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Current best #2 hitter

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  • Current best #2 hitter

    So, on the surface of things, the logical choice is Carl Crawford. But I'm thinking of the guy who bunts a runner over or hits the sac fly to drive in a run. The prototypical number two hitter who is the consumate handler of the bat. The unsung hero.

    Any suggestions?
    Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, [and] where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket." -- Thomas Boswell, 1984

  • #2
    Roberto Alomar was great, but I can't think of a current player off the top of my head. Maybe Luis Castillo of the Mets. But sometimes he bats 8th.

    It seems like #2 hitters don't bunt as often as they used to.

    Comment


    • #3
      Polanco? he would be my pick. That Jeter guy isn't too bad either. Best I have seen(last 20 years or so) may have been Jay Bell in his prime. But I'm sure I am not thinking of some others.

      Comment


      • #4
        number 2 hitter

        I really like Castillo and Polanco as number 2 hitters. (Neither steals bases, but it seems that stolen bases left town with the '85 Cardinals.) Both hit for average (although not so much any more) and can do those little things that don't end up in the box score. I don't see Crawford as the typical #2.

        [I am a huge fan of 2nd basemen. Hence, my user name. They are so often overlooked and underappreciated -- unless your name is Chase Utley].

        Alomar and Vizquel were really great with the bat and good choices for number two's back in the day. Maybe among the best ever.

        Pedroia and McLouth are currently batting second. Pedroia may not stay in the 2-hole, but I think he would be a great #2.
        Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, [and] where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket." -- Thomas Boswell, 1984

        Comment


        • #5
          Derek Jeter.

          Scott
          I told you not to be stupid you moron.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by keystone View Post
            I really like Castillo and Polanco as number 2 hitters. (Neither steals bases, but it seems that stolen bases left town with the '85 Cardinals.) Both hit for average (although not so much any more) and can do those little things that don't end up in the box score. I don't see Crawford as the typical #2.

            [I am a huge fan of 2nd basemen. Hence, my user name. They are so often overlooked and underappreciated -- unless your name is Chase Utley].

            Alomar and Vizquel were really great with the bat and good choices for number two's back in the day. Maybe among the best ever.

            Pedroia and McLouth are currently batting second. Pedroia may not stay in the 2-hole, but I think he would be a great #2.
            I am also a huge fan of the 2nd basemen, for the same reason. On most teams rosters, the 2nd basemen seems to be the worst hitter (like the SS 15-20 years ago) Hence Cano is my favorite player on the Yankees.

            for #2 hitter, I like Polanco, but I'd have to with Jeter - not just as a Yankee fan, but he is consistant. He's hit .300 every season but 1 for over 10 years, and has hit .315+ for most of them.

            Pedroia is good, Castillo though - I mean he was good, but still seems to have trouble with the Mets.
            LETS GO YANKEES!

            Comment


            • #7
              number two hitter

              Sure can't argue with Jeter as a number 2 hitter, that's for sure. He's great with the bat and does more than than most number two's in so many ways.

              Yeah, I think Castillo isn't a New York kinda guy. He doesn't really seem comfortable, but he is also on the downside of his career. I love the guy, though. Went into the manager's office and told him that he wanted his salary cut since his play didn't deserve the salary he was making.

              I think that's true -- it makes a great story!

              If Coco Crisp can manage to hit lead-off, then there might be a burgeoning number two in Pedroia. Doesn't run much, though. I think it's against the law for the Red Sox to run.
              Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, [and] where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket." -- Thomas Boswell, 1984

              Comment


              • #8
                The thing is some of the guys you mentioned aren't very good hitters. So, the "ideal" two hitter is often a bad hitter who's ineptitude follows a specific pattern and who has an accompanying skill set that includes speed.

                As a Mets fan, the idea of giving Luis Castillo the second most ABs on my team is not something I'm excited about.

                Jeter is a good choice. He's a substantially above average hitter, shows sufficient plate discipline, runs well, and hits the ball to right well.

                The way the #2 hitter is managed is one of the places the flaws of the traditional approach to the game is most obvious. Many times (Castillo, Eckstein), you'll see a manager drop a struggling #2 hitter down to the #8 slot. This is like being in HR and saying, "Well ,this guy is either right for the senior VP position, or he could work in the mail room." If you can be considered as a potential #8 hitter, you're probably not good enough to be hitting in the two slot, whether you're "on" or "off." Conversely, a guy who is truly good enough to receive the second most ABs on his team shouldn't be considered to hit 8th...

                If the prototypical #2 hitter can double for the skill set of the prototypical #8 hitter, somebody's gotta go back and redefine the prototypes....
                Last edited by digglahhh; 05-08-2008, 07:57 AM.
                THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                Comment


                • #9
                  derek jeter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    diglahh interesting post. I'd never considered some of points you bring up. I guess it's a matter of attrition: The bombers get the 3, 4, and 5 slots, the speedy on-base guy gets the lead-off spot, and the other guys get plugged in where they'll do what they can do.

                    Castillo in his prime was a good lead-off hitter. Maybe since he's not in his prime he's been "demoted" to the two-hole. My idea of a good #2 is good OBP, some speed, and good bunting ability or enough hitting skill to get a sac fly. Castillo can do some of those things, but not all. Same with Polanco.

                    Guys bat second when they're struggling so they can see more fastballs, I guess. Or they bat second because Tony La Russa is their manager and he just likes to mess with the line-up.

                    Nevertheless, I think a great number two would be a valuable member on a team. Consider Ozzie Smith after he learned how to hit....
                    Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, [and] where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket." -- Thomas Boswell, 1984

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I disagree somewhat with Diglahh regarding #2 vs. #8, particularly in the national league. You want a guy who will be able to clear the pitcher's spot as much as possible. that means not hitting into inning ending doulbe plays, putting the ball in play, scratching your way on base, etc. a lot of those characteristics call for a speedy contact hitter who handles the bat well, which is similar characterstics of your prototype #2.

                      I do agree that I don't want Castillo getting the second most at bats on the Mets. If his knees were better, I think he'd fill that 2 hole well. As it is, I like him in the 8 slot

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        BK,

                        In his prime, Castillo was a fine #2 hitter (and would have probably been a better option to lead off than Pierre). I like a little pop from my #2, but otherwise Castillo had most of the qualities you'd want. Spray hitter, speedy, disciplined, above average OBP, difficult to K, etc. Now, he's a shadow of that. Plus, in the case of NYM specifically, he just takes and takes and takes hoping Reyes'll take off. Either that, or he bunts in the early innings when you want to break a game open, not scratch out one insurance run.


                        Keystone,

                        I guess having a really good #2 hitter is something of a luxury. Basically, if one constructs an order as you stipulated, your #2 hitter will only be as good as the fifth best hitter on your team. Ozzie was a good #2 hitter, but he'd have been a good leadoff hitter too. Low Ks, speedy, well-disciplined. Vince Coleman, on the other hand, was an out-making machine.

                        But, assume you do have good personnel, you have enough good hitters to go around... Let's say you're Detroit, is Polanco the best option to hit #2?

                        Granderson
                        Guillen
                        Cabrera
                        Sheffield
                        Ordonez
                        Renteria
                        Polanco
                        Rodriguez
                        ....

                        Don't you think that line-up would score more runs (assuming Sheff is hitting)? Basically, at the end of the day, if given the choice of who I would rather having a chance of getting a fifth AB, Polanco or Guillen, I'm taking Guillen.

                        Perhaps you'll get burned situationally every once in a while, but over the long haul I'm taking my chance with the guy who is simply the better hitter.
                        THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                        In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, that's a great lineup. Even though Guillen is slower on the basepaths, he's a switch hitter which gives him lots more value as a #2. I think you should mail this to Jim Leyland.

                          I need to ponder your statement that the #2 would only be as good as the fifth best hitter on your team...

                          This is the line-up I have for my "fantasy" team. (I use real-life salaries & do not play with a league. I just follow "my" team to see how they do with a salary cap of $75 million. Errors count. No DH.)

                          C Gomez R (MIN) -- still learning, but 13 SB towards 17 RS
                          B Roberts S/L (BAL) -- I allow myself to take players out of their actual spot in their respective lineups. And here you have just an average #2.
                          H Ramirez R (FLA) -- too many errors; might reconsider using Tejada
                          Berkman S/L (HOU) -- the only big money on the team, but worth it
                          Nady R (PIT) -- a fluke?

                          Then it gets crazy after this because I have no idea what Torre is doing with Ethier, but he bats lefty. Zimmerman is on a terrible team, so I don't consider him a major RBI threat -- yet. May switch him with Nady eventually

                          Ethier L (LAD)
                          Zimmerman R (WAS)
                          Molina R (StL) -- I want a good defensive catcher

                          So, is Roberts the 5th best hitter on this team? I think in this lineup he is the 6th best hitter.
                          Last edited by keystone; 05-08-2008, 02:28 PM. Reason: remove dead smiley
                          Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, [and] where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket." -- Thomas Boswell, 1984

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by digglahhh View Post
                            BK,

                            In his prime, Castillo was a fine #2 hitter (and would have probably been a better option to lead off than Pierre). I like a little pop from my #2, but otherwise Castillo had most of the qualities you'd want. Spray hitter, speedy, disciplined, above average OBP, difficult to K, etc. Now, he's a shadow of that. Plus, in the case of NYM specifically, he just takes and takes and takes hoping Reyes'll take off. Either that, or he bunts in the early innings when you want to break a game open, not scratch out one insurance run.
                            I agree that Castillo bunts way too much. He still has the decent OBP at .353, but his SLG is much too low to be anywhere higher than seventh in the order. He's on track for a ridiculous 15 extra-base hits. Ryan Church isn't an on-base machine like Castillo was in his prime, but he'll be good for 50-60 walks a season. More importantly, he can hit. You want to get his bat higher in the order to get more at-bats, seeing as at this point, Church and Wright are the only two players with an OPS+ of over 100. And Church leads the team in OPS+. I've always felt that the #2 hitter should be a guy with some power.
                            Originally posted by Cougar
                            "Read at your own risk. Baseball Fever shall not be responsible if you become clinically insane trying to make sense of this post. People under 18 must read in the presence of a parent, guardian, licensed professional, or Dr. Phil."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Those two are the Mets primary RBI guys. Would you want them bunting a guy over or hitting a sac fly? I think I'm missing something here...
                              Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, [and] where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket." -- Thomas Boswell, 1984

                              Comment

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