for the rest of the year.

    His K% did improve from April, but not that much. For a guy who is as selective at swinging as Joe Mauer, a contact rate like Michael Cuddyer, a swinging strike percentage like Andrew McCutcheon, an O-Swing rate in the top 10 lowest, his BB% was just a little better than Carlos Gomez....... he must have led the league in callled third strikes percentage, if that stat is kept somewhere.

    His ISO was an impossible-to-fathom low .014 in April and then an incredibly high .255 in May and then bouncing back to .149 in July.

    He's a Ground Ball (66%)/HR hitter, with only a 10% LD rate, when he pulls the ball from either side. When he goes away or to CF, his Line Drive rate is double (20%), while his GB rate is only ~30%.

    As a pull hitter, he's got All Star numbers from both sides of the plate: .382/.763/.1145, although qualitatively different: LH pull- .362/.672/.1034 RH pull- .444/.1056/.1500. Going away or to CF, he's a .200BA/.500 OPS hitter. Against outside pitches, should he be bunting more and looking to put the ball on the ground more? Should he better try to sharpen and define his approach as either a speed guy or a power guy? Can he morph into a MLB competent defensive type of patient batter that seems to fit his personality? Or can he have one approach from the left side and another from the right side?
    The reason I focused just on OPS is these more granular stats are highly variable and subject to small sample issues. He hit three homers in a game, for example. That will cause a temporary spike in ISOP.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    2 for 48, it appears. Throw that out, and he OPS'd .676 for the rest of the season. ZiPS had him projected for .672 before the season (85 OPS+) -- might be the goal to maintain that for all of 2014. That would get him near Revere & Span territory, offensively.

    However, I am not sure whether to be pleased by his extra power (.146 ISO, up to .176 after the 2-for-48, vs only .126 projected) or discouraged by the lack of walks (.067 isolated discipline, only .054 after the 2-for-48, vs .082 projected). Something tells me power is never going to be a plus tool for him, so I would have liked to see him really establish that plate discipline.
    Yep. I think that when you get labeled as a 5-tool guy, you sometimes end up with someone trying to unrealistically live up to the expectations of always carrying that full tool box around with you. I hope you aren't being overly dogmatic referring to Hicks in the past tense, there is still time to make up for the bad plan/lost season that now hangs over his head and definitively address the plate discipline issue.

    I think his 2012 AA numbers should be the guide on where to emphasize his career-path. He had a 14% BB rate, with 32 SBs (75% rate)- great mix of speed and a good batting eye- A .382 OBP rate with some punch in his bat, to boot- .459 SLG. His dramatic response to insertion as the lead-off man in late June after a prolonged 2-month slump. The Twins saw all that and visualized Hicks as the ideal guy to hit in front of Mauer- and then stubbornly refused to acknowledge that they had ignored Hicks' adjustment history and jumped the gun on him.

    I think the meeting of the minds this offseason should emphasize a battle plan focusing through various means on keeping his OBP at an elevated level on a consistent basis. The power can then come naturally as he compiles more major league ABs. There's still enough in his skill-set package to expect a possible 5 year run in his peak years of a batting slash of .275/.370/.430 with plus OF defense.

    Domonic Brown is a somewhat apt comp for how Hicks could develop. Brown wasn't rushed quite as fast to the Phillies, proving in his 5th minor league year in a full year at AA/AAA that he merited a call-up. This was followed by more trips down to AAA in 2011 and 2012, as his ML numbers with the Phillies were verrrrry 2013-Hicks-like in 2010, 2011 and 2012.... and we all know what Brown accomplished in 2013 at age 25/26. (.272/.324/.494). Hicks won't hit for that much power, but he's faster, draws more walks and therefore is capable of OBPing 50 points better than Brown. Patience and well-thought-out tinkering is going to be the key to maximizing his value.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    The reason I focused just on OPS is these more granular stats are highly variable and subject to small sample issues. He hit three homers in a game, for example. That will cause a temporary spike in ISOP.
    Agreed. But the granular stats can be indicative of the types of adjustments being made as the season progresses, as was the point in your original post. Clearly, Hicks and his coach were adjusting and experimenting, trying to find a formula that would work for him. For example, ML pitchers saw his passive approach at the plate and thus, Hicks ranked quite high for receiving first pitch strikes in the zone in 2013 (57.5%)- His Joe Mauer-like approach in passively taking first strikes ended up working against Hicks big-time last year-

    When Hicks came up aggressively and swung at the first pitch in his PA-
    .254/.261/.522/.783

    When Hicks came up passively and took the first pitch in his PA-
    .173/.258/.280/.579

    This kind of granular info tells a lot more than just the OPS as a stand-alone stat.
    Last edited by jokin; 12-31-2013 at 03:03 PM.

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