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HOF hitters think Arraez is a good hitter, and Arraez is making base hits cool again.


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Jeff Passons had an article about Luis Arraez today.  It talks about how Rod Carew and Ichiro, two of all time greatest hitters, think Arraez is best left handed hitter today.  It goes on to talk about how Arraez has been doubted his whole career because everyone talked about what he was not, but never looked at what he was, being an elite hitter.  We here at TD have been very divided on Arraez since he first came up in 2019.  Most either loved or hated him.  I have been on the love side of things.  

Those that hated him would talk about his lack of defense, lack of power, lack of speed, and would try to claim his BABIP was not sustainable. Those that loved him would point out that the man can hit, and although it is mostly for singles, they still count.  For the lack of defense, that is true his is subpar on defense without a true home, but he could always DH if you needed.  Lack of power, is accurate he has not been a HR hitter, but power is generally down, and he is working on the power, read the article, and he has had a few HR lately with a few deep drives.  Will he ever be a 30 HR guy, no but he still keeps the OF honest.  Lack of speed, yes he is not a speed guy, but his not a full station to station guy either.  

The BABIP has basically remained the same the whole time of his career.  Slight dip last year, but over his career still .350 plus.  He rarely strikes out, and is walking slightly more.  He is hitting over .300 on pitches outside the zone, that is just crazy.  Some thought he was lucky with weak contact when he came up, but I argue he was just hitting the ball where the defense was not. 

He is so fun watch hit.  Not only does he talk to himself, do dances when he fouls balls off, he hits solid line drives so often.  He is just getting into his prime and the sky is the limit for him.  There is a place in baseball for him and I am glad he is on our team.  Lets stop wishing he is more than what he is, and be happy he is what he is.  We could send out guys that get out at much higher rates, but may hit a HR once in awhile.  He swings the bat like it is a magic wand.  He is a master at what he does, and instead of attacking for what he lacks, just enjoy the show he makes.  Similar to Joe Mauer, people want more from him, and not willing to take what they have, an elite hitter and on base guy.  

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34156388/ichiro-rod-carew-favorite-player-how-luis-arraez-making-batting-average-cool-again

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I really enjoy watching Arraez bat. It's worth watching because you know something will happen.

It's the polar opposite of a lot of 3 outcome hitters (really 2 outcomes most of the time) where all you hear and see is the pop and pitches hitting the catchers glove. Either it's a no contact swinging strike, a strike looking or a ball. Wheeeeee!! Exciting!

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10 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

I really enjoy watching Arraez bat. It's worth watching because you know something will happen.

It's the polar opposite of a lot of 3 outcome hitters (really 2 outcomes most of the time) where all you hear and see is the pop and pitches hitting the catchers glove. Either it's a no contact swinging strike, a strike looking or a ball. Wheeeeee!! Exciting!

I fully agree, the game is supposed to be entertaining, which normally requires action.  Sure when a pitcher is on the verge of history striking out a ton of guys and just dominate, it can be exciting, but I would much rather see guys hitting the ball in play, running bases and plays at the plate, than a few solo shots. 

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You can add Terry Francona to that list as well.  Shortly after Luis came up (I believe), someone asked Francona about Arraez, and his answer was simply that he was one of the best hitters he has ever seen play.  Not to shabby of an endorsement either :) 

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For the most part I can agree with your OP but I think you chose the wrong words, way wrong words when you talk about people loving or hating Arraez.  I can't think of a single poster that hated Arraez as a hitter and pointing out his flaws as even you do in the piece doesn't make people haters but realists. 

Realistically he isn't a great defensive player.  He isn't a fast player and that doesn't mean people "hate" him it just means they they see him objectively.  I guess I don't see anything wrong with that.  Yes there were and maybe still are those that believe his lack of defense is problematic.  Heck I even proposed trading him as he hadn't had an OPS over 770 in two years and his knee's seemed to be causing him issues pretty much every season.  That doesn't mean I hated him but sure I can admit I didn't completely appreciate the difference maker he could be with just the bat. 

He is huge part of this teams success and I am glad the Twins have put him in better positions to succeed.  With Cruz's help he seems to be adding power now as well which only makes him more valuable.  I just don't think your love hate theme is an accurate portrayal at all.

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10 hours ago, Dman said:

For the most part I can agree with your OP but I think you chose the wrong words, way wrong words when you talk about people loving or hating Arraez.  I can't think of a single poster that hated Arraez as a hitter and pointing out his flaws as even you do in the piece doesn't make people haters but realists. 

Realistically he isn't a great defensive player.  He isn't a fast player and that doesn't mean people "hate" him it just means they they see him objectively.  I guess I don't see anything wrong with that.  Yes there were and maybe still are those that believe his lack of defense is problematic.  Heck I even proposed trading him as he hadn't had an OPS over 770 in two years and his knee's seemed to be causing him issues pretty much every season.  That doesn't mean I hated him but sure I can admit I didn't completely appreciate the difference maker he could be with just the bat. 

He is huge part of this teams success and I am glad the Twins have put him in better positions to succeed.  With Cruz's help he seems to be adding power now as well which only makes him more valuable.  I just don't think your love hate theme is an accurate portrayal at all.

Maybe "hate" him was a little strong, but hate on him, would be a better way of putting it.  Arraez has always had the, "yeah but" kind of approach, where someone like Kepler has got the "but if" kind of treatment.  It may not be just to Arraez that many would say yeah he hits well, but x,y,z, I am sure others get that treatment, but I have felt since he first came up he polarized fans in their thoughts on him.  Does he have his flaws, he sure does, but most players have flaws.  

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Player A

Age 22 season:  OPS+ 124
Age 23 season: OPS+ 113
Age 24 season:  OPS+ 105
Age 25 season: OPS+ 152

Player B

Age 22 season:  OPS+ 95
Age 23 season: OPS+ 134
Age 24 season:  OPS+ 152
Age 25 season: OPS+ 107

Which hitter do you want?  Can't tell much difference, can you?  One is Luis Arraez.  One is a Twins Hall of Fame infielder. 

Now, player B truly became elite from his age 27 to 32 seasons.  Let's hope Arraez can make a similar jump.

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5 minutes ago, Trov said:

Maybe "hate" him was a little strong, but hate on him, would be a better way of putting it.  Arraez has always had the, "yeah but" kind of approach, where someone like Kepler has got the "but if" kind of treatment.  It may not be just to Arraez that many would say yeah he hits well, but x,y,z, I am sure others get that treatment, but I have felt since he first came up he polarized fans in their thoughts on him.  Does he have his flaws, he sure does, but most players have flaws.  

For me the narrative was when he first came up almost disbelief that a guy not even in the top 30 could be that good at the MLB level.  I think most all fans loved and appreciated what Arraez brought to the team when he first came up.  And remember this was pre Polanco when Arraez was the primary second baseman. Then he had that knee injury and with Polanco entrenched at 2nd base things\opinions started to change. 

He seemed to start the season OK but the knee(s) would flair up and it did seem to affect him at the plate as well.  He just wasn't quite as effective a hitter.  Also while he could play third it wasn't an ideal spot for him and his defense was average to slightly below at best.  His numbers at the plate didn't look that great compared to other 3rd basemen either.  They tried him in left but that wasn't a great fit either.  He was starting to look like an injury prone OK bat with no great defensive home.  Posters like me started to think about the benefits of finding a player that can OPS as much or more than Arraez and play above average defense as well and he seemed on a somewhat downward trend (OPS 2019 .838, 2020 .766, 2021 .733).

Then he shows up this year in great shape.  The Twins start him off in favorable Righty lefty matchups and suddenly we have the new and improved Arraez who also seems to be able to finally hit for power as well.  The Narrative has changed and so have peoples opinions about how good he really is and how he can help this team.

I just don't think you can hate or really be a hater on Arraez as I think most everyone respects his plate discipline and the finger wag.  I think you can be a doubter though about how he has played the last two years and his all around skill set.  He seems to be working out defensively at 1st and if he is needed I think he would be OK at 2nd as well.  Arraez put in a lot of work this offseason that is paying off so he can stick it to his doubters this year as he once again looks like one of, if not the best bat (for batting average) in all of baseball.  I hope he keeps it going.

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Love this kid and am excited watching him this year as he appears to be quicker, likely the result of reporting a few pounds lighter and in better condition.  Also, appears the knee is fine.

I really hope the Twins sit down with this young man and sign him to a Polanco/Kepler type extension this off season.  Keep him at Target Field for the next 5-6-7 years.  Don't care where he plays, just that his bat is in the lineup 150 games every year.

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I love to watch this guy bat.

First, watch his eyes.  He is the only player I know that is looking at the 3rd baseman before every pitch, judging where he can drive the ball safely into left field, sometimes when the pitcher has already started his wind up.

Plus, he is so joyful.  Constantly talking to and hugging his teammates, other team's players, joking, etc.  Who doesn't want to see that?

Finally, he sees many pitches.  He would be a perfect fit on the top of a Yankees order, driving pitchers crazy, working the count, and driving up pitch count.

We are fortunate to have such a fun and talented player to enjoy watching play.

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27 minutes ago, PDX Twin said:

I second the idea of signing him up long term. He can be an important cog on a championship team and, I expect, would not break the bank.

Loved your comment, "would not break the bank."  Considering the Pohlad's used to own, maybe still do, a lot of banks, use of this phrase gave me a bright smile.  And we all get to few of those these days, thanks!

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5 hours ago, Trov said:

Maybe "hate" him was a little strong, but hate on him, would be a better way of putting it.  Arraez has always had the, "yeah but" kind of approach, where someone like Kepler has got the "but if" kind of treatment.  It may not be just to Arraez that many would say yeah he hits well, but x,y,z, I am sure others get that treatment, but I have felt since he first came up he polarized fans in their thoughts on him.  Does he have his flaws, he sure does, but most players have flaws.  

I’ve heard rumors that most human beings have flaws. Currently doing my own research.

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1 hour ago, Craig Arko said:

I’ve heard rumors that most human beings have flaws. Currently doing my own research.

Which determines whether you have role on a baseball team.

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I have come to appreciate what Arraez brings to this club. The biggest issue with me was the balky knees, but it looks like he got serious about being in great shape (unlike some other 1B/DH type) and, so far, has managed to stay on the field and put up good numbers. He is not a downgrade from Sano defensively and provides a little defensive flexibility. 

My issue is with the TD posters that are singing his praises after they demeaned and took shots at Mauer for being the same type of hitter. If 1B and DH were supposed to be "power hitter" positions when Mauer was there, shouldn't that still be true? Mauer's OBP and OPS were very similar to what Arraez is putting up and his defense was WAY better. He deserved the same praises, especially after the career altering concussion issue.

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On 6/29/2022 at 8:55 AM, Steve71 said:

I love to watch this guy bat.

First, watch his eyes.  He is the only player I know that is looking at the 3rd baseman before every pitch, judging where he can drive the ball safely into left field, sometimes when the pitcher has already started his wind up.

Plus, he is so joyful.  Constantly talking to and hugging his teammates, other team's players, joking, etc.  Who doesn't want to see that?

Finally, he sees many pitches.  He would be a perfect fit on the top of a Yankees order, driving pitchers crazy, working the count, and driving up pitch count.

We are fortunate to have such a fun and talented player to enjoy watching play.

Agreed through and through. He’s what is right about baseball.

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The title of the thread says more than anything posted in the thread." ....base hits cool again"?

He simply hits 'em where they ain't and does so with power. He may win the batting title by 20 or more points. At least it does show that the low batting averages prevalent in the game today are a direct result of the approach that most hitters have. The irony is that run production has not increased just like the 3 point basket has not increased scoring in the NBA and even less so in college. All it does is make both games less enjoyable.

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11 minutes ago, Number3 said:

The title of the thread says more than anything posted in the thread." ....base hits cool again"?

He simply hits 'em where they ain't and does so with power. He may win the batting title by 20 or more points. At least it does show that the low batting averages prevalent in the game today are a direct result of the approach that most hitters have. The irony is that run production has not increased just like the 3 point basket has not increased scoring in the NBA and even less so in college. All it does is make both games less enjoyable.

First, I am a fan of base hits, running bases, and actually making defensive plays, over the three true outcomes.  But I need to point out you are incorrect about the NBA assessment and points per game.  Scoring is up significantly over past 5 years versus the two decades before.  It is on par with the mid to late 80's when there was little 3 point shooting, but played at much faster pace than the 90's and early 2000's.  Now I would agree the entertainment value was higher with the fast pace of play, which is why MLB is trying to get back to more balls in play, and more actual action. 

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On 6/29/2022 at 8:55 AM, Steve71 said:

I love to watch this guy bat.

First, watch his eyes.  He is the only player I know that is looking at the 3rd baseman before every pitch, judging where he can drive the ball safely into left field, sometimes when the pitcher has already started his wind up.

Plus, he is so joyful.  Constantly talking to and hugging his teammates, other team's players, joking, etc.  Who doesn't want to see that?

Finally, he sees many pitches.  He would be a perfect fit on the top of a Yankees order, driving pitchers crazy, working the count, and driving up pitch count.

We are fortunate to have such a fun and talented player to enjoy watching play.

He loves baseball and has so much fun playing and is a classy guy off the field. Great player to sign long term.

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