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  #21  
Old 12-01-2007, 04:18 PM
rwperu34 rwperu34 is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

Great stuff Kyleb.
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  #22  
Old 12-01-2007, 04:25 PM
rwperu34 rwperu34 is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
Why is hitting for average a tool and controlling the plate for high OBP not? OBP >>> BA.



[/ QUOTE ]

Once you get to MLB, this is true. Drawing walks is a secondary skill that is basically worthless if you can't hit. When dealing with projection, hitting the ball hard is a better indicator of sucess at the next level. Guys who draw walks but can't spank the ball won't get walked at the highest level. Think of the tool of hitting for average more like making consistent hard contact instead of a number.
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  #23  
Old 12-01-2007, 04:47 PM
rwperu34 rwperu34 is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
What's your opinion on the Moneyball idea that tools/scouts are largely irrelevant and all you need is a player's stats?


[/ QUOTE ]

As a two decade "prospecter", I can tell you that I use the scouts opinions and combine that with the stats to paint the complete picture. The younger the player and lower the level, the more weight I put on scouting reports. For example, in rookie ball, the weight is something like 99% scouting reports, 1% stats. For a 23yo at AAA the weight is closer to 50/50, maybe even 60/40 in favor of stats. Once a player has an established level of performance in the major league, especially after his 25th birthday, it's about 100/0 in favor of stats.

To answer your question directly, I do not think that scouts/tools are irrelevant, and in fact, with minor leaguers, the scouts/tools are more important.
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  #24  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:27 PM
Myrtle Myrtle is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
I'd love to see an analysis of Vladimir Guerrero or Ichiro's swings and approaches to hitting.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hehe....The "short" answer that you're looking for goes something like this:

There's "talent" and there's "skill".

What Kyle is talking about is how to increase you skill level.

The assumption is in the above is that one has a basic "talent' foundation upon which to build the "skills".

Every great once in a while we will find someone who has such an enormous "talent" for hitting a ball that they can do so without developing the basic mechanical requirements necessary for most human beings in refining their hitting ability to a higher level. As a matter of fact, their talent level is SO good that they can actually violate much of the basic mechanics of hitting and still be successful at a higher level.

The basic "talent's" that I'm talking about in this regard are....

Eyesight....

Hand to Eye coordination....

Reflexes......

Innate Strength........
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  #25  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:33 PM
kyleb kyleb is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
Why is hitting for average a tool and controlling the plate for high OBP not? OBP >>> BA.

For example, Mark McGwire's career BA was .263 vs. a league adjusted average of .262. But his career OBP was .394 vs. a league adjusted average of .332. Was he an average hitter?

[/ QUOTE ]

Mark McGwire was not a five-tool player. Just because he lacks the tool to hit for high average doesn't mean he is a bad hitter. You are not reading correctly.
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  #26  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:34 PM
kyleb kyleb is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
Kyleb,

I would be very interested in seeing more players swings and having you break them down and compare them with other players of similar talent (ie. a Jose Reyes vs. an Ichiro or a Matt holiday vs. a Lance Berkman). Not that you need to use these specific players but rather players who have similar characteristics yet go about it in similar/different ways...

You da man by the way for this thread. Good stuff.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sure, I can show you the difference between the most linear hitter (Ichiro now, Clemente all-time) and the most rotational hitters (Pujols now, Ted Williams all-time). I'll keep it in mind.
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  #27  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:37 PM
kyleb kyleb is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

tdarko,

Sorry; I meant to clarify that you don't want the REAR elbow ahead of the hands. You definitely want the lead elbow out.
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  #28  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:48 PM
kyleb kyleb is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
You mentioned about great plate discipline (avoiding swinging at pitches in their weak zones early in the count). But what about other things that have to do with pitch recognition. As a pitcher in college and as a hitter in high school and summer leagues, I've noticed that certain hitters simply cannot identify the change-up or slider or curveball or splitter. These hitters have a really hard time against good pitchers that notice these things. Now I suppose everyone in the majors has to be decent at identifying these pitches, but my guess is that some are better than others

[/ QUOTE ]

Without adequate pitch recognition, you cannot succeed at any level as a hitter. Most hitters hit off the fastball and adjust to off-speed pitches, which is how I work as well. My sequence of hitting involves a soft focus on the pitcher's cap as he starts the windup with a hard focus in a small box at/around the pitcher's release point to determine what type of pitch it is. Most pitchers at the amateur level throw too many fastballs in obvious counts and don't work backwards, so I'm an aggressive hitter.

When you see people taking hacks at the first pitch, you often say "Christ, develop some plate discipline!" However, most hitting coaches I know say to look for a specific pitch and location - if it's there, you have to swing, because you were anticipating it, and that's a pitcher mistake you can't let get by you. If the pitcher is simply going to throw a middle-in fastball every time for strike one, taking it is foolish - it may be the best pitch you'll see all at-bat.

For curveballs, I look for a noticeably slower delivery by the pitcher, a shorter arm action, and obviously the hump in the ball when thrown. I have no problem adjusting to most curveballs.

For sliders, you look for a red dot on the ball; when it is thrown with the spin it will typically rotate on a stitch so you can tell the difference between a fastball and a slider.

A well-thrown changeup is impossible to detect. Pitchers that use the same arm action, delivery, and seam-orient to their changeup are miles ahead of you. If they throw a four-seam fastball and a four-seam changeup for strikes, you are basically screwed. The advice there is to not miss the fastball. However, many pitchers throw a four-seam fastball and a two-seam changeup, so you can pick out the differences occasionally.

An effective splitter is impossible to hit. An effective two-seam fastball cannot be hit out of the infield.

[ QUOTE ]
How important is this to hitting or is it one of those things like catcher's calling a good game that don't have much impact on the outcome?

[/ QUOTE ]

In the end, the catcher is not throwing the ball, the pitcher is. When I caught and called a pitch that was hit over the fence, I would feel bad. Ultimately, however, the pitcher decides what he wants to throw, so he is responsible for it. That's not saying a catcher is useless; catchers can often pick up on hitters' tells that are very valuable.

[ QUOTE ]
Also, comparing the Bonds and the Mauer videos, Bonds looks perfectly balanced while Mauer looks a bit off balance (his front foot is all over the place). Is this just an unlucky video or does he always look that off balance? Or am I just interpreting the herky jerky motions incorrectly?

[/ QUOTE ]

I am pretty sure Mauer is hitter a breaking ball in the video, which is the reason he is a bit disconnected. He (like most other hitters) hit off the fastball and adjust to off-speed pitches. That's what it looks like when you are adjusting (pretty ugly, eh?).
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  #29  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:49 PM
kyleb kyleb is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

[ QUOTE ]
About that Bonds video, is his flaw his weight transfer onto his front foot? If you compare it to the Pujols video where his front foot is firmly planted, it sure looks like Bonds is a lot more off balance at contact.

[/ QUOTE ]

Bonds' flaw is the hitch in his swing. He pumps his hands down, then brings them up into the loaded position. It is wasted motion and unnecessary, but there's no sense in fixing what ain't broken.
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  #30  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:51 PM
HajiShirazu HajiShirazu is offline
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Default Re: Introduction to Five Tools Analysis: Hitting

I didn't realize how much swinging a baseball bat was like swinging a golf club.
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