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Monday, January 16, 2012

National writer: If Rangers sign Prince Fielder, he’d be best hitter in baseball ‘by a mile’

Bob Nightengale force wind warning!

USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale joined KESN-FM’s Galloway & Co. last week to discuss the Rangers’ meeting with Prince Fielder. Here are some highlights:

On who will sign Prince Fielder:

I think Texas. Texas has never gone away from this thing. I think they want to put a stranglehold on the division and what the Angels just did with C.J. Wilson and Pujols, they answer back with this and once again they’re the favorites and could be the favorites for a long time. And I think if you sign Prince Fielder, you’re guaranteed to get three million fans, as well.

On how good Fielder could be with the Rangers:

The sky’s the limit. I think a minimum of 50 or 60 home runs. Not just in that ballpark, but with the protection in that lineup, surrounded by everybody. And you’ve got money coming off the books too, so it’s really going to help the Rangers when you’ve got Young coming off the books and those types of guys. But I think by pure numbers, he’d be the number one hitter in all of baseball by a mile. I think he would be Juan Gonzalez all over again.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:13 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, rangers

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   1. Eugene Freedman Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4037786)
But I think by pure numbers, he’d be the number one hitter in all of baseball by a mile. I think he would be Juan Gonzalez all over again.


I guess the only pure number that matters is RBI. Otherwise Gonzalez was not the number one hitter in all of baseball at any point, ever.
   2. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4037796)
But I think by pure numbers, he’d be the number one hitter in all of baseball by a mile. I think he would be Juan Gonzalez all over again.

I guess the only pure number that matters is RBI. Otherwise Gonzalez was not the number one hitter in all of baseball at any point, ever.


2 MVP awards = Best player in the league. Quod erat demonstrandum.
   3. Leroy Kincaid Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4037805)
And if I were on the moon I'd be the best long jumper by a mile. Or a dozen feet or so.
   4. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 16, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4037841)
Just like Randy Johnson was going to win 30 games when he came to the Yankees and Adrian Gonzalez was going to hit 50 HR once he got out of San Diego.
   5. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4037853)
My favorite prediction shall remain the 2000 baseball preview that said it "would surprise no one" if Jeff Cirillo hit over .400.
   6. Out of Accent Shallow's mouth go burning lamps Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4037859)
Jeff Cirillo, 2000: .326/.392/.477 . . .for an OPS+ of 100. Gotta love Coors Field.
   7. BDC Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4037863)
Well, I reckon he's just trying to say that Fielder would put up pretty good raw numbers for Texas. Seeing as how he did that for Milwaukee, too, that's not a dumb comment ...

What I don't really get is this part of it:

you’ve got money coming off the books too, so it’s really going to help the Rangers when you’ve got Young coming off the books


Young will be on the books in 2012 and 2013, and it's not like he's been an albatross. If there's a prospect of using his salary wisely in 2014 and beyond, it's balanced by the fact that he's a very valuable guy in the lineup to try to replace. The pessimist (i.e. Rangers fan) in me wants to say, it's really going to hurt that our .300-hitting super-utility-man is fixing to get older and stop hitting.

And that's you micro-parsing of a writer's offhand remarks for this Monday. Back to our regular broadcast :)
   8. TerpNats Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4037866)
Are comments such as this indicating the Rangers won't get Darvish to agree on a contract by the deadline? It's hard for me to envision them adding both Darvish and Fielder, unless they jack 2013 ticket prices to near-Cowboys levels.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4037870)
The phrasing of this is very interesting. By signing with one team rather than another, Prince Fielder would not just become someone with better hitting statistics. He would literally become a better hitter. In fact, THE BEST HITTER. In another park, he would not be the best hitter.

Are comments such as this indicating the Rangers won't get Darvish to agree on a contract by the deadline? It's hard for me to envision them adding both Darvish and Fielder, unless they jack 2013 ticket prices to near-Cowboys levels.

Don't the Rangers have one of those ginormous new local TV deals?
   10. puck Posted: January 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4037894)
My favorite prediction shall remain the 2000 baseball preview that said it "would surprise no one" if Jeff Cirillo hit over .400.


Yeah, that was disappointing. He did hit .403 at home in 2000.
   11. Dale Sams Posted: January 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4038010)
but with the protection in that lineup


Braun 166 OPS+
Weeks 121 OPS+
Hart 133 OPS+

Beltre 129 OPS+
Hamilton 128 OPS+
Young 124 OPS+

Not to mention, even if the Rangers featured five 200 OPS+ batters, that kind/degree of protection isn't real.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4038083)
The phrasing of this is very interesting.

Presumably that's due to the protection silliness.

#11 ... you left out Napoli who, as we all know, is a true 171 OPS+ hitter.

I've always opined that if there is such a thing as "protection" it's protection from the front, not behind. The way to "protect" your big hitter is to try to make sure there are guys on base when he comes to bat.

The Rangers don't really have any big on-base guys ... well, other than Young in years he hits 330. Kinsler and Andrus are fine but not spectacular.

Yes, the Rangers were 3rd in OBP so (a) solid throughout the lineup and (b) driven by their league-leading BA. Somewhat surprisingly for a team with that kind of power, they were only 8th in BB.
   13. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4038093)
How can you have a minimum of 50 or 60 homeruns?

He'd hit a homerun 60% of the time... Every time!
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4038121)
Just like Randy Johnson was going to win 30 games when he came to the Yankees and Adrian Gonzalez was going to hit 50 HR once he got out of San Diego.


I remember when the Red Sox traded for Jose Canseco and people thought 60 would be within reach for him.
   15. Dale Sams Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4038131)
I've always opined that if there is such a thing as "protection" it's protection from the front


Thinking about 'protection' makes my head swim. Supposedly there IS some kind of pitcher protection, BUT I've also heard that teams want the pitcher to lead off the next inning, so they'll 'go after the 8 hitter'. Well, which is it? Are they going after him or working around him?

And I can see how AGon in San Diego would be affected. I can see how that kind of protection exists. But when you start talking about 'extra protection'...it just gets ridiculous. Unless there's just a glaring hole in the line-up a pitcher is just going to try and get a guy out as best he can.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4038141)
Thinking about 'protection' makes my head swim. Supposedly there IS some kind of pitcher protection, BUT I've also heard that teams want the pitcher to lead off the next inning, so they'll 'go after the 8 hitter'. Well, which is it? Are they going after him or working around him?


I think it would depend on the situation, and the No. 8 hitter. If you've got runners on second and third and a No. 8 hitter who isn't helpless with the stick, a free pass is common (and may be sensible, depending on the pitcher). In other situations, you'd love to have the pitcher lead off the next inning, so you're going to want to avoid getting cute with the No. 8 guy.

   17. TomH Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4038150)
let's say common def of Protection = "someone really good hitting behind you"

Does Protection help your HR and RBI total? SURE. You get fewer walks with men on, especially with first base open, than with No Protection. See Ruth with/without Gehrig, and Bonds without any decent other bat.

Does Protection help you be a better hitter? No. Your OPS don't go up. DOES. NOT HAPPEN.

Does Protection help you be perceived to be a better hitter by the lame stream writers and many fan? Sadly, kinda. See Howard, Ryan.
   18. Cris E Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4038202)
Supposedly there IS some kind of pitcher protection, BUT I've also heard that teams want the pitcher to lead off the next inning, so they'll 'go after the 8 hitter'. Well, which is it? Are they going after him or working around him?

If there's no one on base you go after the #8 to push an easy out into the next inning. If there are runners aboard, however, you forget the next inning and deal with the situation at hand. And that means you put the burden to get them home on the pitcher rather than an actual hitter.
   19. Tippecanoe Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4038242)
His 2011 OPS at home was 1.096, so, yeah, he really struggled in Milwaukee.

I admire Bob Nighingale. He presumably makes a living at this without having to do any homework whatsoever. If only I was clever enough to get paid for that.
   20. Something Other Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4038267)
Not to mention, even if the Rangers featured five 200 OPS+ batters, that kind/degree of protection isn't real.
Though I'm guessing if you're one of the guys NOT OPSing at 200 or above you sure are getting pitched to.

How can you have a minimum of 50 or 60 homeruns?

He'd hit a homerun 60% of the time... Every time!
Yeah, this can drive me batty. "Herman Cain will garner at least seven or eight votes in South Carolina!" So... at least seven? Then there's the double weasel with backflip: "Sources say Herman Cain may garner at least seven or eight votes in South Carolina."
   21. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4038275)

The phrasing of this is very interesting. By signing with one team rather than another, Prince Fielder would not just become someone with better hitting statistics. He would literally become a better hitter. In fact, THE BEST HITTER. In another park, he would not be the best hitter.


Nitpicking, but I do think that particular parks and lineups really do effect batters to some degree. Mostly in terms of their approach. It's the David Wright thing, at core. A player who is particularly suited to a ballpark (think Lowell in Fenway) may genuinely become a bit better/pickier pursuant to a confidence pick me up in his new home. But, I think it's probably marginal enough to be like clutch. Come to think of it, isn't that lineup effect on the whole: there but really within static unless it's fabulously, unrealistically huge?
   22. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4038289)

I love how people forget about Jose Bautista every off season. It's maginificent.

(You say that's only happened twice? No, he's been forgotten about each off season)
   23. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4038301)
I haven't forgotten about... that guy you said.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4038308)
He's not so much forgotten about, everybody knows Jose

SQUIRREL!
   25. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4038319)
I remember Jose Bautista from the Pirates, he was almost as good as Xavier Nady one year.
   26. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4038320)
Which guy?
   27. Cooper Nielson Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4038391)
But I think by pure numbers, he’d be the number one hitter in all of baseball by a mile. I think he would be Juan Gonzalez all over again.

I'd give Nightengale a bit of a pass here. I assume by "pure numbers" he means old-school things like HR and RBI, and I wouldn't be surprised if Fielder led the majors in HR and RBI (though maybe not "by a mile") while playing in Arlington, in that lineup.

As far as the Juan Gonzalez comment, we all know how valuable Gonzalez was/wasn't (he even dropped off the HOF ballot this year), but from 1996 to 1999, on a per-162 game basis, he averaged 50 HR and 161 RBI. On a "pure numbers" basis, that's very impressive, and I think that's what Nightengale's getting at. Fielder could put up big HR totals because of the park, and he could put up big RBI totals because of the guys batting in front of him (maybe Kinsler, Young, Hamilton). Just like Juan Gonzalez did.

And also, he's exaggerating.
   28. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4038435)
Ballpark factor for HR going from Miller Park to Texas can't be more than 15% or so, right? That's 3-4 HR tops.
   29. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: January 17, 2012 at 03:15 AM (#4038448)
I think a minimum of 50 or 60 home runs

That was Adam Dunn's minimum last year.

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