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Friday, March 12, 2021

Nick Markakis announces his retirement from MLB

Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis is calling it a career after 15 seasons in the Majors. Markakis told The Athletic’s Dan Connolly and David O’Brien that he made up his mind shortly after the 2020 postseason ended and that he plans to be a stay at home dad for his three sons.

“I just think it’s my time,” Markakis said. “My No. 1 decision and my main focus on this is obviously my kids and my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this for a very long time and not many people get to do what I’ve gone through. I’m thankful for every second and every minute.”

Per the article, Markakis did not pursue any playing opportunities this winter but that a few teams did reach out.

Markakis joined the Braves in 2015 as they were beginning their rebuild. His best season came in 2018 when he made the All-Star team for the first time in his career while hitting .297/.366/.440.

Markakis initially opted out of the 2020 season with the Braves over Covid concerns but eventually returned. He appeared in 37 games for Atlanta hitting .254/.312/.392 with one homer which came in his first game back. Markakis spent six seasons in a Braves uniform where he hit .283/.357/.402 with 48 home runs and 198 doubles. He is currently tied for 54th place all time with 514 doubles.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:42 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Mefisto Posted: March 12, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#6008401)
I guess he won't get to 3000 hits now.
   2. Astroenteritis Posted: March 12, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6008408)
A very nice player, who sounds like he appreciates his time in MLB and is ready to move on with his life.
   3. Rally Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6008410)
He hit a baseball to me once, a homerun to the center field seats in Camden Yards. I dropped it. Thanks anyway, Nick.
   4. kthejoker Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6008411)
So between service time shenanigans and salaries being what they are, I think it's safe to assume we'll never see another "compiler" 3,000 hitter again.

Active favorites for 3,000 (min: 1,000 career hits to date) are

Miguel Cabrera
Jose Altuve
Mike Trout
Mookie Betts
Manny Machado
Xander Bogaerts
Bryce Harper

Outside of Cabrera and maybe Altuve and Trout, I don't see those other guys realistically grinding it out to 3,000 hits.

I don't see any of them sticking around like Pujols has


   5. The Duke Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6008414)
Andrus and Castro could compile their way up the list. Freddie freeman could thread the needle if he stays healthy. Is Cano done? Will he be back ?
   6. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#6008419)
Cano has 2 more years on his contract at $24 million per year. He’ll be back, but that alone won’t be enough to get him to 3,000. He’ll need to be good enough (and clean enough) to play into his 40s.

Arenado is another potential longshot.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6008421)

Anyway, I like Markakis as a player and wish him well in retirement. He didn’t have the career that it looked like he might have after those first few seasons, but he remained pretty consistently average for another decade.
   8. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6008433)
There were a handful of players whose career stats were impacted by both the 1981 and 1994 strikes. (Tim Raines was pretty directly impacted by it. You could argue that Jack "The Jack" Morris was robbed of what would have been his best season in 1981, and then lost a few wins in 1994 (though he was terrible that year).

But both seasons were markedly longer than the 2020 season, which from a counting stats perspective, makes it an almost completely lost season. For pitchers, changes in usage means a 20-win season is becoming increasingly unlikely - and a 300-win career is virtually impossible in this era.

Who are the players whose career totals, and HOF chances, may have been damaged the most by the 2020 COVID-shortened season?
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6008436)
I always liked Markakis. He's got a hitting profile that's disappeared in the launch angle era. He only hit 20 HRs twice and his career high was 23, but he had five seasons of 40+ doubles and many other years that were close. I wish him well.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6008469)
He didn’t have the career that it looked like he might have after those first few seasons, but he remained pretty consistently average for another decade.

he had 7.4 WAR in his 3rd season and never had more than 2.9 in any year after that

first 4 years--17.0 WAR
next 11 years-- 17.0 WAR
   11. Zach Posted: March 12, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6008470)
So between service time shenanigans and salaries being what they are, I think it's safe to assume we'll never see another "compiler" 3,000 hitter again.

It's really, really hard to compile 3000 hits.

It comes up every once in a while in HOF discussions, because people think "Oh, Johnny Damon had 2769. How can 3000 be an automatic induction when it's only 231 more hits than Johnny Damon?" But those last few hundred are a doozy.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6008473)
I don't see any of them sticking around like Pujols has

I'm not sure why not. First, the list of guys who hung on for 3,000 hits is long and storied. You think bringing back Rod Carew, 102 OPS+ 1B with an ISO of 60 at age 38, for his age 39 season wasn't because he was 71 hits shy ... and that his retirement after that season wasn't related to passing the milestone? Biggio, Rickey, Brock, Palmeiro, Boggs, Kaline are all players who barely scraped by 3,000.

And then there are contracts. Betts is signed through age 39; Trout 38; Harper (a real longshot) 38. The only reason Miggy is still employed is that he's signed through age 40. Mookie may be a lovely guy but he's not walking away from $33 M a year, especially if he's only 150 hits away from 3,000. Generally the only way these guys "walk away" is when the team that owes them money cuts them and they've gotten so bad nobody else will give them a shot.

So one reason Damon types don't make it to 3,000 in the modern game is because nobody's silly enough to give them an 8-year contract entering their age 33 season (or even sign them through 37-38) so they have to remain decent players in their late 30s to keep getting playing time on 1-2 year deals. It would not be terribly surprising if Mookie (as a hitter) turned into Damon in his 30s. (Damon 30-37: 287/360/446, 111 OPS+, 1230 H ... those are roughly in line with Betts 2014, 2015 and 2017) That would likely put Mookie around 2600-2650 hits after age 37 with 2 years left on his contract. He'd most likely need somebody to employ him at age 40 to have any shot at it.

At the end of his age 37 season, Damon had 2723 hits. For ages 38-39, Ichiro put up a line of 273/302/368, 86 OPS+ but was given heaps of playing time anyway (age 38 the last of a long-term contract) and collected 314 hits which would have been enough to put Damon over.

At the end of that age 39 season, Ichiro sat at 2742 ML hits. He didn't hang them up either.
   13. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 12, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6008474)
Who are the players whose career totals, and HOF chances, may have been damaged the most by the 2020 COVID-shortened season?


Buster Posey?
   14. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6008475)
FWIW, in the expansion era, 59 players have collected at least 277 hits from age 38 on (what Damon needed). The bottom of the pile was BJ Surhoff at 278, not exactly a superior player to Damon. Brett Butler, Gaetti, Otis Nixon, Brock, Stairs, Ozzie, Lopes, Jeter are some other names on the list who weren't particularly better than Damon around ages 36-37. Obviously it's a low probability occurrence that a player that has a long, solid but not excellent career (Damon) will also happen to have a decent age 38+ run and be given enough playing time to pass 3,000 hits ... but it's just a matter of time/luck. Well, assuming league-wide BAs don't remain in the 240s or worse forever.
   15. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: March 12, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6008476)
It comes up every once in a while in HOF discussions, because people think "Oh, Johnny Damon had 2769. How can 3000 be an automatic induction when it's only 231 more hits than Johnny Damon?" But those last few hundred are a doozy.


It's like how Jeter reached 3,000 hits at a younger age than Pete Rose did. Some reporter asked Rose about this and if it meant his all-time hits record could be surpassed. Rose's reply was spot-on, something like, "Tell Derek the first 3,000 are easy."
   16. Walt Davis Posted: March 12, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6008479)
The HoF question -- I think that's really hard to say. A season in an HoF case is usually not that big of a deal, lots of HoFers had 60-game seasons due to injury at some point in their HoF career. If it's say a 30-year-old then they still needed to be good from 31-34 or longer to have much of an HoF chance anyway.

Posey (#13) is probably as good a guess as any. What he needs at this point is starts behind the plate without a completely anemic bat. He may have lost 90-95 starts at age 33. We'll see how Mauer fares in HoF voting (pretty well I'm guessing) but I personally want to see at least another 250 starts back there and he just lost a good opportunity at 40% of what he "needs." It was also probably his best chance to put up hitting numbers to get us to overlook 2019. (But who knows, maybe a year away from catching will help revive him.)

Stanton really could have used a full season to get his HoF career back on track but he could still only manage 40% of a 60-game season so he probably doesn't have that full season in the non-covid universe (unless he was out with covid).

Votto: He might have made it to (nearly) 8000 PA which, with a 149 OPS+ to go with it, is Walker-esque. He'll still get there though and his bat can't decline enough to seriously hurt the career OPS+ ... but that means that what will hurt his case is a lack of counting stats so missing 100 games doesn't help. Hard to see even 2400 hits, 350 HR, 1200 RBI -- he did go full low BA, walks, power mode last year so maybe the HR and RBI numbers will be there.

Freeman? Hard to say a guy who won the MVP hurt his case but he looks like he's gonna end up in the range where lots of PT and counting stats have historically set the tone for HoF votes. 1B is a tough spot to make it and if you lose 20-25 HRs here, 60 RBI there, miss a 100-RBI season, those things hurt. I'm guessing he needs to get to about 10,000 PAs without a lot of decline to put up the sort of numbers the HoF will care about and missing most of a prime season doesn't help. But either way he probably had to last as a solid player until 37-38 so if he does that, this reduced year probably won't matter.

Arenado? Similar to Freeman and I'm probably more concerned about his terrible batting than the missed time in 2020. Still the missed time would have been useful to either convince me that was just a fluke or that it's really a concern. Anyway, he wants as much PT and counting stats as he can get ... but if he's solid through 35-36 and wins another couple of GG, his chances are pretty good. If Rolen makes it or comes close, hard to see them denying Arenado unless he falls apart.
   17. toratoratora Posted: March 12, 2021 at 06:59 PM (#6008483)
he had 7.4 WAR in his 3rd season


The year before he hit .300 43 2b, 23 hr, 61 bb
At age 24, he hit .306 with 48 2b, 20 hr, 99 bb and I thought with that eye he may be on the verge of breaking out to be a star, Instead he never came close again.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6008500)


The year before he hit .300 43 2b, 23 hr, 61 bb
At age 24, he hit .306 with 48 2b, 20 hr, 99 bb and I thought with that eye he may be on the verge of breaking out to be a star, Instead he never came close again.


Yeah, he was a top-10 draft pick, perennial top-100 prospect for several years, his OPS+ went 106-121-136 in his first three seasons. He really seemed like a guy on the cusp of stardom. But it just didn't happen.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: March 12, 2021 at 11:42 PM (#6008502)
2999-2500 hits, not in the Hall of Fame

37. Barry Bonds (22) 2935
43. Omar Vizquel (24) 2877
46. MIGUEL CABRERA (18, 37) 2866

55. Johnny Damon (18) 2769
56. Vada Pinson (18) 2757
58. Al Oliver (18) 2743
62. Carlos Beltran (20) 2725
65. Rusty Staub (23) 2716
66. Bill Buckner (22) 2715
67. Dave Parker (19) 2712
69. Doc Cramer (20) 2705
70. Gary Sheffield (22) 2689

78. Lave Cross (21) 2651
81. ROBINSON CANO (16, 37) 2624
84. Steve Garvey (19) 2599
86. Luis Gonzalez (19) 2591
88. Julio Franco (23) 2586
91. Manny Ramirez (19) 2574
93. Willie Davis (18) 2561
94. Steve Finley (19) 2548
95. George Van Haltren (17) 2544
96. Garret Anderson (17) 2529
98. Todd Helton (17) 2519
100. Buddy Bell (18) 2514

101. Jimmy Ryan (18) 2513

.........

ACTIVE LEADERS

1. Albert Pujols (20, 40) 3236

2. Miguel Cabrera (18, 37) 2866
3. Robinson Cano (16, 37) 2624*
4. Yadier Molina (17, 37) 2001

5. Joey Votto (14, 36) 1908
6. Ryan Zimmerman (15, 35) 1784
7. Nelson Cruz (16, 39) 1777
8. Evan Longoria (13, 34) 1752
9. Elvis Andrus (12, 31) 1743
10. Andrew McCutchen (12, 33) 1719
11. Asdrubal Cabrera (14, 34) 1692
12. Justin Upton (14, 32) 1681
13. Starlin Castro (11, 30) 1633
14. Jose Altuve (10, 30) 1610
15. Freddie Freeman (11, 30) 1524

16. Eric Hosmer (10, 30) 1492
17. Jay Bruce (13, 33) 1451
18. Michael Brantley (12, 33) 1425
19. Paul Goldschmidt (10, 32) 1395
20. Brett Gardner (13, 36) 1384
21. Buster Posey (11, 33) 1380
21. Mike Trout (10, 28) 1380
23. Kurt Suzuki (14, 36) 1347
24. Jason Heyward (11, 30) 1325
Carlos Santana (11, 34) 1325
   20. DFA Posted: March 13, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6008503)
As an Oriole fan during the so called dark years, Nick Markakis was a f@wkin rainbow. He was viewed as something of an overdraft at the time, with some publications having him as a better P prospect. But I tell you, he was a player you clinged to when your team sucked. I'm glad he was a part of the rejuvination and always rooted for him in the ATL. He provided desperate fans with a lot of great memories...happy trails!
   21. Jaack Posted: March 13, 2021 at 01:08 AM (#6008504)
69. Doc Cramer (20) 2705


Doc Cramer is pretty clearly the worst player with 2700+ hits, but is he the worst player with 2000 hits? I think Charlie Grimm is probably his main competition, but that's pretty debatable. I don't think there is anyone clearly worse until you get down to the 1900s with Don Kessinger and Dante Bichette.
   22. Posada Posse Posted: March 13, 2021 at 02:20 AM (#6008506)
Rose's reply was spot-on, something like, "Tell Derek the first 3,000 are easy."


Hell, you might even say Rose’s first 3600 were “easy”, since he was still a fairly superlative player by 1981, when he broke Musial’s NL mark of 3630. Of course, after that year it was much more difficult for him.....
   23. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 02:46 AM (#6008508)
what the hell is an "overdraft?"
   24. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 13, 2021 at 03:22 AM (#6008509)
Stanton really could have used a full season to get his HoF career back on track but he could still only manage 40% of a 60-game season so he probably doesn't have that full season in the non-covid universe (unless he was out with covid).

Are there any players whose HOF case might actually be helped by the shortened 2020 season?

I think that arguably happened in 1994 for Jeff Bagwell. He went down with one of his hand injuries a couple of days before the strike started, and was projected to be out for 3-5 weeks, with about 7-8 weeks of the "full" season left to play. In an uninterrupted season, he would have fallen ~100 PA behind the competition, and probably would have lost the MVP to Matt Williams (especially if he broke the HR record) or Barry Bonds (Bonds was really heating up -- he had a 1.389 OPS and 14 HR in 26 post-All-Star-break games), maybe Greg Maddux if voters paid more attention to pitchers.

That was Bagwell's only MVP, also his only Gold Glove, and the 1994 season represents most of the "black ink" on his record. Possibly all of that goes away in a strike-free season.

Even with the MVP, it took him 7 years to get elected, I guess because of steroid rumors and relatively low counting numbers. Without the strike, his counting numbers would've gone up a bit in however many more games he could have played in 1994-95, but wouldn't have pushed him past any milestones. I think the MVP was more valuable.

Justin Verlander's already a HOF lock, but he only pitched 6 IP in 2020. That would have been more noticed if it happened in a full season.
   25. LargeBill Posted: March 13, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6008527)
4. kthejoker Posted: March 12, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6008411)
So between service time shenanigans and salaries being what they are, I think it's safe to assume we'll never see another "compiler" 3,000 hitter again.


No, I don't think anything has happened to reduce the chance of "compilers" reaching the 3,000 hit milestone. It has always been very difficult and it will remain difficult. People over-reacted when Damon projected to reach the milestone and same with Markakis. There was no reason for alarm. You need to get 150 hits a year for 20 years to get there. It ain't easy and guys who don't feel like Hall of Famers usually stop getting the playing time long before they get close even if they project to make it when they clear the 2,000 level. A great player will normally age into a very good and then good player as he ages. A guy who is very good from 26-30 years old will age into good and then non-rostered quicker than the great player slips. And if a guy some consider a compiler is able to hold onto a roster spot and makes it to 3,000 hits then maybe he was better than we realized.
   26. Booey Posted: March 13, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#6008534)
#25 - Well, while it's true that there's no reason right now to think that players career lengths are going to change, plummeting batting averages will certainly limit the amount of 3000 hit guys going forward. No one consistently hits well over .300 anymore. The Gwynn, Ichiro, Boggs, Carew types are all but extinct in the modern game.

Anyone else notice that there's a pretty decent chance Cabrera retires as the last career .300 hitter for the forseeable future? I would've had Altuve in that group too before last season; now I'm not so sure.
   27. bfan Posted: March 13, 2021 at 08:25 PM (#6008540)
plummeting batting averages and more focus on OBP (which is good for the offense buts reduces hits) is going to push career hit totals down.

Advances in medicine and training should push careers longer, but the money is so high now (for guys good enough to think about 3,000 hits), that you really have to want to keep going. When your career earnings pass $250 million, does another $20 or $30 million matter? I like Markakis. I have enough chips. Now I want to coach my kids’ t ball teams.
   28. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: March 13, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6008541)
Re: Verlander. If he was coming back I'd agree. But he's 39, missing essentially two whole years, and recovering from TJ. The odds he ever pitches again in MLB has got to be very low. If so, regardless of how long the season was, verlander's six innings are just going to look like the season the was cut short by a career ending injury.
   29. Sweatpants Posted: March 13, 2021 at 09:07 PM (#6008544)
Doc Cramer is pretty clearly the worst player with 2700+ hits, but is he the worst player with 2000 hits? I think Charlie Grimm is probably his main competition, but that's pretty debatable.
Bill Buckner probably gives Cramer a run for his money, too.
what the hell is an "overdraft?"
It means that the player was selected higher ("over") than he should have been in the amateur draft ("draft").
   30. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2021 at 09:15 PM (#6008545)
Well, while it's true that there's no reason right now to think that players career lengths are going to change

That's #4's point -- there is. Teams have more incentive to leave a kid in the minors rather than have him struggle for 0.5 to 1.5 seasons in the majors at, say, 21-22. Then when a compiler hits 34/35, teams aren't gonna hand out long-term big money contracts anymore so players have less incentive to stick around and may receive less playing time. (granted, that is only relevant with respect to possibly some earlier periods in the FA era)

If Yount doesn't play in the majors for 18-20 (82 OPS+ but 396 hits), he might not make 3000 hits. If the Padres "Bryant" Gwynn, he loses 150 hits and sits on 2990. Or if they Bryant Winfield, he loses 170 hits and falls 60 short. He was not particularly good for a DH at 41, terrible at 42, atrocious at 43 -- he crossed 3000 late in his age 41 season so he didn't need 42-43 in real life but would have needed that and more in our alternate universe -- i.e. that Winfield might actually finish around 2840. And those are guys comfortably over -- who knows what happend to Kaline (3007 hits)? If they hold him back until the super-2 deadline of his age 20 season (pretty typical), he loses 200-225 hits although he gets some of that back with a longer schedule early in his career. It's also possible he's so impressive in spring training that he's on the opening day roster (age 20 was arguably his best season).

32 guys have topped 3000 hits and 15 of them are within a mere 154 hits (Brett). Some random stuff here, some random stuff there and you don't make it. Baines might have made it if not for the 81 and 94 stoppages and 1-2 fewer minor injuries. So if guys lose 1+ seasons at the start for service time and lose a sentimental season on the back end (that much more likely if they aren't knocking on 3,000 hits because of losing 1+ seasons early ...), they're less likely to sneak over the 3,000 hit line.

Anyone else notice that there's a pretty decent chance Cabrera retires as the last career .300 hitter for the forseeable future?

You need to put some sort of PA/AB qualifier on that question. For 1980 onwards and 8000+ PA (which would include some careers that started before 1980 and some careers much longer than 8000 PA), there are only 17 "career" 300 BA hitters anyway. Cano is also currently at 303 along with Miggy at 313 and Ichiro was officially still active in 2019 at 311. And there's the Coors effect to consider -- Helton and Walker bboth career 300 hitters; Blackmon is at 304 through 4750 PA but unlikely to make it to 8000 (this might well be his last season). There are currently 8 other players with at least 3000 PA and a BA of 300 or better. Altuve at 311 has a pretty good cushion, needs to hit about 275 to still be at 300 with 8000 PA. The others are all 305 or lower. Votto, signed for 3 more years, will probably still be above 300 at 8000 PAs but will likely drop below before he's done.

So it's true that, barring Mookie and $300 M being traded to the Rox, things don't look good for 300 hitters, maybe LeMahieu will continue this crazy run.

On who might have been "helped" by the short 2020 season -- Freeman, Bieber and Bauer (to a lesser extent since his HoF chances seem very low right now) because they won awards. Obviously it would have been better for them if they'd kept producing at that level for a full season but there's no guarantee of that and better to have an MVP/CYA next to your name than not. For Feeman, if he keeps this up for a bit, he's probably gonna look a lot like McGriff when it all wraps up and some lazy voters won't notice/care the MVP was 2020. (Also winning 1 obviously makes it easier to finish with 2 :-). But no I don't know of a Bagwell case where somebody was amazing and likely to miss the rest of the season anyway. Bieber is obviously nowhere near HoF speculation but is young enough that he might add a couple of full-season CYAs which will put him into the discussion.
   31. Sweatpants Posted: March 13, 2021 at 09:27 PM (#6008546)
And those are guys comfortably over -- who knows what happend to Kaline (3007 hits)? If they hold him back until the super-2 deadline of his age 20 season (pretty typical), he loses 200-225 hits although he gets some of that back with a longer schedule early in his career. It's also possible he's so impressive in spring training that he's on the opening day roster (age 20 was arguably his best season).
Even ignoring service time manipulation, Kaline benefited from the specific rules of his day. He was a bonus baby. He almost certainly wouldn't have reached 3,000 by the end of 1974 if the Tigers hadn't been forced to keep him in the majors in 1953 and 1954. His hitting was still decent enough that he could have stuck around a little longer to chase it, though.
   32. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 10:18 PM (#6008547)
Active favorites for 3,000 (min: 1,000 career hits to date) are

Miguel Cabrera
Jose Altuve
Mike Trout
Mookie Betts
Manny Machado
Xander Bogaerts
Bryce Harper

Outside of Cabrera and maybe Altuve and Trout, I don't see those other guys realistically grinding it out to 3,000 hits.

I don't see any of them sticking around like Pujols has


If you'd compiled this list in the off-season between 2009 and 2010, Adrian Beltre probably wouldn't have been on it -- coming off an 83 OPS+, with a career OPS+ of 105 and 1700 hits. And yet he led the league in hits four years later, passed 3000 hits with room to spare, and was still a good player when he retired not yet aged 40. He went from a could-have-been to a slam-dunk Hall guy in that time.

Which is to say, who knows?
   33. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 13, 2021 at 10:24 PM (#6008549)
The Gwynn, Ichiro, Boggs, Carew types are all but extinct in the modern game.


And yet they were common 20 years ago. There's know way to know what the MLB of 2025, let alone 2040, might look like, and to pretend otherwise is folly.
   34. Booey Posted: March 13, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6008552)
#33 - Not seeing it. The cat's out of the bag when it comes to the optimal approach to hitting. Future managers aren't going to suddenly forget that swinging for the fences on every pitch has been proven more effective than putting the ball in play and avoiding strikeouts. TTO is here to stay.

But hey, Rob Manfred is at least CONSIDERING rules changes that might reverse current trends, right?
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 14, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#6008558)
The cat's out of the bag when it comes to the optimal approach to hitting.

Except, "optimal" can change if the pitching changes.

Just flipping through the recent Baseball Forecaster and it seems that high contact hitters (80% or more) produce much more value than low contact hitters (70% or less), even to the point where losing a bit of power to gain contact is a good thing (as line drives become more valuable). Measuring "barrels" seems to be the key now, not just "power".

If pitching continues to be leaning towards high-speed fastballs, then the requirement of just making contact (and not striking out) goes up as a lot of the power from the hits will come from the pitch itself.



   36. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 14, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6008568)
Except, "optimal" can change if the pitching changes.

Or if the rules change, or the ball, or any number of other things.
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6008570)
Teams have more incentive to leave a kid in the minors rather than have him struggle for 0.5 to 1.5 seasons in the majors at, say, 21-22.
That’s true, but the next collective bargaining agreement (and those that follow) may change those incentives somewhat. There’s also a chance that a few players follow the Juan Soto route - a rash of injuries at the same position leave a team with no real option other than prompting a teenager, who then plays so well that he can’t be sent down.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6008576)
#37: Sure there will always be such cases or even examples like the Padres not playing games with Tatis's service time even a tiny bit. I'm not suggesing nobody will reach 3000 hits again -- Trout has a very good chance, I assume we'll be assessing Acuna's chances in 10 years and if Soto keeps hitting 350 he'll be there in no time. I'm just pointing out that if you aren't a superstar and you lose 100-200 games at the start thanks to service time games and 100-200 games at the end because nobody's paying average 38-yo's anymore, you're not gonna sneak over.

Even that's not a death knell. Brock didn't get real playing time until age 23, pretty typical in today's game. Boggs 25, Palmeiro 23, Biggio 23 and of course Ichrio 27 are other examples. You don't have to start at 20 to reach 3,000. The key generally is getting yourself to at least 10,000 ABs (or hitting like Carew). The sooner you get started on your 10,000 ABs and the older you are allowed to pursue more ABs, the better.

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