Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hal McCoy: Of dinner, Chapman, Bruce, Phillips

Dusty’s Trail plotzed out after 26 torturous episodes…this one seems endless.

JAY BRUCE ALWAYS talks about wanting to be the best hitter in baseball (the talent and ability is there), but continues to be perplexed by his long periods of streakiness — periods where he hits well enough to win Player of the Month and long periods where he struggles to put solid wood on the baseball.

Asked if there is any way to help him, manager Dusty Baker said, “First you have to help yourself because there isn’t anybody up there swinging but him. He has a chance. He is still trying to figure some things out or not to figure things out. That’s the dilemma as a young player — when do you be natural and when do you be smart? Sometimes you try to figure things out that don’t need to be figured.

“It is not easy being a young player and I can see the frustration on his face and I feel his frustration and pain,” Baker added. “What gets him in trouble is he fouls off too many pitches. If he didn’t foul them off he wouldn’t get into so many strikeout situations. He has to learn to center the ball more.”

A couple of years ago, I asked Brandon Phillips how he felt about being called a hot dog because of the extra flair he likes to flash on the field and he smiled and said, “Tell them to pass the mustard.”

After winning the Gold Glove two years ago and winning it three times, Phillips didn’t win it last year and he believes it was because some managers don’t like the Oscar Mayer in him.

“It shouldn’t have anything to do with personal likes or dislikes when it comes to personality,” said Baker. “It should come down to who is the best at that position. But it is a natural thing that people vote for who they like.

“I’ve talked to him about it (toning it down) and Joe Morgan has talked to him about it, but after a while you quit talking about it and realize that’s him and hope he just tones it down some.”

Repoz Posted: February 18, 2013 at 08:01 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. smileyy Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4371380)
JAY BRUCE ALWAYS talks about wanting to be the best hitter in baseball (the talent and ability is there)


No, it is not. If the talent and ability were there, he'd have more than a career 113 OPS+ through age 25.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4371421)
McCoy has a kinda old-school style of writing that I actually find quite refreshing. Lots of good info in there - very old school Peter Gammons-esque. I didn't know McCoy was blogging now.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4371499)
Along the lines of #1, it's kinda time to stop calling Bruce young. Yes, I know, still only 26 but he's got 2700 PA in the majors. He's not some kid adjusting to a higher level of play, he's not in that "they've adjusted to him now he needs to adjust to them" bucket. I'm not saying "he is what he is" and he's got no chance for improvement but we aren't talking future superstar here.

That said, he is what he is. :-) High K, low BA, very good power. In his "big" year he had a 334 BABIP which is 44 points above his career BABIP. Walking more is probably a more realistic change than "centering the ball more." If he's fouling pitches off to get into strikeout situations then he's probably swinging too often early in the count at pitches he can't mash.

From fangraphs, he swings at 30% of the pitches outside the zone and 50% overall. That looks a little worse than Prince, much worse than Dunn. Austin Jackson just had a big year and part of that was reducing his swing %age on balls outside the zone from about 28% to 24% (and also career low in the zone) although he also upped his contact rate on pitches in the zone. (Warning: I was looking at the "plate discipline" numbers and now see there is also "picth f/x plate discipline" which has a different set of numbers but they tell the same basic story).

So my best guess for how Bruce can improve is to swing less, not swing better. The foul balls might well be the symptom but they're probably the result of swinging at the wrong pitches, not swinging badly.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dock Ellis
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to advance to the World Series for first time since 1988 | LA Times
(7 - 4:33am, Oct 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOTP 16 October 2017: Sorry, Yankee fans: Trump’s claim that he can ensure victory simply isn’t true
(1447 - 2:16am, Oct 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOT - 2017 NFL thread
(145 - 1:49am, Oct 20)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogDeadspin: Please Enjoy(?) 21 Years Of Joe Buck Hyping Forgotten Fox Shows
(12 - 1:48am, Oct 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(376 - 1:48am, Oct 20)
Last: Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around

NewsblogNLCS Game 5 OMNICHATTER, for October 19, 2017
(273 - 12:59am, Oct 20)
Last: Meatwad in mourning

Sox TherapyQuestioning the Winter
(8 - 12:40am, Oct 20)
Last: Dr. Vaux

NewsblogYankees Thumbs Down Guy is now getting his own bobblehead
(6 - 11:10pm, Oct 19)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogDo the Cubs realize how badly the Dodgers insulted them on national TV? - Chicago Tribune
(37 - 10:20pm, Oct 19)
Last: Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist

NewsblogTV Simpsons documentary about 'Homer at the Bat' episode to air Sunday
(18 - 8:51pm, Oct 19)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogALCS Notebook: Cashman on Yankee Analytics, Luhnow on Hiring Hinch | FanGraphs Baseball
(19 - 8:45pm, Oct 19)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogCubs hold off Dodgers in Game 4 of NLCS | MLB.com
(35 - 6:33pm, Oct 19)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogYankees, Masahiro Tanaka take 3-2 ALCS lead | MLB.com
(7 - 6:30pm, Oct 19)
Last: Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB)

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(1170 - 6:29pm, Oct 19)
Last: Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB)

NewsblogDallas Keuchel embraces the ‘calmness’ of being Yankees killer | New York Post
(66 - 5:01pm, Oct 19)
Last: Satan Says

Page rendered in 0.1360 seconds
47 querie(s) executed