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Monday, August 14, 2017

Sullivan: Let’s Watch Rafael Devers Take Aroldis Chapman Deep

Kung Fu Who?

Even before Sunday, Devers was doing pretty well. He’d advanced through Portland, he’d advanced through Pawtucket, and he’d run a .939 OPS over some dozens of chances in the major leagues. Devers, as a rookie, has taken a firm hold on the Red Sox’s third-base position, which earlier had proven a crippling weakness. Now, though, Devers truly has his breakthrough moment. See, he batted against Chapman in the ninth inning of a one-run game, and he tied it up. He tied it up with a home run back up the middle, and he tied it up with a home run against a pitch measured at 102.8.

Pitchers have been throwing pitches for more than a hundred years. Batters have been swinging at them for same. And yet, for more than a century, we lacked all the data. We have pitch velocities tracked only back to 2008. So be it. We’re given a limited window, but still a meaningful one. For shorthand, you could say we have a decade of information. Over that decade, no one has gone yard against a faster fastball. Faster pitches have been thrown, but none of them have gone for four bases. Devers is still looking ahead to his 21st birthday, but already he’s done one of the most incredible things he’ll probably ever do.

The pitch was faster than the pitch thrown to Davis, by almost six ticks. And, unlike Davis, Devers went up batting left-handed. Chapman, historically, has been good against everyone, but he’s been the best pitcher against lefties on record. Using the Baseball Reference Play Index, I searched historical splits for pitchers who’ve thrown at least 100 innings against left-handed hitters. Chapman ranks first in slugging percentage against, at .174. The guy in second place is all the way up at .238. Then you’ve got a guy at .240. Chapman has faced 422 career lefties. Devers just doubled the home-run total.

Read the whole thing.

Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: August 14, 2017 at 03:24 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aroldis chapman, awesome sauce, home run, rafael devers, red sox, yankees

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 14, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5513153)
And he's hit two more home runs tonight, one out to left and the other to straight right. I forget what the one to left was off but the one to straight right was off an ankle high curveball.

Yeah, between Moncada and Devers initial returns look like the Red Sox picked the right one.
   2. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: August 14, 2017 at 07:35 PM (#5513156)
He's been great.

He looks a little chubby, no? Chubby third bssemen scare me a bit.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 14, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5513192)
He looks a little chubby, no? Chubby third bssemen scare me a bit.


That was my biggest takeaway from the clip. When the camera catches him rounding (I think) second, his trot looks like that of the beefy kid in gym class "running" laps.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:21 PM (#5513276)
When the camera catches him rounding


I see what you did there...

I do agree though about the home run "trot". He's got kind of a funny running motion every time he rounds the bases.
   5. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 14, 2017 at 11:35 PM (#5513337)
This fat little panda may have cost Chapman his job! NY Daily News already calling for his removal from the closer spot.
   6. Rally Posted: August 15, 2017 at 08:21 AM (#5513410)
He looks a little chubby, no? Chubby third bssemen scare me a bit.


Yeah. No way he'll still be a good hitter past 40.
   7. Rally Posted: August 15, 2017 at 08:34 AM (#5513414)
David Ortiz faced Chapman only twice. One was a walk, the other a non-strikeout out. Still, hitting a homer as a lefty off Chapman in the 9th inning, his team down a run, Sunday night against the Yankees seems like the sort of thing Ortiz would have done.

I would be happier if the Red Sox had to wait at least a calendar year between having hitters who do those sorts of things.
   8. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 15, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5513612)
I do agree though about the home run "trot". He's got kind of a funny running motion every time he rounds the bases.


He'll need to practice it. Over and over and over and . .
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 15, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5513646)
He looks a little chubby, no? Chubby third bssemen scare me a bit.


That's definitely the concern for him. He's not much of a defensive third baseman and it is unlikely he ever will be. If he hits, the Sox will be perfectly satisfied. I wouldn't be surprised if the Panda he replaced is a pretty good model for his career. Not in terms of accomplishment but structure; success at a young age then at an age where most players hit their prime he regresses as his weight catches up with him. I'll take that though.
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 15, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5513682)
That's definitely the concern for him. He's not much of a defensive third baseman and it is unlikely he ever will be. If he hits, the Sox will be perfectly satisfied. I wouldn't be surprised if the Panda he replaced is a pretty good model for his career. Not in terms of accomplishment but structure; success at a young age then at an age where most players hit their prime he regresses as his weight catches up with him. I'll take that though.


Or he could go the route of someone like Edwin Encarnacion or Miguel Cabrera and move across the diamond for a few years, then transition to DH. Why do you have to go all 'he's going to get so ####### fat he LITERALLY BUSTS HIS BELT DURING A SWING'? Keep in mind he is only 20. Some guys still have that baby-fat on them at that young of an age, could just be a guy that takes a few extra years to figure out the metabolism thing.
   11. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: August 15, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5513868)
Next you're gonna say he's big boned.

If a 20 year old can't figure out how to be thin...it's not that hard.

I like him. How can't you? If he declines at 28 so be it.
   12. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: August 15, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5514240)
I have just discovered some jowls are bigger than others. Some jowls are bigger than others; some jowls' mothers are bigger than other jowls' mothers.
</smiths>

Really, though, his face isn't THAT much chubbier than the kid who just went first in the NBA draft, and it's not like he's rocking a protuberant gut. I see no reason for concern yet.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 16, 2017 at 12:00 AM (#5514254)
And he started a triple play tonight! All hail our new overlord!!! (and check that off my personal bucket list of things I've seen in person).
   14. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 16, 2017 at 01:27 AM (#5514271)
and check that off my personal bucket list of things I've seen in person


The 4 homer game, the perfect game and the most rare of all, the unassisted triple play are next! Devers can do 2 out of 3!
   15. Mark Armour Posted: August 16, 2017 at 02:15 AM (#5514273)
The 20-year-old third baseman he reminds me of, physically, is Miguel Cabrera. I could see him changing positions at this point, or his body type could change.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 16, 2017 at 07:48 AM (#5514291)
"Let’s Watch [Fill In The Blank] Take Aroldis Chapman Deep" is fast becoming a regular feature.
   17. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2017 at 08:05 AM (#5514292)
Sadly, it was insufficient, although I was hoping for Lagares to be the next one.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 16, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5514298)

The 4 homer game, the perfect game and the most rare of all, the unassisted triple play are next! Devers can do 2 out of 3!


Pessimist. He could throw a perfect game if he wanted to.
   19. Rally Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:16 AM (#5514319)
"Let’s Watch [Fill In The Blank] Take Aroldis Chapman Deep" is fast becoming a regular feature.


Rosario's came on an 85 MPH slider.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5514360)
"Let’s Watch [Fill In The Blank] Take Aroldis Chapman Deep" is fast becoming a regular feature.

Rosario's came on an 85 MPH slider.


I wasn't referring to the details of the pitch, merely the identity of the pitcher.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:35 AM (#5514372)
If a 20 year old can't figure out how to be thin...it's not that hard.


Not to get all defensive, but yeah, it can be extremely hard. Especially for a 20 year old, even more so for one who grew up in the DR without the same nutritional information access. Some people tend to be heavier, whether that affects them negatively or not it another matter. David Ortiz, not the leanest guy in the world, rather good player at the age of 40. Fat Panda, fat guy, I would tend to believe will not be in the league at 40.
   22. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5514388)
Devers has been amazing thus far in his short career. Who cares if he's rotund and done 8 years from now, I'm just very happy that the Red Sox 3B is no longer crap.

Also, Devers has more power than Panda ever had, which means a transition to all-hit, no-field 1B or DH is a lot more possible if he reaches Prince Fielder proportions. And Prince Fielder had a pretty great career that was done in by an injury that wasn't weight related.

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