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Thread: Leadoff Spot

  1. #41
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Isn't that the name of the sequel to Moneyball? ***

    ***Coming to a theater near you
    That was funny. If they can't get Pitt I'm betting on direct to video. And I thought about going with something less over-the-top, but couldn't pass it up.

  2. #42
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    Hicks is projected to have a slightly better OPS than Revere, Carroll or Mastroianni. It is unlikely any of the 3 will be in the 700s. Overall, they will all be close with Hicks having a little more power and the others a little more on base.

    If Hicks is given a chance, he should grow well into the 700s in the next few years while Revere and Mastro remain static and Carroll goes into coaching.
    Hicks has way more raw power than any of those guys. He also has much better patience. Those two things combined peg his upside at 800+ OPS. The question is, when will he show his upside? I think we need to wait longer than one game to push the panic button.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Too early to get down on Hicks and Verlander makes a lot of people look bad.
    I was at the game as well (first time at an opening day game and, despite the cold, it was well worth it) and I believe that at least two of Hicks strikeouts from Verlander came on nasty curveballs, the likes of which Hicks hasn't seen so far in his career. I was also impressed with the walk he took. I know the prospects for the coming year aren't good but it'll at least be interesting to watch a kid with a (hopefully) bright future continue to develop.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Hicks has way more raw power than any of those guys. He also has much better patience. Those two things combined peg his upside at 800+ OPS. The question is, when will he show his upside? I think we need to wait longer than one game to push the panic button.
    Didn't mean to infer panic... just patience. It could be a 240/320/370 year. That is based on his minor league performance and has nothing to do with game 1. No reason to panic. That's normal. I would expect him to approach his minor league level (career 800 OPS) as he gains experience. It may be in his second 1000 plate appearances and not his first 1000.

  5. #45
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    The question is, when will he show his upside? I think we need to wait longer than one game to push the panic button.
    To me it was both a bad baseball decision and may end up being a bad business decision to have Hicks start the season with the Twins.

    That being said, I have no intention of making any judgements about Hicks in ten games, let alone one, whether it's Verlander or Porcello 2012 on the mound. If he's struggling to make contact at the end of April or so, the Twins should probably rethink their approach with him.

    And if you feel that speculating what to do without him implies an unwarranted expectation of failure instead a hypothetical exercise that has nothing to do with yesterday, how about this: what do the Twins do about CF if Hicks is injured tomorrow and is out for a big chunk of the season?

    Sure, Mastro starts, and could even be a pleasant surprise by managing above-replacement performance. But do the Twins really expect Benson to be the 4th OF for a whole season after his run of injuries and struggles at the plate?

  6. #46
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    Didn't mean to infer panic... just patience. It could be a 240/320/370 year. That is based on his minor league performance and has nothing to do with game 1. No reason to panic. That's normal. I would expect him to approach his minor league level (career 800 OPS) as he gains experience. It may be in his second 1000 plate appearances and not his first 1000.
    I agree. If his upside is 800+, he might not hit it until he's 25 or 26. Until then, I expect something in the mid .700s, which is still very good fr a center fielder. Last year a 100 OPS+ was .740 I think.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  7. #47
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    And if you feel that speculating what to do without him implies an unwarranted expectation of failure instead a hypothetical exercise that has nothing to do with yesterday, how about this: what do the Twins do about CF if Hicks is injured tomorrow and is out for a big chunk of the season?

    Sure, Mastro starts, and could even be a pleasant surprise by managing above-replacement performance. But do the Twins really expect Benson to be the 4th OF for a whole season after his run of injuries and struggles at the plate?
    I think they'd add Boggs to the roster before Benson. After last season, Benson really does need a half a year of AAA at bats to get back to where he was in 2011. Plus, I'm not sure how his wrist is doing. Last I heard, he was resting it (the one he broke last year).
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  8. #48
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I think they'd add Boggs to the roster before Benson. After last season, Benson really does need a half a year of AAA at bats to get back to where he was in 2011. Plus, I'm not sure how his wrist is doing. Last I heard, he was resting it (the one he broke last year).
    Yeah, that sounds right. To be honest, I had forgotten that Boggs is even considered an option in center. Either choice would be ugly, but at least there's a still a chance for Benson to turn into a useful player, and that's probably only going to happen the way you said.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I think you missed my point. I said "average", which I think includes all the best guys and all the worst guys and every guy in between. No one thought Mauer or Cabrera or Fielder would project to average. They were exceptional. I don't think Hicks is in that class, but he's well above average. Someone quoted those averages recently, which translated to something like .233/.290/.350 for Hicks. I think Hicks will be 20 to 30% above that, which was .270/.360/400/760

    If that is all you expect Aaron Hicks to do in his prime, you do have low expectations for him.
    I think you are pulling numbers out of thin air. There are no batters that hit .000/.000/.000 so you can't just say 20-30% above the projections. I'm not even sure that you understand how those projections work or just how good of a prospect one has to put up a .750 OPS season as a rookie. Hicks has elite defense but compared to other hitters he hasn't had an elite bat in the minors. He's young and he has a bright future but expectations are too high this early.

  10. #50
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    Hicks has elite defense but compared to other hitters he hasn't had an elite bat in the minors. He's young and he has a bright future but expectations are too high this early.
    +1,000. When the arguments against having a double A guy start the season in triple A started including things like 'It will hurt attendance' and 'He'll pout and never sign an extension because they messed with his service time', it was obvious that reason had given way to rationalization in the discussion about Hicks.

  11. #51
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    So cmathew, you're basis for Hicksie's numbers is on his approach and maturity. I can understand the optimism, because that is why I see him as a potential 800 OPS player that settles in the upper .700's. Pretty good player really. The problem is that even last season he has contact issues. He K's at 20% per year and his average was supported by a .346 BABIP. Now, that isn't a crazy BABIP, but he's alternated between a little above .300 to around .350. Sooooo.... anyway, you have your opinion and we'll just have to let it play out.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  12. #52
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    So cmathew, you're basis for Hicksie's numbers is on his approach and maturity. I can understand the optimism, because that is why I see him as a potential 800 OPS player that settles in the upper .700's. Pretty good player really. The problem is that even last season he has contact issues. He K's at 20% per year and his average was supported by a .346 BABIP. Now, that isn't a crazy BABIP, but he's alternated between a little above .300 to around .350. Sooooo.... anyway, you have your opinion and we'll just have to let it play out.
    He'll never have the contact of Revere or even Span. But I don't really care as long as he shows the patience and power he has shown in the minors. I used to think making outs with contact had more value than strikeouts. That was before I saw Ben Revere ground out 222 times in one year.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  13. #53
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    BA on K's is .000. If you K a lot then you it's hard to have a good BA. The exception would be big power hitters that hit a lot of HR's (BA = 1.000) or the lucky few that can maintain a .340+ BAPIP. I'm not ready to consider Hicks one of those lucky few yet.

    If he K's in 20-25% of his PA's then it's going to be difficult to post a .260 BA. that's just how the numbers work and as a young rookie I think it's likely that he K's more often this year in the majors than last year in the minors.

  14. #54
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    BA on K's is .000. If you K a lot then you it's hard to have a good BA. The exception would be big power hitters that hit a lot of HR's (BA = 1.000) or the lucky few that can maintain a .340+ BAPIP. I'm not ready to consider Hicks one of those lucky few yet.

    BA is a practically worthless stat. Hicks' career OBP is .379. His career slugging percentage is .421. Compare that to Revere. Career minor league OBP of .383 and SLG of .404. Of course, most of Revere's OBP and SLG is BA. Much of Hick's OBP is BB. His SLG is IsOP. Which would you rather have? I'd take Hicks' numbers in a heart beat. What's the difference between a K and a ground out? A ground out can lead to a DP. It can also advance the runner. Those two things tend to balance each other out.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  15. #55
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    This discussion is occurring after one game???? Anyway, Verlander is demonically good and one cannot expect someone who has barely faced pitching beyond AA to deal appropriately with a pitcher like that. Verlander fooled Willingham on the same pitch many times (the curve). It is a ridiculous pitch.

    Michael Bourn's career OPS in the minors was .770. His MLB OPS is .704 (though one should adjust for steals some). Andrew McCutchen's career minor OPS was .785. His MLB OPS is .858 and that is going to climb.

    Hicks' career minors OPS is .800, better than both of them. I would look for Hicks to be somewhere right in the middle in his MLB career over the next several years (so .775-.800) and this coupled with great defense makes him a huge value for the Twins. A better value than Span and he was above average overall.

    There is ZERO reason to mess with the lineup except in days off for Hicks (Mastro takes position, Carroll takes leadoff).

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    I think you missed my point. I said "average", which I think includes all the best guys and all the worst guys and every guy in between. No one thought Mauer or Cabrera or Fielder would project to average. They were exceptional. I don't think Hicks is in that class, but he's well above average. Someone quoted those averages recently, which translated to something like .233/.290/.350 for Hicks. I think Hicks will be 20 to 30% above that, which was .270/.360/400/760

    If that is all you expect Aaron Hicks to do in his prime, you do have low expectations for him.

    You either have a very forgiving wife or are not married.
    I don't think those expectations are low at all.
    A CF who can OPS .760 while giving you elite defense has a lot of value.

  17. #57
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    BA is a practically worthless stat. Hicks' career OBP is .379. His career slugging percentage is .421. Compare that to Revere. Career minor league OBP of .383 and SLG of .404. Of course, most of Revere's OBP and SLG is BA. Much of Hick's OBP is BB. His SLG is IsOP. Which would you rather have? I'd take Hicks' numbers in a heart beat. What's the difference between a K and a ground out? A ground out can lead to a DP. It can also advance the runner. Those two things tend to balance each other out.
    It isn't a worthless stat at all, you need a hand slap for that. Different players bring different skill sets. Revere's value is driven by his ability to make contact at an insane rate. Add in his speed and most GB's aren't turned into DP. He hit 295 ground balls last season, only 8 resulted in a double play. I couldn't find GIDP successful %, but I'm guessing it is pretty low. So, for a player like Revere, hitting a GB is a very successful approach. He also avoid infield fly balls, which are the worst type of contact.

    Hicks is a different type of player, true. His OBP should be pretty good, despite his high amount of K's. That is still valuable. I will completely argue, an OBP driven by AVG is better than an OBP driven by BB because hitting the ball moves runners and forces the defense to make plays plus there will be a % that go for extra bases. Like kab said, striking out a lot makes it difficult to have a good average. Add in a small amount of power (potential to continue development) and it makes it even less likely. My guess for Hicks this season is .250/.320/.410, and that is being pretty optimistic.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    BA is a practically worthless stat. Hicks' career OBP is .379. His career slugging percentage is .421. Compare that to Revere. Career minor league OBP of .383 and SLG of .404. Of course, most of Revere's OBP and SLG is BA. Much of Hick's OBP is BB. His SLG is IsOP. Which would you rather have? I'd take Hicks' numbers in a heart beat. What's the difference between a K and a ground out? A ground out can lead to a DP. It can also advance the runner. Those two things tend to balance each other out.
    I think you misunderstood the point he was trying to make about K rates.
    (I think) his point is that you CAN get a hit on a groundball, you can never get a hit on a K.

  19. #59
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    I will completely argue, an OBP driven by AVG is better than an OBP driven by BB because hitting the ball moves runners and forces the defense to make plays plus there will be a % that go for extra bases.
    I think most people would agree with that if the AVG was guaranteed.

    But, as we know, AVG fluctuates and has a tendency to drop off before many other skills (such as BB%) unless you're a Joe Mauer or Paul Molitor (and that has a lot to do with their BB%, as it shows they maintain that AVG through bat control and discipline, not outright speed).

    Which is why Revere has value now but as he enters into his late 20s, he could turn into Juan Pierre (or worse) as he loses a step.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I think most people would agree with that if the AVG was guaranteed.

    But, as we know, AVG fluctuates and has a tendency to drop off before many other skills (such as BB%) unless you're a Joe Mauer or Paul Molitor (and that has a lot to do with their BB%, as it shows they maintain that AVG through bat control and discipline, not outright speed).

    Which is why Revere has value now but as he enters into his late 20s, he could turn into Juan Pierre (or worse) as he loses a step.
    He'll be lucky to have a Juan Pierre type career.

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