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Jason Werth "Super Nerds are killing the game"

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  • #16
    "The message being, bunts don’t make the shift disappear. At least, there’s no evidence of that yet. They might just make the shifts look a little bit different, but most of the action’s still going to go between first and second base. There might be more area opened up around where the shortstop would usually be, but lefties don’t hit a ton of grounders over there, and there is still a defender on that side no matter what.

    The math is still probably on the side of more bunt attempts."

    https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/more...ing-the-shift/

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by flyingmachine3 View Post
      "The message being, bunts don’t make the shift disappear. At least, there’s no evidence of that yet. They might just make the shifts look a little bit different, but most of the action’s still going to go between first and second base. There might be more area opened up around where the shortstop would usually be, but lefties don’t hit a ton of grounders over there, and there is still a defender on that side no matter what.

      The math is still probably on the side of more bunt attempts."

      https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/more...ing-the-shift/
      Excellent article. I guess I am one of those geeks Werth is talking about because I enjoy reading things like that. My coaching experience is more in the softball realm. With the bases being a mere 60 feet apart, defensive shifts become more risky. With the right girl at the plate, a routine ground ball to the shortstop becomes a base hit with standard defensive alignment.
      "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
        In the big picture analytics work. But I question any process that says Aaron Judge is a better defensive outfielder than Mookie Betts. And no one has come up with analytics for mental toughness.
        Here's a page I was looking at the other day: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/catch...ty_leaderboard

        Doesn't say anything about arm strength, but I think it's a pretty cool -- if nerdy -- way to look at outfielder ability. Or at least "how good" an outfielder has been this year.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by FP26 View Post

          I'm baffled by this as well. Mud posted an interesting article concerning Albert Pujols the other day. My question is this... If the defense puts a shift on you, but you counter it by hitting the ball the other way 2 or 3 times, wouldn't the defense then counter by adjusting the shift? Laying down a bunt or hitting the other way doesn't need to be a permanent strategy. Just keep the defense honest so you can do your thing.
          I think that the primary reason is that there isn't a concerted effort to break shifts is that guys don't get paid for that. They've been going for power because historically that is where the money has been. Once teams start paying guys who cut down on strikeouts and spray the ball around then we'll see it on the field.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by KylesDad View Post

            I think that the primary reason is that there isn't a concerted effort to break shifts is that guys don't get paid for that. .
            That's part of it.
            But IMO another equally important part of it is that it's darned hard to intentionally "go the other way" vs. the world's best pitchers, and I'm guessing that hitters avoid about doing anything that complicates the challenge of simply trying to hit the ball hard while swinging the way that they're best at.

            Similarly (to me, at least): When players return home from college ball, I usually ask them about hit and run. They (right hand batters) usually say either, "my college coach wants us to hit the ball oppo" or "my college coach wants us to hit the ball on the ground but keep it out of the middle"....and then they usually concede, "but I'm just trying to hit the ball", lol (not implying disobedience, but implying respect for how hard it is to just hit the darned ball "on demand").
            Last edited by skipper5; 08-10-2018, 11:48 AM.
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            • #21
              Originally posted by FP26 View Post

              I'm baffled by this as well. Mud posted an interesting article concerning Albert Pujols the other day. My question is this... If the defense puts a shift on you, but you counter it by hitting the ball the other way 2 or 3 times, wouldn't the defense then counter by adjusting the shift? Laying down a bunt or hitting the other way doesn't need to be a permanent strategy. Just keep the defense honest so you can do your thing.
              there was quote from Matt Carpenter a while back about this basically saying it's not so easy to just hit a 95 mph the other way. It's hard enough just to make contact.

              Comment


              • #22
                MLB is a money game. Any edge you can get about projectability is worth it. Yes there are immeasureables -mental toughness or leadership, etc., but plenty of other factors such as runs (or dollars) and what it takes to get them are easily measured What major financial decisions are based on some guy's hunch? Probably some examples, but I'm sure the loan officers at the bank think otherwise

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
                  In the big picture analytics work. But I question any process that says Aaron Judge is a better defensive outfielder than Mookie Betts. And no one has come up with analytics for mental toughness.
                  Barry Bonds struck out 54 times his last season. Judge will strike out that often in the first 100 games or less. IMO, a strike out is the ultimate failure. You don't advance a runner. You don't put pressure on the defense to make a play and you don't force them to make an error once in a while. Yet, we suddenly have people claiming that Judge's swing is the optimum. I tend to want hitters to put the ball in play and have a good mix of average and power. From the players I coach, we seem to be able to do both but I understand that it is at a much lower level.
                  Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                  I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                    I coached against Jason when he was in high school. At that time, he was a catcher. I agree to a point. The more that the homer is the criteria for a hitter, it seems the less batting average is important. I hate what is happening and I just can't believe that when the shift is on, hitters just don't lay a bunt down. They have been told, heck with the base hit. I say, get on base, increase that average, the fans will cheer the bunt and laugh at those who shifted and the next hitter can do whatever. "Whatever" would include those things no longer present in MLB for so many teams including the hit and run, the run and hit, the sacrifice bunt, the steal, ... I am a Cardinal's fan. The difference in that team since the firing of Matheney is that the team is now running. Heck, Carpenter stole his first base in 3 or 4 years and he is our leadoff hitter. Yadi has brought his average up with hit and runs and hitting behind the runner. Hitting behind the runner is a lost art since, I'm sure some analysis has told them to hit home runs instead.
                    A Cubs fan agrees with you! I remember how exciting Whiteyball was - except when it was against the Cubs. I hope the game reverts to a more balanced approach, so that small ball is common once again.
                    Last edited by 3rdGenCub; 08-10-2018, 03:44 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Cannonball View Post

                      Barry Bonds struck out 54 times his last season. Judge will strike out that often in the first 100 games or less. IMO, a strike out is the ultimate failure. You don't advance a runner. You don't put pressure on the defense to make a play and you don't force them to make an error once in a while. Yet, we suddenly have people claiming that Judge's swing is the optimum. I tend to want hitters to put the ball in play and have a good mix of average and power. From the players I coach, we seem to be able to do both but I understand that it is at a much lower level.
                      To me the craziest hitting stat of all time is that DiMaggio hit 361 career homers and struck out 369 times. I guess it was a different game. I think that today's hitting philosophies are in response to the changes in pitching...with so many guys throwing so hard, and the heavy use of bullpens, its harder to string hits together. So everyone tries for the long ball and strikeouts suffered while attempting to hit one out are overlooked.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by FP26 View Post

                        I'm baffled by this as well. Mud posted an interesting article concerning Albert Pujols the other day. My question is this... If the defense puts a shift on you, but you counter it by hitting the ball the other way 2 or 3 times, wouldn't the defense then counter by adjusting the shift? Laying down a bunt or hitting the other way doesn't need to be a permanent strategy. Just keep the defense honest so you can do your thing.
                        I agree. Quesiton, do blame the shift or blame the people responsible for hitting into the shift? I get that it's hard to hit oppo against high level pitching (please stop coaches from telling players to hit it into the gap as if it's a choice). Directionally bunting is a reasonable expectation for a pro, imho. If all the data says hitting into the shift is a bad idea, why do it? Maybe the player wants to build stats (I dont see how hitting into a shift helps with that), or build their marketability, but isnt it the coach that signals in the play? I just dont get it. Play to win, not to do what statistically makes zero sense. Lastly, one of the things I love about baseball is that there is no crying in baseball. Players are tough, don't cry about stuff, grind. I cant stomach the whining about shifts. Be a baseball player, man up and force them out of it. If you cant, you dont deserve to win.
                        Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by pthawaii View Post

                          I agree. Quesiton, do blame the shift or blame the people responsible for hitting into the shift? I get that it's hard to hit oppo against high level pitching (please stop coaches from telling players to hit it into the gap as if it's a choice). Directionally bunting is a reasonable expectation for a pro, imho. If all the data says hitting into the shift is a bad idea, why do it? Maybe the player wants to build stats (I dont see how hitting into a shift helps with that), or build their marketability, but isnt it the coach that signals in the play? I just dont get it. Play to win, not to do what statistically makes zero sense. Lastly, one of the things I love about baseball is that there is no crying in baseball. Players are tough, don't cry about stuff, grind. I cant stomach the whining about shifts. Be a baseball player, man up and force them out of it. If you cant, you dont deserve to win.
                          Good points... While I understand how difficult it is to hit off pro pitching, I don't think I would give up that easy. So let's say I attempt to hit oppo against the shift. What happens if I fail? Strike out? Ground ball into the shift? Well, it seems like those things are happening a lot anyway, so I am not sure the result will be any worse... Granted I would need to analyze the data more before I would commit to that strategy.
                          "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by skipper5 View Post
                            In 1957 the MLB batting average was .258. (25.8%)

                            In 2017 the MLB batting average was .255. (25.5%)

                            That's one less hit every 300 at-bats.


                            Interesting statistic and somewhat surprising to me. Here is a different comparison.

                            1957 -- 4.84 strike outs per 9 innings.

                            2017 -- 8.25 strike outs per 8 innings.

                            Currently at 8.45 for this year.
                            "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              The "super nerds" in 1870 were the guys who realized the infielders shouldn't play directly on the base, and the "short stop" should play in the infield rather than as a short outfielder.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                It may be a slow, long game but it's too quick for the coat/tie analytics guys. I'll be impressed when they get down on the field and make the decisions of who to pitch in what inning and to what batter in the context of a game, week, and season. I'll be impressed when they make the decision to throw what pitch in what location and in what count. I'll be impressed when they decide to send or hold a runner going home. I'll be impressed when they make the decision to push, drag, sac, squeeeze, hit and run, take or swing away. Of course there is a value to what analytics guys bring but it's vastly overstated. They speak in broad terms, generally after the fact, and much of it is connected to monetary value of players and teams. The money part is interesting but it's not really baseball; they're just doing business like a sporting goods store.
                                Major Figure

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