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Is Bell turning a corner vs. LHP?


Frobby

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I posted this in the other forum in a thread about Tony's radio appearance today, but thought it really belonged over here.

At the start of the year the Tides almost never saw a LHP, and in Bell's first 26 vs. LHP, he was hitting .080/.111/.160 against them. Since then, he has had 36 PA vs. LHP and has hit .313/.389/.406 against them. So, while his overall numbers vs. LHP still look poor (.211/.270/.298 in 62 PA), he has done much better over the last month or so. Also, he has only 10 K's in 62 PA vs. LHP, which is a nice improvement over 2009 when he had 31 K's in 146 PA (and hit .198/.280/.267 v. LHP). So stay tuned, Bell may be making some headway here.

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I posted this in the other forum in a thread about Tony's radio appearance today, but thought it really belonged over here.

At the start of the year the Tides almost never saw a LHP, and in Bell's first 26 vs. LHP, he was hitting .080/.111/.160 against them. Since then, he has had 36 PA vs. LHP and has hit .313/.389/.406 against them. So, while his overall numbers vs. LHP still look poor (.211/.270/.298 in 62 PA), he has done much better over the last month or so. Also, he has only 10 K's in 62 PA vs. LHP, which is a nice improvement over 2009 when he had 31 K's in 146 PA (and hit .198/.280/.267 v. LHP). So stay tuned, Bell may be making some headway here.

We can hope so, but in 36 at bats the difference between hitting .300 and .222 is three hits. Maybe he's improving, maybe he's lucky, maybe he faced a couple emergency callups from extended spring training.

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We can hope so, but in 36 at bats the difference between hitting .300 and .222 is three hits. Maybe he's improving, maybe he's lucky, maybe he faced a couple emergency callups from extended spring training.

True enough, that's why we have to keep watching.

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I posted this in the other forum in a thread about Tony's radio appearance today, but thought it really belonged over here.

At the start of the year the Tides almost never saw a LHP, and in Bell's first 26 vs. LHP, he was hitting .080/.111/.160 against them. Since then, he has had 36 PA vs. LHP and has hit .313/.389/.406 against them. So, while his overall numbers vs. LHP still look poor (.211/.270/.298 in 62 PA), he has done much better over the last month or so. Also, he has only 10 K's in 62 PA vs. LHP, which is a nice improvement over 2009 when he had 31 K's in 146 PA (and hit .198/.280/.267 v. LHP). So stay tuned, Bell may be making some headway here.

Small sample size. Some of these "turning the corner" posts are starting to get ridiculous. The guy has an entire minor league career of numbers that says he can't hit left-handed pitching effectively.

A few hits over 36 PA's is not going to overcome a career worth of bad #'s while batting right-handed.

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The guy has an entire minor league career of numbers that says he can't hit left-handed pitching effectively.
He had a career up until last year where he had struggles, but not complete ineptitude against LHP.

He then imploded last year against LHP, those 150 at bats compromised almost a third of his career at bats v LHP, sending his career numbers down into a very bad level.

If he bounces back and has some decent numbers against LHP this year, then last year can be viewed as more of an anomaly, since it was an anomaly compared to the rest of his career. Or, if he doesn't and he has another very poor year against LHP, that would indicate that it was more of a trend as he climbed the ladder.

Last year makes it necessary to have some serious doubts about his future ability to hit LHP, but its still too soon to write off that ability. Let's see how he does this year, he started terribly but has been decent of late. If he continues decently, then maybe the doubts v LHP start to dissipate a little bit.

He's had a good streak recently, and hopefully that will continue. If it does, it will start to answer a few of the questions about whether he can or can't handle LHP or if he may need to stop switch hitting. That's all Frobby's suggesting here. He's not saying its now a fact that he can rake against LHP.

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Small sample size. Some of these "turning the corner" posts are starting to get ridiculous. The guy has an entire minor league career of numbers that says he can't hit left-handed pitching effectively.

A few hits over 36 PA's is not going to overcome a career worth of bad #'s while batting right-handed.

If I had said Bell had turned the corner, I'd agree it would be ridiculous. But all I did was ask if he is turning a corner. It's not really a question I expect other posters to answer, it is a question Bell himself needs to answer over the rest of the season.

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If I had said Bell had turned the corner, I'd agree it would be ridiculous. But all I did was ask if he is turning a corner. It's not really a question I expect other posters to answer, it is a question Bell himself needs to answer over the rest of the season.

I think Bell has been better against LHP in the last 36 plate appearances, but that is where a comparison ends. I thinks his prior numbers show he can't hit LHP and it's not long division, it is not something that all of a sudden makes sense after you struggled with it your whole career. People adapt to the inside fastball or breaking ball away, but you do not adapt to hitting LHP.

He could have a great season against lefties and still falter next season.

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I think Bell has been better against LHP in the last 36 plate appearances, but that is where a comparison ends. I thinks his prior numbers show he can't hit LHP and it's not long division, it is not something that all of a sudden makes sense after you struggled with it your whole career. People adapt to the inside fastball or breaking ball away, but you do not adapt to hitting LHP.

He could have a great season against lefties and still falter next season.

Bell has been up and down against LHP in his career. I reject the idea that a player can't improve vs. LHP, especially a switch hitter. I'm not saying Bell will, but you make it sound as though hitting LHP is some immutable trait like eye color. I bet I could easily find many examples of hitters who struggled against LHP early in their careers, but later adapted.

Just to pick one, Brady Anderson was 140 to 260 OPS points worse vs. LHP than RHP in his first three years with the Orioles. His final career split was about 115 points worse, including those three terrible years at the beginning of his career. So, while he improved vs. both RHP and LHP over time, his improvement vs. LHP was much more drastic.

Again, I'm not predicting what happens with Bell, or putting too much stock in 36 PA. But it's not like Bell has had thousands of professional AB vs. LHP. He's had a grand total of about 400 AB against them. That is not a lot of experience.

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Bell has been up and down against LHP in his career. I reject the idea that a player can't improve vs. LHP, especially a switch hitter. I'm not saying Bell will, but you make it sound as though hitting LHP is some immutable trait like eye color. I bet I could easily find many examples of hitters who struggled against LHP early in their careers, but later adapted.

Just to pick one, Brady Anderson was 140 to 260 OPS points worse vs. LHP than RHP in his first three years with the Orioles. His final career split was about 115 points worse, including those three terrible years at the beginning of his career. So, while he improved vs. both RHP and LHP over time, his improvement vs. LHP was much more drastic.

Again, I'm not predicting what happens with Bell, or putting too much stock in 36 PA. But it's not like Bell has had thousands of professional AB vs. LHP. He's had a grand total of about 400 AB against them. That is not a lot of experience.

I haven't seen much of Bell this year, but assuming he isn't a trainwreck I agree with this post. At the upper-levels of player development, often times it takes very small adjustments to make a jump.

That said, there could be simple issues (such as seeing better out of one eye that out of the other) that could make improvements much more difficult than you'd expect. There's really no way to tell without having a boatload of info. End of the day, I guess the casual observer is left with looking at the production and making an educated guess. I'd hope BAL is more on top of it than that, though (and I would assume they are).

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I haven't seen much of Bell this year, but assuming he isn't a trainwreck I agree with this post. At the upper-levels of player development, often times it takes very small adjustments to make a jump.

That said, there could be simple issues (such as seeing better out of one eye that out of the other) that could make improvements much more difficult than you'd expect. There's really no way to tell without having a boatload of info. End of the day, I guess the casual observer is left with looking at the production and making an educated guess. I'd hope BAL is more on top of it than that, though (and I would assume they are).

Agreed. Tony's report that he hears that Bell's whole set-up from the RH side isn't good is a pretty big red flag.

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I'm going to go on record and say very, very few players suddenly do something better in AAA and above that that they couldn't do in the lower minors. He could imprive, he could get better, but he would need to massively improve his right-handed hitting to become passable.

The slugging numbers are huge reg flags. He has no power from the right side. He might able to draw some walks and might even get his avergae up, but he's not going to suddenly become more of a power hitter from the right side when the ball just doesn't jump off the bat from the right side like it does from the left.

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I'm going to go on record and say very, very few players suddenly do something better in AAA and above that that they couldn't do in the lower minors. He could imprive, he could get better, but he would need to massively improve his right-handed hitting to become passable.

The slugging numbers are huge reg flags. He has no power from the right side. He might able to draw some walks and might even get his avergae up, but he's not going to suddenly become more of a power hitter from the right side when the ball just doesn't jump off the bat from the right side like it does from the left.

Tony, any word on Bell's defense this year?

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