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They should try to change the park up; they're wrecking a lot of early careers.
They should try to change the park up;
Damn. Jesus Montero actually threw out a base-stealer. I was hoping he could manage to go a whole year without doing so. Runners are 23/24 off of him. Though I suppose you can live with a poor catcher when he's delivering a 67 OPS+. He's been sent down as well right?
They did. At the start of the year. Maybe it's not the park, but its inhabitants.
multi-year: Batting - 90, Pitching - 91 · one-year: Batting - 93, Pitching - 94
Maybe it's the players, maybe the organization, maybe the park. I think the park. Who else has hit well there recently? Hell, even Ichiro stopped hitting there.
That's a pretty horrible park for hitters. And it helps explain FHernandez's success. Fewer pitches needed to get through an inning at home, saves pitches in-game and in-season overall.
Then again, I tend not to proscribe mystical qualities to inanimate objects. I know, I'm funny like that.
What's the source of this insult? Parks that suppress offense a lot are much more difficult to hit in, and therefore (my theory is) potentially more difficult to develop in if you're a position player.
Adrian beltre had a hard time hitting there as well, and picked up when he left.
Well, it sounds a lot like "pitchers like to know their roles" or "batter's like to hit in a set spot in the lineup" - the kind of stuff you generally dismiss out of hand.
Safeco has been a pitcher's park, no question. A guy's numbers will be down there compared to other parks. The jump from there to the idea that the lower offensive context makes it hard for batters to develop overall is one I'm not prepared to make.
I'm not prepared to make it either. I'm raising it as a possibility.
It sounds nothing like that. I'm not talking about soft factors (e.g., a park getting into a hitter's head), but hard factors of it being objectively harder to hit in a park that is... more difficult to hit in.
The jump from there to the idea that the lower offensive context makes it hard for batters to develop overall is one I'm not prepared to make. The other alternative (the org. is just shitty at developing/IDing its hitting prospects) is a more logical conclusion, as far as I'm concerned.
And I'd suggest that if David Wright genuinely got himself all twisted in knots because of Citifield* then he probably played for a crappy organization that does a terrible job developing or managing its players. Which, not coincidentally, he does.
He was playing for more or less the same people who developed him (and Jose Reyes) into one of the best position players in baseball, and a team that won no fewer than 88 games in the 3 seasons before they moved to CitiField. I tend to think the hitting coach in baseball is mostly insignificant. I'm not aware of any studies on this, but I highly, highly doubt there is any significant fluctuation in player performance based on a change in hitting coaches. I just don't see hitters as the malleable lumps of clay you suppose them to be.
Which is why I prefer a pitcher's park to one of them bandboxes for team-buildin' purposes. Pitchers get tired and hurt the more darts they throw. Hitters don't.
So, cheering for the demotion of Ackley? That’s nuts.
Applauding the downfall of Montero? Suicidal if you’re a Mariners fan.
This franchise will be going nowhere fast if more of this young core does not step up to join Seager this year. If the core as a whole flops, so will this franchise for the next few seasons, unless somebody can convince this ownership group to seriously open its pocketbook. Good luck with that.
There was never any guarantee that “playing the kids” was ever going to work as a strategy, no matter how novel it may have seemed back in 2010. So far, the strategy has failed. There is still time to save it. And Mariners fans had best hope some of it can be saved, or this franchise will be having many more bad days than good ones ahead, no matter how high the team may have scored in past prospect rankings and other things that matter little at the MLB level.
Three prospects isn't a large sample size. Correct. Is eleven seasons without a postseason berth big enough for you?
It comes off very defensive, by a guy who predicted 85-wins now that the veterans sluggers Morse and Morales and Bay and Ibanez were on board.
But when you've got systemic hitting failure like we've seen in Seattle, an organization that's been about as poorly run as any in baseball over the past 10 years, the default assumption should not be that the park is having the same mysterious performance-dampening effect on everyone, but that the piss poor organization itself is the primary culprit. Ballparks suppress numbers; they shouldn't suppress skill.
Tony Gwynn, of course, had no trouble, but he was (A) a very strange hitter, and (B) so great at what he did that he probably could have done it anywhere.
Highest Batting Average With Two Strikes, career, min. 1000 PAs:
1. Tony Gwynn, .302
2. Wade Boggs, .262
3. Todd Helton, .262
4. Juan Pierre, .262
5. Luis Polonia, .261
6. Ichiro Suzuki, .260
7. Joe Mauer, .257
8. Albert Pujols, .257
Right. The default assumption should be that the Seattle coaching staff is having some mysterious performance dampening effect.
At least we know that Safeco and CitiField suppress offense.
A player can develop bad habits because of the park, and bad coaching won't help him correct those habits.
The Pirates should trade for him. He'd fit in nicely there, as they openly do not care if you steal bases off them. (Or didn't; maybe with signing Martin they went back to caring after last year's LOLfest, I don't know.)
Before 2010: The second overall pick in the 2009 draft, Ackley has the ability to rocket through the system and to make his pro debut as early as this year. His combination of plate discipline, bat speed, and hand-eye coordination has scouts projecting him as a .300 hitter with a .400 on-base percentage annually, and you can throw plus-plus speed into the package as well. There is plenty of debate about his power, but given everything else he does well, power might just be gravy...
Before 2011, his first partial year in Seattle: In his first professional season, Ackley didn’t hit much like a second overall pick, but he recovered from a frightening .147/.289/.227 April in time to remind the Mariners of why they’d drafted him. His sweet lefty swing didn’t do much damage against same-handed pitchers, but even while struggling to learn a new position, Ackley walked more often than he struck out in the Southern League, offering a glimpse of the discipline and contact skills that have scouts sold on his future as a .300 average/.400 on-base percentage hitter. It’s not yet clear what lies in store for Ackley’s third slash stat, since he hasn’t mustered much power with a wood bat, but he did lead the Arizona Fall League (AFL) in on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) by a wide margin. Of course, the list of those who slugged in the AFL is long and littered with hitters who never showed much pop elsewhere, but we’ll likely see Ackley in Seattle at some point this season.
Before 2012, his first full year: They say you're never as good as you look when you're going well, or as bad as you look in a slump. During Ackley's first two months in Seattle, he hit like Chase Utley: loads of walks, few strikeouts, power to all fields, and a .245 isolated power boosting his overall line to .315/.377/.559 on July 3. Then came the adjustment period and a .242/.327/.311 line the rest of the way... Ackley's overall season line is a good guess for what the next 16 years will hold, but he'll top that line if he continues to develop power. Ackley keeps his weight back better than he did when he was drafted as a front-foot hitter, and his power numbers had improved at every stop before his summer slump in Seattle...
Before 2009: ...Think Justin Morneau with the ability to switch-hit —- he could be that scary.
Before 2010: His ideal-world projection is as a switch-hitting version of Justin Morneau with better defense, and that's just scary.
Before 2011: At 24, Smoak remains the offensive foundation of the Mariners’ future.
Before 2012: It's hard to know how much of Justin Smoak's mid-season struggles were related to injuries to both thumbs. The Mariners admitted to covering up one injury so pitchers couldn't exploit it. Smoak said at the end of the season it had affected his swing; Smoak's spray chart shows him hitting more balls the other way, especially from the left side, than he hit in 2010. What we know is that before his first thumb injury in late June, Smoak hit .260/.361/.480, and in his final 22 games, post-injuries, .301/.354/.438. Put those together, and it's a fine Safeco Field performance, even for a first baseman. This guesswork may not excuse his .130/.213/.176 line between healthy periods, but give him another year before writing him off; Smoak's career minor league numbers would be a terrible thing to waste.
I don't know, I think he's got a decent shot assuming a typical decline. He'll have some very impressive counting stats for the traditional voter. He should finish this season (age 34) with ~2,400 hits and ~375 HR. He's won the past two GGs and has another two guaranteed years with a contending team. So put him at 2,700 hits, 400+ HR, and 5 or 6 GGs by the time he's 36, plus the gravy of his final few years. Even acknowledging how tough 3Bs have it, I think he should be in a good position to get the traditional vote.
I don't think there's any question he'll get the sabermetrically inclined vote given the defensive numbers. He's already at 66 WAR.
Player Rfield WAR/pos OPS+ PA Age G H HR RBI SBAdrian Beltre 186 66.6 112 8919 19-34 2167 2287 356 1246 115Scott Rolen 175 69.9 122 8518 21-37 2038 2077 316 1287 118
But if Rolen is ignored by the BBWAA, then it doesn't look good for Beltre unless that advantage is humongous.
And of course, Beltre could still go on to rack up quite a counting-stat advantage on Rolen. But if Rolen is ignored by the BBWAA, then it doesn't look good for Beltre unless that advantage is humongous.
He now has 103 games in Triple-A after 79 in Double-A, so he should have enough seasoning to be ready for the bigs.
Montero - A career .844 OPS AAA hitter which makes him by definition not a top hitting prospect and is still 23 which means he's also not yet a bust.
Smoak - a career .849 OPS minor league hitter and only .788 at the AAA level (and never young for his leagues). A 96 OPS+ MLB hitter his last three years, how could you expect much more? Question isn't whether he's a bust, its why he was a hyped 1B prospect at all with that bat.
You have know idea what the Mets or the Mariners are teaching their players, and are just assuming that it's some sort of bad voodoo.
Didn't Bret Boone have like 10,000 RBI steroid injections in Safeco?
Smoak's career minor league numbers would be a terrible thing to waste.
#13 As I've said many times, park factors work pretty well for value. But it's silly to argue that a given park affects every hitter equally. We absolutely know that plenty of players are hurt/helped far more than what the generic park factor would suggest.
As I've said many times, park factors work pretty well for value. But it's silly to argue that a given park affects every hitter equally. We absolutely know that plenty of players are hurt/helped far more than what the generic park factor would suggest.
We simply don't care about this when we're talking value and have an extremely poor understanding of how any given park will affect any given player. (and we don't have much beyond WAG for how a player will develop)
That said, a long standing theory of mine (that I haven't figured out how to test because I can't come up with a useful definition) is that extreme pitcher parks are toughest on the the guys with marginal power (what a friend used to call "warning track + a foot" power)
Sometimes those projections work out because the tools just haven't translated yet, but the power everyone saw coming has not appeared yet.
I think there was a lot of projection going on with Smoak as a prospect that wasn't backed up by the numbers.
but the short story is that they saw his warts, even through the years, but still felt that he would be a big time hitter.
before his first thumb injury in late June, Smoak hit .260/.361/.480
his final 22 games, post-injuries, .301/.354/.438.
but Morrison hit .294/.409/.477 in AAA - in the IL, a tougher place to hit than the PCL where Smoak played.
Wedge was talking about Ackley's demotion to Triple-A and his mental approach, and he intimated that Ackley might have been too concerned with pitch selectivity and high on-base percentage, leading to a one-liner that hit on one of baseball's most intriguing ongoing philosophical battles.
"It's the new generation. It's all this sabermetrics stuff, for lack of a better term, you know what I mean?" Wedge said. "People who haven't played since they were 9 years old think they have it figured out. It gets in these kids' heads."
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