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Question about approach and process.


Outlander

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It is something of a myth that the Orioles strike out a lot. Last year they had the fifth fewest strikeouts in the AL. Their profile changed a lot when they got rid of Reynolds and Andino and Betemit missed the season. We'll see about this year; strikeouts will probably go up some with Cruz here, Flaherty playing more and Schoop getting at bats.

That said, I don't think Presley emphasizes patience much. He was asked a question about Jones' lack of plate discipline at Fanfest and more or less scoffed at the notion that Jones should be less aggressive at the plate.

Presley is definitely not of the Rogers Hornsby/Ted Williams school of hitting which put an extreme value on not only walks, but true plate discipline- namely, looking for a pitch not just in the strike zone but in a particular part of the strike zone. Ted Williams had a lifetime OPS of 1.116 with lifetime OBP of .482 including a walk percentage of 20.575. These are numbers which are incomprehensible to the modern day hitting instructors and modern day players. Of course, he was Ted Williams. I think most power hitters would likely improve a bit by enhancing their selectivity, but, of course, beyond a certain point it then likely reduces their power production. Balance, balance, balance.

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It's silly to think that most pl,ayers don't. But not all players have the same skill sets. Being able to recognize pitches and lay off them or having the hand eye coordination to spoil pitchers pitches until you get the one you can hit, are skills that not everyone can develop. I think most players are smart enough to recognize their limitations and develop an approach that makes the most of their strengths. Certainly Adam Jones is one, IMO

Definitely agree players come with different skill sets. Some players don't have the eyesight, or cerebral ability (not smarts, just ability to quickly process info from pitch ID to implementing memorized muscle actions) to be top shelf hitters/obp guys. At the same time, there are absolutely hitters that simply believe hitting is better than walking, even today.

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I really feel like this is one of those things that has significant cumulative effect, i.e., the impact of having 9 patient guys is greater than 9 times the impact of having one patient guy, if you get what I mean. It's just draining for a pitcher when every single hitter is making him work.

I think you are right, and it's a big reason why, absent large scale injury issues, the Red Sox (and Yankees) tend to be a tough team over the course of a long season. I don't have a feel for the current O's amateur scouting department such that I can peg their "type of guy". A wide variety of profiles last year.

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I'm talking about the difference in Davis between 2012 and 2013. Davis was not a fringe player in 2012. I don't see why that matters anyway. Are you suggesting Adam Jones is so good it is impossible for him to improve? Davis made significant improvements in plate discipline and his offensive game completely changed. The Orioles staff knows this, yet they continue to act like Jones has no flaws and a similar adjustment wouldn't be worth any effort to attempt. The staff's comments and some of Jones' own comments seem to suggest that no one sees it as an issue at all. Privately I hope they do.

No. Everyone can improve. I think Jones thinks he could be better. I also think he knows he is a very good player and hitter. Davis in 2012 was already showing signs of great accomplishment. I think the regular position and playing time did the rest. I think his major improvement was made in 2012. I don't thing that Orioles are interested in turning a middle of the order bat (Jones) into anything else. Especially a Markakis type "higher OPB/lower power" player. Jones in 2011/2012 was already a highly appreciated hitter by all of MLB.

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Definitely agree players come with different skill sets. Some players don't have the eyesight, or cerebral ability (not smarts, just ability to quickly process info from pitch ID to implementing memorized muscle actions) to be top shelf hitters/obp guys. At the same time, there are absolutely hitters that simply believe hitting is better than walking, even today.

What a good post. Thanks.

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I'm talking about the difference in Davis between 2012 and 2013. Davis was not a fringe player in 2012. I don't see why that matters anyway. Are you suggesting Adam Jones is so good it is impossible for him to improve? Davis made significant improvements in plate discipline and his offensive game completely changed. The Orioles staff knows this, yet they continue to act like Jones has no flaws and a similar adjustment wouldn't be worth any effort to attempt. The staff's comments and some of Jones' own comments seem to suggest that no one sees it as an issue at all. Privately I hope they do.
Right. People are taking that "hit until you take" for something it isn't. Buck knows that you can be selective and still be a good hitter. Those guys take that approach too. Joey Votto doesn't go to the plate looking for a walk. He goes up there to hit, but he goes up there to hit what he wants to hit. He's not going to chase whatever slop is rolled up there. Some here are taking that quote to mean that there is no other approach than the Orioles current strategy of swinging at anything you can reach.
I have no doubt about this. It's something they scout, develop and encourage at every level. The Yankees do too. Great example: BRob, who may be well past his prime, but still gives you a good at bat almost every time, so the Yankees go get him and probably tell him just to keep doing what he does best.

I really feel like this is one of those things that has significant cumulative effect, i.e., the impact of having 9 patient guys is greater than 9 times the impact of having one patient guy, if you get what I mean. It's just draining for a pitcher when every single hitter is making him work.

With Jones I saw some stats that show the longer in the count he goes, the worse the eventual outcome. Even when ahead in the count, if it is a prolonged at bat, Jones doesn't do as well as an at bat resolved more quickly.

Now telling a player with that trend to be more patient seems counterproductive.

(if of course you believe that trend will continue)

Presley is definitely not of the Rogers Hornsby/Ted Williams school of hitting which put an extreme value on not only walks, but true plate discipline- namely, looking for a pitch not just in the strike zone but in a particular part of the strike zone. Ted Williams had a lifetime OPS of 1.116 with lifetime OBP of .482 including a walk percentage of 20.575. These are numbers which are incomprehensible to the modern day hitting instructors and modern day players. Of course, he was Ted Williams. I think most power hitters would likely improve a bit by enhancing their selectivity, but, of course, beyond a certain point it then likely reduces their power production. Balance, balance, balance.
Definitely agree players come with different skill sets. Some players don't have the eyesight, or cerebral ability (not smarts, just ability to quickly process info from pitch ID to implementing memorized muscle actions) to be top shelf hitters/obp guys. At the same time, there are absolutely hitters that simply believe hitting is better than walking, even today.

We are so fortunate to have such good baseball minds posting here. Thanks guys.

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They really should stop referring to it as hitting. It gives the stupid players the wrong idea. They should call it plate appearing. A good Plate Appearance is one that results in getting on base and a bad one results in an out. None of this hitting stuff.

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They really should stop referring to it as hitting. It gives the stupid players the wrong idea. They should call it plate appearing. A good Plate Appearance is one that results in getting on base and a bad one results in an out. None of this hitting stuff.

I agree. Ted Williams life long goal was to walk down the street and have people point to him and say, "There goes the greatest Plate Appearer who ever played the game." lol.

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They really should stop referring to it as hitting. It gives the stupid players the wrong idea. They should call it plate appearing. A good Plate Appearance is one that results in getting on base and a bad one results in an out. None of this hitting stuff.

Hitting is SO much better.

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No. Everyone can improve. I think Jones thinks he could be better. I also think he knows he is a very good player and hitter. Davis in 2012 was already showing signs of great accomplishment. I think the regular position and playing time did the rest. I think his major improvement was made in 2012. I don't thing that Orioles are interested in turning a middle of the order bat (Jones) into anything else. Especially a Markakis type "higher OPB/lower power" player. Jones in 2011/2012 was already a highly appreciated hitter by all of MLB.

You can be a middle of the order hitter and take walks and have a high OBP. There's tons of examples. Jones being more patient wouldn't necessarily make him trade in power. Davis nearly doubled his walk rate from 2012 to 2013. Did he morph into a Nick Markakis clone? That's the part of Presley's comment that I hated. He acts like you either hit or have plate discipline, and you have to choose one or the other.

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You can be a middle of the order hitter and take walks and have a high OBP. There's tons of examples. Jones being more patient wouldn't necessarily make him trade in power. Davis nearly doubled his walk rate from 2012 to 2013. Did he morph into a Nick Markakis clone? That's the part of Presley's comment that I hated. He acts like you either hit or have plate discipline, and you have to choose one or the other.

Jones is not the man mountain that Crush is. His swing is more violent. Jim Presley has had great results in Baltimore.

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You can be a middle of the order hitter and take walks and have a high OBP. There's tons of examples.

Those examples are mostly guys who have been pitched around. Jones has not been that guy, and is not really one of those types of hitters. I know what you mean, but Chris Davis is a physical anomaly. Adam is great the way he is and may never be that hitter you wish he were. Presley seems to accept that he is real good this way.

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Davis nearly doubled his walk rate from 2012 to 2013. Did he morph into a Nick Markakis clone? That's the part of Presley's comment that I hated. He acts like you either hit or have plate discipline, and you have to choose one or the other.

I bet Adam doubles his walk rate this year.

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