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Blunt Comments from Gladden

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#41 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

It's unfortunate to see Gladden attempting to advance this stereotype of the Twins' hitting approach.A hitter that is looking to pull the ball all the time is going to get taken advantage of by MLB pitchers.It might work in the minors, but it's rarely sustainable in MLB.

 

Ortiz, Gomez, and Hardy are commonly cited as guys the Twins tried to break by teaching them how to hit the other way when situationally appropriate.The irony there is that when you look at their splits, Ortiz and Gomez had really good seasons after leaving the Twins by doing something... I'll let you decipher it yourself:

 

Ortiz, 2002 with Twins.wRC+ by field: 259 to RF (pull), 66 to CF, 74 to LF

Ortiz, 2003 with Red Sox (breakout year).wRC+ by field: 205 to RF (pull), 152 to CF, 149 to LF

Gomez, 2008 with Twins.wRC+ by field: 183 to LF (pull), 45 to CF, 91 to RF

Gomez, 2013 with Brewers (breakout year).wRC+ by field: 261 to LF (pull), 150 to CF, 154 to RF

 

For those unfamiliar with wRC+, it is a number weighted to league and park factors with 100 representing

league average offensive production.

 

Hardy is the exception and has stayed a 'true-pull' hitter.This has given him 20 some homers most years which sounds great, but his overall offensive performances have varied above and below league average. 

 

While that's true about Ortiz continuing to use all fields, you have to remember how this works in action.  It isn't that the Twins didn't let him pull the ball, it's that they asked him to back down on trying to hard to pull with authority.  

 

Where you see the spike for Ortiz from 2003 on isn't in how his spray chart looks...it's in how he went from being mostly a line drive hitter with some flyballs to being a balanced flyball/line drive guy.  That's where the power surge came from - he was not only turning on balls but he was allowed to unload on them as well.  When you're worried about plate coverage and going the opposite way, I can see how that would limit the authority you swing with on inside pitches.


#42 Riverbrian

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

Adam Dunn and David Ortiz have gorilla arms. Gomez has crazy bat speed and wrists.

So does Arcia and when all is said and done, he might have gorilla arms as well.

The same approach doesn't work for every player. You'd have a hell of a time convincing me that Dunn, Gomez, and Ortiz would be better players if they used the entire field. What's more likely is that they'd see their power decline. Sometimes those homers and doubles come on pitches they "should" be spraying oppo.

Strong Dudes like them would simply add opposite field dingers to the repertoire and Ortiz was at his best when he was doing just that.

One size never fits all but every hitter is better off if they can take a pitch the other way on occasion... In my opinion.

I tell you what I really want now... If Someone could post a pic of Adam Dunn with Gorilla Arms. That would be awesome. Snepp?

Edited by Riverbrian, 07 August 2014 - 07:58 PM.

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#43 stringer bell

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:58 PM

I think Gomez is a different case than the other guys listed here. The conflict was whether he should be a speed guy or a middle-of-the-order hitter. His stay in Minnesota was a mish-mash of bunts and wild swings. He never developed enough patience to work the count or draw walks.

Obviously, the Twins wanted Go-Go to utilize his 80 speed, but it is really, really tough for a RH hitter to be a great on-base guy. Despite his great speed, Gomez isn't that fast to first. I'll bet there are a number of much slower hitters who get more infield and bunt hits and plenty of guys who ground into fewer double plays.
Gomez has emerged as a masher and fine defender for a pennant contending Brewers squad. Good for him. To me, the problem with Gomez had more to do with waiting for maturity than it had to do with hitting approach.

#44 70charger

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:11 PM



I tell you what I really want now... If Someone could post a pic of Adam Dunn with Gorilla Arms. That would be awesome. Snepp?


Brad Swanson.

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#45 snepp

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:32 PM

MS Paint is all you'd get from me as well.

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#46 Sconnie

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:47 PM

I guess what I was trying to say is that there is very little precedent for players actually 'learning' strike zone judgement, so the only real choice you have is seeing if they can learn to use the opposite field.

could not disagree with you more. Every player who lasts more than a few years in the majors learns strike zone judgement. If players did not learn strike zone judgement, we'd be watching the equivalent of little league on tv.

Players like Ortiz learn to foul off pitches they can't hit, but know that the ump would call it a strike if they didn't swing. That's another tool, in addition to going oppo and dead pull. As has been echoed, don't take a hammer after a Phillips head screw. But darn it, if you have a nail, hammer the crap out of it.

#47 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 12:07 PM

I tell you what I really want now... If Someone could post a pic of Adam Dunn with Gorilla Arms. That would be awesome. Snepp?

 

sml_gallery_143_38_23897.jpg

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#48 Riverbrian

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 04:25 PM

sml_gallery_143_38_23897.jpg

Awesome and he seems to have Psychokinesis ability as well. 

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#49 nicksaviking

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 04:41 PM

Ugh. I don't think Gladden is manager material. While he can be right about specific problems the game has left him behind as a relic of the small ball era, as evidenced by the confusion he displayed over whether you want a higher OBP from your leadoff man or your cleanup man.

 

I mean... Come on. How can a guy not understand the basics of the modern game? Moneyball is what, 12 years old at this point? It seems like he could have picked it up and flipped through a handful of pages by now.

 

You talking about Gladden or Gardenhire?  Gardy still refers to it as Cybermetrics last I saw.

 

Going the other way is a nice tool to have, but everyone is acting like it's no big deal and can easily be accomplished by every hitter.  It often requires recognizing that the pitch is going to be on the outer half of the plate very early and then staying back on the pitch.  That can be a tall order for some of these guys.  It would be great if everyone could hit to all fields with no expense to their pull power, but not everyone can.  Mauer in his prime seemed to consciously sacrifice his power so he could stay back on the pitches and use all fields and few are considered as good as a hitter as Mauer was in his heyday.  

 

Hypothetically, if gaining 15% in contact rate also costs Arcia 15% of his power, are we good with that?  I'm not.


#50 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 05:23 PM

Awesome and he seems to have Psychokinesis ability as well. 

 

Best I could do.  Gorillas don't often seem to put themselves in a batting stance.  :)

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#51 Kwak

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:10 PM

Pull the ball, spray the ball.Hmm, who gets paid more money?This is professional baseball!HR hitters or BAVG types.All those pictures of Dunn--he gets paid $15MM per year to hit HRs, zip for baserunning, throwing, and defense--and typically with a BAVG that would get most players demoted/released.He is/was not the only example of pay for HRs.

 

I have read where posters advocate Dozier to "spray the ball"to increase in BAVG 40 pts--yet ignore that many HRs would become singles or doubles.Teams pay gigantic salaries for HR hitters--especially those that can play a position, but the BAVG-only guys get paid a lot less.Lastnight's game swung on Dozier's liner to left hooking just foul (with 2 runners on-base).A "spray" hitter, laces a clean single to CF.Those 3-run HRs are huge!So much so that Lester played "safe" and walked Dozier rather than risk the HR.

 

Oh, and Dozier will eventually get paid a baseball-ton-of-money because of his HR proclivity despite a sub-par BAVG.