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Lake,Vitters,Szczur?


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51 replies to this topic

#16 King Jeff

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:34 PM

Before his run at the end of the season and in the Arizona Fall League, I would have agreed with you. He seems to have made some advances at the plate, and his crazy stolen base numbers pretty much came out of nowhere. At any rate,he's a more intriguing prospect than he was when Law and others were ripping on him so bad.

#17 Crockett

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:30 PM

Before his run at the end of the season and in the Arizona Fall League, I would have agreed with you. He seems to have made some advances at the plate, and his crazy stolen base numbers pretty much came out of nowhere. At any rate,he's a more intriguing prospect than he was when Law and others were ripping on him so bad.


100% disagree. The AFL is a major hitters league with incredibly inflated statistics. He still has a terrible approach based on his K/BB and BA/OBP difference. We'll see how he develops, but I don't have high hopes.

#18 Tommy

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:05 PM

I think they're all young enough to be taught some good habits with pitch selection. I hope, at least.
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#19 Crockett

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

I think we're far enough along in the realities of baseball to see that prospects rarely, if ever, develop better pitch selection while at-bat. It's rare that a prospect develops drastically improved K/BB ratios or a better approach at the plate. Plenty of Cub prospects (elite ones) have shown a propensity for the K in the minors and that ratio has carried over and often worsened in the ML (Patterson, Pie, Colvin, etc). And other young prospects showed an inability to improve their K/BB now (Vitters, Jackson). So we'll see if Jackson makes it and what type of player he is. I just think that K/BB or patience or pitch selection or whatever you want to term it is the ONE tool that really struggles to be 'taught' and a player either has it or he doesn't. The Cubs have had a propensity of drafting the guys who don't.

#20 Tommy

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:34 PM

We have an entirely new management team that is teaching plate discipline throughout the organization. This is something that didn't exist prior to Theo coming to town. It was clear that they were being taught to swing first, and swing often. I think it's worth giving them a chance to see if they can learn. Hey, it worked in Moneyball. If Brad Pitt can get players to take pitches, why not the Cubbies?
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#21 Crockett

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

We have an entirely new management team that is teaching plate discipline throughout the organization. This is something that didn't exist prior to Theo coming to town. It was clear that they were being taught to swing first, and swing often. I think it's worth giving them a chance to see if they can learn. Hey, it worked in Moneyball. If Brad Pitt can get players to take pitches, why not the Cubbies?


Disagree. These guys now at the helm DRAFTED players who had better eye/plate discipline. They didn't create them in the minors.

#22 Tommy

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:14 PM

So you're saying a player can't learn better plate discipline?
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#23 Crockett

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:26 PM

So you're saying a player can't learn better plate discipline?


Pretty much. Players can marginally improve, but it is exceedingly rare that a player gets drastically better at pitch recognition/plate discipline past age 18-19.

#24 cubsbz

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:40 PM


So you're saying a player can't learn better plate discipline?


Pretty much. Players can marginally improve, but it is exceedingly rare that a player gets drastically better at pitch recognition/plate discipline past age 18-19.

That sounds like conjecture to me.

#25 Crockett

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:50 PM



So you're saying a player can't learn better plate discipline?


Pretty much. Players can marginally improve, but it is exceedingly rare that a player gets drastically better at pitch recognition/plate discipline past age 18-19.

That sounds like conjecture to me.


Go find players who drastically improve statistically. Baseball-reference is here for everyone.

#26 Tommy

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:40 PM

Sammy Sosa had 33 BB to 150 K in his first year in the majors (22%). He eventually improved that to a high of 116/153 BB/K (75.82%) in a season. He also had 22 BB to 123 K as an 18 year old in A ball.

Matt Kemp showed bad plate discipline early in his career, with a 28/112 BB/K ratio in A-ball in 2004(25% BB/K). Last year he was 74/159 BB/K ratio (46.54%).

Took me about 2 minutes to find those stats, so I'm sure there are more. It does seem that guys that strike out a lot tend to continue that trend, but that is only one side of the plate discipline argument. If you look at the walk side of it, I think there are probably quite a few instances where players have improved drastically over the years.
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#27 TWC

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:02 PM

I'd think it possible that the increase in walks for those two sluggers had more to do with pitchers pitching away from or intentionally walking them. In Sosa's season that you cited above (2001), he led the league in IBBs.

#28 Tommy

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:26 PM

He had 37 IBB's that year, so even if you take that number out, you still have 79 BB's. That is still a BB/K ratio of 51.63%. Still over double what he did in 1990.
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#29 King Jeff

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:35 PM

He had 37 IBB's that year, so even if you take that number out, you still have 79 BB's. That is still a BB/K ratio of 51.63%. Still over double what he did in 1990.

You can also pitch around someone without intentionally walking them. I've had the whole plate discipline/pitch selection discussion about 25 times, I don't feel like wading in on it here.

I do think that Lake has value aside from his plate discipline. He has power potential, he's athletic, and he's got speed, and he flashed all of those tools in spades in the AFL. I'm not saying he doesn't have holes, but he's not the lost cause that some scouts were making him out to be.

#30 JulioZuleta

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:14 PM

I think Szczur is prime trade bait. With Jackson coming through, and the possibility of Cespedes, there may not be much room for him in the future. I'm hoping for a great year out of him and then deal him next offseason for an impact player.




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