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Sano first 162 games in MLB


notoriousgod71

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yeah, he's going to be a monster if he cuts down those Ks.

I think he is always going to be a high K guy, but hopefully more in the 150-200 range. I'll take it in a heartbeat if he keeps up the rest! I really hope he puts in the time that Gaetti and Koskie did to become high quality 3B as well. Both were considered to be mediocre when they first came up and turned into gold glove caliber. I'd take average defensively from Sano.

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There was a thread or article about Sano and how deep he goes into counts before striking out and how that also helps him get more gopher balls to launch into the stratosphere. His k rate has bothered me less since reading it and a link here wouldn't hurt.

I have believed in Sano for a long time and am confident his defense will come around (and his k rate will drop a little too). I think this is a great start to his HoF career.

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The way I heard it, they were planning to send him down because of his off-the-field behavior.  They did not think he was working hard enough to improve his hitting or his defense.

 

This is the same reason they felt they needed to get him off of DH.

 

I would say that if there's a problem with his approach in the clubhouse, send him down, regardless of how well he is hitting.  This season is lost anyway. 

 

But of course Bruno and Molitor could have been exaggerating and venting.  And if that's the case, the problem is them.  Management should be talking to the players, not to the media about them.

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Listen, he's super athletic.  He can do whatever we want him to.

 

Let's have him pitch and play CF.  

 

At the same time.

Listen, no one here is saying Sano has to be good at everything, we're only saying he has to be good at everything.

 

Baseball is a lot like soccer, where players also don't have to be good at everything.

 

With that said, I think we can all agree that Sano should be good at everything, even if he doesn't need to be good at everything.

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Listen, no one here is saying Sano has to be good at everything, we're only saying he has to be good at everything.

 

Baseball is a lot like soccer, where players also don't have to be good at everything.

 

With that said, I think we can all agree that Sano should be good at everything, even if he doesn't need to be good at everything.

 

I agree, I'd like to see him get better.  I'd also like him to get a nice, long chance to do so.

 

Without relocating him in preposterous places around the field for stupid reasons preferably.

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Listen, no one here is saying Sano has to be good at everything, we're only saying he has to be good at everything.

 

Baseball is a lot like soccer, where players also don't have to be good at everything.

 

With that said, I think we can all agree that Sano should be good at everything, even if he doesn't need to be good at everything.

You Gertrude Steined that one. I love it

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I'd be happy if Sano can cut his K rate to 200 a season. Given his approach and today's game, I don't think he'll ever dip much below that point.

Yeah, 35% is a bit high if we want him to be consistently good.

 

I think he has to get that peak K rate below 30%. Not sure if this is the team to help him achieve that, of course...

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Yeah, 35% is a bit high if we want him to be consistently good.

I think he has to get that peak K rate below 30%. Not sure if this is the team to help him achieve that, of course...

Yeah, that high of K% puts so much pressure on his BABIP and HR/FB. He is already top-5 in both of those stats, so there isn't a ton of room for him to improve, and it is certainly possible that his .370 BABIP isn't sustainable. If he could get his K% down to 25%, wow, he would be so good.

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I think everyone panicking about his Ks would be well served to read Gleeman's BP article from a few weeks ago.

 

He puts it much more eloquently, and backs it up quite well, but the long and short of it:

 

His Ks could be cut down if his goal was to do just that, but at what cost? Making contact for the sake of making contact isn't going to make him a better player.

 

Sano puts pressure on pitchers by being a true 3-outcome player (home run, walk, strike out). But, he doesn't just swing at everything. He works a favorable count, gets a pitch to hit, and swings the bat with the intent to do damage. He goes on to explain the pros and cons.

 

I think Gleeman is dead on.

 

Sure, he could shorten up and make contact more often. That approach will bring some more singles, and a slightly higher batting average. But, with that approach is also likely going to trickle down as fewer walks (because he'll protect more on borderline pitches), a lower OBP (or wash at best), fewer home runs, lower slugging metrics, and a lower OPS over the long-term. His average would go up slightly, but his run production would go down.

 

He's already an elite power hitter with elite discipline. He applies pressure to pitchers like nobody this team has had for a long, long time, and it helps others in the lineup. He's 23 and will only refine that approach over the next few years.

 

On top of all of that, I think his offensive performance took a hit because of the pressures of the whole defensive debacle. If not for that, I think his full-162 numbers would look a little better right now.

 

For the love of God, Sano, do not change your approach for the sake of striking out less. It's kind of similar to Dozier. Some say he became pull happy, and sometimes goes through brutal stretches, but right now you're seeing the reward. Would you rather have him hit .280/.290 with lower slugging metrics (fewer home runs, doubles), fewer RBI, etc? I wouldn't.

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Yeah, that high of K% puts so much pressure on his BABIP and HR/FB. He is already top-5 in both of those stats, so there isn't a ton of room for him to improve, and it is certainly possible that his .370 BABIP isn't sustainable. If he could get his K% down to 25%, wow, he would be so good.

His BABIP can't really be compared to your average player. I haven't checked, but I'm guessing he's also in the top 5 in average exit velocity, and typically has quality launch angles. When the ball consistently comes off your bat at 100 mph, you're going to have a higher BABIP. When you don't shorten up for the sake of putting the ball in play, you're going to have a higher BABIP (with more Ks....and fewer double plays). When you hit the ball over, or off of, the wall, you're going to have a higher BABIP.

 

If his K rate comes down, it probably means he's not hitting the ball as hard X number of times over the course of a season. That certainly will bring his BABIP down, meaning you're only fractionally increasing average with every unit of decreased Ks. It's not going to be a 1 for 1.

 

Thinking that a decrease in his Ks will automatically lead to an increase in all other statistics (avg, home runs, OBP, etc), is wishful thinking. It's more like a balanced scale. If you take a weight off of one side, it also has an effect on the other side.

 

In this case, I don't like that trade off. I want the high OBP, high BABIP, high power numbers, and high run production. Sure, the K rate looks ugly. The BABIP may appear unsustainable related to player X (Joe Mauer, for example, the polar opposite). But, you have to go well beyond that to get the full picture of what his approach brings to the table, and the cause/effect of some of these metrics, and the limitations of the player. They mean different things for different players, and can't be used with a cookie-cutter mentality.

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I think everyone panicking about his Ks would be well served to read Gleeman's BP article from a few weeks ago.

 

I don't think everyone concerned about the K's wants to dramatically change Sano's approach to cut down on them. I hope he can cut down on them somewhat naturally as he learns the league, maybe with some minor assists from coaches. Think early Miguel Cabrera -- I doubt the Marlins were trying to shorten his swing, yet he cut his K rate in each of his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons, and went from a nice young power hitter, to an absolute beast of a MVP candidate.

 

Now, Sano has a naturally higher K rate than Cabrera, and that is fine. But I don't think it necessarily has to naturally sit as high as 35%.

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His BABIP can't really be compared to your average player. I haven't checked, but I'm guessing he's also in the top 5 in average exit velocity, and typically has quality launch angles. When the ball consistently comes off your bat at 100 mph, you're going to have a higher BABIP. When you don't shorten up for the sake of putting the ball in play, you're going to have a higher BABIP (with more Ks....and fewer double plays). When you hit the ball over, or off of, the wall, you're going to have a higher BABIP.

If his K rate comes down, it probably means he's not hitting the ball as hard X number of times over the course of a season. That certainly will bring his BABIP down, meaning you're only fractionally increasing average with every unit of decreased Ks. It's not going to be a 1 for 1.

Thinking that a decrease in his Ks will automatically lead to an increase in all other statistics (avg, home runs, OBP, etc), is wishful thinking. It's more like a balanced scale. If you take a weight off of one side, it also has an effect on the other side.

In this case, I don't like that trade off. I want the high OBP, high BABIP, high power numbers, and high run production. Sure, the K rate looks ugly. The BABIP may appear unsustainable related to player X (Joe Mauer, for example, the polar opposite). But, you have to go well beyond that to get the full picture of what his approach brings to the table, and the cause/effect of some of these metrics, and the limitations of the player. They mean different things for different players, and can't be used with a cookie-cutter mentality.

 

Nice post... very well thought out.

 

I agree that Sano is pretty special. However... there are times when the TEAM will need him to make contact with the baseball. As he matures. I hope he gains the ability to simply hit a GB to SS with 1 out and a runner on third.

 

I didn't read the Gleeman article but I plan to at your suggestion.

 

Sano is pretty interesting.

2016 Stats

 

PA 363

K's-BB's-HR's 191

Ball in Play 172

 

Personally I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about his BABIP when over half of his PA's are thrown aside.

 

If I were to think about it... Sano is a BABIP contradiction. Yes he has the high exit velocity. However...  He also a 19.6 launch angle and a high FB% and Fly Balls have historically been the worst way to get yourself standing on a base. 

 

I think his BABIP is just going to lower because it kind of has to as the sample size increases. 

 

He's very very very strong... More contact can only make him really really really better in my opinion. 

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The way I heard it, they were planning to send him down because of his off-the-field behavior.  They did not think he was working hard enough to improve his hitting or his defense.

 

This is the same reason they felt they needed to get him off of DH.

 

I would say that if there's a problem with his approach in the clubhouse, send him down, regardless of how well he is hitting.  This season is lost anyway. 

 

But of course Bruno and Molitor could have been exaggerating and venting.  And if that's the case, the problem is them.  Management should be talking to the players, not to the media about them.

The phrases I heard about Sano were "sense of entitlement" and "it's not a mechanics issue".  A few days in/out of the lineup, working on his approach at the plate and finally a mention to the media for emphasis and Sano is back on track.  

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Question:  In this era of baseball, do we really care all that much about strikeouts?  Right now, there are 44 players with over 100k's.  18 over 120. 

 

This is a sorted list by strikeouts.  Napoli:  29 Hr's 83 RBI.  Sheezzzzzz......

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp#elem=%5Bobject+Object%5D&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+hitting&game_type=%27R%27&season=2016&season_type=ANY&league_code=%27MLB%27&sectionType=sp&statType=hitting&page=1&ts=1471191529795&sortColumn=so&sortOrder=%27desc%27&extended=0

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I'd rather see him hit the way he hits with the Ks, than have him hit to the opposite field without the Ks.  Bo Jackson in his baseball prime was hovering above 30% K-rate.  It is fine. 

 

 

And I would take a K every day over a GIDP

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His BABIP can't really be compared to your average player. I haven't checked, but I'm guessing he's also in the top 5 in average exit velocity, and typically has quality launch angles. When the ball consistently comes off your bat at 100 mph, you're going to have a higher BABIP. When you don't shorten up for the sake of putting the ball in play, you're going to have a higher BABIP (with more Ks....and fewer double plays). When you hit the ball over, or off of, the wall, you're going to have a higher BABIP.

If his K rate comes down, it probably means he's not hitting the ball as hard X number of times over the course of a season. That certainly will bring his BABIP down, meaning you're only fractionally increasing average with every unit of decreased Ks. It's not going to be a 1 for 1.

Thinking that a decrease in his Ks will automatically lead to an increase in all other statistics (avg, home runs, OBP, etc), is wishful thinking. It's more like a balanced scale. If you take a weight off of one side, it also has an effect on the other side.

In this case, I don't like that trade off. I want the high OBP, high BABIP, high power numbers, and high run production. Sure, the K rate looks ugly. The BABIP may appear unsustainable related to player X (Joe Mauer, for example, the polar opposite). But, you have to go well beyond that to get the full picture of what his approach brings to the table, and the cause/effect of some of these metrics, and the limitations of the player. They mean different things for different players, and can't be used with a cookie-cutter mentality.

My point was more about ceiling. If you look at Sano's career so far and compare him to every other hitter of this decade, he has already basically maxed out every on-contact statistic. He is 2nd in BABIP, 9th in avoiding GB, 3rd in HR/FB, 1st in Hard%, 9th in Hard%+Med%. And even with all that, his career wRC+ is 136, which is good but, for a defensively-challenged future DH, not amazing. And that assumes that his .367 BABIP is his true talent. If it isn't, and it happens to be .350 or so, then maybe he is more of a 125-130 wRC+. That is a 2-4 WAR player - essentially Mike Napoli. Nice player, but not franchise altering. But if Sano is going to take a leap and actually reach the Rizzo-Bryant-Cabrera-Ortiz-Bautista level of production, he is either going to need to push his on-contact stats to historic (or beyond) levels, or he is just going to need to make more contact. 

 

A lot of players have been able to make more contact and still maintain equal or better production. And adding more contact does provide a fair amount of wiggle-room with one's on-contact production. For example, if he dropped his K% to 30%, his on-contact production could drop by 9% and he would be equally productive. Similarly, if his K% dropped by 10% to 25%, his on-contact production could drop by 17% and he would be equally productive overall. I am obviously more optimistic than you are that more contact will be a net positive for Sano. 

 

Just out of curiosity, what do you think Sano's BABIP will be over the next 4 seasons? Would you take the over on .370? 

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