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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

O will determine how high Royals rebound - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

Maybe, just maybe, Mike Moustakas isn’t very good.

Oddly enough, speculation about Moustakas’ short-term future is swirling even as he’s tied for the team lead with four homers. It’s the singles and doubles that have been elusive. Moustakas is an amazing 0-for-25 while hitting a ground ball or “short line drive” against a shifted defense this season. According to Baseball Info Solutions, opponents have employed a shift against him 62 times already this year, compared to only 23 times for all of 2013.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:55 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mike moustakas, royals

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   1. SoCalDemon Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4706434)
I am not sure that "amazing" means what you think it means.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4706440)
I am not sure that "amazing" means what you think it means.


Amazing means causing amazement - either negative or positive.

Now, amazeballs on the other hand implies positivity.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4706441)
So this constant shifting stuff really works, eh? And… did NO manager ever try it until the 2010s?

It's amazing.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4706467)
There were serious red flags in his game in the minors, such as his poor walk totals and the fact that the only superstar numbers he put up were in half a season in the hitter-friendly Texas League. Aside from a really nice stretch in the first half of 2012, he has been an absolutely dreadful hitter in the big leagues, and after 1600 PAs, he has an 82 OPS+. He is a good defender (I do think the metrics overrate him a bit), and he has some pop, but I don't think he's ever going to become a solid hitting third baseman, much less a good one. He could probably benefit from a trip to Omaha at this point, and they should consider moving on to someone new if they're really in contention mode and not in "asset accumulation waiting for something to stick" mode anymore.
   5. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4706504)
So this constant shifting stuff really works, eh? And… did NO manager ever try it until the 2010s?


I can't tell if this is sarcasm, but they call it "the Ted Williams shift" for a reason.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4706533)
Yeah, but it would get used against Ted Williams and it would get him to hit .340 instead of .410. Now it's getting used against everyone and it's making guys like Mike Moustakas totally worthless instead of mediocre.
   7. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4706535)


I can't tell if this is sarcasm, but they call it "the Ted Williams shift" for a reason.


Or, the "Boudreau Shift", for the manager who installed it against him.
   8. Chone Mueller Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4706632)
I saw Moustakas play a few times in the minors and he looks much heavier now. Is this just a television mirage? Or is he getting pudgy?
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4706637)
I recall LaRussa using the shift in the 80's. It was used against Bonds, as well. It's been used for a long time just not to the degree it is now.
   10. base ball chick Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4706741)
i disremember shifts being used against righty pull hitters before last year, but really good lefty pull hitters got the shift since i can remember
   11. JE (Jason) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4706760)
O will determine how high Royals rebound

Probably not: The President is a White Sox fan.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4706766)

I saw Moustakas play a few times in the minors and he looks much heavier now. Is this just a television mirage? Or is he getting pudgy?


I think he is fat too, and I've heard whispers he's out of shape. Hasn't hurt his defense though.

Moustakas is an amazing 0-for-25


Which is fine, so long as those are productive outs!
   13. Shibal Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4706770)

Probably not: The President is a White Sox fan.


What's the over/under on # of White Sox players can be named by Obama?

1.5?

I'll give him Konerko.
   14. bigglou115 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4706836)
There were serious red flags in his game in the minors, such as his poor walk totals and the fact that the only superstar numbers he put up were in half a season in the hitter-friendly Texas League.


NW Arkansas is in the Texas League South. His Home park was pretty close to neutral, with an advantage in 2bs and a disadvantage in HRs. The other teams in the South include Little Rock, which may be the toughest park in AA if not all the minor leagues, with San Antonio, which is the other ballpark in contention for toughest in AA and the minor leagues, in the North.

As a whole the Texas league may be a hitter friendly environment, but I don't think you can really take too much of a bump out of the NW Arkansas guys, he's playing over half his games in a average at best park.
   15. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4706854)
I can't tell if this is sarcasm, but they call it "the Ted Williams shift" for a reason.


Nope. It's the Williams Shift, named after Cy Williams, so definitely older than Ted. Though it is more famous for Ted these days.

As for shifting on RHB, I have pictures of the Reds shifting on Mark McGwire in 1998, with 3 IF to the left side of 2B. But this is the exception that proves the rule - it so notable to me that I took a picture of it!
   16. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4706864)
other teams in the South include Little Rock, which may be the toughest park in AA if not all the minor leagues,


Huh. Any idea how it compares to old Ray Winder Field (which of course was still where the Travs played when I lived there; I still haven't laid eyes on the new place, & at this rate I never will) in that regard?
   17. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4706876)
There were serious red flags in his game in the minors, such as his poor walk totals and the fact that the only superstar numbers he put up were in half a season in the hitter-friendly Texas League.


When a guy is drafted out of HS and is a teenager (like Moose) the lack of "superstar" numbers isn't really an issue (Though if a guy's played 4 years of college then you really do wanna see "superstar" numbers pretty much right off the bat.

He had a .805 OPS in the Midwest league at 19 (league average was .694) which is pretty much where you'd want him to be at that age (David Wright at 19 had a .768 OPS in the Sallie league (league average .695), te Sallie is the same level as the Midwest league, so at 19 he looked slightly ahead of where Wright did.

But the at 20 he put up a .718 in the Carolina league, league was .712, so we're talking a 100 OPS+, you want your A prospects to beat league by a bit more than that even at age 20 in A+, more important he beat A by 110, you want him t beat A+ by at least that much (To continue the comparison Wright hit .828 in the FSL at age 20, league was .675).

Moustakas went to town for half the year in AA at age 21, hitting .347/.413/.687 (league was .721) Wright hit .363/.467/.619 in half a year at AA at 21 (league was .744)- so at this point, Moustakas had a relative hiccup in A+ but for the most part is tracking Wright, same age, through A, A+ and half a year at AA.

Mous finished his age 21 year in the PCL hitting .293/.314/.564 (league was .780, but Omaha is a pitcher's park, Wright OTOH finished that year by hitting .298/.388/.579 in 30 games in the IL and .293/.332/.525 in 69 games in the MLB and never looked back.

Essentially that's when Mouse and Wright parted ways, how close were they before then?
1: Moustakas was a more highly regarded as a prospect based upon prospect rankings.
2: Mous outplayed Wright in A ball
3; Wright significantly outplayed MOUS in A+ (by that I mean by far more than Mouse had outplayed Wright the year before)
4: Wright outplayed Mous in AA/AAA

Wright always showed a better eye than Mous and somewhat better ability to hit for average, adjusting for context power was about a draw. I think the separation is simply that against better and better pitchers, Wright was better able to hone in on what he could hit and lay off what he couldn't than Mous (Contact skills are about the same, in fact I'd give an a edge to Mous, but Mous is hitting too many pitches poorly- pitches that Wright is either missing or not swinging at)
   18. andrewberg Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4706911)
I would guess that Obama could name Konerko, Dunn, Sale and maybe Danks, Abreu. Beckham has been around awhile, that tends to promote name recognition. Anyone outside of that group would surprise me.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4706930)
True, full shifts against RHB were rare/nonexistent in my memory but 3B tight to the line, SS shifted strongly over to the hole, 2B just to the right of 2B was a common alignment against RHB pull hitters.

So this constant shifting stuff really works, eh? And… did NO manager ever try it until the 2010s?

AL BA/SLG on GB

2014 237/256
2013 243/262
2012 237/257
2011 238/257
2010 233/251
2009 239/259
2008 242/262
2007 246/266
2006 247/271
2005 239/259
2004 245/267
2003 239/260
2002 163/169 ??
2001 176/188 ??
2000 170/182 ??
1999 235/256
1998 222/243
1997 232/253
1996 237/259
1995 235/259
1994 246/271
1993 239/262

There was possibly an uptick from about 2004-7 but if the shift is taking anything away from some batters, it's obviously giving back to others or there has been some compositional shift. The number of GBs every year has been fairly constant at around 28,000 but given the decrease in contact rate that should result in an increase in G/F ratios.

Splits only go back 88 and from 88-92 BA tended to be in the 215-220 range. I assume those weird 2000-2 numbers are some sort of data issue. Those years show about 10% fewer GB than the other years -- possible given the era but probably some weird classification issue.
There also seems to have been a classification change on LDs in the last couple of years -- 4% increase in LD rate in one year along with sizeable drop in BA on LDs.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: May 14, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4706941)
Moustakas is 0 for 25 on shifted GBs and "short line drives". I don't know how many of the 0 for 25 are short line drives but he is only 1 for 33 on grounders this year so at best he's 1 for 8 on GBs when not shifted on.

I'd be curious what last year's numbers were as his BAGB goes 254/245/172/.030. The 030 is obviously partly horrible luck (and probably screwed up swing and/or lack of talent) but the 172 might be a real change.
   21. Zach Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4707015)
I've been looking at his page page on Brooks Baseball, and I've got to say, it's not obvious why he isn't hitting. He's got a pretty good eye, and he makes contact with the pitches he swings at. It's not like Hosmer last year, where he was swinging at terrible pitches and letting good pitches go by. If I had to say one thing, I'd say he's making too many outs on pitches in the strike zone.
   22. bigglou115 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:45 PM (#4707060)
@16 I miss Ray Winder a lot, I practically grew up there. As for playing, the ball doesn't carry at all at the new stadium. Lefties with pull power could destroy Ray Winder because the fence in RF was a HR, but they play about the same in LF. It's a fun park if you like pitcher's duels.

Aesthetically, the new one is one of the best parks I've seen in the minors, but it'll never compare to the unique feel of Ray Winder.

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