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i think matt is now convincingly a throw-back manager
If more batters actually learned how to execute a good drag bunt successfully instead of looking on bunting as a mark of sissydom, they'd gain an extremely useful skill that would raise their overall value in many ways. The main reason we don't see this is because so few players seem capable of doing it.
Bunting is hard for mortal folk but MLB hitters should be - and for most of history were - excellent at it.
One limitation of the "bunt" stats is they are only bunts in play. They don't count bunted third strikes in the bunt splits at b-r. I'm not sure where the Mantle stats are coming from, b-r doesn't have those splits in that time period.
That's not true at all. Players with the skill level all the way up to Mickey Mantle have added to their value by beating out bunts at an enormous success ratio.
Further to the above, that is one reason why Mantle and other great players are great players - they look for every single advantage they can. Or would you have rather he decided at age 16 "Well, I can hit a ball 400', so I'm just going to swing at every pitch as hard as I can because nothing in baseball is more valuable than a homer"?
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