FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. “and has continued to show the 450-foot home runs and 95 mph fastball that created his legend.”

    To be fair, the backlash was more against the 500-foot HRs and 98 MPH fastball that the SI article started.

    Comment by Temo — April 20, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  2. “For the first time since 2001, a reliever will not be chosen in the first round.”

    What about Chad Bettis? Jesse Hahn has probably established himself as a starter, but I don’t think Bettis has and there’s certainly a chance he could be drafted in the first round. Stetson Allie could also get some consideration and his future looks to be out of the bullpen.

    Comment by jar75 — April 20, 2010 @ 11:37 am

  3. There might be players drafted whose future is in the bullpen, but I’m talking about guys that are relievers right now. Who are drafted primarily because their ETA trumps other draftees. Allie doesn’t qualify there. Bettis might, but I’m sure there are some teams that still will try him as a starter.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — April 20, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  4. Bryan,

    Enjoy the articles — keep them coming.

    Comment by Big Oil — April 20, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  5. Why does Gary Brown need to be patient in order to succeed? Fast, low strikeout, low walk players can be very successful. His OBP may be BABIP reliant, but if he’s fast he should be able to have a high BABIP. With low strikeout and walk numbers, he should have a high AB total, which means a high sample size for his BABIP to normalize (thus his BA and OBP will be less ‘luck’ based)

    A career similar to Placido Polanco or Luis Castillo is easily conceivable with someone like Ichiro being his ceiling.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — April 20, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  6. To have some success? He doesn’t. But I think to achieve the potential that scouts see in him — he has been comped to Gary Sheffield in the past — then patience is absolutely necessary. I think we both agree with his potential, and you would agree walks would take him to the next level (and probably make him a top 10 pick).

    Comment by Bryan Smith — April 20, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  7. Oh, OK.

    Comment by jar75 — April 20, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  8. Fair enough. Any power that he develops would likely cost him some BABIP (more fly-balls and maybe strikeouts), which without walks would hurt his OBP.

    I still like the Ichiro comparison, though. In some ways I think Ichiro is the type of player Sheffield would have been if he never developed power–ie hit .330+ with ~15 HR a year. Certainly not as great as Sheffield with power, but still a great player.

    So if the scouts are right about his bat control, Brown has a decent shot of being a Polanco type player (~.300/.340/.430), a shot at Ichiro or Crawford like production, with a slight chance of Sheffield (if he develops power/patience). Not bad for a guy who might play plus defense in center. Maybe not a top 10 player, but not bad.

    Still, yeah, I think we are in agreement about him, just sometimes I feel people get a little caught in the developing patience bit.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — April 20, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  9. also I noticed a typo. You wrote “foot and bad speed” instead of “foot and bat speed.”

    Comment by DavidCEisen — April 20, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  10. Ichiro still has way more patience and he has a BABIP that is significantly not luck based due to an approach that’s almost unable to be imitated. I personally don’t think there’s any way that he could even be considered a ceiling for a rookie because nobody else seems to be able to inflate their BABIP in that manner.

    A better comparable for ceiling might be Juan Pierre when he could walk or Gary Sheffield if he couldn’t walk well but knew how to defend well. Which are both pretty valuable players, actually.

    But in general, you need either patience, power, or very good defense to be a major league regular at any position except catcher. Without excelling at one of these, he’d be a later-years Juan Pierre or a Pods. Getting some playing time, but mainly filler.

    Comment by B N — April 20, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  11. Plenty of player’s have high BABIP. Derek Jeter has a higher career BABIP than Ichiro. So does Lew Ford. Bat control+speed=high BABIP. Brown has bat control and speed, at least that is my understanding of the scouting reports–having never witnessed him playing.

    If Brown can maintain a 1:2 BB to K rate in the majors, I don’t see his lack of patience being that detrimental. Now would he be a better player if he walked 10% or 15% of the time? Yeah, probably, but Carl Crawford posted a 4.9 win season while walking 3.9% of the time and striking out 17% of the time.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — April 20, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  12. Have you heard anything about Matt Bywater from Pepperdine? Great slider…

    Comment by Johnny — April 20, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  13. The fact that a guy has a high Babip and low walks doesn’t mean he doesn’t have patience.

    The point of having patience is not to walk. The point is to only swing at pitches you can drive. If the pitcher doesn’t throw one, you walk. If he is significantly better than the pitchers pitching to him, he’s not going to get to 4 balls often because hes crushing earlier pitches.

    Also, the idea that any variation from league average Babip is luck, is absolutely ludicrous.

    Comment by Rich — April 20, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  14. “Also, the idea that any variation from league average Babip is luck, is absolutely ludicrous.”

    Did someone ever suggest that? What are you talking about?

    “The point of having patience is not to walk.”

    I can appreciate this. But even in seasons where he’s hit less than .450, he doesn’t walk. Brown has seen the variance that relying solely on balls in play can do to his draft status, which has been all over the place since his high school days.

    Not criticizing his approach is results-based analysis.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — April 20, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  15. We’re talking about a kid here with a .250 IsoP. He’s driving the ball.

    This whole thing reminds me of something Josh Reddick said during spring training this year(where he hit .390/.413/.678). It was along the lines of “I’m trying to walk more, but pitchers keep throwing me crappy pitches before ball 4″

    If you want to say he lacks patience, you need to start talking about him swinging at balls out of the zone.

    Comment by Rich — April 20, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  16. Having not seen any games that Brown has played in, I assume that when people say that he lacks patience it means that he swings at bad pitches and makes weak contact, which leads to outs.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — April 20, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

  17. But thats not what Smith is saying. He’s saying he doesn’t walk, therefore hes not patient.

    a .457/.479/.707 triple slash doesn’t suggest hes swinging at bad pitches and making weak contact. It suggests hes squaring up the ball well.

    Again, Patience isn’t about garnering walks. Its about getting good pitches to hit.

    Comment by Rich — April 20, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  18. Rich: You are still too focused on this season. Brown’s AVG/SLG haven’t been nearly as good in his freshman and sophomore seasons, and as a result, your argument doesn’t hold water. Teams weren’t willing to match Brown’s bonus demands out of high school, because they thought he’d be better served adding refinement in college.

    If he had shown patience in the past and I saw a lack of walks were the result of his success, I would never have made the point. But the lack of walks have been an aspect of his game since he has been on the scouting radar. And just because he’s been hitting the cover off the ball this year doesn’t mean he shouldn’t work on honing his approach at the next level.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — April 20, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

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