Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

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    Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    FanGraphs columnist Jack Moore analyzed the plate discipline of Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/can-middlebrooks-excel-without-discipline/

    WARNING: This reading is not appropriate for readers who are averse to sabermetrics
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    "Nice inning Will" Bobby Valentine. lol.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    His plate discipline, BB/K will improve with more AB's but for the time being, he and Salty will be great for the K #'s of all A.L. pitchers.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    He's 23 years old. He's alreadys adjusted to hitting breaking balls, when it looked for a while, that breaking balls would stunt his progress.
    He's hitting .381 in his last 28 at bats.He's been great since the break. 
    Valentine said he's tough, and has injuries that he's playing through. Another good trait.
    What I like about him is, no matter how bad he looks in his first couple of at bats, he seems to deliver in the later innings.
    Plus, you can see a marked improvement in his fielding, from only a few weeks ago.
    I really like this kid, and I think his plate discipline will improve with age, and he'll have a great future for the Sox.
    Wonder what the nerds at Fangraphs thought about Vlady, when he's swing at anything and everything, and become one of the top players in MLB for so long?

     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]He's 23 years old. He's alreadys adjusted to hitting breaking balls, when it looked for a while, that breaking balls would stunt his progress. He's hitting .381 in his last 28 at bats.He's been great since the break.  Valentine said he's tough, and has injuries that he's playing through. Another good trait. What I like about him is, no matter how bad he looks in his first couple of at bats, he seems to deliver in the later innings. Plus, you can see a marked improvement in his fielding, from only a few weeks ago. I really like this kid, and I think his plate discipline will improve with age, and he'll have a great future for the Sox. Wonder what the nerds at Fangraphs thought about Vlady, when he's swing at anything and everything, and become one of the top players in MLB for so long?
    Posted by rightymclefty[/QUOTE]

    Why wonder when it's so easy to check?  Fangraphs consistently rated him as one of the top players in baseball.  From '98 through '07 his Fangraphs WAR was between 3.2 and 7.6 with a career total of 60.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=778&position=OF
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    I've noticed that Middlebrooks is tough as nails also, when observing how he responds to being hit with pitches. To me, indications are he will put up solid power numbers and also hit for a decent average as he learns the strike zone better. He's probably going to improve and he's already a solid player. He has hamstring issues and is not as skilled defensively yet as I think he will be but he has excellent pop and is a 5 tool guy. At a premium position.

    I don't think we have seen the best of Will Middlebrooks yet. He is a potential MVP candidate if he becomes more patient at the plate. Note the word Potential. He is a long way from that now but he has the tools to become great.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    jesus montero  
    ops  .700
    ops+  .101  (adjusted for ballpark)
    vs rhp   .553
    games  89
    WAR  0.1

    Will
    ops  .856
    ops+  123
    vs rhp  .796
    games  65
    WAR   1.6
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    It's not likely that Middlebrooks maintains where he is now IMO but in a year or 2 it wouldn't surprise me at all if he surpasses it. If he does develop more patience at the plate he absolutely should draw more walks. If the ball is over the plate he can certainly do damage. I don't understand why they pitch to him as much as they do already.

    Counting the minors this year, he now has 22 HR for the year.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    Interting post Hill55,

    Middlebrook's if he continues to hit as he has since being called up projects to be a .280/.290 hitter with a .330ish OBP. His swing is short and powerful which bodes well for him moving forward. I'll take 20 homers and 80 RBI with plus .500 slg%, very Lowellesque numbers from our thirdbaseman. Middlebrooks is a pretty good athlete and doesn't hurt you with the glove and the kid also a pretty decent baserunner...The eye test suggust that the kid is doing just fine. It's not like he's being asked to carry the load and likely will continue to bat down in the order (6th or 7th).

    End of the day, Middlebrooks, not unlike all young hitters, once MLB scouts get a book on him. Will have to show that he's able to make adjustments and continue to square up the ball and hit it hard. He's already shown the ability to make adjustments spitting on the hard slider away off the plate.

    To me it's about the quality of his at bats, get ahead and attack the fastball.  I'm sure that he and Magadan are hard at work today trying to improve his pitch recognition and understanding what the pitchers are trying to induce him to do given the count and the game situation. Something I'm sure both will continue to do for the rest of this season and into the offseason.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In response to "Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed": [QUOTE]FanGraphs columnist Jack Moore analyzed the plate discipline of Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/can-middlebrooks-excel-without-discipline/ WARNING: This reading is not appropriate for readers who are averse to sabermetrics Posted by hill55[/QUOTE] Do you want to post his projected rest of season stats compared to Youk's? Isn't he supposed to be batting around 250 right now?
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    Youkilis has hit .122 over the last 2 weeks.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]jesus montero   ops  .700 ops+  .101  (adjusted for ballpark) vs rhp   .553 games  89 WAR  0.1 Will ops  .856 ops+  123 vs rhp  .796 games  65 WAR   1.6
    Posted by tom-uk[/QUOTE]
    And since the All Star Break, not adjusting for ballpark or qualiity of lineup, for 22-year-old Jesus Montero and 23-year-old Will Middlebrooks:

    JM 17 G, 65 PA, .323/.400./477/.877
    WM 18 G, 69 PA, .304/.314/.478/.793
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]In response to "Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed": Do you want to post his projected rest of season stats compared to Youk's? Isn't he supposed to be batting around 250 right now?
    Posted by BosoxJoe5[/QUOTE]
    WM .259/.294/.424/.718
    KY .248/.362/.456/.818
    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=7002&position=3B
    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1935&position=1B/3B
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]He's 23 years old. He's alreadys adjusted to hitting breaking balls, when it looked for a while, that breaking balls would stunt his progress. He's hitting .381 in his last 28 at bats.He's been great since the break.  Valentine said he's tough, and has injuries that he's playing through. Another good trait. What I like about him is, no matter how bad he looks in his first couple of at bats, he seems to deliver in the later innings. Plus, you can see a marked improvement in his fielding, from only a few weeks ago. I really like this kid, and I think his plate discipline will improve with age, and he'll have a great future for the Sox. Wonder what the nerds at Fangraphs thought about Vlady, when he's swing at anything and everything, and become one of the top players in MLB for so long?
    Posted by rightymclefty[/QUOTE]
    We can compare the minor league numbers of Will Middlebrooks and Vladimir Guererro:

    WM 1706 PA, .276/.333/.454/.787, 128 BB (7.5%), 449 K (26.3%)
    VG 1262 PA, .346/.403/.588/.992, 96 BB (7.6%), 118 K (9.4%)

    I hope that helps place Will Middlebrooks and Vladimir Guererro into perspective.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    Makes my head hurt.
    When he quits trying to hit home runs all the time, he'll be a much better contact hitter. Much too aggressive.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]Makes my head hurt. When he quits trying to hit home runs all the time, he'll be a much better contact hitter. Much too aggressive.
    Posted by harv53[/QUOTE]

    Yes, you are correct in your analysis.  However, I'll take that anyday.  There is a downside, which you allude to, of his aggressive offensive approach.  But there is also an upside.  He is clutch, rises to big moments.  It is a double edged sword, but he is young and as he matures and gains experience, I have no doubt, given the adjustments he has already made over the course of the season, that he will become more patient and canny with the bat in his hands.

    I would like to take this moment to also give some love to his glove.  So much talk about his batting, positive or negative.  But never much about how he is turning into a pretty nice third baseman.  Still prone to the odd error, but the kid has range, a gun, and the eye-popping ability to make all sorts of plays behind the bag, charging, ranging to his left.  The sort of instincts that some of the greats have had over there.  
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    The kid is hitting .300 with power, and your head hurts? ARE YOU SERIOUS????
    Your HEAD HURTS?
    Instead of enjoying one of the best young players the Sox have had in a long time, YOUR HEAD HURTS?
    You're one of those "fans" who is so into the BS sabermetrics, that you obviously don't see the game, let alone enjoy it. I'd rather have an aggressive hitter, than some dope looking to take a walk.
    Disgusting! Just go away.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]FanGraphs columnist Jack Moore analyzed the plate discipline of Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/can-middlebrooks-excel-without-discipline/ WARNING: This reading is not appropriate for readers who are averse to sabermetrics
    Posted by hill55[/QUOTE]

    IMO plate discipline of WM is certainly not exclusive, as a number of Red Sox hitters will take a 1st pitch strike and then it seems, swing at one out of the strike zone, way out of the strike zone, such as one in/or almost in the dirt, etc.  Pedey last night struck out on a pitch that had to be a foot outside when he was trying to pull one instead of going with the pitch, so it's not just WM or Pedey, it's any number of Red Sox hitters, where plate discipline is sorely lacking.  Working the count is good strategy, but it not good strategy when pretty much all opposing pitchers know that they can, for the most part, throw a strike on a first pitch without a Sox hitter not swinging, which puts the hitter in the hole at 0-1, and a good start for a pitchers count.  Just my opinion.  GO SOX!
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    Talk about working the count....
    yesterday, Ryan Braun had a FOURTEEN pitch at bat, culminating with a HR.
    Nomar's aggressiveness never stopped him from winning two AL batting championships.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed : Yes, you are correct in your analysis.  However, I'll take that anyday.  There is a downside, which you allude to, of his aggressive offensive approach.  But there is also an upside.  He is clutch, rises to big moments.  It is a double edged sword, but he is young and as he matures and gains experience, I have no doubt, given the adjustments he has already made over the course of the season, that he will become more patient and canny with the bat in his hands. I would like to take this moment to also give some love to his glove.  So much talk about his batting, positive or negative.  But never much about how he is turning into a pretty nice third baseman.  Still prone to the odd error, but the kid has range, a gun, and the eye-popping ability to make all sorts of plays behind the bag, charging, ranging to his left.  The sort of instincts that some of the greats have had over there.  
    Posted by SpacemanEephus[/QUOTE]
    We have small-sample caveats for all Will Middlebrooks' statistics (hitting and fielding), but Middlebrooks has improved his UZR fielding rating significantly since a rough start:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=7002&position=3B#fieldingadvanced
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed : We can compare the minor league numbers of Will Middlebrooks and Vladimir Guererro: WM 1706 PA, .276/.333/.454/.787, 128 BB (7.5%), 449 K (26.3%) VG 1262 PA, .346/.403/.588/.992, 96 BB (7.6%), 118 K (9.4%) I hope that helps place Will Middlebrooks and Vladimir Guererro into perspective.
    Posted by hill55[/QUOTE]

    Middlebrooks had terrible numbers in the lower minors. He was a pitcher in high school and primarily a football player. They saw a good athlete and rolled the dice. It has taken a long time but he has learned to be a hitter. In the past year and a half his numbers overall have been very good, except for a short AAA stint last year.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed : Middlebrooks had terrible numbers in the lower minors. He was a pitcher in high school and primarily a football player. They saw a good athlete and rolled the dice. It has taken a long time but he has learned to be a hitter. In the past year and a half his numbers overall have been very good, except for a short AAA stint last year.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom[/QUOTE]
    Will Middlebrooks' walk actually dropped from 8.4 percent in his first three minor league seasons to 5.8 percent in the combined 2011-12 minor league seasons to 3.9 percent so far at the MLB level.

    Middlebrooks' strikeout rate went from 28.0 in his first three minor league seasons to 23.1 percnet in his combined 2011-12 minor league seasons to 24.7 percent so far at the MLB level.
     
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    Re: Will Middlebrooks' plate discipline analyzed

    Middlebrooks has had substantially better average, OPS...etc in the past 1.5 years in the minors. It would be real nice though for the trend lines in terms of walk rates to be moving in the other direction ( as hill55 is clearly alluding ). He is still young though and good defensively while putting up excellent power numbers for a guy his age and experience. He looks for real to me. Strong tools and good fundamentals.  

    He has been excellent overall in his rookie season and he looks to me to be a guy who might actually improve over time. Guys with his pop often develop good OBP over time as pitchers give mim less to hit.
     
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