"This is the first time I heard any of this stuff," said Bradley Jr

simplicio

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Apr 11, 2012
1,325
Do not trade this man. A full season of second half JBJ, can you imagine? And even so much of his first half this year was a product of bad BABIP. Is it spring yet?

I have to imagine he's content with his situation working independently, but I do wonder what value Wallenbrock would bring to a team as a full time hitting coach.
 

nvalvo

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
16,173
Rogers Park
wOBA by month: .271 .271 .287 .334 .352 .352.

A gold glove CF with a .352 wOBA is 5-6 win player, the kind of player who gets MVP votes but probably doesn't crack the top 5. That's like a prime Ichiro Suzuki season.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
12,558
bandwagonboy.proboards.com
Great story. I think the Red Sox should try to hire Wallenbrock full-time in a non-uniform role (Director of Hitting? Vice President of Launch Angles?) so he works only with our hitters. And make sure his contract extends past JD's, as a little extra incentive for Martinez to not opt out.

I love how Bradley always refers to Mookie by his actual name, Markus.

Listening to what Bradley says, maybe I would vote for JD as MVP over Markus, since he not only mashed himself, he helped some of his teammates hit better too.
 

nvalvo

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
16,173
Rogers Park
Great story. I think the Red Sox should try to hire Wallenbrock full-time in a non-uniform role (Director of Hitting? Vice President of Launch Angles?) so he works only with our hitters. And make sure his contract extends past JD's, as a little extra incentive for Martinez to not opt out.

I love how Bradley always refers to Mookie by his actual name, Markus.

Listening to what Bradley says, maybe I would vote for JD as MVP over Markus, since he not only mashed himself, he helped some of his teammates hit better too.
I’ve also heard him call JD “Julio.”
 

Dewey'sCannon

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
Jul 18, 2005
596
60
Maryland
great interview and story by Bradfo.

and if this is the player we get for 2019, DO NOT TRADE THIS GUY! Seriously, it's exciting to read just how dedicated these guys are to improving and being their best, and how well they work together as teammates (the interview with Pedey displayed this as well). It makes it really easy, and enjoyable, to root for guys like JBJ, and the team as a whole.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
12,641
Great story. I think the Red Sox should try to hire Wallenbrock full-time in a non-uniform role (Director of Hitting? Vice President of Launch Angles?) so he works only with our hitters. And make sure his contract extends past JD's, as a little extra incentive for Martinez to not opt out.

I love how Bradley always refers to Mookie by his actual name, Markus.

Listening to what Bradley says, maybe I would vote for JD as MVP over Markus, since he not only mashed himself, he helped some of his teammates hit better too.
JBJ reminds me of Jaylen Brown in his approach to all things.
 

MikeM

Member
SoSH Member
May 27, 2010
2,918
Florida
A full season of second half JBJ, can you imagine? .
It's JBJ. Debating that possibility is basically an offseason tradition here at this point :)

Don't see a trade being likely coming off a championship season where the rest of the lineup is coming back intact, but I also can't imagine that DD wouldn't listen if there was an enticing cost controlled starter somehow involved in the end game mix. Especially with the talk of moving Porcello to clear salary.
 

21st Century Sox

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2006
538
I was finally at peace with JBJ, admiring him so much defensively, but giving up on him offensively, outside of hot streaks. Now I am fully sucked back in, LOL......
 

chawson

Well-Known Member
Bronze Supporter
Aug 1, 2006
1,408
With as much turbulence there’s been in JBJ’s career to this point, I wonder what he’d say if DD approached him with an extension right now.

Something like 4/$50M from this point forward would cover two arb years and two free agent years. Does that seem low?
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 2, 2007
4,422
seattle
www.podiumcafe.com
With as much turbulence there’s been in JBJ’s career to this point, I wonder what he’d say if DD approached him with an extension right now.

Something like 4/$50M from this point forward would cover two arb years and two free agent years. Does that seem low?
I think that's a bit low considering he's looking at $8m -10m for each of his last two arb years, if not more. It's arguably fair if he continues what he's doing, but there would be very little incentive for Bradley to sign that deal to get what's almost certainly coming his way no matter what, and might end up being a low-ball. To get those two extra years, the Sox would need to share in the risk too.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,023
The wrong side of the bridge....
Something like 4/$50M from this point forward would cover two arb years and two free agent years. Does that seem low?
The problem with a buyout contract scenario for JBJ is that because he'll be past 30 when he hits FA, every year he gives up control over with a buyout contract now puts him further into the downside zone where there's a real risk of winding up settling for short years/short money. The difference between 31 and 33 is pretty significant in that regard. I think the only buyout contract that would make sense for him is a "your last big payday" contract of 7 or 8 years, and I can't see the Sox doing that, though I suppose anything is possible.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 2, 2007
4,422
seattle
www.podiumcafe.com
The problem with a buyout contract scenario for JBJ is that because he'll be past 30 when he hits FA, every year he gives up control over with a buyout contract now puts him further into the downside zone where there's a real risk of winding up settling for short years/short money. The difference between 31 and 33 is pretty significant in that regard. I think the only buyout contract that would make sense for him is a "your last big payday" contract of 7 or 8 years, and I can't see the Sox doing that, though I suppose anything is possible.
Yeah, it really makes sense for both parties to let his arb years play out and then see what works. I'd have to think that the Sox aren't going to lose any of their core players unless someone else pays more, i.e. no more guys jumping to another scene for similar money/years. At worst, if they match the best offer, they'll keep guys. They might even get slight discounts as long as they're looking like a real WS favorite and the club culture is so strong. Eovaldi said as much the other day when he eliminated a bunch of teams based on their chances, seemingly regardless of what they offered.
 

chawson

Well-Known Member
Bronze Supporter
Aug 1, 2006
1,408
I’m very pro-Bradley but he’s a guy I’d be concerned about signing to a Lorenzo Cain-type contract (5/$80) in two years (though Bradley would be a year younger). I’d be in for his first two, maybe three years of free agency at $14-15m apiece though.

Given how hard JBJ throws his body around, it’d be an interesting offer for him (Kiermaier’s extension is a comp here). I’d explore it. He makes pitchers a lot better and it’s not like Cole Brannen will be ready to step in in two years.
 
Sep 13, 2006
688
With as much turbulence there’s been in JBJ’s career to this point, I wonder what he’d say if DD approached him with an extension right now.

Something like 4/$50M from this point forward would cover two arb years and two free agent years. Does that seem low?
Do you know who his agent is?
Take a peek at my avatar
 

nvalvo

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
16,173
Rogers Park
I’m very pro-Bradley but he’s a guy I’d be concerned about signing to a Lorenzo Cain-type contract (5/$80) in two years (though Bradley would be a year younger). I’d be in for his first two, maybe three years of free agency at $14-15m apiece though.

Given how hard JBJ throws his body around, it’d be an interesting offer for him (Kiermaier’s extension is a comp here). I’d explore it. He makes pitchers a lot better and it’s not like Cole Brannen will be ready to step in in two years.
That's for sure.
 

tonyarmasjr

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 12, 2010
986
wOBA by month: .271 .271 .287 .334 .352 .352.

A gold glove CF with a .352 wOBA is 5-6 win player, the kind of player who gets MVP votes but probably doesn't crack the top 5. That's like a prime Ichiro Suzuki season.
I'd say it's more like a 2016 JBJ season.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,023
The wrong side of the bridge....
I’m very pro-Bradley but he’s a guy I’d be concerned about signing to a Lorenzo Cain-type contract (5/$80) in two years (though Bradley would be a year younger). I’d be in for his first two, maybe three years of free agency at $14-15m apiece though.
We should all hope this isn't possible, because if he's available for 3/$45M in two years, that means he hasn't taken that offensive step forward that we're hoping for, and has been stuck in 2017 mode.

I'm hoping and expecting that the minimum it will take to sign Bradley in 2020 is something like 4/$70M.
 

Pandarama

lurker
Aug 20, 2018
70
69
The problem with a buyout contract scenario for JBJ is that because he'll be past 30 when he hits FA, every year he gives up control over with a buyout contract now puts him further into the downside zone where there's a real risk of winding up settling for short years/short money.
NYY overpaid for Johnny Damon in time for his age 32 season and Jacoby Ellsbury in time for his age 30 season. Sometimes trends do continue.
 

chawson

Well-Known Member
Bronze Supporter
Aug 1, 2006
1,408
We should all hope this isn't possible, because if he's available for 3/$45M in two years, that means he hasn't taken that offensive step forward that we're hoping for, and has been stuck in 2017 mode.

I'm hoping and expecting that the minimum it will take to sign Bradley in 2020 is something like 4/$70M.
Right, and if he costs 4/$70 I’d probably pass. I’m speculating that it’s a good idea to pay $15M for those years now via an extension.

I hope nothing remotely of the sort happens, but from his perspective, if he crashes into a wall and misses half of 2020, it could cost him a lot of money. From the Sox, there’s really no one anywhere close to ready in the pipeline, and it could be a worthy gamble. But yes, Boras.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
48,738
San Andreas Fault
JBJ was on MLBN just now (actually calling in from London where he is on a promotional about the games with NYY in June). On the revelation in his swing, maybe he wasn’t letting on much, but he basically said it’s about getting his bat into the good swing plane earlier and keeping it in that plane longer. Sounds good, but not all that revolutionary like people have been making it sound. I hope this is it for him though (the breakthrough).
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,716
JBJ was on MLBN just now (actually calling in from London where he is on a promotional about the games with NYY in June). On the revelation in his swing, maybe he wasn’t letting on much, but he basically said it’s about getting his bat into the good swing plane earlier and keeping it in that plane longer. Sounds good, but not all that revolutionary like people have been making it sound. I hope this is it for him though (the breakthrough).

That is the revolution of the swing plane/launch angle revolution, though. Tradition tells a hitter to swing down into the plane and use your lats to generate your power. The way you impact the ball is how you generate loft. If you create backspin by hitting the ball just under center, the ball will carry. That has been the way people are taught to hit forever. You're supposed to swing down at the ball almost like you're chopping wood, using your lats to generate power and trying to square the ball up. You can change where you hit it by letting the ball get deeper before you hit it or swing earlier to hit it more in front of you.

The revolution of swing plane is realizing that swinging that way creates only one very specific spot where bat and ball can meet where you can generate a "barrel." The launch angle revolution is about getting the bat into the zone earlier and on a plane with the ball so you have almost like a corridor in which to create a "barrel." It's really interesting because it sounds so simple, but people almost never did it that way. it makes sense that if a ball is coming in at a downward angle that if you find that angle and swing into it that you have more wiggle room to hit the ball hard than if you just try to meet it at that one perfect spot in the air, but the world being round was revolutionary when it was discovered as well.
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
6,530
29
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
That is the revolution of the swing plane/launch angle revolution, though. Tradition tells a hitter to swing down into the plane and use your lats to generate your power. The way you impact the ball is how you generate loft. If you create backspin by hitting the ball just under center, the ball will carry. That has been the way people are taught to hit forever. You're supposed to swing down at the ball almost like you're chopping wood, using your lats to generate power and trying to square the ball up. You can change where you hit it by letting the ball get deeper before you hit it or swing earlier to hit it more in front of you.

The revolution of swing plane is realizing that swinging that way creates only one very specific spot where bat and ball can meet where you can generate a "barrel." The launch angle revolution is about getting the bat into the zone earlier and on a plane with the ball so you have almost like a corridor in which to create a "barrel." It's really interesting because it sounds so simple, but people almost never did it that way. it makes sense that if a ball is coming in at a downward angle that if you find that angle and swing into it that you have more wiggle room to hit the ball hard than if you just try to meet it at that one perfect spot in the air, but the world being round was revolutionary when it was discovered as well.
It's funny to see this approach being hailed as revolutionary when Ted Williams was preaching the advantages of hitting with a slight loft decades ago, almost verbatim to what you described in this post.

 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
That is the revolution of the swing plane/launch angle revolution, though. Tradition tells a hitter to swing down into the plane and use your lats to generate your power.
Earnshaw Cook was an early sabermetrician, born in 1900 and graduated Princeton as a metallurgical engineer in 1921. His desire to prove Ty Cobb a batter player than Babe Ruth led him to devise mathematical concepts for studying the game. Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated learned of his work and made it a lead story in 1964. This was followed by the publication of Percentage Baseball. Some of Cook's work has been dismissed by Bill James and Pete Palmer, but some things proved correct.

It is not an easy read but I happened to be flipping through my copy last night and stumbled across this amusing anecdote at the end of his chapter on the "Theory Of Batting":

On one occasion before an important game, Clarke was accosted at University Field by a prominent backer who had two sons playing on the Varsity. "Mr. Clarke," he asked, earnestly, "with a man on third base and one or none out, wouldn't it be a good idea to instruct your batter to hit the ball three-quarters under and knock a long fly to the outfield to score the runner? Bill had little patience with alumni, drunk or sober, and none at all with mediocrity. He winced. "Three-quarters under!" he said, addressing himself profanely to the Son of Heaven. If my batter can see well enough to hit three-quarters under, by God, let him hit the ball on the old piccolo and break up the [unprintable] ball game!"

William J. (Boileryard) Clarke, C and 1B for 21 years, including 13 in the Majors.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,169
It's funny to see this approach being hailed as revolutionary when Ted Williams was preaching the advantages of hitting with a slight loft decades ago, almost verbatim to what you described in this post.

Agreed. This isn’t a revolution at all. It’s just going back to an old philosophy.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
33,736
Agreed. This isn’t a revolution at all. It’s just going back to an old philosophy.
Not many people did it though. Ted was just ahead of his time. It becomes a revolution when it starts gaining popular support.

If we only had Ben Franklin yelling out "Fuck the King" back in the day, it's not an American Revolution.
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
6,530
29
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Not many people did it though. Ted was just ahead of his time. It becomes a revolution when it starts gaining popular support.

If we only had Ben Franklin yelling out "Fuck the King" back in the day, it's not an American Revolution.
I'm not saying the usage of the term "revolution" is incorrect, just that it's incredible that a philosophy put in practice by the best hitter who ever lived, who wrote a literal book on the subject, took this long to catch on.

Edit: just saw that it wasn't my post you quoted. My bad.
 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,234
Can Andrew not play CF? I’d imagine an OF of Betts/Andrew/and hopefully Chavis would be a solid 2020 lineup? Better than paying 17 mil for JBJs early 30s when we have other commitments
 

Dewey'sCannon

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
Jul 18, 2005
596
60
Maryland
Unfortunately, JBJ comes up as a FA at the same time as Mookie, and there's probably a good chance that we can't afford them both. And everyone (including JBJ) knows what the priority is.

For them to be able (financially) to resign both Jackie and Mookie, at least one of the following has to happen:

- Xander is not resigned, and we somehow get a cheap replacement;
- Sale leaves as a FA;
- JD opts out and is not resigned

And I would put resigning Bogie as the most important of these, and second only to resigning Mookie - partly because he will be hard to replace, and partly because he's got less age-related and injury-related risk than Sale or JD (or even Jackie).

But a lot can happen in two years.
 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,234
JBJ isn't a free agent until after 2020.
well I am an idiot. But that would give Chavis even more time to hopefully develop into a MLB player. I would agree with the sentiment that Xander and Betts should be the priorities. I dont see us re-signing Sale and would rather have that money be invested into Xander.
 

joyofsox

empty, bleak
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
7,481
55
Vancouver Island
joyofsox.blogspot.com
... it's incredible that a philosophy put in practice by the best hitter who ever lived, who wrote a literal book on the subject, took this long to catch on.
Equally incredible is that the main TV announcer during the World Series - presumably the plumiest broadcasting job in the business - referred to that philosophy as a new concept, with a slight-but-still-perceptible tone of derision. (And who, if prompted, would have immediately segued into a torrent of praise for TSW as the greatest hitting teacher in the game's history.)
 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
I think that some of you need to read The Science of Hitting in which Williams says:

"The flight of the ball is down (see diagram -- not included here), about 5 degrees. A slight upswing--again, led by the hips coming around and up--puts the bat flush in line with the path of the ball for a longer period--that 12- to 18- impact zone."

"...But if you swing slightly up you have to have the hips leading and then out of the way, generating speed and power, and you will find your top hand (right hand for right-handed batter, left hand for left-handed batter) is in the strongest possible position: wrist unbroken and directly behind the ball at impact. The result: a ball is hit with greater power and authority.
...Certainly there are times when you want to think more about getting on top of the ball--times when you are having trouble, getting fooled, popping up...When I say 'get on top of the ball,' I don't mean to swing down or chop, but to get your sights higher and level out your swing more."
...
"Ground out a lot? Your probably swinging too early. Popping up? Probably swinging late. It's a slight upswing, remember, and when you're late, your're under the ball, when you're early you're on top."

Williams wasn't advocating launch angle as we know it today; rather, he was preaching a swing that kept the body in the best position to hit and one that kept the swing of the bat in the plane of the pitch as long as possible to provide greater frequency in getting hits and to hit with power. When people today claim that Williams was the basis for launch angle, ipse dixit comes to mind.

But as a slight aside to this, there is an interesting article from the Sports Illustrated Vault, April 14, 1986, with Williams spending quite a bit of time discussing hitting with Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly (with an occasional question by Peter Gammons).
https://www.si.com/vault/1986/04/14/633776/a-real-rap-session
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,654
I think that some of you need to read The Science of Hitting in which Williams says:

"The flight of the ball is down (see diagram -- not included here), about 5 degrees. A slight upswing--again, led by the hips coming around and up--puts the bat flush in line with the path of the ball for a longer period--that 12- to 18- impact zone."

"...But if you swing slightly up you have to have the hips leading and then out of the way, generating speed and power, and you will find your top hand (right hand for right-handed batter, left hand for left-handed batter) is in the strongest possible position: wrist unbroken and directly behind the ball at impact. The result: a ball is hit with greater power and authority.
...Certainly there are times when you want to think more about getting on top of the ball--times when you are having trouble, getting fooled, popping up...When I say 'get on top of the ball,' I don't mean to swing down or chop, but to get your sights higher and level out your swing more."
...
"Ground out a lot? Your probably swinging too early. Popping up? Probably swinging late. It's a slight upswing, remember, and when you're late, your're under the ball, when you're early you're on top."

Williams wasn't advocating launch angle as we know it today; rather, he was preaching a swing that kept the body in the best position to hit and one that kept the swing of the bat in the plane of the pitch as long as possible to provide greater frequency in getting hits and to hit with power. When people today claim that Williams was the basis for launch angle, ipse dixit comes to mind.

But as a slight aside to this, there is an interesting article from the Sports Illustrated Vault, April 14, 1986, with Williams spending quite a bit of time discussing hitting with Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly (with an occasional question by Peter Gammons).
https://www.si.com/vault/1986/04/14/633776/a-real-rap-session
Interesting. Then given your assertion, what is the difference you see between what Williams was writing there and the current launch angle dogma? I'm not yet seeing the difference from that quote.
 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
Interesting. Then given your assertion, what is the difference you see between what Williams was writing there and the current launch angle dogma? I'm not yet seeing the difference from that quote.
Williams believed in hitting the ball consistently with authority while today's players are trying to hit high fly balls, hoping they have enough bat speed to carry the ball out of the park. In 2015 teh average laucnh angle was 10.5 degrees and that increased by about 10% the next season and nearly 13% in 2017. Williams talked about 5 degrees. While the average pitcher is probably taller today than in Williams's era, the mound was higher then and I think there may have been a higher percentage of pitchers who threw straight overhand, so there may not be that much change between what Williams saw as the correct upswing angle to keep the bat on the plane of the pitch longer than there would be today.
 

DGreenwood

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 2, 2003
1,262
46
Seattle
Visit site
Williams believed in hitting the ball consistently with authority while today's players are trying to hit high fly balls, hoping they have enough bat speed to carry the ball out of the park. In 2015 teh average laucnh angle was 10.5 degrees and that increased by about 10% the next season and nearly 13% in 2017. Williams talked about 5 degrees. While the average pitcher is probably taller today than in Williams's era, the mound was higher then and I think there may have been a higher percentage of pitchers who threw straight overhand, so there may not be that much change between what Williams saw as the correct upswing angle to keep the bat on the plane of the pitch longer than there would be today.
When Williams talked about 5 degrees, he was talking about the swing path, not the launch angle. His 5 degree upward swing was designed to get the bat traveling on the same plane as the ball, increasing the odds of making contact at some point along that shared plane, instead of having just single point where the bat plane and pitch plane intersect. This is exactly what JDM's and his teachers preach.
 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
When Williams talked about 5 degrees, he was talking about the swing path, not the launch angle. His 5 degree upward swing was designed to get the bat traveling on the same plane as the ball,
Isn't that what I said?
Williams wasn't advocating launch angle as we know it today; rather, he was preaching a swing that kept the body in the best position to hit and one that kept the swing of the bat in the plane of the pitch as long as possible to provide greater frequency in getting hits and to hit with power.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
5,398
Also, the strike zone has
When Williams talked about 5 degrees, he was talking about the swing path, not the launch angle. His 5 degree upward swing was designed to get the bat traveling on the same plane as the ball, increasing the odds of making contact at some point along that shared plane, instead of having just single point where the bat plane and pitch plane intersect. This is exactly what JDM's and his teachers preach.
The bottom of the strike zone also started lowering about a decade ago. So the best strike became the one with the most extreme downward angle, and pitchers started to pound the bottom of the zone. It makes sense that hitters would adjust by changing their swing angle to match, or that hitters that already had such swings would be more effective. But this is also creates the more recent adjustment we've heard about on the Sox and on other teams where they are trying to throw more high strikes, because this would be hard for these hitters to handle. The optimum swing angle in the 40's and 50's may not be the best angle today, and tomorrow's may be different again. It's the one that best matches the pitching of the time.
 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
Launch angle is not the same as Williams's upswing, change in strike zone or not. Hitting below the center of the ball increases the launch angle. Given some of the extremes seen in launch angles. it is hard to imagine a batter actually matching the plane of the pitch. For example, on 29 July 2017, Lorenzo Cain hit a home run with a 49° launch angle. While that was the extreme for a home run that season, do you think he hit a pitch low in the strike zone with a swing that followed a plane of angle from horizontal, or high in the zone? While batters probably have to increase the plane of their swing to get to high pitches, it it probably more on the lines of 10° or so, with the rest of the launch angle coming from hitting below the center of the ball. Because the speed of the ball coming off the bat has increased so much recently, what once were pop-ups are now home runs.

Williams hit line drives.In the 1950s, Williams hit 124 doubles at Fenway, 65 of which were handled by the left fielder but only 12 of his 109 home runs there were to left (two of those were to LCF).
--Retrosheet Game Logs