FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Excellent interview. Very informative.

    Comment by C Green — October 19, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  2. nice interview!

    Comment by joshcohen — October 19, 2011 @ 9:16 am

  3. Excellent read.

    I believe the Jays will offer arbitration, we’ll see if he accepts.

    Comment by tdotsports1 — October 19, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  4. Great interview, I love these things.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 19, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  5. These interviews are really top rate. You ask good questions and get insightful answers that teach me about baseball.

    Thank you.

    Comment by MikeS — October 19, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  6. A strikeout is just an out, I get that. But I will never be convinced that guys like Johnson that strike out so much are value added to a linup. (even if they hit 20-25 HR’s) Good interview though.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — October 19, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  7. Great stuff, as always.

    Comment by Kyle — October 19, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  8. Nice interview. I assume you asked where he plans on playing next season and he didn’t answer? Or something like that?

    Comment by grady — October 19, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  9. Why do you assume a good interviewer would ask a question that the interviewee couldn’t really answer? You expect it from the guys on ESPN, but David is better than that.

    Comment by Tim — October 19, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  10. Any chance you can go back and ask him if he’d be amenable to playing third base next year if a team wanted him for that position? :)

    Comment by Bodhizefa — October 19, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  11. Grrrreat!

    Comment by d — October 19, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  12. Great read!!

    Comment by BurleighGrimes — October 19, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  13. Strikeouts do matter. At the risk of stating the obvious, players to high strikeout rates need a higher BABIP for the same batting average. It’s not as important as the mainstream media makes it out to be, but it’s also certainly not a detail that can be glossed over. To use the example of Reynolds, unless he has a Bautista-esque walk rate or Ichiro’s BABIP…it is tough to forgive the strikeouts.

    Comment by Jake — October 19, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  14. Re: Strikeouts

    The Boston Red Sox, NY Yankees and Texas Rangers scored more runs than any other teams in the American League, they also finished 1st, 3rd and 4th in most strike outs.

    Some players change their swings with a 2 strike count in fear of striking out, this swing also tends to be less productive, however players that keep the same approach even with a 2 strike count may strike out more, but are often more productive in that count.

    Comment by Peter DeMarco — October 19, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  15. If you go by K%, they ranked 7th, 13th, and 1st in FEWEST strike outs, respectively.

    The extra Ks are just a result of having more PAs than other teams.

    Comment by Gort — October 19, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  16. So you don’t think Kemp would add to a lineup? …………

    Comment by Chair — October 19, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  17. Good point, but Kemp does a lot more than strikeout and hit a few homers. He hit over .300, got on base, hit a bunch of homers. I should have clrified my statement, thanks.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — October 19, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  18. So if two guys have the same slash line, but one gets out via strikeout more often then the other, then the small amount of value that comes with reaching on error or moving over runners occasionally is enough to neutralize the value of one of them? Johnson’s above average power at second base does nothing to make up for his above average strikeout rate? How many advanced runners and ROE’s does it take to equal the value of one home run? A lot, I can tell you that.

    Comment by Bip — October 19, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  19. It sounds like Farrell picked up some managerial tendencies from Francona. Next thing we know Cecil, Litsch, and Drabek will be pounding beer & fried chicken in the dugout.

    Comment by NorthYorkJays — October 19, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  20. So….you just disprooved your own way of thinking. Striking out in and of itself does not equal a good or bad player. Having the right balance of overall skills is necessary. Hitting for zero power, not drawing walks, striking out too much, those are all flaws, but they can be made up for if you do everything else well. No reason to treat the strikeout flaw as worse than the other flaws, in fact it’s probably the least troublesome of the three.

    Comment by Chair — October 19, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  21. kelly sounds like a really bright guy. definitely not against the jays bringing him back.

    Comment by Kevin — October 19, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  22. I liked the whole interview except the little part near the end. By the sound of it, it seems like he was happier in Arizona. What does he mean it’s more personal and more individual here? He doesn’t like it in Toronto?

    Comment by es0terik — October 19, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  23. Kelly Johnson sounds really intelligent and analytical from his answers. Definitely not your average athlete where you get generic answers 90% of the time.

    Comment by kdodger — October 20, 2011 @ 12:12 am

  24. or times where you’ve got to put the ball in play to get a guy over… being able to put the ball in play when you need to is definitely a big part of the game.

    Sounds like a baseball player just said “productive outs” are a big part of the game. Doesn’t that go against a big sabermetric principle?

    Readers also had good comments about strikeouts. If you strikeout a lot, then (obviously) you need to be better in BB and BABIP and/or ISO to make up the value lost. Some are, some aren’t. I don;t think we can out of hand, wave off high K numbers.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 20, 2011 @ 12:29 am

  25. Except that batting average doesn’t really matter either. The three most important skills are getting on base, hitting for power, and catching the ball, and you only need two of them to be a good major league player. You might even be able to get by with one if you’re really, really good at it.

    Comment by Mike — October 20, 2011 @ 6:55 am

  26. Seems like he just meant that on a team that wasn’t making a playoff push, there were less “small victories” in things like moving guys over, making a nice defensive play to get out of an inning, etc. Those things were nice, but at the end of the day they don’t affect the Blue Jays’ season much. It might get them an extra win, but they’re going to be in fourth place no matter what.

    I actually thought it was a refreshingly honest answer. Great interview.

    Comment by Wee-Bey — October 20, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  27. great interview! i completely agree with kelly’s approach at the plate. on thing though – sabermetricians don’t believe that strikeouts don’t matter – in fact, they’re the worst thing you can do as a hitter (aside from hitting into a double/triple play) sabermetricians believe that the benefits that come from taking more pitches (higher OBP) outweigh the downsides (strikeouts)

    Comment by Cooperstown2009 — October 20, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

  28. *one

    Comment by Cooperstown2009 — October 20, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

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