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Article: Arcia, Vargas and Rebellion

oswaldo arcia kennys vargas
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#61 ashburyjohn


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:09 PM

Yeah I knew he had hit a couple in close situations but wasn't thinking\feeling in the 70% range.  Good call out.  I think my frustration at watching him strike out so much clouded my memory.  I also didn't know where to go to check.  Lazy deserves to be called out. :)

Actually, your observational bias isn't as bad as that.It's true that a majority of Arcia's HR have not come with the game essentially out of reach.But that's because relatively few of his plate appearances come in such conditions.So the counting stats don't come out as extreme, but the rate stats do:


From B-R.com, and not counting tonight's game:


Lead within 4:231 PA, .203 BA, 7 HR, .653 OPS

Lead > 4:        37 PA, .351 BA, 4 HR, 1.130


If he could get a full season of PA at the rate of that second line, he'd hit 75 HR or so. 


Needless to say, the first line isn't a very big sample size, and the second line is woefully small.League-wide, the rates in such pairs of lines tend to be more close to each other, and likely with more chances Arcia's numbers would trend more like that too. 


But, if one is remembering very good performance from Arcia this season (and to a lesser degree last season) in blowout situations, it's not observational bias per se.Unless your observational bias is that the Twins are hopelessly behind in 50% of their plate appearances. :)


Source: http://www.baseball-...1&year=2014&t=b

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#62 TheLeviathan


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 08:15 PM

I am a little confused.  If the Twins have changed and no longer tell pull hitters to slap the ball the other way, why would a guy up basically one year warn a player that has been up a month, "they are going to tell you to slap the ball the other way but keep pulling HR's?"


If they don't do that anymore, why would Arcia tell Vargas they will?  I think I am misunderstanding your post.


You have to look at the context of that quote, it was in a story about Vargas having shifts getting in his head.  So he was trying to overcompensate in his approach to beat shifts.  


I don't think the Twins as heavy-handed about their "slap it the other way" approach for a few years  now.  

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#63 tobi0040


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:18 PM

I get it now.

#64 lightfoot789


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:31 PM

I don't get why we have to dog Arcia and Vargas for something that comes with their game.  They are under 25 years old - one of their best strengths is turning and driving the ball.  We should be celebrating that the Twins are working to build on strengths and improve weaknesses rather than trying to completely reinvent every guy into Slappy McGoTheOtherWay.  


Yeah, Arcia and Vargas aren't all-star finished products.  Give em some damn time and be thrilled at how they are managing to drive the ball with authority.  David Ortiz pointed, more than anything else, at the mental relief to not feel pressure to be something he was not.  He still had to learn to improve his game, but he also felt free to play HIS game.


Let's be happy these kids are coming up, playing to their strengths at a young age in MLB, and finding some success.


AMEN - Well said

#65 jtkoupal


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:44 PM

He doesn't need to swing for the fences. He's strong enough where he can hit it out with a much easier swing. He MUST cut down the K's. Strikeouts are uncompetitive. If he makes contact with the ball he at least has a chance of getting on base. Strikeouts guarantee a 0% chance of getting on base. If he continues his pull-happy ways, he is unlikely to ever be more than a journeyman at best. At this point, his work is cut out for him to adjust to the high fastball and the off-speed pitches, because that's going to be 90%, if not more, of what he's going to get from now on, the percentage will only increase if adjustments aren't made.

#66 troyhobbs


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 11:37 PM

If we can voice opinions outside the organization then why cant Arcia from within? Plus, the guys 23 years old, what were some of you doing at 23? Not sure this should even be a story. Still a general fan of Nick's articles tho.

#67 birdwatcher


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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:18 AM

He has a career OPS + of 101 and his 650 at bats have come at ages 22 and 23. If you view those 650 at bats as one full year, he has a .240 avg, 25 HR, .730 OPS.


He strikes out more than I would prefer and the OBP of .303 is nothing to write home about.But at 22-23 he is a league average corner OF. Every young player could listen more, but most kids his age are in AA or AAA, so I struggle to call him ordnary.


It will be an interesting time.We seemed to only draft or sign pitchers with good control and no k's and hitters that were slap style guys and that has changed.As these players are developed, will this coaching staff look to have Meyer and May throw in the zone more and pitch to contact?Get Arcia and Vargas to pull less, hack less, and walk more?

On Arcia, like I said, right now he's a very ordinary player, a league average corner OF with a  .300 OPB, a tendency to get over-amped in the clutch and have gawd-awful AB's, so I agree 100%, he should open his ears and shut his yap, because he has all the makings of being a beast. And while stealing bases is a god-given gift, using all fields is much much less so. Lots of players make that adjustment.


You know, this other subject, about what coaches do or don't do with certain players? I think we grasp for the same narrative a lot, and IMO it's an oversimplification at best and a convenient criticism at worst. The Ortiz story has become this truer-than-life thing, and frankly, I think it's a half-myth. Wish we could compare spray charts of his time here versus in Boston. He DOES hit to the opposite field. I don't think he overcame a coaching issue when he left here. He simply grew up as a hitter.  And this notion that we run a risk that coaches are going to sap Meyer and May of velocity by forcing them to "pitch to contact", in my mind, is completely senseless. Give me the names of past Twins pitching prospects that threw it up there at 97MPH. Until recently, we haven't drafted a single pitcher with that sort of velo, mainly because when you draft at #22, you get stuck with the likes of Kyle Gibson. Even Justin Verlander and Yordani Ventura have to throw it in the zone.

#68 birdwatcher


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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:42 AM

Just a little perspective on Arcia, who has a career .730 OPS at ages 22-23:


                         First full year OPS        Career OPS                        Age of first year

Torii Hunter             .689                               .799                                          23

Carlos Gomez         .657                               .730 (.840 last 2 years)              22

David Ortiz              .817                              .925                                            22

Joe Mauer               .783                             .863                                             22


If you add roughly 100 points to Arcia's .730 OPS you have a very nice player.You will probably see years in the .900 range in career years


To hear that Arcia's numbers are "not good at all" and that "he is a very, very ordinary player right now" begs the question, what would good numbers be for a corner OF that is 22/23?


Key words: "right now".

#69 birdwatcher


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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:17 PM

You have to look at the context of that quote, it was in a story about Vargas having shifts getting in his head.  So he was trying to overcompensate in his approach to beat shifts.  


I don't think the Twins as heavy-handed about their "slap it the other way" approach for a few years  now.  

Good point about being contextual. I'd advise putting the whole subject of their "past approach" in context as well, which I think you generally do. They have never, ever simply told pull hitters to slap the ball the other way, I'm absolutely certain of that. I'm also certain that, when a pull hitter is struggling to make adjustments to well-located change-ups and breaking balls and find themselves contending with huge holes in their swings at the next level of competition, the very most common and sound piece of advice a hitting coach is going to supply is to adjust to get better plate coverage and to hit the ball where it's pitched. 


Plouffe is a recent example of how this advice works. I'm just not so sure that Ortiz didn't get similar advice and was simply a bit misguided in his criticism. I'm not blindly defending any coaches, but don't we often blindly accept a player's criticism as gospel? If we knew the entire context of most of these situations, we'd probably be less critical of both player and coach and recognize how nuanced some of these changes are.

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