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What is up with Plouffe?

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#21 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:58 AM

Given ordinary luck according to BAbip, would his expected batting numbers be worthy of a longer look at 3B or RF?

Of the 250 players with 100 PA, Plouffe ranks 250 in BAbip. BAbip isn't entirely luck. Catchers often populate the bottom 10. Currently the bottom 10 includes 5 catchers, Scott Rolen and Ike Davis. Plouffe, Weeks and Raburn are also there. For them, I think it is extraordinarily bad luck.


I believe the average mark is .300 for BABIP. Plouffe has always been well below that mark, but when it's that low I have to imagine that there is some bad luck involved. Last year his was .286 which is slightly below average, but reasonable since he isn't much of a line drive hitter. In that season, he was hitting .238. I think it's possible that he could hit for a line like this: .245/.340/.395 If he can get his glove in order, Plouffe isn't too bad an option at 3B. Although, he wouldn't be an asset either. For a RF? Not a chance.

#22 whydidnt

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:19 AM

I think they just need to play him and see if he can adjust and improve or not. The HR's show he's got some talent, but like others have posted, if he can't manage the strike zone, he'll never be a quality MLB regular because his glove is so suspect. Let's not forget Cuddyer was very mediocre with the bat his first 3 years with the Twins, and turned into a solid every day player...he wasn't as bad as Plouffe, but if Plouffe somehow turn's into a poor man's Cuddyer, that would be pretty good for this version of the Twins.

#23 TwinsTakes-RD

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

Something seemed to click for Plouffe in AAA last season and that has to be why they are keeping him around! In the last 7 days, he's hitting .200 (3-15) and has played in 4 of the 7 games on those days. If they want to find out if he can play they need to play him every day! That might be the only good thing about losing like the Twins are right now. They can play these guys right now and see what they have so why are they giving him so many days off? If they don't trust putting him out there, they need to cut their losses and go with someone else. They are afraid to lose him for some reason or he would've been DFA'd a while ago. Komatsu has a brighter future than Plouffe especially as an outfielder.



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#24 Paul

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:13 PM

Plouffe apparently has decided that when he swings, he's going to swing very hard...


Plouffe apparently suscribes to the Torri Hunter/Tom Brunansky/Harmon Killebrew school of hitting..."swing hard in case you hit it". I see Plouffe being traded and returned to SS with another team. I see him with a "JJ Hardy light" ceiling. I think he'll settle in and stick with some team because they'll see just enough to keep runnin' him out there.

#25 cr9617

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:57 PM

Plouffe apparently suscribes to the Torri Hunter/Tom Brunansky/Harmon Killebrew school of hitting..."swing hard in case you hit it". I see Plouffe being traded and returned to SS with another team. I see him with a "JJ Hardy light" ceiling. I think he'll settle in and stick with some team because they'll see just enough to keep runnin' him out there.


I honestly don't think any team has Plouffe on their radar. And they certainly wouldn't see him as SS material. He's incompetent....

#26 adjacent

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

I honestly don't think any team has Plouffe on their radar. And they certainly wouldn't see him as SS material. He's incompetent....

Yes, I agree. Pretty much the only comparison that can be make between Ploufffe and Hardy is that both can hit home runs. Defensively, is night and day.

#27 snepp

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

I believe the average mark is .300 for BABIP.


The league average BABIP is largely irrelevant for hitters, they all establish their own individual average.

#28 Riverbrian

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:37 PM

Baseball is a game of luck at times but a large percentage of your luck is made by the hitter. Guess what... If you swing at the low and away pitch and try to pull it. You can make contact but your BABIP is gonna suck. If you have no discipline and let the pitcher lead you around by the nose. Your BABIP is gonna suck. BABIP is not a luck stat yet people like to use it like it is. I read things like he has a high BABIP so regression is expected and that's just over simplification and not true. You have a high BABIP if you are hitting your pitch because you can drive the ball better. In the end... The screaming line drives that are caught and the bloops that fall in even out. Plouffe is getting pushed around by the guy throwing the ball. He needs to improve his pitch selection and wait for the ball he can drive. When or if that happens you will have a real nice Outfielder who can do the utility player thing.

#29 jorgenswest

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:11 PM

Our understanding of BAbip differs somewhat. My understanding is that BAbip correlates to line drive percentage. This year, Plouffe is near the bottom in that list also. There is an xBAbip calculation which puts him at around .235. So his combination of low line drive percentage thus far this year and poor luck has led to abysmal offensive numbers. Plouffe has 471 plate appearances. At that number of plate appearances line drive rate (career 15%) does stabilize. BAbip doesn't stabilize even at 650 plate appearances. It is really impossible to use the data at this sample size to definitively say that Plouffe will not be a useful major league hitter. We might be able to say that about Valencia at this time.

#30 Riverbrian

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:20 PM

BABIP for hitters is pretty simple. Take your hits and subtract the Homers and divide it by at bats minus homers, strikeouts and Sacrifices. Batting Average on balls in play. No one was quoting expected BABIP until you put the X in front. Heres the deal... I love the advanced metrics. I read them... I understand them and they make sense in the proper dose but if you hang your hat on them... Your hat will end up on the ground and get stepped on from time to time. For all you guys who base your opinions seemingly at the sole discretion of advanced metrics... You are sterilizing the game to a certain point. Watch the game. Baseball is so much more. Watch Plouffe... Plouffe swings at tough pitches. If Joey Votto swung at the pitches Plouffe dives at. Votto would have a low BABIP and the Reds would have traded for Lyle Overbay. Using Metrics... Until you can properly explain the large swings from month to month or year to year. You can't rely on stats alone. No one can explain it with metrics. Try and explain Joe Mauer 2009 with his lifetime of work with stats... It can't be done. Adam Dunn 2011... Albert Pujols 2012. These swings are margin of error and the swings are elephant sized large. This isn't jackknife replication and election exit polling size margin of error. Use baseball metrics to predict the president and Ross Perot would have gotten taken seriously. How does Mike Napoli go from an expected out April, May and June 2011 to unstoppable July, August, September the same year. The stats will tell you it happened but not the why and nothing in his previous seasons suggested that those 3 months were possible. Even the Moneyball A's have figured this out and have lightened up on their use of metrics. They still use them but in the proper dose. Plouffe swings at bad pitches more often then most... He's talented... He either learns better discipline or he gets thrown on the large scrap heap of baseball players who now own a bar.

Edited by Riverbrian, 29 May 2012 - 09:29 PM.


#31 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:12 PM

Our understanding of BAbip differs somewhat. My understanding is that BAbip correlates to line drive percentage. This year, Plouffe is near the bottom in that list also. There is an xBAbip calculation which puts him at around .235. So his combination of low line drive percentage thus far this year and poor luck has led to abysmal offensive numbers.

Plouffe has 471 plate appearances. At that number of plate appearances line drive rate (career 15%) does stabilize. BAbip doesn't stabilize even at 650 plate appearances. It is really impossible to use the data at this sample size to definitively say that Plouffe will not be a useful major league hitter. We might be able to say that about Valencia at this time.


I don't like BABIP as much for batters as I do pitchers. I just thought it was notable, because it's flat out ridiculous. And as RiverBrian said, I wasn't paying much attention to xBABIP, but I did mention that Plouffe would likely be below the MLB average BABIP (which you confirmed).

#32 twinsnorth49

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:21 AM

BABIP for hitters is pretty simple. Take your hits and subtract the Homers and divide it by at bats minus homers, strikeouts and Sacrifices. Batting Average on balls in play.

No one was quoting expected BABIP until you put the X in front.

Heres the deal... I love the advanced metrics. I read them... I understand them and they make sense in the proper dose but if you hang your hat on them... Your hat will end up on the ground and get stepped on from time to time. For all you guys who base your opinions seemingly at the sole discretion of advanced metrics... You are sterilizing the game to a certain point. Watch the game. Baseball is so much more. Watch Plouffe... Plouffe swings at tough pitches. If Joey Votto swung at the pitches Plouffe dives at. Votto would have a low BABIP and the Reds would have traded for Lyle Overbay.

Using Metrics... Until you can properly explain the large swings from month to month or year to year. You can't rely on stats alone. No one can explain it with metrics. Try and explain Joe Mauer 2009 with his lifetime of work with stats... It can't be done. Adam Dunn 2011... Albert Pujols 2012. These swings are margin of error and the swings are elephant sized large. This isn't jackknife replication and election exit polling size margin of error. Use baseball metrics to predict the president and Ross Perot would have gotten taken seriously.

How does Mike Napoli go from an expected out April, May and June 2011 to unstoppable July, August, September the same year. The stats will tell you it happened but not the why and nothing in his previous seasons suggested that those 3 months were possible.

Even the Moneyball A's have figured this out and have lightened up on their use of metrics. They still use them but in the proper dose.

Plouffe swings at bad pitches more often then most... He's talented... He either learns better discipline or he gets thrown on the large scrap heap of baseball players who now own a bar.


Yep squared, that's how I feel. Metrics are an interesting read from time to time but I wouldn't go near them with 30 foot pole while actually watching and enjoying a baseball game. I wonder what the sabre dudes were thinking when Hammer jacked that walk off over the wall tonight?.............That's not supposed to happen in the 9th with 2 on and 2 out in May at Target field against a left hander!!!!

#33 spideyo

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:29 AM

What's a BABIP? Nevermind, I don't care. All I know is, 75% or more of the time, Plouffe doesn't deliver at the plate. He had two clutch opportunities tonight, where a single could have busted up the 0-0 tie far earlier, and he predictably failed both times. Right now, he is taking playing time away from Casilla and Carroll, who are both doing better than him at the plate and are far better fielders. As soon as Valencia comes back, Plouffe either needs to be a bench guy or get dumped. He's not going to be an asset to this team taking away playing time from Revere or Willingham, and Valencia isn't going to come back up to sit on the bench.

#34 CDog

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

Yep squared, that's how I feel. Metrics are an interesting read from time to time but I wouldn't go near them with 30 foot pole while actually watching and enjoying a baseball game. I wonder what the sabre dudes were thinking when Hammer jacked that walk off over the wall tonight?.............That's not supposed to happen in the 9th with 2 on and 2 out in May at Target field against a left hander!!!!


I would guess I'm one of what you would call a "saber dude," although I wouldn't go that far. I can tell you that what I was thinking just before that was more in the form of hope, as it usually is. Hope that he'd get a good pitch to hit and he'd hit it on the screws. Being it was the Hammer, I hoped for something in the gap or over a fence. Before he'd finished his follow through I had uttered out loud (and scared my dogs) "*Expletive deleted* yes!" Point being, the impression that there isn't overlap between analytical thought, careful observation, and emotional investment isn't accurate in all cases. And a good "saber dude" knows that in any given at bat in any given situation, even 2 on and 2 out in the 9th in May at Target Field against a left-hander, that almost anything can happen. The numbers have little to do with any single event. It's baseball. It's amazing. That's why most of us watch. (I have thoughts on why the rest watch, but I'll keep them to myself...haha.)

#35 Game163

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:44 AM

He's making my "You can't handle the Plouffe" tshirt kind of sad.

#36 Riverbrian

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:52 AM

I would guess I'm one of what you would call a "saber dude," although I wouldn't go that far. I can tell you that what I was thinking just before that was more in the form of hope, as it usually is. Hope that he'd get a good pitch to hit and he'd hit it on the screws. Being it was the Hammer, I hoped for something in the gap or over a fence. Before he'd finished his follow through I had uttered out loud (and scared my dogs) "*Expletive deleted* yes!" Point being, the impression that there isn't overlap between analytical thought, careful observation, and emotional investment isn't accurate in all cases. And a good "saber dude" knows that in any given at bat in any given situation, even 2 on and 2 out in the 9th in May at Target Field against a left-hander, that almost anything can happen. The numbers have little to do with any single event. It's baseball. It's amazing. That's why most of us watch. (I have thoughts on why the rest watch, but I'll keep them to myself...haha.)


In the end... Baseball is about opportunity. I can't give you any names but I'm convinced that there are quite a few baseball players who could have been superstars or at least everyday starters in MLB who never got the chance because someone was blocking them or a decision maker marginalized his skills by focusing on one negative trait while ignoring something positive. Who knows... Maybe Lars Anderson is destined for MLB greatness but will never get the chance because Adrian Gonzalez is blocking him. Ryan Vogelsong on Jose Bautista got an opportunity and they made the most of it when that opportunity arose. How many players never got a chance. I don't know the answer but I'm sure that there are quite a few.

Trevor Plouffe is at such a crossroads right now and his opportunity is right now. He's at the right place at the right time and he is blowing it because he can't produce consistently.

The Twins don't want to let him go because he has potential to be a flexible guy with Pop. They don't want to play him either because he is taking the O-Fer to new levels. Trevor could be pressing trying to prove something in every at bat... I don't know but he has to get disciplined and he has to do it right now... Because his opportunity is right now and there are many players who just didn't get the chance that Plouffe is getting right now.

He will sit back and look at this year as the year that cost him a career if he doesn't get it together.

#37 Riverbrian

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:18 AM

One more thing... Plouffe knows it... You can see it in his body language. I feel bad for the kid. He just has to realize that he can do this... Look for his pitch... not the pitchers pitch...

#38 twinsnorth49

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:17 AM

I would guess I'm one of what you would call a "saber dude," although I wouldn't go that far. I can tell you that what I was thinking just before that was more in the form of hope, as it usually is. Hope that he'd get a good pitch to hit and he'd hit it on the screws. Being it was the Hammer, I hoped for something in the gap or over a fence. Before he'd finished his follow through I had uttered out loud (and scared my dogs) "*Expletive deleted* yes!" Point being, the impression that there isn't overlap between analytical thought, careful observation, and emotional investment isn't accurate in all cases. And a good "saber dude" knows that in any given at bat in any given situation, even 2 on and 2 out in the 9th in May at Target Field against a left-hander, that almost anything can happen. The numbers have little to do with any single event. It's baseball. It's amazing. That's why most of us watch. (I have thoughts on why the rest watch, but I'll keep them to myself...haha.)


Well the "Sabre Dude" thing was a little tongue in cheek, you seem like a well balanced Sabre Dude CDog , I think the real hardcore SD's would have turned the game off because there wasn't a statistically high enough chance for the Twins to win with a walk-off HR.

#39 snepp

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:12 AM

I find your references to "sabre dudes" to be, quite frankly, stupid and just plain ******* ignorant. And I say that with the least amount of tongue-in-cheek possible.

#40 twinsnorth49

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:56 AM

I find your references to "sabre dudes" to be, quite frankly, stupid and just plain ******* ignorant.


And I say that with the least amount of tongue-in-cheek possible.


Oh, I'm ignorant? Nice post, as the saying goes, people in glass houses.....

Clearly you are one of those guys who takes himself Waaaay too seriously, if you're that easily offended, you need some medication. Chill out bud, we're talking about baseball, not the cure for cancer.