Bradley: Deal with It.

Devizier

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The major mechanical correction would be a non-statistical input that lends credence to Bradley's recent surge being an "outlier" rather than a "correction", right? I say this because he had a relatively large sample size of failure as a major league hitter. Why there was such a disconnect between MLB and AAA numbers, I'm not sure. But maybe certain flaws are more dramatically exploited at the MLB level than in MiLB. In other words, the "AAAA effect". Whatever the case may be, I'm glad to see that Bradley is looking like a bona fide good player. On Speier's list, Randy Winn (in terms of total value) would be a very nice outcome. Obviously Bradley is much better defensively, but probably not the hitter than Winn was.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon said:
 
Exactly. This thread is becoming deja vu all over again, but to reiterate: Jackie's 2014 season is not Dustin Pedroia's April of 2007. It was a truly awful collection of 423 PA that followed a truly awful collection of 100+ PA the previous year. He was putrid. For more than 500 PA.
 
Yes, everyone pointed to his minor league numbers and wondered why he could be that bad. Yes, it was a mystery and, yes, those numbers (plus his defense) explain why the Sox kept giving him opportunity. But to act like this a garden-variety breakout by a well-regarded prospect is more than a little disingenuous. 
 
Context matters. Bradley was forced to come up and stay up earlier than he should have been because of an unusual combination of suck and injuries in the outfield in 2014. He was over matched, and in a different season, would have been sent down to work on things rather than left up continue struggling against pitching he wasn't ready for yet. Simply pointing to his OPS or OPS+ or wRC+ and declaring something, anything, lacks nuance. It's similar to breaking OPS down into slash lines. How that number is compiled is important. Equally as vital in evaluating a player like Bradley, is why those numbers may have existed.
 
I'm in no way suggesting Bradley is the next Mike Trout. He's not. I'm sticking to the guess that he'll end up somewhere in that 250/330/420 range. With his defense, that's a very good player and one that should be starting in Boston for a long time. But his struggles in 2014 were due to a lot of factors, some of them completely out of his control.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
 
Context matters. Bradley was forced to come up and stay up earlier than he should have been because of an unusual combination of suck and injuries in the outfield in 2014. He was over matched, and in a different season, would have been sent down to work on things rather than left up continue struggling against pitching he wasn't ready for yet. Simply pointing to his OPS or OPS+ or wRC+ and declaring something, anything, lacks nuance. It's similar to breaking OPS down into slash lines. How that number is compiled is important. Equally as vital in evaluating a player like Bradley, is why those numbers may have existed.
 
I'm in no way suggesting Bradley is the next Mike Trout. He's not. I'm sticking to the guess that he'll end up somewhere in that 250/330/420 range. With his defense, that's a very good player and one that should be starting in Boston for a long time. But his struggles in 2014 were due to a lot of factors, some of them completely out of his control.
 
Another factor, which seems to be conveniently overlooked, was the fact that Bradley couldn't hit in AAA either when he was finally sent down last year. He was a complete mess at the plate. So - a return to form in Pawtucket - which he was able to demonstrate in April through July - should have suggested that he had , at the very least washed away the stink of his 2014. 
 
The point I'm trying to make is that a good half of that 2014 non-performance was not predictive. Or, at the very least his 2015 AAA performance WAS.
 

JimBoSox9

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The X Man Cometh said:
 
But as several people have pointed out in this and other threads, it's not "another good hitter breaking out". The only players who have had a worse season at the dish over the same number of PA per wRC+ in the last 30 years:
 
Cristian Guzman (21)
Alex Gonzalez (23)
Clint Barmes (27)
Neifi Perez (29)
Jack Wilson (23)
Chris Truby (28)
Pedro Feliz (35)
Peter Bergeron (23)
Omar Infante (33)
Willy Taveras (27)
Cesar Izturis (30)
Mike Caruso (22)
Deivi Cruz (24)
 
No one in recent memory has ever been as bad as he was and become a good MLB hitter. Is that not worthy of a "wow"?
 
It is, and even a high-five, but it also doesn't make Bradley as much of an outlier as some of these data slices suggest.  The big takeaway of what you posted shouldn't be that no one has ever been as bad as Bradley and gone on to be good (wowee!), it's that no one struggling that badly has ever been fed that many MLB plate appearances while broken before.  There were full months where he got lots of run and was screwed up to the point of simply not being able to touch an average fastball.  It contributes to being an outlier, but isn't fundamentally any more surprising than many prospects who started out struggling just slightly less than JBJ.
 

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WenZink said:
Or I could listen to others' opinions on the subject.  I feel comfortable with the idea that the margin of error of WAR is closer to 15% than whatever Iayork was claiming.
 
Nobody cares what you feel comfortable with. The actual numbers have been run many times.  See for instance the Hardball Times' How accurately can we estimate a hitter’s runs? which looks at the errors in batting runs (which is essentially the offensive portion of WAR, baserunning aside).  Batting runs alone has a standard error of about 7.5 runs/season for a full-time player ("So for a player with 150 plate appearances, the standard error for our estimate of his contribution to team runs is 3.5 runs. At 300 PAs, that goes up to 4.95 runs. At 650 PAs, that goes up to 7.29 runs."). They go on to refine it further based on type of offensive player, but that's the ballpark.
 
That's over a 15% margin of error for players below 5 WAR from the offensive component alone.  When you add in the much larger defensive uncertainties (and the smaller contributions from baserunning) the total standard error is closer to 50%.
 

nothumb

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WenZink said:
 
You can pile on.  My feeling aren't hurt.  With JBJ's 25 game streak over 104 PAs, the fact that he continued to K 25% of the time, further reduced a small sample of the actual balls hit into play, which, in my interpretation. enabled such an extreme BAPIP, especially considering that when he has hit the ball, he's been driving it very well.  My assumption is that if he'd made more contact, with more balls in play, the BAPIP would have been a bit lower.
 
The problem is that you're treating his high K rate as an outlier or a change from previous performance. JBJ has been a guy with a K rate in the mid 20's for a while now (a few months in AAA this year aside). The change has been in his batted ball profile. He's not replacing weak contact with no contact; he's replacing weak contact with strong contact, and whiffing at a rate fairly consistent with prior performance.
 
We don't need to use the K rate to explain short-term variance in BABIP. ~75 balls in play is a small sample. The BABIP is insanely, unsustainably high because 1) JBJ is making much more hard contact, and 2) he is getting somewhat lucky. When he regresses, the most likely reason is that some of his hard contact turns back into soft contact, and some of his luck goes away.
 
While it's possible that making more contact would cause his BABIP to drop, it's not a given. There's no rule that guys who make more contact are trading whiffs for (on average) weaker batted balls. In fact, there are lots of examples of guys with low K rates and consistently high BABIP (e.g. Ichiro), and there are also examples of guys lowering their K rates while increasing their BABIP (e.g. Xander this year). While contact rate and batted ball profile are related and are reflective of both approach and skills, they do not necessarily have a causative effect on one another.
 

Alcohol&Overcalls

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JimBoSox9 said:
 
It is, and even a high-five, but it also doesn't make Bradley as much of an outlier as some of these data slices suggest.  The big takeaway of what you posted shouldn't be that no one has ever been as bad as Bradley and gone on to be good (wowee!), it's that no one struggling that badly has ever been fed that many MLB plate appearances while broken before.  
 
I think there's an even simpler takeaway ... Christian Guzman had seasons with wRC+ of 111, 106, and 123 (in 200 PAs). Jack Wilson had full seasons of 102 and 103. Omar Infante had 500 PAs at 111 in 2010. 
 
Even hitters with extensive track records of below-average hitting can have very good seasons ... we're dealing with a difficult game with a lot of luck involved (not to mention the role of confidence, coaching, matchups....). Unfortunately, I think we lack the sophistication to know on any level whether the current streak is the 'black swan,' or the season of suck was. 
 

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Don't know the statistics, or how to interpret them, but I've watched every game this year. Bradley's August/September has been nothing short of remarkable and anyone who thinks his BABIP is the reason needs to review his ab's. If my aging memory serves me, his hits have rarely been of the "seeing eye", Texas League or Fenway-centric variety. They've been on the most part legitimately driven hard hit balls - to all fields. At least that's the way I remember most of them.
 
What I'm saying is that JBJ's recent BABIP is a legitimate reflection of how well he's been hitting balls in play.  
 

ALiveH

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The most impressive eye-test he passes for me is that he's hit at least a few opposite field HRs.  1) that shows he has true power and 2) LHers that can do that with any consistency are generally very successful at Fenway.
 

alwyn96

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Something that seems pretty cool to me is that pitchers are reacting to Bradley's crazy hot streak and have been pitching him differently. He has been absolutely murdering fastballs this year, and as a result he's seen a lot more breaking/offspeed pitches, and he's been holding his own pretty well. That's a nice sign. 
 
Obviously this is all tiny sample size, and his pitches seen breakdown is still unstable and a function of the small number of pitchers he's gone up against so far, but it's so thrilling to see Bradley actually finding some success at the MLB level. 
 

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geoduck no quahog said:
Don't know the statistics, or how to interpret them, but I've watched every game this year. Bradley's August/September has been nothing short of remarkable and anyone who thinks his BABIP is the reason needs to review his ab's.
They should also review the difference in his actual stat lines:

First half: .133/.229/.233; .150 BABIP, .100 ISO.; 12.5% IFFB 12.5% HR/FB
Second half: 342/.414/.701; .434 BABIP, .350 ISO: 5.9% IFFB, 20.9% HR/FB

The homerun rate is likely a fluke, but the big difference here is his power. Even with ~.300 BABIP, he'd still have a line above an .800 OPS.
 

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alwyn96 said:
Something that seems pretty cool to me is that pitchers are reacting to Bradley's crazy hot streak and have been pitching him differently. He has been absolutely murdering fastballs this year, and as a result he's seen a lot more breaking/offspeed pitches, and he's been holding his own pretty well. That's a nice sign. 
 
Obviously this is all tiny sample size, and his pitches seen breakdown is still unstable and a function of the small number of pitchers he's gone up against so far, but it's so thrilling to see Bradley actually finding some success at the MLB level. 
It's very encouraging.
 
I do wonder if scouting will eventually catch up with him (presumably the book they had written on him is useless now that he has the hitch removed from his swing), perhaps exploiting the large leg kick he's employing.  Nonetheless, I think he's much better equipped mechanically to deal with this now as opposed to just a few months ago.
 

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EricFeczko said:
They should also review the difference in his actual stat lines:

First half: .133/.229/.233; .150 BABIP, .100 ISO.; 12.5% IFFB 12.5% HR/FB
Second half: 342/.414/.701; .434 BABIP, .350 ISO: 5.9% IFFB, 20.9% HR/FB

The homerun rate is likely a fluke, but the big difference here is his power. Even with ~.300 BABIP, he'd still have a line above an .800 OPS.
 
The HR rate may be a fluke, but OTOH, Fangraphs shows his 2nd-half Hard% as 41.0%. If that were a full-season number it would place him fifth in MLB, behind only J.D. Martinez, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis and some guy named Ortiz. So, maybe not.
 
(I'm not saying the HR rate is sustainable, just that it probably isn't a "fluke" in the sense of having a weak or distorted relationship to what's really happening. He really is hitting the ball that hard; whether he can keep doing it long-term is another question.)
 

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The carry-over from the offseason and the inevitable cold streak will be the most telling outcome, IMO. He's made adjustments to get where he is now. What happens after a layoff and/or lack of success? Bad habits can creep back. Doubt can be instilled, etc. 
 
It's a good problem to have with several quality/versatile OF options. Bradley hitting at the level he needs (way less than where he's at now) will help get his D on the field. I want to see that.
 

threecy

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Just for the heck of it, I went looking for old video of JBJ.
 
The toe tap wasn't there circa 2010 in college (swing at 1:05):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r9h0ZlXK2U
 
But was developing in early 2011 (before the draft) at "Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxqSrQeTepw

Maybe he picked up that bad habit there?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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BTW, how about this for a JBJ comp: Mike Cameron.
 
Cameron didn't suck for as long as Jackie did, but he certainly sucked for a while. On June 14 of his age-24 season, he had a career OPS of .563 in 158 PA. Then he broke out--not a JBJ-scale breakout, but a solid step forward--going .813 in 299 PA for the remainder of the year. The following year, though, he had a relapse, with a 63 OPS+ in 443 PA. So at the end of his age-25 year, he had a career OPS+ of 83 in 945 PA: very, very similar to where Jackie is going to be at the end of this year. After that, it was smooth sailing, with eleven straight years of above-average hitting (OPS+ of 111 for the whole stretch) and three Gold Gloves.
 
Cameron was certainly a similar kind of player to JBJ: walked a lot, K'd a lot, hit the ball in the air with some pop, played brilliant outfield D. I don't remember whether Cameron's arm was quite in Jackie's league, but I seem to remember that it was pretty good for a CF. He had better speed on the bases, but that's maybe the only really significant differentiator.
 
EDIT: Just noticed that nvalvo beat me to it three days ago.
 
Also, this is interesting.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon said:
Here's the slo-mo of the toe-tap. The big difference is that he no longer does that truly strange twist backward on the ball of his foot. I've never seen anyone swing like that, I don't think. He always had a bit of a kick, it's just that now he's simplified it considerably and doesn't have further movement after landing.
 
Really, it's a "toe-twist" he's removed, I think:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZCfLf53YQg
 
You can see it here, in 2013, on his first home run, too:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUMAO1NXQnQ
 
It's interesting because if you look at the swing from 2013 compared to 2011, you can see how the slight toe tap became a lot more over the intervening two years.

Here are two videos from batting practices in 2011 that shows a little bit of the toe tap but without the backwards rotation (not sure why they won't embed; maybe someone smarter than me can do it).
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggnpRxlYujU
 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si1nYdNaoiU
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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threecy said:
It's very encouraging.
 
I do wonder if scouting will eventually catch up with him (presumably the book they had written on him is useless now that he has the hitch removed from his swing), perhaps exploiting the large leg kick he's employing.  Nonetheless, I think he's much better equipped mechanically to deal with this now as opposed to just a few months ago.
 
What do you mean by "large leg kick?"
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCy7Up1ueew
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeBugITEfGw
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwJvU5FbBfY
 
It's a leg kick. Every hitter does it to some degree and I see no reason why it should be considered something to be exploited.
 
For comparison, here's Papi (about 30 seconds in):
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0uOQEkMPus
 
And check out this video about Jose Bautista's leg kick:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfB67gzXbw8
 
Not every noticeable motion in a swing is something exploitable or negative and I don't think there's anything particularly notable about Bradley's leg kick beyond the fact that it is far better than the way he used to stride.
 

threecy

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
 
What do you mean by "large leg kick?"
Take a look at the second video you embedded...some of it is camera angle, but JBJ picks up his front foot almost as has as his back knee.  While it's not as noisy as his toe tip, it does leave him exposed to issues down the road, perhaps with timing and location.  Papi and Bautista are skilled home run hitters; I don't think anyone is projecting JBJ to have their power ceiling.
 
Take a look at Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs for comparison:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOMUFBUNplY
 
And the greatest hitter of all time, Ted Williams:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpMlVptg2Ls
 
Their front foot rises about an inch off the ground, not knee high.
 

alwyn96

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threecy said:
Just for the heck of it, I went looking for old video of JBJ.
 
The toe tap wasn't there circa 2010 in college (swing at 1:05):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r9h0ZlXK2U
 
But was developing in early 2011 (before the draft) at "Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxqSrQeTepw

Maybe he picked up that bad habit there?
 
A toe tap isn't necessarily a bad habit or even something wrong, per se. Lots of hitters have purposefully employed a version of a toe tap, with great success. Josh Hamilton, Jose Abreu, Sammy Sosa, Troy Tulowitzki, Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez, all these guys have or had toe taps during some of the most productive parts of their careers. Now, stuff can definitely go wrong with a toe tap, as can virtually any part of a swing, but the idea is generally to get more power, and it does work for lots of hitters. Some guys it doesn't work for. Bradley had kind of a weird one that didn't seem as smooth, but it apparently seemed to work up through AAA. It certainly seems like his new approach is working a lot better for him, but it's only a bad habit if it doesn't work. 
 

alwyn96

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threecy said:
Take a look at the second video you embedded...some of it is camera angle, but JBJ picks up his front foot almost as has as his back knee.  While it's not as noisy as his toe tip, it does leave him exposed to issues down the road, perhaps with timing and location.  Papi and Bautista are skilled home run hitters; I don't think anyone is projecting JBJ to have their power ceiling.
 
Take a look at Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs for comparison:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOMUFBUNplY
 
And the greatest hitter of all time, Ted Williams:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpMlVptg2Ls
 
Their front foot rises about an inch off the ground, not knee high.
 
I'd say there's more than one way to skin a hitting cat, though. Williams had a tremendous hitch in his swing (dropping his hands, although you don't see it much in that video) that a lot of hitting coaches would say is terrible form. Gwynn and Boggs never hit for much power,  and had probably some of the best hand-eye coordination ever.
 
Buster Posey has a highish leg kick and is able to hit for power and average - it works for him just fine:
https://youtu.be/LWUZlatWwKU
 
 
 
The traditional argument against high leg kicks is that the more timing mechanism stuff/extra movement you have (hitches, toe taps, leg kicks, extra loading), the more complicated your swing gets, and the more prone to slumps you are as things get out of whack. On the other hand, those things tend to add power to your swing. There's also an idea that you have to commit to swing earlier and you have less time to judge whether the pitch is a ball or strike, but I don't know about that one.
 
EDIT: Dammit, how the heck do you embed a youtube video?
 

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WenZink said:
 
You can pile on.  My feeling aren't hurt.  With JBJ's 25 game streak over 104 PAs, the fact that he continued to K 25% of the time, further reduced a small sample of the actual balls hit into play, which, in my interpretation. enabled such an extreme BAPIP, especially considering that when he has hit the ball, he's been driving it very well.  My assumption is that if he'd made more contact, with more balls in play, the BAPIP would have been a bit lower.
This is functionally correct. We know that BABIP tends to regress and stabilize at a certain sample size (we should all try to memorize this page: http://www.fangraphs.com/library/principles/sample-size/), and in this case it is 820 balls in play. JBJ, in a 104 PA time period where he struck out a lot, is ridiculously far from that threshold. However, his .299 career BABIP is probably much more predictive going forward, even if it hasn't totally adjusted for his new batted ball profile. Maybe we can conservatively expect him to be in the .310-.340 range next year, but I wouldn't expect any higher over a full season.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Mods, my guess is that you can only embed two videos in a single post and then it won't let you after that? It's the only pattern I can figure in why sometimes the embeds work and sometimes not. Sorry to be off topic, but it's come up a few times in this thread and thought it might be worth seeing if anyone knows that to be the case.
 

SumnerH

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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon said:
Mods, my guess is that you can only embed two videos in a single post and then it won't let you after that? It's the only pattern I can figure in why sometimes the embeds work and sometimes not. Sorry to be off topic, but it's come up a few times in this thread and thought it might be worth seeing if anyone knows that to be the case.
 
Yeah it's limited to 2 per post.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
 
It's interesting because if you look at the swing from 2013 compared to 2011, you can see how the slight toe tap became a lot more over the intervening two years.

Here are two videos from batting practices in 2011 that shows a little bit of the toe tap but without the backwards rotation (not sure why they won't embed; maybe someone smarter than me can do it).
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggnpRxlYujU
 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si1nYdNaoiU
 
Ahh, that makes sense.  The 2011 videos are now embedded!
 

nothumb

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pokey_reese said:
This is functionally correct. We know that BABIP tends to regress and stabilize at a certain sample size (we should all try to memorize this page: http://www.fangraphs.com/library/principles/sample-size/), and in this case it is 820 balls in play. JBJ, in a 104 PA time period where he struck out a lot, is ridiculously far from that threshold. However, his .299 career BABIP is probably much more predictive going forward, even if it hasn't totally adjusted for his new batted ball profile. Maybe we can conservatively expect him to be in the .310-.340 range next year, but I wouldn't expect any higher over a full season.
 
It's correct that the sample is incredibly small. It's not correct that JBJ's K rate had any meaningful impact on the reliability of the sample. If he had lowered his K rate to, say, 18%, those extra 7 or 8 balls in play would not cause his BABIP to stabilize.
 
It's like saying, "I lost 75 pounds by trimming my nails, exercising every day and limiting myself to 1800 calories."
 

The Gray Eagle

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Bradley is 1 for his last 17, with 8 Ks. It's going to be interesting to see how long this little slump lasts, how deep it gets, and how he handles it. If it's just a typical little bump in the road that doesn't last long and he bounces back strong soon, that would be tremendously encouraging.
 
Also interesting, his home/road split for this season is 1.196 OPS at home, .670 on the road. 12 doubles at Fenway, only 2 on the road. Obviously small samples, with only 91 PAs at home and 90 on the road.
 
Not sure if i missed it being posted already, but here is BriMac's in-depth piece on Bradley's adjustments.
 
Nov 6, 2013
127
I caught a piece of the game yesterday and noticed that Bradley hit a scorcher right up the middle that was easily caught due to a shift. I haven't seen many recent games but it made me think, is Bradley's recent slump a result of scouting catching up to him and updated defensive positioning? Should be very interesting to see how he adjusts.
 

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To be honest, I probably would have sat him against Dickey.  I know it was coming off his huge day but with his timing issues I would have let him skip the knuckleballer.  It doesn't make a big difference either way of course and if he's going to be a big league regular he has to be able to adjust to such things.
 
I also thought it was odd that they kept him in the 9 spot even with the AAA lineup.  I know we had this whole discussion before in this thread, but me personally, I would have a hard time not being puzzled why I couldn't move up the order in a lineup with Marrero, Craig, and Sandy Leon.
 
I saw the H/R split earlier, but it is really colored by his hot streak.  So you have a little bit of chicken and egg.  Was his hot streak fueled by a nice run of home games, or was it just he got hot at a time that the schedule was tilted toward home games?
 

kieckeredinthehead

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In his short cold streak, he's striking out about half the time. His babip is .111. Here are the outs in play:
 
1U
GIDP 4-6-3
GIDP 4-6-3
P6
6-3
2B
5-3
L6
6-3
 
The last two are the only ones that stick out as being likely hits if not for the typically excellent positioning of the Rays. The line-out was away from the shift and more towards the hole between short and third, but Longoria was right there. The ground out, as mentioned above, was a well hit ball up the middle - directly at the shortstop. The last week he's either been making poor or no contact. A little bit of bad luck makes his line look worse, but a 50% k rate ain't a great sign.
 

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I don't have the expertise with analytics that others have but my eyes are still good enough to see him getting suckered into pitches low and away. He's off balance, lurching for them. I'm guessing his pitch recognition is quite poor in those cases. I don't have a clue whether he's just falling into bad habits or if this is a longer term problem, but I'm also guessing that Chili is on this like a dog on a meat truck.
 
JBJ will have to deal with this pronto. I hope it isn't regression to the mean.
 

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Otis Foster said:
 I hope it isn't regression to the mean.
 
Wouldn't you hope it was just simple regression rather than a sign of a bigger problem? I mean, I always thought he'd be good, but I doubt he'll ever be 150 OPS+ good.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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mt8thsw9th said:
 
Wouldn't you hope it was just simple regression rather than a sign of a bigger problem? I mean, I always thought he'd be good, but I doubt he'll ever be 150 OPS+ good.
 
Yes, exactly. Regression is what we want it to be. It's not like we were expecting August to go on forever. And when he snaps out of the slump, he probably won't snap all the way back to his August self. That's OK. He could just be pretty good for a while--be, for example, a .250/.340/.420 guy, which is about what I think rational optimism would project for next year.
 

smastroyin

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GRANTED that JBJ has a horrendous major league track record.
 
But it is funny that every slump for every player we end up with this microanalysis.  I mean it's fun, don't get me wrong, but slumps really aren't that uncommon and things that happen in slumps aren't indicative of overall quality.  If you read through the old threads on SoSH there were times when Manny Ramirez (as early as 2005), David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Beltre, etc. etc. were declared dead and buried because of how bad they looked during two week slumps.  
 

Al Zarilla

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smastroyin said:
GRANTED that JBJ has a horrendous major league track record.
 
But it is funny that every slump for every player we end up with this microanalysis.  I mean it's fun, don't get me wrong, but slumps really aren't that uncommon and things that happen in slumps aren't indicative of overall quality.  If you read through the old threads on SoSH there were times when Manny Ramirez (as early as 2005), David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Beltre, etc. etc. were declared dead and buried because of how bad they looked during two week slumps.  
But those guys had all laid solid foundations as major league hitters (although I don't know when Youks' declared dead time was). JBJ hasn't, so his amazing streak might end up as just a flash in the pan. I seriously hope not, because his fielding is off the charts good.
 

smastroyin

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My point is that even with establish hitters that we know have the excellent muscle memory and skills to be elite among the elite, when they go into slumps people are able to say "oh look at this huge hole that opened up in his swing." etc.  It happens, because of slumps, and most often the adjustment is to stop slumping.
 
Now granted the psychology and physiology of slumping is not well understood so it's hard to talk about, but if you break baseball performance down to even 10 game chunks, you get wild variations with almost every single player.  This is a message board, it's fine to talk about stuff, it's just when the language changes to things about the book being out or fundamental flaws or whatever I feel the urge to remind people that players slump, and they often fundamentally don't look the same when they are slumping as when they are streaking.
 

ALiveH

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Just like there is a very limited number of hitters who became above average after being as abysmal as Bradley was for as long as he was bad, I also wonder how rare it would be for someone to be as good as Bradley was (~1.100 OPS for ~140 PAs) and become bad after that.  Maybe it's just his destiny to be one of the streakiest hitters ever.
 

pdub

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So, I see JBJ strikes out quite often. How does that affect his long-term sustainability? I don't expect him to have a career .933 OPS like he currently does, but how much is he expected to regress?
 

Super Nomario

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ALiveH said:
Just like there is a very limited number of hitters who became above average after being as abysmal as Bradley was for as long as he was bad, I also wonder how rare it would be for someone to be as good as Bradley was (~1.100 OPS for ~140 PAs) and become bad after that.  Maybe it's just his destiny to be one of the streakiest hitters ever.
You might be on to something here. He was terrible in his final year at South Carolina (he hit .247/.346/.432). I've seen folks write that off due to his wrist injury, but he was struggling before he hurt his wrist (which didn't happen until late April, about 60% of the way through the season). He might just be a dude that gets in funks for whatever reason.
 

alwyn96

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pdub said:
So, I see JBJ strikes out quite often. How does that affect his long-term sustainability? I don't expect him to have a career .933 OPS like he currently does, but how much is he expected to regress?
 
I think if anyone could answer that question accurately and consistently, there would be a comfortable chair in an MLB front office for them. I'd say the 250/320/420 guess that's been thrown around, while optimistic, seems as good as any.
 

shaggydog2000

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Super Nomario said:
You might be on to something here. He was terrible in his final year at South Carolina (he hit .247/.346/.432). I've seen folks write that off due to his wrist injury, but he was struggling before he hurt his wrist (which didn't happen until late April, about 60% of the way through the season). He might just be a dude that gets in funks for whatever reason.
 
I've been thinking for a while now that adding standard deviation measurements to some of the more common stats would be really interesting.  You could tell who was "streakier" to some degree, which could be cool.  But also it would be interesting to see which stats are generally more stable than others for a given player.  It could also help add error bars to stats to help you decide what is a meaningful difference between players.  WAR arguments would start to make more sense. 
 

Saints Rest

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ALiveH said:
Just like there is a very limited number of hitters who became above average after being as abysmal as Bradley was for as long as he was bad, I also wonder how rare it would be for someone to be as good as Bradley was (~1.100 OPS for ~140 PAs) and become bad after that.  Maybe it's just his destiny to be one of the streakiest hitters ever.
Flowers for Algernon
 

EricFeczko

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smastroyin said:
My point is that even with establish hitters that we know have the excellent muscle memory and skills to be elite among the elite, when they go into slumps people are able to say "oh look at this huge hole that opened up in his swing." etc.  It happens, because of slumps, and most often the adjustment is to stop slumping.
 
Now granted the psychology and physiology of slumping is not well understood so it's hard to talk about, but if you break baseball performance down to even 10 game chunks, you get wild variations with almost every single player.  This is a message board, it's fine to talk about stuff, it's just when the language changes to things about the book being out or fundamental flaws or whatever I feel the urge to remind people that players slump, and they often fundamentally don't look the same when they are slumping as when they are streaking.
Absolutely. To extend this further, we know that some hitting metrics have greater error reduction (i.e. "stabilize") with smaller sample sizes than others. However, the amount of error changes exponentially, and not fully linearly. As a result, when you get to a really small sample size, all statistics have large errors. In other words, across 10 games, nearly every hitting metric is (near) useless to interpret. Batting average is just as likely be the same in the next 10 games as is on base percentage, slugging, contact rate, HR/FB rate, etc.
 
 

iayork

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shaggydog2000 said:
 
I've been thinking for a while now that adding standard deviation measurements to some of the more common stats would be really interesting.  You could tell who was "streakier" to some degree, which could be cool.  But also it would be interesting to see which stats are generally more stable than others for a given player.  It could also help add error bars to stats to help you decide what is a meaningful difference between players.  WAR arguments would start to make more sense. 
 
I've tried that a few times, and concluded that there's no such thing as a "streaky batter".  I looked at all the batters I could think of who are called "streaky", and couldn't find any way that they were different from a generic batter.
 
Streakiness may exist, and some batters may be streaky, but 95% of the players who are called "streaky" are just normal, and people fixate on small sample sizes.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Color me officially worried. How does one go from so hot to so cold?

I thought he was managing the strikeouts, but now it's an epidemic.

My head says it's just a slump...
 

dbn

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I'm almost glad that he's in a slump now.
 
Let's see how he deals with a slump, mentally (as if we can see his mental, but you know what I mean), after his incredible hot streak. Let the Red Sox braintrust gather some intel on if it's the league figuring him out, or if it's just a SSS statistical bump in the road. Let the hitting coach see if there is anything to be fixed if it isn't just a statistical bump.
 
The season is now about figuring out the future, and, though it would be better if Bradley just kept up his amazing hitting forever, it just might be better for the team to have him have a slump now as opposed to later.
 
#glasshalffull
 

threecy

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It certainly seems that his struggles started with the Dickey game, as that was the day he went ice cold (after being red hot the day before).
 
That said, one has to wonder if opposing scouts picked up on a weakness in his new approach and have been exploiting it recently.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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dbn said:
I'm almost glad that he's in a slump now.
 
Let's see how he deals with a slump, mentally (as if we can see his mental, but you know what I mean), after his incredible hot streak. Let the Red Sox braintrust gather some intel on if it's the league figuring him out, or if it's just a SSS statistical bump in the road. Let the hitting coach see if there is anything to be fixed if it isn't just a statistical bump.
 
The season is now about figuring out the future, and, though it would be better if Bradley just kept up his amazing hitting forever, it just might be better for the team to have him have a slump now as opposed to later.
 
#glasshalffull
 
The tail end of a lost season is the absolute perfect time for Bradley to learn better how to break out of a funk quickly. Unlike in 2013-2014, he now knows he can hit MLB pitching on a sustained basis. Now he needs to learn how to get back to hitting MLB pitching.
 
Hopefully, Chili and he are working on deliberately going opposite and sacrificing power in order to see the ball longer and restore his swing to the shorter, more level path through the zone that worked so well in August. 
 
I would have sat him against Dickey, though. Then again, I'd also have given him time in CF.