May 15, 2017

MLB: Slow To Learn & Mookie Improves On 2016

David Schoenfield, ESPN:
The changing face of the leadoff hitter is a revolution that has long been called for by statistical analysts, stressing that getting on base is a more important factor in scoring runs than speed and the ability to steal bases. Some managers are finally willing to toss aside any notion of convention by putting these sluggers in the leadoff spot.
It is astounding that it has taken so long - as in more than 100 years long! -- for the people in charge of constructing baseball teams/lineups to realize that perhaps the most "important factor in scoring runs" is "getting on base". I would call it an essential factor.

What is even more amazing is there are people in high management positions in this multi-billion-dollar industry who seem to have not yet realized this. As Branch Rickey wrote, almost 65 years ago, in a seminal piece of baseball analysis: "Baseball people generally are allergic to new ideas."

Matt Collins (Over The Monster) explains that after his fantastic 2016 season, Mookie Betts is still improving: fewer strikeouts, more walks, still aggressive on pitches in the zone while avoiding non-strikes, and more power.

A commenter: "I also think any article about Betts should remind everyone that he was a second baseman throughout his minor league career. So, in addition to his awesome hitting, Betts is providing (way) above average value playing RF, while only having two-ish seasons worth of pro experience at that position. When we consider other position change experiments (Hanley to LF, Swihart to LF), that is... astonishing."

1 comment:

allan said...

3 MLB games have ended and in 2 of them, the losing team had more hits! WOW! ... Quick! Someone wake up, Dave O'Brien!