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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Judge: Royals: How making outs can help you win

Or as golden throttled John Sterling said the other night…“If only the Yankees would make the right kind of outs.”

The main thing a hitter does is make outs, so smart hitters—and smart teams—learn to make productive outs.

Take the third inning of Friday night’s game against the Mariners: Alcides Escobar singled, then stole second base. Nori Aoki made a productive out by sac bunting Escobar to third. Then, with one out, Eric Hosmer made a productive out by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field; Escobar tagged up and scored.

In the first inning with nobody out Billy Butler got lucky—it should have been a double play—and made a productive out with Nori Aoki on third; Billy’s groundball allowed Aoki to score. Something similar happened in the sixth inning: Billy Butler was on second and Salvador Perez was on first. Alex Gordon made a productive out when he hit a fly ball deep enough to allow Butler to tag and make it to third base with one down. Gordon’s productive out paid off when Johnny Giavotella made another productive out, a groundball that allowed Butler to score.

Productive outs come in several categories: sacrifice bunts, sacrifice fly balls, hitting the ball to the right side with a runner on second and nobody out, long at-bats—anything that helps your team win. The main thing a hitter does is make outs, smart hitters make productive outs.

Thanks to some productive outs, the Royals beat the Mariners, 6-1.

Repoz Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:03 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals, sabermetrics

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:14 AM (#4704326)
Smart hitters don't give away outs.
   2. BDC Posted: May 11, 2014 at 08:36 AM (#4704329)
One thing's for sure: you can't make a productive out if there's nobody on base. All this productive out-making happens because somebody was avoiding outs earlier in the inning.
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:00 AM (#4704332)
Royals: We'd Rather Rage Against the Dying of the Light Than Win

I hypothesize that a hitter has very little influence on whether a ball-in-play out scores a runner from third, other than what his natural hard contact percentage suggests. Put another way: there are no such things as "smart hitters" in this context, only good hitters.
   4. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4704346)
I agree with #2, that the key point overlooked in these "smart out" examples is that there are people already on base when the outs occur.

However, one thing that is valuable, in this context, is the ability to not strike out. We are currently in the midst of a very high-strikeout environment, probably due to several factors (the skills pitchers are being scouted for; the increased emphasis on driving up pitch counts and OBP). When you have a runner on third and fewer than two outs, the ability to make contact becomes a heightened asset. This is not to say that I think batters suddenly "turn on the hit tool" when there is a guy on third and fewer than two outs; rather, as the run-scoring environment in baseball ebbs and flows, certain skills increase and decrease in value. Right now, being able to make contact (and then let the BABIP be what it may) strikes me as being a particularly valuable asset in the current game.
   5. bjhanke Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4704347)
If you approach your offense with "productive outs", the only real question is just how much you would have scored if you had not done that, since you were able to pick up 6 runs with a one-out strategy. And it also means that, sometime in the season where you will have about 6 games where you do not score. Sabermetricians have known this for, I don't know, 20+ years. The Elias Analyst, very retrograde, were trying to defend "productive outs" in the 1990s, but ll that did was make them even sillier than it was. - BRock Hanke
   6. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 11, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4704349)
The Royals are 13th in OBP and 14th in runs scored in the AL. Maybe they should try harder to not make outs.
   7. base ball chick Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4704354)
the title is really stupid

trying to make outs is really stupid

what they SHOULD say is that seeing as how there are all these high K pitchers now, hitters should be taught how to hit for contact more even if it isn't hitting for power. single is always better than a sac-fly. a hit is always better than an out. drag bunts, for example. small ball with all those outs and only 1 run is boring - along with all those ****ing Ks.
   8. Moeball Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4704360)
Alcides Escobar singled, then stole second base. Nori Aoki made a productive out by sac bunting Escobar to third. Then, with one out, Eric Hosmer made a productive out by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field; Escobar tagged up and scored.


A magician's stock in trade is the misdirection of the audience's attention while the real magic is happening elsewhere.

Note the audience's attention in the example above is focused on giving praise to the players making the two outs and not on the guy who singled and stole a base, which is where the real magic is.

The flip side of this is the old "Ted Williams/Frank Thomas/Barry Bonds/Joey Votto should be willing to expand the strike zone and swing at pitches out of the zone with runners on base rather than leaving it up to the next guy to drive in the runs". This focuses the audience's criticism on the player taking walks and keeping the rally alive when, in reality, the statement is basically admitting that the batter coming up after the criticized player is the one who is pretty much guaranteed to make an out to kill the rally, usually by swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. This is why you don't want to leave it up to him. Misdirect the audience's criticism to the player keeping the rally alive while ignoring the player who is killing all the rallies.

Makes perfect sense.


   9. BochysFingers Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4704363)
And here I thought the headline was "How making out can help you win".
   10. TJ Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4704377)
There is a difference between "making a productive out" (which means giving away outs) and "making an out productive" (which is getting something out of a natural byproduct of the game). The former is a strategy which can help you score in a very limited number of circumstances. The latter is something that can help you score anytime you get a runner on base and does not limit your hitters in what they can do while at the plate (thus helping lead to bigger scoring innings if the hitter should get a hit instead of give up an out). I'll take the team which has smart, aggressive, base runners who can make an out productive over voluntarily giving up outs to move base runners anytime...
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4704382)
And here I thought the headline was "How making out can help you win".

First base is the most frustrating base...
   12. bobm Posted: May 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4704392)
For single team seasons, For 2014, on 3rd, lt 2 out (within Bases Occupied), sorted by greatest percentage of total Batting Average on Balls In Play in this split
                                                                                                                   
Rk       I           Split Year  G BAbip BAbiptot     %  PA  R RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS GDP SH SF tOPS+ sOPS+
1      SEA on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 26  .409     .277 147.7  68 48  46  7 15 .370 .397 .611 1.008   1  0  7   206   141
2      PHI on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 22  .442     .308 143.5  65 45  42  8 12 .392 .446 .510  .956   2  0  5   176   133
3      OAK on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .403     .287 140.4  84 59  51  8 12 .394 .417 .485  .902   4  0  9   147   120
4      ATL on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 23  .367     .287 127.9  51 34  34  0 16 .366 .300 .732 1.032   1  1  9   199   139
5      MIL on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .356     .289 123.2  60 38  34  2 12 .340 .317 .560  .877   4  0  8   145   107
6      CLE on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 28  .333     .272 122.4  81 49  48  5 18 .297 .309 .406  .715   4  0 11   107    73
7      TOR on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 29  .352     .289 121.8  70 56  48  5  6 .386 .406 .579  .985   5  1  6   156   137
8      PIT on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 24  .347     .293 118.4  75 53  48 10 10 .345 .425 .582 1.006   3  2  6   189   143
9      BAL on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 25  .362     .310 116.8  60 47  45  3  9 .383 .350 .468  .818   2  0 10   128    97
10     NYY on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 30  .353     .307 115.0  87 55  48  7 11 .348 .368 .435  .803   9  0 10   122    96
11     CHW on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 31  .365     .328 111.3  95 62  60  9 18 .338 .383 .479  .862   5  1 11   129   109
12     DET on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 26  .350     .318 110.1  82 53  51  9 11 .393 .390 .482  .872   8  0 16   128   112
13     MIN on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 30  .333     .307 108.5  94 66  58 19 20 .328 .426 .578 1.004   5  0 11   187   142
14     STL on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 24  .321     .300 107.0  67 40  36  4  7 .327 .358 .455  .813   4  0  6   138    97
15     KCR on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 32  .313     .293 106.8  82 57  53  5  9 .333 .321 .429  .750   5  1 13   124    81
16     WSN on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .326     .307 106.2  71 47  43  9 15 .296 .371 .481  .853   2  1  6   137   106
17     CIN on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .302     .288 104.9  88 55  50 11 10 .348 .386 .591  .977   5  0 11   175   134
18     BOS on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 28  .305     .300 101.7  86 53  49 11 11 .328 .388 .563  .951   6  1  9   164   128
19     SDP on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .270     .274  98.5  56 35  34  4 10 .273 .302 .500  .802   2  3  5   156    91
20     ARI on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .292     .298  98.0  66 45  43  4 11 .294 .308 .373  .680   3  1  9    99    66
21     LAD on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 31  .294     .304  96.7  78 48  45  8 14 .298 .351 .439  .789   6  1 10   120    92
22     LAA on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 25  .279     .296  94.3  71 41  39  9 17 .235 .314 .353  .667   1  1  9    79    63
23     NYM on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 28  .265     .284  93.3  80 46  43  7 21 .242 .288 .371  .658   3  0 10   108    60
24     COL on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 35  .303     .335  90.4 100 75  68 10 10 .373 .370 .567  .937   8  0 21   116   124
25     MIA on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 26  .278     .325  85.5  67 39  38  9 19 .261 .328 .413  .741   0  0 11   101    80
26     TEX on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 29  .258     .312  82.7  89 54  47 13 12 .271 .348 .356  .704   4  0 15    97    73
27     CHC on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .227     .285  79.6  64 34  32  5 11 .213 .286 .255  .541   4  1  8    69    34
28     SFG on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .214     .277  77.3  69 32  31  9 17 .204 .275 .286  .561   5  0 11    61    38
29     TBR on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .225     .296  76.0  58 34  32  6 10 .289 .293 .500  .793   3  0 14   116    88
30     HOU on 3rd lt 2 out 2014 27  .200     .265  75.5  58 37  34  4 10 .227 .276 .386  .662   4  0  8   100    59


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/11/2014.
   13. bfan Posted: May 11, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4704459)
Friday night Royals game; 16 hits (all singles), and 1 walk. Ugh. Are they all Charlie Lau trained?
   14. Bhaakon Posted: May 11, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4704462)
the title is really stupid

trying to make outs is really stupid


Without reading TFA, I'm just going to assume that it's about trying to reach the 5th inning when the team has the lead and rain is threatening.
   15. tshipman Posted: May 11, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4704463)
One of the things that has always bothered me about productive outs as a class is that they are really very different.

Take the difference between Sac Flies and a ground ball behind the runner. A Sac Fly is a good idea with a runner on third and less than two outs. You are obviously trying to get a hit first and foremost, so all that you're really doing is looking for a ball you can hit in the air. This is not a bad idea, as this also leads to home runs.

Hitting the ball to a specific side of the field does strike me as being different. Hitting the ball on the ground is typically a bad idea for a big leaguer. It leads to more GIDPs, lower power numbers, and empty batting average.

I wish that people would distinguish better between these plays. If there's a runner on third and fewer than two outs, I want the hitter to be looking to put the ball in the air. I think that's good all around.
   16. Bhaakon Posted: May 11, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4704468)
I wish that people would distinguish better between these plays. If there's a runner on third and fewer than two outs, I want the hitter to be looking to put the ball in the air. I think that's good all around.


I agree, with the caveat that the pitcher has some say in the matter. If the pitcher stubbornly pounding sinkers low and away, then trying to yank one in the air might not be the best idea.
   17. BDC Posted: May 11, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4704479)
If there's a runner on third and fewer than two outs, I want the hitter to be looking to put the ball in the air. I think that's good all around

You often hear batters say "I was looking for one to drive in that situation." Of course, (a) that's easier said than done, and (b) you're usually looking for one to drive in any situation.
   18. GregQ Posted: May 11, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4704490)
Didn't ESPN used to run a stat called 'productive outs' about ten years ago? I seem to recall that they killed it after it showed that last place teams made the most 'productive outs"
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4704497)
BTW, this is the political cartoonist for the KC Star, pressed into service writing columns about the Royals because they've gutted their reporting staff.

He actually gets some insights once in awhile because he seems pretty close to the players, but he pretty much admits he's just parroting what the Royals staff tell him because they're the experts!
   20. bobm Posted: May 11, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4704501)
blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2009/10/19/the-count-productive-outs-arent-all-that-productive/

disciplesofuecker.com/poping-the-productive-out-myth/17619
   21. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: May 11, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4704530)
BTW, this is the political cartoonist for the KC Star, pressed into service writing columns about the Royals because they've gutted their reporting staff.

The newspaper equivalent of bringing in a position player to pitch.
   22. spike Posted: May 11, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4704534)
Didn't ESPN used to run a stat called 'productive outs' about ten years ago? I seem to recall that they killed it after it showed that last place teams made the most 'productive outs"

POP - championed by Buster Olney among others.
   23. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 11, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4704542)
Judge once stepped into the batting cage to feel what it was like to get hit by a pitch, as I recall. That was unique, at least.
   24. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4704556)
The newspaper equivalent of bringing in a position player to pitch.


Which I'm sure teams did a lot in the 1880s in the few months before they folded.
   25. Buck Coats Posted: May 11, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4704570)
The Royals are 13th in OBP and 14th in runs scored in the AL. Maybe they should try harder to not make outs.


Ahh, but they're 11th in Wins! It works!
   26. Walt Davis Posted: May 11, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4704606)
Ahh, a cartoonist, I'll cut him a bit of slack then.

Anyway, the "anti" POP message is in the article itself. Butler hits a ground ball that "should have been a double play". So it should have been the ultimate unproductive out but they got lucky. Also note productive outs from Gordon, Hosmer, Butler -- the Royals' three best hitters (such as it is).

Actually ESPN kept POP going for quite a few years, might still be there somewhere. You had to search to find it but it was a few pages in. It showed what you expected it to show -- LHB (pulled GBs always good for advancing 2B to 3B and it seems harder to turn two plus they get out of the box faster) and speedy ground ball hitters.

Nothing wrong with that of course -- assuming Juan Pierre was not going to turn into either a 400 OBP machine nor jump the ISO up to 200, better he put the ball in play than K all the time. Being fast enough to stay out of DPs meant that his GBs with runners on were likely to leave you no worse off (relative to any other form of out) and even a force-out at second was probably a slight advantage since Pierre was likely a better runner than the guy he replaced.

BIP are better than Ks in all situations -- not for PO reasons but that probably adds a bit -- so it's a question of how much power (or on-contact production) and walks a player would lose by taking a contact-oriented approach ... if such a transformation is even feasible. It's pretty clear that you would try this in only fairly desperate situations -- Billy Hamilton (if his current production reflects his true talent), Jose Hernandez (my old favorite example), maybe somebody like Brandon Hicks.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: May 11, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4704607)
Speaking of Hamilton, is he banged up or have the Reds given up on him already? He hasn't started their last 7 games.
   28. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 11, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4704629)
Hamilton's been out with a sore finger. He started today and had two hits, a walk, and a stolen base.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:57 AM (#4704733)
Here are your team POPs:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/productive?tp=team

Nats, Rox and Giants all near the top on offense so that's good; on the other hand Houston is 7th and San Diego 14th.

They also have POP prevention for the pitchers. Boston is terrible on both sides.

Note the denominator is all outs in that situation. The range right now is over .1 so, multiplying by 4 to get an approximate season total, it could be something like an extra 200 bases gained over the course of a season which would be quite substantial.

But the question has never been would you prefer a productive out over an unproductive one. It's whether you can do anything to move more of your outs over to the productive side without increasing your number of outs and without reducing your TB on non-outs ... or at least where's the break-even point.
   30. bjhanke Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:46 AM (#4704735)
Here's one sample that I noticed in the 1980s. When Whitey Herzog came to the Cards, he, like many ex-executives from other teams, had a fixation for bringing aboard a particular player from his old team. TLR, for example, was obsessed with this big first baseman named "Mark." Syd Thrift liberated Bobby Bonilla from the White Sox when he moved to the Pirates (which was the first time I noticed the phenomenon). In this case, it was catcher Darryl Porter. Porter had been through, I think, cocaine rehab, and didn't have the batting average, or even the power, that he had before the rehab. But he was taking many more walks, and his defense was, if not improved, at least not a distracting source of tension to Darryl. In the mid-80s, when he was hitting 6th, I used to call him "pass it on" Porter when he had a runner on in front of him. He wouldn't drive in the run, but he'd take a walk,and pass the opportunity, complete with an extra baserunner and possibly runners moved up a base, to the next guy. It was, apparently, too stressful for him to actually try to get the original runner in. But that sure didn't seem to hurt the Cardinal offense any. I know that anyone can think this through for a leadoff type, but the #6 slot is not usually thought of this way. But why, except that the #7 hitter is likely worse than the #2 or #3 guy? And if it keeps your catcher from exploding emotionally, well, that's a lot of gain for very little cost. - Brock Hanke
   31. BrianBrianson Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:51 AM (#4704742)


Without reading TFA, I'm just going to assume that it's about trying to reach the 5th inning when the team has the lead and rain is threatening.


I assumed it was about playing better defence.
   32. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4705041)
I assumed it was about playing better defence.


I assumed that someone the writer spoke with from the Royals was trying to polish a t...

What's the deal with Moose Tacos?

Is he hurt?
Has his head been rotated a bit too forcibly too many times? Is his confidence shot?
at what point do the Royals throw in the towel?

Wasn't Moore supposed to be good at drafting and development?
Alex Gordon (OK Moore didn't draft him)
Hosmer
Moose Tacos
Butler

All these guys had a very promising stretch early in their careers and then had a major hiccup in their 2nd (or 3rd year in the case of Gordon)- and wit one exception, Moore was patient through that hiccup, let the guy play through it, and Hosmer bounced back and Butler bounced back and then some - but Moose Tacos didn't. Gordon OTOH was crewed with seemingly for 2+ years.

Anyway, and I'll throw in Sal Perez here too, NONE of these guys is playing any better now than the first days they played in the MLB.

Perez put up a 128 his rookie year, 115 his first full year, is at 100 now (career 110)
Hosmer hit 118 as a rookie, had his hiccup and hit 117 last year and is at 18 now.
Moose... pass
Gordon, put up a 90 and 109 his first two years, hit 103 last year is at 89 this year (he did peak at 140 and 123 in 2011/12)

Butler, ok he got better, hit 108 as a rookie, fell down in year two, then hit 125,134,125,138 and 115, is at 66 now but presumably will clear 100 before the year is out.

Is there an alternate reality where most if not ALL these guys have better careers?

Moore cleared .500 last year because he brought in Shield who was very effective for a league leading 228 innings, and he brought in Santana who was nearly as effective in nearly as many innings,and Hochevar went from 185 putrid inning as a starter to 70 extremely effective innings as a reliever.

If Shields and Santana pitched as they had in 2012 and Hochevar doesn't go from putrid to lights out overnight, Moore never gets his .500 season.
Moore got lucky in 2013 (which is a way of saying that Royals fans got unlucky) -
of Moore (or someone on his staff) has a knack for getting veteran pitchers to overperform (Meche, Shields, Santana, it looks like Vargas this year, all seemed to do better their first year or two with KC than their immediately prior performance would indicate)- if acquiring such pitchers is a skill it'd be an extremely valuable one for an otherwise good team to have, but all it seemingly does for the Royals is make them less putrid, and gives Moore some more rope to play with.

Maybe Yordano Ventura will develop and break the Moore/Royals mold, but if not it ultimately looks like Moore's regime is/will be just an incremental improvement over that of Allard Baird.
   33. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4705081)
@32

Setting aside Gil Meche, I think it does need to be acknowledged that Dayton Moore has put together an outstanding defense. Jason Vargas seems like a massive overpay for four years, but he's the type of pitcher that at a reasonable price would make a lot of sense for the Royals. Ervin Santana fits that model as well. Throw strikes, let the defense do most of the work for you, and also rely on Kauffman Stadium's fences to turn the occasional homer into a long out. I don't think the pitching has been lucky in the overall results as much as the individual pitchers have been quite fortunate to have a very good defense to support them.

The offense is a trainwreck. I'm somebody who thinks a hitting coach mostly knows when to stay out of the way. So I'm not sure how much impact it would have, but five hitting coaches over the past 20 months can't be a good thing. (Yes, I'm cherry-picking start/end points.) I find Butler and Hosmer to be the most surprising. Moustakas's failure seems predictable to me. Perhaps not this bad, but if he didn't have the status as 2nd Overall Pick next to his name, I don't think he would have been considered too great a prospect. He showed power but his overall stats aren't anything special and he notably showed an inability to control the strikezone. Perez was never much of a prospect in the minors and his hot bat at the MLB level always seemed a bit unsustainable to me when his plate discipline is even worse than Moustakas.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4705229)
Wasn't Moore supposed to be good at drafting and development?


I think a lot of people under value an organizations ability to develop player. The Cardinals, Braves and White Sox and a few others do a good job of turning players into decent major league players regardless of their expected level of performance. While other teams take a ton of great talent, and watch them never develop beyond their raw ability. I think the Royals are middle of the pack at that aspect.

All these guys had a very promising stretch early in their careers and then had a major hiccup in their 2nd (or 3rd year in the case of Gordon)- and wit one exception, Moore was patient through that hiccup, let the guy play through it, and Hosmer bounced back and Butler bounced back and then some - but Moose Tacos didn't. Gordon OTOH was crewed with seemingly for 2+ years.


He had an off year last year, not even remotely close to a guy who is finished, and last year was a drop in his defensive value more than his offensive value that hurt him.
   35. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4705275)
He had an off year last year, not even remotely close to a guy who is finished, and last year was a drop in his defensive value more than his offensive value that hurt him.


??? I have no idea which part of my post you are responding to...

But anyway, the only guy I even remotely suggested should be simply dropped was Moose Tacos, who I wouldn't describe as being "finished" he's someone who has never really begun.

   36. cardsfanboy Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4705283)
??? I have no idea which part of my post you are responding to...


The Moustakas comment. He had an off year last year, after posting 3.1 war the previous season.
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4705299)


The Moustakas comment. He had an off year last year, after posting 3.1 war the previous season.


That was based largely on a good first half and excellent defense. He has hit .215/.269/.346 over the last 18 months.

There are rumors he is going to be demoted to Omaha tomorrow to make room for a pitcher with Danny Valencia taking over at 3B.


I think a lot of people under value an organizations ability to develop player. The Cardinals, Braves and White Sox and a few others do a good job of turning players into decent major league players regardless of their expected level of performance.


This times 1000. If I were running the Royals, I'd break the bank to hire all of the Cardinals development guys. All of em.

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