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Morris on Mauer

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#21 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:53 AM

Looking over the past four seasons of play, Mauer has a batting average around .320 and an OBP of almost .470 with runners in scoring position.
 
That's rather incredible, actually.


I don't understand how this post doesn't immediately end this debate.
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#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:54 AM

 

I don't understand how this post doesn't immediately end this debate.

Yeah. The guy is approaching getting on base 50% of the time in RISP situations.

 

That's amazing. I mean, just ****ing amazing.

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#23 birdwatcher

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:09 AM

 

Yeah. The guy is approaching getting on base 50% of the time in RISP situations.

 

That's amazing. I mean, just ****ing amazing.

 

And this explains why the criticism has been mild. But the criticism is not unwarranted. It's an emptier OPB than us critics believe he's athletically capable of delivering. Most of us get that, absent a pitching change, a batter in a RISP situation often is dealing with a pitcher having control problems, so maybe his walk totals are less problematic. And most of us get that a pitching chang to a lefty happens, which makes his OBP more impressive.

 

But still...when Kirby Puckett was up in RISP situations you felt static emanate from the damn TV. I go get a soda and scurry back for the 0-1 count.

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#24 gunnarthor

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:10 AM

 

Mauer has 3 walks with RISP. He also has 2 hits. He has made an out 3 times in 8 opportunities.

 

Last year he had 33 walks and 31 hits in 140 PAs with RISP. His OPS was .838.

 

 

The problem is, that's not a great number.  Over 110 players were better than that last year by OPS or wRC+ or wOBA.  And if you compare him only to other #3/4 hitters, it's even worse.  All players hit better with men on base.  

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#25 Deduno Abides

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:11 AM

Since A-Rod was drafted 1-1 in 1993, Mauer has the most WAR of any 1-1 pick. At this point, the old gray Mauer just ain't what he used to be, but two sets of management still think he's their best choice for playing time, based on doing what he does and not what he did or could do. Sure, it would be great if he could be a 5 WAR player again, but it's sad how much rancor and bitterness people seem to have for him.
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#26 DaveW

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:12 AM

I'm usually not a huge fan of the "intangibles" factor, but I think one of the best thing Joe is doing this year is "showing" Sano the value of patience, pitch selection and taking what the pitchers give you (aka not pulling everything)

I don't think it's a coincidence that Sanos k rate is dropping and is hitting more balls (and a couple Hr) up the middle.

Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS  7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR
 


#27 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:13 AM

 

And this explains why the criticism has been mild. But the criticism is not unwarranted. It's an emptier OPB than us critics believe he's athletically capable of delivering. Most of us get that, absent a pitching change, a batter in a RISP situation often is dealing with a pitcher having control problems, so maybe his walk totals are less problematic. And most of us get that a pitching chang to a lefty happens, which makes his OBP more impressive.

 

But still...when Kirby Puckett was up in RISP situations you felt static emanate from the damn TV. I go get a soda and scurry back for the 0-1 count.

I get that but I'm not going for warm and fuzzies from a hitter, I want performance no matter how it comes.

 

And that RISP OBP is jaw-dropping. That doesn't mean Mauer is perfect nor does it mean he can't occasionally swing at the first ****ing pitch but it means I can't criticize the guy too much, either.

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#28 gunnarthor

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:19 AM

 

I don't understand how this post doesn't immediately end this debate.

Because it's not completely in context.  Yes, his OBP is 6th in that time frame but 25 players are above .400 OBP.  His wOBA is 45th and his wRC+ is 52.  He's more Nick Castellenos in those situations than Miguel Cabrera.  

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#29 Mike Sixel

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:19 AM

You know, Joey Votto has decided to be more aggressive this year. Great hitters can learn new tricks. I have never believed Mauer was interested in change. that's been my issue. I have no idea if it is true or not, but it sure appears true. 

 

Now, some might say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". That's about as a bad a philosophy as you can have. You should always be trying to be better. That is especially true of an aging athlete whose physical abilities are changing. 

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I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#30 DaveW

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:20 AM

Being 6th in all of baseball is a pretty damn good thing. No?
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Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS  7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR
 


#31 jharaldson

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

It we dig a little deeper and go beyond OBP and AVG you will find that his ISO with RISP from 14-17 is 268th in the league at .119:

 

http://www.fangraphs...&sort=11,1&pg=8

 

The trend line is not getting better on this either.  Looking at just 16-17 numbers his ISO with RISP got worse and ranked 296th at .080:

 

http://www.fangraphs...&sort=11,1&pg=9

 

Joe is going to walk 1/4 of the time with RISP.  He is going to hit for a high average but he isn't going to hit for power and get RBI in bunches.  That has value but it also warrants criticism, especially because that lack of power comes from a man who stands 6'5.

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#32 gunnarthor

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

 

Being 6th in all of baseball is a pretty damn good thing. No?

Depends on the context.

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#33 TheLeviathan

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:29 AM

Not making outs in RISP is a good thing. It's also fair to want more than that. Not making an out doesn't mean you are delivering runs.

The context does matter.
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#34 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:31 AM

BTW, it should be noted that in yesterday's game with Buxton on third and one out, Mauer swung at the first pitch and knocked a base hit to left field.

 

Yes, it's one pitch and swing but hopefully it's indicative that Mauer is willing to adjust based on situation.

 

Also, if Sano continues to hit behind Joe all season, I'll take all the OBP I can get in any situation.

 

Because Sano launched a moon shot immediately after Joe's base knock.

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#35 Taildragger8791

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:44 AM

I think a more interesting comparison or metric would be how often he drives in a runner when he comes to bat with RISP. Have a good AVG/OBP for those situations is a good start, but it's a lot more meaningful if the hitter is actually making an impact on the scoreboard in those situations.

 

Sure, you can hit .320 with RISP but that doesn't say of often you put the ball in play. Just that you do so pretty safely on the occasions you do.


#36 Willihammer

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:50 AM

 

The problem is, that's not a great number.  Over 110 players were better than that last year by OPS or wRC+ or wOBA.  And if you compare him only to other #3/4 hitters, it's even worse.  All players hit better with men on base.  

What's your PA cutoff? At fangraphs leaderboard he's 67th out of 173.

 

Comparing to 3/4 hitters is irrelevant.

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Well, there's that.

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#37 nicksaviking

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:01 AM

I'd like Joe to be less selective but in my view his failure to adapt his approach isn't nearly as big of an issue as his failure to adapt his swing.

 

While everyone else in the league has now realized the benefits of trying to get lift on the ball, Mauer is still trying to swing across a table top. More importantly, there's a reason he's not hitting lefties like he used to, he's having a harder time catching up to them because, duh, he's 34 now. He always used to get complemented on how he was able to wait on the pitch and hit it towards the back of the plate; he just can't do that like he used to. There's a reason so many of history's great hitters developed more power but struck out more toward the end of their careers; they'd start cheating on pitches.

 

Like so many others, Joe just has to suck it up and realize that change isn't shameful but necessary. 34-year-old Joe Mauer should not have the same swing as 24-year-old Joe Mauer.

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#38 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:10 AM

 

I'd like Joe to be less selective but in my view his failure to adapt his approach isn't nearly as big of an issue as his failure to adapt his swing.

 

While everyone else in the league has now realized the benefits of trying to get lift on the ball, Mauer is still trying to swing across a table top. More importantly, there's a reason he's not hitting lefties like he used to, he's having a harder time catching up to them because, duh, he's 34 now. He always used to get complemented on how he was able to wait on the pitch and hit it towards the back of the plate; he just can't do that like he used to. There's a reason so many of history's great hitters developed more power but struck out more toward the end of their careers; they'd start cheating on pitches.

 

Like so many others, Joe just has to suck it up and realize that change isn't shameful but necessary. 34-year-old Joe Mauer should not have the same swing as 24-year-old Joe Mauer.

And here lies my biggest problem with Mauer. The first pitch thing bugs me but I can accept the passive approach overall. What irks me is his refusal to change his approach with the game, especially once defenses started shifting on him every time.

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#39 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:18 AM

so he's the Terry Ryan of hitters :)

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#40 nicksaviking

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:28 AM

 

so he's the Terry Ryan of hitters :)

 

It would make sense that the long history of organizational pride in continuity would breed organizational resistance to change. If everyone is patting the team on the back for low turnover and high consistency the entire culture probably starts developing a sense that their way is the right way, and always will be.