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Article: Process Set to Yield Results for Kepler

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#21 jkcarew

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:59 AM

This article was written in the middle of the last/most recent road trip.On that road trip, Kepler posted a BABiP of .056 (1 for 18).If Max were to get 6 hits on his next 6 balls-in-play, he'd still be below (for the recent stretch) the 'normal' that is being suggested here as Kepler's inevitable destiny.

 

OK...1 for 18 is bad luck.But, the idea that all batters will tend toward a .300 BABiP is a false narrative.Max's batter ball profile will need to change to get to the optimistic end of our hopes.


#22 Doomtints

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 10:09 AM

1) Max Kepler hasn't been bad.

2) All 3 of Kepler's seasons in the majors are of similar caliber, he has been the same player for 3 years.

3) He was in the minors for the maximum amount of time. He's been playing professional ball long enough to know who he is. (Anything at A+ and above is considered professional baseball.)

 

I don't think Kepler is going to get much better, except possibly on defense. But he's also not bad, so big deal.

 

The Twins are paying him the minimum they can and he has been worth $10M - $15M a year. Where's the problem?

 

Should this thread have really been titled "Will Max Kepler ever be an All-Star?" Probably not. So what? He is a contributor. He's at the same level as Greg Gagne (87), Randy Bush (87), Roy Smalley (87), Gene Larkin (87, 91).... All solid contributors to world series winning teams.

Edited by Doomtints, 14 August 2018 - 10:19 AM.

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#23 spycake

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 11:47 AM

Kepler's expected wOBA is .332, which is a career high for him but not notably above league average of .328.

Benintendi is at .380 this season, also a career high. (The league has been trending up every year since this started being tracked in 2015.)

Edited by spycake, 14 August 2018 - 11:48 AM.


#24 jkcarew

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 12:33 PM

 

Should this thread have really been titled "Will Max Kepler ever be an All-Star?" Probably not. So what? He is a contributor. He's at the same level as Greg Gagne (87), Randy Bush (87), Roy Smalley (87), Gene Larkin (87, 91).... All solid contributors to world series winning teams.

Agree that you can win championships with solidly/consistently average players...even at several positions.Also, I do think Max can be better than solidly average...but how much better is what is at the heart of this article.

 

One of the central themes of the article (and an article that proceeded it) is that Max has been 'unlucky' with regard to batted-ball results.And that we could expect better results in the future based both on real (for lack of a better term) improvements he is making...but also based on his batted ball luck normalizing.I'm disagreeing with the later, is all.At 1500 career plate appearances, his BABiP has already 'normalized'...and it's a low number.


#25 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:10 AM

 

And that we could expect better results in the future based both on real (for lack of a better term) improvements he is making...but also based on his batted ball luck normalizing.I'm disagreeing with the later, is all.At 1500 career plate appearances, his BABiP has already 'normalized'...and it's a low number.

 

Bingo, there's bad luck and sure, Max has had some but at that many PA's, it's eventually just that's the hitter you are.


#26 spycake

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:25 AM

 

Should this thread have really been titled "Will Max Kepler ever be an All-Star?" Probably not. So what? He is a contributor. He's at the same level as Greg Gagne (87), Randy Bush (87), Roy Smalley (87), Gene Larkin (87, 91).... All solid contributors to world series winning teams.

FWIW, Gagne was a 3.9 bWAR player in 1987. He averaged 3.2 bWAR and 470 PA per year from 1987-1991. Kepler is currently averaging about 2 bWAR per 470 PA.

 

Bush, Smalley, and Larkin were not everyday players those seasons either.


#27 Aerodeliria

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 10:29 AM

Very interesting stuff. My wife cannot understand why I'm fascinated by all of this.

 

One thing the Angels did with Ohtani almost immediately (because he was struggling so mightily...we heard about it every night here in Japan) was to restructure his stance so as to keep his front foot toe on the ground just as Rosario does. Ohtani adjusted well and it allowed him to see the ball better and to drive it the opposite way better (according to Japanese sports analysts...but no data here) especially on pitches down and away. I also think it helped his balance a lot, so he made contact at a flatter angle. I notice Kepler also lifts his leg and drops it (not nearly as pronounced as Ohtani but he does do it), and his batting average on pitches away is equally as poor as those on the inside part of the plate. It is always a tricky proposition, but I wonder if he might be open to a slight adjustment on his stance.