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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Erardi: Why Reds fans shouldn’t jump off the bridge

Sabermetric bridge reamers are go!

One of the things I like about the modern analytics in baseball is that it has the potential to keep us knee-jerkers (by this, I refer to myself, and almost everybody else in the mainstream media – print, radio and TV) from jumping off any bridges after 25 games.

...My epiphany with sabermetrics occurred when I wrote way back in the late winter of 2004-05 that Eric Milton could be a valuable addition to the Reds’ pitching staff because he gave up solo shots instead of three-run homers. I wasn’t seeking to defend Reds general manager Dan O’Brien for acquiring Milton, I was trying to explain why Milton might work.

I was peddling an old-school bromide. And I was dead wrong.

Meanwhile, the sabermetricians were predicting that fly-ball pitcher Milton was going to be an abject failure in Great American Small Park (a tip of the cap to fellow Beyond the Bases guest Paul Daugherty for that one), and they were dead right.

Of course, the sabermetricians were only half-right when they predicted in late July 2009 that newly acquired 34 1/2-year-old Scott Rolen was going to fail as a Red.

He certainly didn’t fail in the first half of the Reds’ breakthrough 2010 playoff season. In fact, the leader-by-example changed the culture of the Reds’ clubhouse (bye-bye, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn), and led the Reds to their first postseason in 15 years.

But, yes, Rolen surely did fail as a power-hitting third baseman in his last 21/2 seasons here.

So, it turns out that both “sides” – Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and the rest of the Reds’ brain trust in one camp, the sabemetricans in the other – were right.

More often than not, that is how it works. That’s what I mean by the gray areas. There are a lot of gray areas in baseball. Things aren’t always what they seem. When it comes to baseball, as Yogi Berra once said, ya’ don’t know nothin’.

Be careful about hanging onto to what you learned as a kid or what you assume to be true - except for the core values. (Memo to RBI-citers: RBI aren’t a core value. They’re a reflection of how many guys are getting on base in front of you.)

Be open to the truths to which objective analysis can lead.

Repoz Posted: April 29, 2014 at 04:21 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds, sabermetrics

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   1. TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 29, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4696946)
Be open to the truths to which objective analysis can lead.
This is true in every part of life, not just baseball.
   2. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: April 29, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4696988)
Reds are 6th in run differential (+13) and tied for twenty third in winning pct (.440) with Miami. Step away from the ledge (for now) Reds fans.
   3. McCoy Posted: April 29, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4697001)
Nah, go ahead and do it.
   4. bfan Posted: April 29, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4697014)
Their leader batter has a .532 OPS, and if the value of steals vs. outs is what it was a few years ago, would have been better off had he never attempted a SB (an under .700 success rate on SBs equates to negative value). This really isn't that hard to figure out...
   5. bfan Posted: April 29, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4697015)
Their leader batter has a .532 OPS, and if the value of steals vs. outs is what it was a few years ago, would have been better off had he never attempted a SB (an under .700 success rate on SBs equates to negative value). This really isn't that hard to figure out...
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 29, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4697019)
He certainly didn’t fail in the first half of the Reds’ breakthrough 2010 playoff season. In fact, the leader-by-example changed the culture of the Reds’ clubhouse (bye-bye, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn), and led the Reds to their first postseason in 15 years.


Well, we know that Rolen played well in 2010 (4.1 WAR). We know that the Reds went to the postseason for the first time in 15 years in 2010. We know that Rolen's play on the field helped. We might have some anecdotes (do we?) about Rolen's clubhouse presence. We might have some anecdotes (do we?) about an overall change in the clubhouse atmosphere. We may even have a reasonable inference of some nonzero level of causality between Rolen's clubhouse presence and an overall change in the clubhouse. What we don't have, however, is any legitimate certainty that Rolen's clubhouse presence was a proximate cause of the Reds going to the postseason, let alone enough certainty to declare the non-SABR folks "right."

Look, I like the conciliatory spirit in this excerpt too, but what we have here is not a gray area, just a false equivalency.
   7. Moeball Posted: April 29, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4697022)
It is disappointing to see Hamilton with only a .253 OBA so far this season. He has only 3 walks along with his 86 AB and that's not a good ratio, especially for the leadoff guy. I really hope he figures this out and pulls out of this slow start. I am excited by his potential but all the speed in the world won't do any good if he can't get on base.

I also think it's funny that Brandon Phillips has all of 4 RBI in 25 games - at this rate he won't even reach 30 RBI in a full season, and wasn't his big RBI total last year supposed to be proof of his MVP-type clutchiness? Gee, what happened?
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 29, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4697037)
Reds are 6th in run differential (+13)

reds have scored 0 or 1 run six times this season and been in four 1-0 nothing games, losing three. early on the offense seems a bit uneven.

   9. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 29, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4697056)
Their leader batter has a .532 OPS,


but he's really really fast!

Less snark: I haven't seen that much of him, but he in the small bit I've seen he is a guy whose pure athleticism is readily apparent, but he really doesn't look like anything [special] as a hitter.

He was also not good in the IL last year (.256/.308/.343)

My guess is that he's got a decent eye/sense of plate discipline- he can lay off pitches well outside the zone, which is why he was able to accumulate walks in the lower minors despite being a guy you really really really didn't want to walk (and whose power doesn't scare)- but he's no Brett Butler either- he doesn't control, the zone as well as Butler could- Butler could reliably lay off a pitch an inch off the plate, Hamilton's not that tight. Butler was better at contact too, really avoided Ks, Hamilton looks about average in that regard (or a little below).

So Hamilton is not a guy you are going to pitch around, he's not gonna hit everything he swings at, and when he does hit the ball he doesn't scares you much more than if you walked him. he could still be Vince Coleman (who also struggled a lot in AAA)
   10. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 29, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4697089)
Gee, what happened?

Easy. I drafted him on my fantasy team this year.
   11. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: April 29, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4697097)
Swimming pools open in a month
   12. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4697210)
I'm not sure that Hamilton wouldn't be more valuable as a late inning pinch runner in close games. Turn somebody else's walk into a double in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning.
   13. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4697228)
Wait, Hamilton hit a home run tonight. I take it all back.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4697264)
Hamilton is so fast he went from 1st to 3rd in the time it took bfan to double-post!

It's an early comparison but what the heck ... Hamilton (first) vs. Pierre

BABIP 313 312
BB% 4.4 5.6
XBH% 5.2 4.4
X/H% 23 17
LD% 19 19

So what's the big difference? Two things. 20% vs 6% in K-rate is the really big one; also .87 G/F vs 1.26. Also Hamilton has been hitting a lot of pop-ups this year.

It's another nice counter-example to the "Ks don't hurt batters" fib. So far Hamilton has been pretty much the same "hitter" as Pierre. By putting the ball in play 85% of the time, Pierre's BABIP translated to a 295 career BA; Hamilton sits at 248.

Obviously there's no guarantee that reducing Hamilton's Ks (if you could) wouldn't make him less productive on BIP. To hit 295 on a 20% K-rate with a near-zero HR rate requires a BABIP around 360. Even Ichiro was only at 344.

So they've got to get his Ks down or his walks up or some combo of both. Getting his walks up is probably easier -- weren't nobody looking to walk Pierre neither. Higher G/F might boost the BABIP some. I see he's already got 10 non-SH bunts with 4 hits -- can't really bunt much more than that to be effective.

The good news is that so far he's graded out as average in CF.

On the Campana vs Hamilton watch:

BH 115 PA, 248/286/314, 67 OPS+, 22/5 steals, +1 Rfield in 221 innings (.1 dWAR)
TC 445 PA, 254/303/296, 65 OPS+, 66/8 steals, +9 Rfield in 841 innings (.9 dWAR)

Campana has a 329 BABIP and a 21% K-rate.
   15. esseff Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:39 AM (#4697269)
Why Reds fans shouldn’t jump off the bridge


Because they'll only get in the way of the Cardinals fans.
   16. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4697298)
After last night's game, Billy has a higher OPS+ than the Reds mighty #3 hitter, MVPhillips. Cozart has gotten himself up to a sweet .473 OPS batting in the 8th spot. Leadoff is still the best place for Billy to be in this lineup.

last 14 days for Billy: .326/.348/.442. Since his epic 0-12 w/6k opening series against the Cards, he's hitting .282. It's still way too early to tell what he is going to end up being.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4697335)

when SHOULD you jump off a bridge? apparently when you and your boyfriend kill her uncle:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/couple-gwb-jump-suspected-upstate-homicide-article-1.1773392



   18. Ron J2 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4697353)
#14 The claim has never been that Ks don't cost, rather that Ks are not meaningfully worse than other outs.

And I'm skeptical that Hamilton can meaningfully improve his K rate (particularly since his major league K rate is nicely in line with what you'd expect given his AAA results). I mean it's obviously not unprecedented, particularly given his age, but it's seriously odds against.
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4697370)
#14 The claim has never been that Ks don't cost, rather that Ks are not meaningfully worse than other outs.


Yes, but that's only been half an argument, and kind of an after-the-fact one. Yes, Ks aren't meaningfully worse than other types of out. But when you fix the out part of the equation, of course it's going to be that way. But those aren't the only options at the time of the event.

All else being equal, swinging and missing is much worse than putting the ball in play. And when you're Billy Hamilton or Juan Pierre, avoiding the swing and miss is particularly important.

   20. Ron J2 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4697424)
#19 While it's true that if you could just turn Ks into balls in play while keeping everything else the same, it turns out to be easier said than done. Generally you end up giving back walks (because the best way to cut down Ks is resolving more PAs before you get to two strikes) or power.

I can think of guys (Gary Pettis comes to mind immediately) who screwed themselves up trying to put the ball in play more. And I can think of guys (young Barry Bonds for instance) who cut down on Ks by addressing a specific, correctable weakness (inside pitches in the case of Bonds), but successful style changes at the major league level are mighty rare.

Not to say that no 23 year old can improve (though most people overestimate how frequently this happens), but it's very unlikely that any improvement will center on Hamilton's K rate.
   21. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4697433)
#19 While it's true that if you could just turn Ks into balls in play while keeping everything else the same, it turns out to be easier said than done. Generally you end up giving back walks (because the best way to cut down Ks is resolving more PAs before you get to two strikes) or power.


I'm not saying that you can just turn Ks into balls in pay while keeping everything else the same. I'm saying that the "K is no different than any other kind of out" is flawed the exact same way. It's half an argument. It's fixed on the outcomes (outs), rather than fixing it one step earlier (ball in play vs. swing and miss). Looking at either in isolation is a mistake.

The truth is, for some hitters, your Jim Thome types, swinging and missing frequently is very beneficial, because doing so gets them closer to Ball 4 (plus they have great power to capitalize on those mighty swings). For Juan Pierre-Billy Hamilton types, who don't see as many balls outside of the strike zone and don't hit with great authority at any time, swinging and missing has far less utility.
   22. TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4697458)
Good gravy. Billy Hamilton is 23 years old; hell, he's 10 months younger than the average hitter in the Southern League.
no Brett Butler
True that. As a 23 year old, Butler was in A ball. He didn't make his MLB debut until he was 24, and as a 25 year old had an OPS+ of 44.

Look, I think Hamilton will turn out to be a decent player (Fangraphs had an artilce yesterday about "playable speed", and concluded it by damning him as not "destined to join the likes of Trout, (Carlos) Gomez or even Segura" - when compared to their 2013 numbers. If Hamilton turns into Trout or '13 Gomez, even Hamilton's mom would be shocked). But to damn him to the dust bin of MLB never-wases based on <100 PA as a 23 year old? Please.
last 14 days for Billy: .326/.348/.442. Since his epic 0-12 w/6k opening series against the Cards, he's hitting .282.
I think this is significant. As my dear departed father might have said, Hamilton looked as nervous as a whore in church during that opening series.
   23. Ron J2 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4697461)
#21 And I'm saying that it's correct to focus on the result because you can't "fix it one step earlier".
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4697466)

#21 And I'm saying that it's correct to focus on the result because you can't "fix it one step earlier".



And I'm saying it's incorrect to focus on the result because doing so assumes every ball in play results in an out, which is ridiculous.

Sorry Ron, but it's incomplete analysis, and always has been. Walt is right to call attention to its flaws.

   25. Sunday silence Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4697475)
Pirate fans: go with your instincts.
   26. Ron J2 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4697476)
Sosh, you and Walt and the others would have a point if you could actually name players who've successfully traded Ks for balls in play.

I'm going to stick with Walt making a shopworn claim that has no basis in reality.
   27. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4697481)
Sosh, you and Walt and the others would have a point if you could actually name players who've successfully traded Ks for balls in play.


Why is that imperative? That's taking a step down the food chain.

These are both true: Strikeouts are no worse than any other kind of outs. Putting the ball in play is better than striking out. Resting your hat entirely on one is foolish.

Whether there are scores of players who successfully traded Ks for balls in play is an interesting sidelight, but again it's only one way of looking at it. Whether Billy Hamilton can improve his contact rate (which, I bet he can, at least to some extent), is independent of whether a Billy Hamilton with a better contact rate would be a better player. He would be.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4697500)
Putting the ball in play is better than striking out.


Not necessarily. Double plays are considerably worse than strikeouts.

The problem with strikeout avoidance as a goal is that any MLB hitter can avoid strikeouts but at the expense of a series of weak 1-3 ground outs. A hitter who can reduce his strikeouts AND continue to hit the ball with the same authority is obviously better off but it is not that simple. That requires genuine improvement as a hitter. Hamilton might get there and I'm with TDF that it is WAY too early to condemn him to the scrap heap but his problem isn't strikeouts, it's that he's not a good enough hitter right now.
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4697514)

Not necessarily. Double plays are considerably worse than strikeouts.


And some strikeouts result in dropped third strikes that allow the player to reach are good too. That's nice.

But we're not talking about the individual plate appearance. On average, putting the ball in play is much better than striking out. Always has been. Always will be.*

* OK, I assume it always will be, though the gap had gotten a little too close for my liking.

   30. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4697528)
I'd be pretty surprised to see Billy Hamilton put together a useful MLB career, unless he magically turns into a great fielder.
   31. zonk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4697534)
Panic in the NL Central should be measured in terms of games left against the Cubs...

Who should panic:

1) The Pirates, 6 games under with only 12 left against the Cubs

2) Cincy, 2 games under with 14 left against the Cubs

3) St Louis, .500 with 15 left against the Cubs

4) Milwaukee - cruising, with still 15 left against the Cubs
   32. Ron J2 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4697539)
Whether Billy Hamilton can improve his contact rate (which, I bet he can, at least to some extent), is independent of whether a Billy Hamilton with a better contact rate would be a better player. He would be.


But it's not as simple as that. Can you increase contact rate without affecting the line drive rate?

I mean leaving walks out of the equation (which is obviously questionable, but bear with me)

Ichiro (an obvious model for this discussion) for instance has an OPS of .603 on ground balls and an OPS of 1.623 on line drives. And the only thing that's unusual about the split is that Ichiro is unusually good on ground balls and below average on line drives.

What this means is that a hitter can afford to risk swinging and missing in order to increase his chance of hitting the ball hard (even guys with little power are much more effective hitters when hitting the ball hard. Jason Tyner had as little power as any major leaguer I can recall and OPSd .422 on ground balls and 1.554 on line drives)

And it's pretty likely that a contact at all cost swing is going to be less effective than average.

Now if you've got something specific (young Bonds for instance was just missing inside pitches because he hadn't learned how to properly turn on them. Was able to eliminate that particular problem), fine, But the focus on "strikeouts" has roughly never worked. Because it's tough to cut down on them without either taking fewer pitches and/or not swinging as hard. Yeah Albert Pujols in his prime could hit the ball hard and had an excellent contact rate. He's not the norm.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4697867)
1. actually I had more in mind the adage that Ks are good for pitchers but don't matter for hitters. Clearly in both cases "an out is an out" and you can't magically turn Ks into BIP or vice versa.

2. Ron, I have been on here for probably a decade making the point you can't necessarily cut Ks without hurting rate of production on contact. You really think that suddenly I've gotten confused.

3. It's not Ks vs BIPs, it's Ks vs contact. From a hitter's perspective, BIP production is of primary importance only for Hamilton types.

4. Reduce Ks for contact -- Ryan Braun from 2007-11. Ks down, walks up, HR/FB fairly steady from 2008. In 2011, led the league in SLG and OPS while hitting 330 and K'ing fewer than 100 times. Then he brought the Ks back in. See also late career Schmidt, Beltran around age 26.

5. The point about Hamilton is that there is no way he can be successful with his current mix. He's young and developing so nothing is set in stone yet obviously but if he's currently in the neighborhood of his true production levels (seems about right to me), he can't be a successful ML hitter. So something will have to be fixed -- whether it's fewer Ks, more BBs, more power, more GB, more bunts, superior defense.

6. That is, it's one thing to look at a Jim Thome and have enough sense not to try to "fix" him. It's something else to look at a guy with a 308 OBP, 85 OPS+, coming off a year of a 651 OPS at AAA and throw up your hands.

7. Gary Pettis? What kind of hitter do you think he could have been? In the minors he had too many Ks, lots of walks and no power; in the majors he had too many Ks, lots of walks and no power. He had, get this, a career 313 BABIP, same as Pierre and Hamilton (to date). Pettis is Hamilton with a 12% walk rate and outstanding defense -- that's a perfectly good player with 22 WAR and 8 WAA. Make him an average defender and he's an average player. Cut his walk rate by 60% and he's down to about a 1 WAR per year player. That's Hamilton's likely future at the moment.

8. Brett Butler was mentioned. Butler hit over 330 in the minors and 340 at AAA with a ton of walks. That translates a lot better than Hamilton. When Hamilton has his big year, the hope was that he would become Butler, which he still might. Butler was a college draftee so age 22 was his first pro season and the Braves were not very aggressive with him early but did jump him from A to AAA at 24. Butler hit 290 for his career on the back of a 319 BABIP and a 10% K-rate with a ton of walks (12%). He was also blessed with outstanding durability.

We don't have G/F for his whole career but in the 2nd half of his career, Butler was a GB machine with a "career" rate of 1.2. Butler was not, by bWAR, a good defender, especially late but his ridiculous OBP drove him to be about 19 wins above-average with the "bat" alone.

Again, this is what in our dreams Hamilton was going to be after his 2012 year and he could still become although, to do so, he will have to substantially drop his K-rate.

Vince Coleman is a reasonably close comp for Hamilton's current state but Coleman's K-rate was only 16% (which might be worse relative to his league average but that doesn't matter a lot) and his BB-rate was 8%. His BABIP was, surprise, 314. Coleman was below-average for his career but that's mainly because he was a league-average LF ... make him a league-average CF and he's basically an average player.

Willie Wilson may be the best of this bunch despite his 5% walk rate. He did it with a 329 BABIP, 14% K-rate, outstanding baserunning and outstanding defense at a mix of LF/CF. Even if you took away all his dWAR, he'd still have about 10 WAA but then he wasn't that far below-average as a hitter (94 OPS+, -57 Rbat).

If Hamilton can be +10 runs a year through baserunning and DP avoidance and play an average CF then he can be an average player at something close to his current offensive production.
   34. Ron J2 Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4698115)
#33 And yet Ks do have predictive value for pitchers. Or at least they did. Nobody's updated the aging studies for today's contexts, so while it was true that nothing predicted pitching longevity better K rate (not that it did a great job, just did a better job than anything else) it might not be true of today's game.

And to point #7 James specifically attributed his collapse in 1987 to Gene Mauch trying to remake him as a hitter. James suggested that rather than worrying about the Ks (which stayed high in spite of Mauch), you accept the Ks, maybe try to bump the walks a bit. That with the speed, glove and a decent OBP Pettis could help anybody -- regardless of his Ks.
   35. Ron J2 Posted: May 01, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4698135)
And Walt, my point is *again* it makes precisely as much sense to say a player should add home runs as to cut Ks. Both are good ideas if you can do so without affecting anything else, but aren't easy to accomplish.

Now if you address (and correct) a specific weakness that could result in fewer Ks. But maybe not. Roberto Clemente attributed his big step forward to learning to lay off a specific pitch (don't recall the location). But it wasn't that he couldn't put the bat on the ball, it's just that all that happened was weak grounders. Indeed he was willing to accept Ks (said something like if a pitcher can throw 3 for strikes in an at bat I tip my hat to him and sit down) rather than get himself out. Allowed him to hit the ball better when he did pull the trigger.

As for time, Otis Nixon (who put up some very nice OBPs in the minors -- with zero power) took a long time to establish himself at the major league level.

If Hamilton could learn the strike zone as well as Nixon he could be a decent player. I think it's odds against but he'll get plenty of chances.

   36. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4698257)
Sosh, you and Walt and the others would have a point if you could actually name players who've successfully traded Ks for balls in play.

Austin Jackson is doing it this season- Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs just wrote a good piece about it. I don't think it happens a lot though.
   37. Ron J2 Posted: May 01, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4698287)
#36 Sure. I don't dispute it could happen. Ks after all can be a product of a specific, correctable weakness.

I've just started a study on what happens with players who have single year major changes in K rate. Probably won't have results until next week.

I'm looking first for what the normal range of variance in K rates are and then looking for the outliers.
   38. Ron J2 Posted: May 02, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4698894)
OK, found one player who did precisely what Sosh and company are asking for. Mark Belanger from 1968 to 1969.

59 OPS+ in 1968 with 114 Ks in 520 PAS (excluding IBB and SH) who went to a 95 OPS+ by a) cutting his Ks massively, upping his walk rate and being more successful on balls in play.

Of course Belanger couldn't maintain the level he showed in 1969, but still, he did stay at around a 71 OPS+ from 1970 to 1978 and people would settle for that kind of improvement from Hamilton I would think.

Nelson Santonenia is 3rd on the list for K rate reduction (1955-2013) and was slightly worse in 1989 than he was in 1988 despite a massive decrease in K rate.

Mike Schmidt's great leap forward was indeed driven by his getting his Ks under control, and I think you can add Boomer Scott. He went from a 40 OPS+ in 1968 to a 95 in 1969 mostly by controlling his Ks.

Also of note, while K rate is very stable (correlation north of 88% for regulars with 300+ PAs in consecutive years), there would be nothing at all unusual with a player cutting his K rate by 15 per 600 PAs. And you'd take that. Belanger's change from 1968 to 1069 is the second greatest -- behind only Willie Crawford in 1970-1971
   39. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 02, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4698910)

Also of note, while K rate is very stable (correlation north of 88% for regulars with 300+ PAs in consecutive years), there would be nothing at all unusual with a player cutting his K rate by 15 per 600 PAs.


Yeah, I don't think that Billy Hamilton is going to become Luke Appling. Just that a) it's possible to cut his K rate, and b) more significantly (and shows that I'm not really "asking" for anything), a player of his profile (complete absence of power, ridiculous speed) can't be an adequate offensive player with the strikeout rate he has. Whether he has the capability to be one is obviously important to Hamilton and the Reds, but not the entirety of my point.

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