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Leadoff Batter

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#21 yarnivek1972

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 07:58 PM

"Ideal" would be Buxton leading off. I was at a game where he scored from first on a single. And he wasn't even running with the pitch!



No. Speed does not make one qualified to lead off. You need to be able to get on base.
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#22 yarnivek1972

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:01 PM

And this is where my conundrum starts.

We don't have a true leadoff candidate on the roster. Kepler looks good there and could really embrace the role. His emergence...which I truly believe is about to happen, just a season later than I predicted/expected...could make him an ideal candidate. But Polanco seems to be the best fit initially. Except, I really liked the way Molitor used him as a #2 or #3 hitter and he responded in that role. And if Kepler really does have his breakout season, would he and his LH bat and skills be better served sitting in the 5 or 6 hole?

But then I reflect to guys like Downing, Boggs, or even former Twin Dozier making havoc at the top spot and realize what you want is production, however you get it.

It would seem a healthy, productive Buxton would indeed be ideal with his power and speed if the AVG and OB would allow him to do so. I mean, weren't we all conditioned to think that was going to be his role? But couldn't Buxton also be equally dangerous hitting 6 or 7 with power and speed to drive in runs and set the table for the bottom half of the lineup, as well as the top, potentially?

I applaud Rocco for his thinking and experimenting. (Also worth noting Adrianza has been batting leadoff in most games he's played. What's up with that?).

Based on what we've seen thus far, and skipping ahead to Sano in May or first of June, I'm seeing this:

1] Kepler
2] Polanco
3] Cruz
4] Rosario
5] Sano
6] Schoop/Cron
7] Cron/Schoop
8] Buxton
9] Castro/Garver

Note: There is fluidity in the 6-8 slots. Also, Buxton at 8 doesn't mean he's not performing. It means a trio of power hitters and then Buxton providing power and speed to make things happen and flip the lineup.

Note 2: Castro is a solid player. I think he's important in many facets and at least a decent producer. But I'm not so sure Garver won't emerge as the #1 catcher at some point, if healthy.


I believe he can only hit lefty right now. So, they likely bat him leadoff to make it more likely that he gets his at bats in facing a rhp.
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#23 DocBauer

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 08:29 PM

 
So my guess would be that Kepler, Polanco and Buxton will have a healthy rotational share at that spot. I also wouldn't be surprised if Astudillo got some looks there if the team was facing a high strikeout/low walk kind of starter. 


I see where you are going with this. But I would say Astudillo would be better placed in the #2 spot rather than leadoff. Between pop/power and extreme contact, that would make more sense to me.

Or, off topic a bit, batting 5th the way Harper was often used back in the day, sandwiched between the biggest bats and those that followed.

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#24 Doctor Wu

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 07:56 AM

I like this idea of rotating the leadoff batter, and not necessarily using the same player game in and game out. Be creative! And actually, I think Baldelli might just be the manager who does that.


#25 DrNeau

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 08:26 AM

 

Castro is a solid player. I think he's important in many facets and at least a decent producer. But I'm not so sure Garver won't emerge as the #1 catcher at some point, if healthy.

 

Garver is by far better than Castro. Castro is a total guess hitter. 

 

Typical Castro at bat: 

Pitch 1: Curve - swings over it with no clue - like he was guessing fastball but already committed early.

Pitch 2: Fastball taken right down the middle. Could have completely crushed it but he has no clue. 

Pitch 3: Curve in the dirt - swing and miss and then he whips his freaking bat and starts barking at the umpire, which makes no sense because he swung and missed. 

Edited by DrNeau, 16 March 2019 - 08:27 AM.


#26 Nine of twelve

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 11:32 AM

It will be interesting to see who usually bats lead-off in April. It could be even more interesting to see who usually bats lead-off in September. If things go well it will be Buxton.


#27 strumdatjaguar

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 01:29 PM

At some point, I hope Buxton can be a Ricky Henderson type guy who gets on base, messes with opposing pitchers’ minds, and blasts a healthy number of HRs. Springtime is a time of hope.
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#28 yarnivek1972

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 02:03 PM

At some point, I hope Buxton can be a Ricky Henderson type guy who gets on base, messes with opposing pitchers’ minds, and blasts a healthy number of HRs. Springtime is a time of hope.


Henderson had a career .400 obp. In your wildest dreams do you see that as realistic for Buxton?

I seriously doubt he can post .340 in a full season.

#29 cardsfan

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 02:18 PM

Joey Votto had a .474 OBP in 2012. That is absolutely crazy.

You know what I think is crazy? In 2012 he did that in 111 games. He was on pace for 83 runs scored over 162 games and 80 RBIs. He has extra base power. Votto has never scored more than 106 and has trouble driving in more than 100 runs. Now last year with 12 HRs. He has those OBP but his team can’t win. He should be driving in more. Since 2011 1 season of 100 RBIs. He should be scoring more. Especially in that bandbox.

#30 Kelly Vance

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 06:16 PM

I would try Buck at leadoff every year until his OBP simply doesn't warrant it.He has the combination of speed and power to the gaps that leadoff hitters need. plus he has about a 95 % success rate in stolen bases. 

 

But he has got to get on base. He needs to learn to bunt and learn to hit to the opposite field. He could hit 20 triples a year if he did that. 


#31 Twodogs

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 09:36 PM

You know what I think is crazy? In 2012 he did that in 111 games. He was on pace for 83 runs scored over 162 games and 80 RBIs. He has extra base power. Votto has never scored more than 106 and has trouble driving in more than 100 runs. Now last year with 12 HRs. He has those OBP but his team can’t win. He should be driving in more. Since 2011 1 season of 100 RBIs. He should be scoring more. Especially in that bandbox.


Well for someone on base almost 50% of the time to only score 80 runs is probably more of a product of his team. Name the last Twin that has hit 372 doubles, 269 Home runs and a career batting average of .311 in like 5500 at bats. if there ever was one I don't think anyone would be bashing them. Joey Votto is one of the best ever and yeah someone will always find something wrong. But he is one of the best out there, he has only popped out to an infielder 16 times in his career and I think he has never popped out to the pitcher, catcher or first baseman. That is an amazing stat of a great great hitter. I'm sure ichiro Suzuki and Tony Gwynn and rod Carew all could have hit a lot home runs but chose to be professional hitters and two of those guys have the AL and NL batting titles named after them. The Reds arent that great and it's not Joey Vottos fault. Just like it's not Kirk Cousins fault that the Vikings weren't that good, it's not Lebrons fault that the Lakers are bad, it's never one guys fault. I'm sure Votto could have hit 35 bombs instead of 25 and that wouldn't have made the Reds any better when you have a crappy pitching staff, etc...

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#32 yarnivek1972

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:13 AM

I would try Buck at leadoff every year until his OBP simply doesn't warrant it. He has the combination of speed and power to the gaps that leadoff hitters need. plus he has about a 95 % success rate in stolen bases.

But he has got to get on base. He needs to learn to bunt and learn to hit to the opposite field. He could hit 20 triples a year if he did that.


I would make him prove he can get on base BEFORE batting him leadoff.

#33 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:27 AM

I'm all for Kep being the leadoff guy to start, he seems to make the most sense of the group we have. 


#34 Twodogs

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:41 AM

It would seem like Polanco might fit that role also? Due to his switch hittability?

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#35 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 04:34 AM

I would like to see Buxton bat leadoff, mainly because I want him to get as many ABs as possible.

I seem to recall a certain Twins CF starting his career leading off (and hitting a bunch of leadoff homers) before settling in at #3.

#36 yarnivek1972

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 02:10 PM

I would like to see Buxton bat leadoff, mainly because I want him to get as many ABs as possible.

I seem to recall a certain Twins CF starting his career leading off (and hitting a bunch of leadoff homers) before settling in at #3.

According to B-R, Puckett hit 4 career lead off homeruns. You may recall he hit 0 HR (of any kind) in his 1984 rookie season and only 4 in 1985. I did check his log, and 3 of those leadoff HR were over a 4 week period early in 1986.

https://www.baseball...d=puckeki01&t=b


We all know Puckett didn’t like to walk much. Despite that and posting the two worst batting averages of his career, he still posted obp of .320 and .330 in his first two seasons as a leadoff hitter. That’s pretty low but I think it’s better than Buxton will ever do.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 19 March 2019 - 02:17 PM.