9:32 pm July 9, 2012, by David O'Brien
July 10th, 20124:36 pm
I don’t think you give Chipper extra credit for switch-hitting, credit that doesn’t already show up in his performance and therefore in the numbers. Yes, I believe he had a better career because he switch-hit versus hitting from one side of the plate. But that advantage already shows up in his overall numbers versus what his overall numbers would be if he hadn’t switch-hit. So you don’t add any credit for that.
Boggs third??? Get outta here!!!!!
July 10th, 20124:38 pm
Beltre in the Hall? Get outta here. ain’t ever gonna come close
July 10th, 20124:40 pm
shaun I don’t think you give Chipper extra credit for switch-hitting,
when it comes to HOF consideration, i think you do, for the same reason you talk about other 3rd baseman.
New format of 2-3. Didn’t the year the Braves won the WS have a 2-3 format for the round of the playoffs? I remember them playing the 1st 2 games in Colorado that year. I also the remember the Yankees and Seattle playing 2 games in Yankee Stadium and 3 in Seattle. Wouldn’t they just be bringing it back?
The reason players are better today as opposed to 40 years ago (or even 30 years ago) is that the pool of talent is vastly larger today. With the rise in the quality of baseball in Japan, South and Central America, plus Korea and Australia, the pool of talent is about four times larger today than it was through the 1970’s.
This has made a huge impact on pitching. So many young arms today can light it up with cut fastballs over over 95mph with movement. The “Nolan Ryan fastball” from his era is nearly average today!
It is also so difficult to matchup defensive statistics because fielding percentage does not account for fielding range. So the Gold Glove awards often go out based on the eye test. Another important fact is that Schmidt played on that hard as a rock artificial turf at old Veteran’s Stadium, and it made fielding at third base a lot more difficult. The rug was so uneven that you even got bad hops off it! So, it was a double whammy — fast grounder and inconsistent hops!
Schmidt was an excellent fielder. Now, his home run tally was helped with Veteran’s Stadium, which may have been as close to homer friendly as Fulton County Stadium. Chipper played a lot of games in the Launching Pad, and no doubt that helped him. Now, once the move to Turner Stadium was made suddenly Chipper’s home run tally was stymied a bit.
Due to the TBS telecasts I got to see a lot of Schmidt in action and he was the best third baseman of his era without a doubt and I think the best ever. Eddie Mathews played before my time, so I have only a few archive tapes, word of his peers, and statistics. However, nothing in those three sources show him a step behind Chipper.
The truth is that the Braves as a franchise are blessed to have had two of the greatest third basemen in baseball history wear its uniform. I’m hoping there comes another comparison between the two. Mathews became a Braves manager in Atlanta. I would like to see Chipper do that also — I think he’d be a good one!
Bay Area Steve
July 10th, 20124:41 pm
From yesterday: I don’t disagree Salcedo’s position switch makes his route that much harder. But, you called the money a waste. Seems to me, we won’t know ’til he makes it, or it’s clear that he won’t. Switching to LF doesn’t change that fact, imo.
As long as he .250/.300/.350s in the minors, it’s darn sure gonna look like a waste of cash. Then again, most prospects are. As long as we keep swingin’ at ‘em.
Nick B — Good points about Williams… After all is said and done, the splinter is the best offensive player ever. I don’t count steroid users. And all those years he stubbornly refused to give in to the shift and go the other way. Can you imagine his numbers if a couple times a week he sent one out to left field AND if he hadn’t lost those WW2 and Korea years? Boggles the mind. I remember seeing him in ‘51 (or was it ‘51) at the all-star game in Detroit crushing the ball. He wasn’t much defensively though. Chipper is a much better 3B than Williams was an outfielder.
I remember reading an article in Life (I think) magazine by Ty Cobb in the early 1950s. He said that Williams and Phil Rizzuto were the only then-modern players who would have been stars in his day. He was wrong though, how could you overlook Musial and Kiner for that matter.
It will be hard for Rolen to get in, but it is very possible with the advanced statistics gaining steam.
I don’t think you were here the day that HOF voters were christened “ignorant BBWAA geezers”, so counting on them cuddling up to sabermetrics might be a touch optimistic.
July 10th, 20124:43 pm
You have to give extra credit for being a switch hitter — no question about that. Switch hitters are so vital to counter a good bullpen, and being an effective switch hitter is so much more difficult that honing your swing from only one side of the plate.
In fact, that is a prime reason why I put Chipper third all time.
July 10th, 20124:44 pm
Bay area Steve
BR’s WAR doesn’t weigh defense enough with their defensive metrics as well as UZR and DRS weigh them with fangraphs WAR….
July 10th, 20124:45 pm
No way on Rolen either. lotta promise but too many injuries.
Buncha guys kept taking short runs at Chipper, Rolen, Aramis.and a coupla others I can’t think of right now had a few real good years, but they all fell by the wayside over time while Chipper just kept chuggin’ along
July 10th, 20124:46 pm
Vinny Castilla was a sharp 3rd baseman in my day
which one weighs them most accurately is a matter of opinion
July 10th, 20124:48 pm
Catchers think they know it all. They want to manage teams and take over blogs …
Vinny was good defensively but lost range over the years. as a hitter he was a Coors field poster child
Pretty clear that’s where you were taking issue, NickB.
I’m just of the thought that the defensive metrics are in their infancy, at worst, and imperfect, at best. I like to use both, to see where they agree, and where they differ. You’re the first I’ve seen to love one so much, while blasting the other. Seems incongruent, at least to me.
catchers DO know it all……
but they all fell by the wayside over time while Chipper just kept chuggin’ along
To a lesser extent, NL catchers and McCann share the same deal. Martin, Soto, at least one more (obviously, eminently forgettable), all had the adulation of the mob. For a year. Meanwhile, McCann kept winning Silver Sluggers and going to the All-Star game.
July 10th, 20124:50 pm
…which is why nolie is the GM and I’m only the manager.
My dad met Vinny Castilla in the 80s when he was a Sumter Brave. Idk whatev …
July 10th, 20124:51 pm
“Catchers think they know it all.”
In reality, though, it’s only ’cause we had to deal with the pitchers. Especially the LHers…
Just read on Talking Chop that Ben Sheets is going to pitch against the Mets Sunday, DOB can you confirm this.
July 10th, 20124:54 pm
Ken Stallings, I think a more global talent pool is just one reason players are better. I also think people are stronger, faster, quicker, bigger than they were in the past. The evidence is pretty strong if you look at things like the times in Olympic events in recent years compared to the past. I think that has to do with a variety of factors.
I don’t know that I agree with this, DAP. Value is value, whether a player gets there by switch-hitting or pitching side-armed or hopping on one foot to field a ground. If the career value and peak value is there, I don’t think we should be all that concerned with whether he got there by switch-hitting.
July 10th, 20124:55 pm
Soto had me worried. Dude looked like a world beater way back when.
I caught his stat-line during the Cubs series, and dude’s hitting like a light .190 or something ridiculous.
nolie Buncha guys kept taking short runs at Chipper, Rolen, Aramis.and a coupla others I can’t think of right now had a few real good years, but they all fell by the wayside over time while Chipper just kept chuggin’ along
i agree with you on rolen, but Aramis Ramierez and Adrian Beltre are still chuggin, and chipper is retiring. so, if those guys do what chipper did in his age 34-40 seasons, they might be alot closer to HOF material than you think. will they? probably not, but its not impossible.
Seems to me, we won’t know ’til he makes it, or it’s clear that he won’t. Switching to LF doesn’t change that fact, imo.
That’s fair, BAS. I should of said that a position switch to LF is going to make it harder for him to impact the game – was hoping that he’d be a good hitting 3B. Tougher to hit as much to be a regular in LF. But as you said, not a waste…yet. He’s still super young and everyone loves the bat speed.
July 10th, 20124:57 pm
bay area steve
I’ve just run across too many inconsistencies with bWAR.
let’s use Ted Williams as an example:
119.8 Career bWAR (which is 10th all time and Ruth who is in 1st with 159.1 is 33% ahead of him)
but he has a 139.8 fWAR which is 8th all time and Ruth’s 177.7 is 26% ahead
I just find the fWAR a more accurate depiction of the gap between the two players when you consider the lost seasons to wartime service.
July 10th, 20124:59 pm
“Value is value”
We already ascribe a player more “value” because they play a more difficult position. Why not for a more difficult style of hitting? Especially for a place that honors the game?
I really like what someone said earlier: I don’t know if it’s 1/162nd of a win, or 1/300, or 1/25. Who knows? But, it would seem there is some value to the team. How would lefty/righty bullpen matchups work if facing nine Chippers? Guys darn near the same hitter from either side? Seems like you could eliminate a significant portion of an opponent’s bullpen advantage.
July 10th, 20125:00 pm
shaun I don’t know that I agree with this, DAP. Value is value, whether a player gets there by switch-hitting or pitching side-armed or hopping on one foot to field a ground
its ok if you dont. i think i might agree that his ranking among 3rd baseman shouldnt vary based on switch hitting, but HOF consideration should and will.
just like there are only a handful of 3rd basemen in the hall, making an elite 3rd baseman special, there are only a handful of switch hitters in the hall, making that special too. being able to put a guy in a special category matters. in fact, its more important to be first than it is to be better.
chipper is the only switch hitter ever to hit over 300 homers and hit .300. thats important even though those numbers by themselves might not be HOF worthy.
Salcedo in his last 10 games: .342/.419/.605 – 13 for 38 with 4 2B’s, 2 HR’s, 4 BB’s/7 K’s, 3 for 4 in SB’s
yeah, catcher hitting as a whole is just terrible these days…well pretty much all days! lol
it’s why Mac has so much value, there is no way to replace his production for what he will end up being paid. So, unless everyone is satisfied with a .230 hitting catcher who hits 9 HR’s a year with a .670 OPS for 4 or 5 years, I think Mac should be extended.
Sheets isn’t a savior of any kind. Doubt he does anything better than Minor or Delgado have been doing. Maybe a tad more steady as far as the vetran mentality of not breaking when something doesn’t go perfect. Maybe.
July 10th, 20125:01 pm
Thanks for the explanation, Nick.
July 10th, 20125:02 pm
and dude’s hitting like a light .190 or something ridiculous.
Hitting ML pitching is hard enough without squatting for three hours and trying to swing with a numb left hand after the sixth. People who rake McCann in these pages don’t get that, I reckon.
yeah that was me asking how to quantify switch hitting value.
but you did a better job of explaining it with your 9 Chipper’s scenario! kudos!
CBS says Sheets will start.
July 10th, 20125:03 pm
I love Beltre, but he ain’t no Chipper.
July 10th, 20125:04 pm
***goes into full on Love-Him-Like-Evan-Gattis mode.
July 10th, 20125:05 pm
yeah possible I guess, but IMO pretty unlikely DAP. not many play that well after 35 or so without PEDS.
Adrian is a 111 OPS+ not close to HOF now IMO though he can no doubt pick em
I’ll back off a bit and say “I doubt it”
July 10th, 20125:06 pm
Susan Sarandon Complex might have struck him. If so, may he not recover.
July 10th, 20125:08 pm
efrim I love Beltre, but he ain’t no Chipper.
yeah, i dont think beltre is going to put up a .307/404/.518 line in his age 34-40 seasons, just making the point that his and Aramis Ramierez’s careers are far from over. chipper added 129 homers to his total during that time, and if the other two guys do that, they will have 454 homers. that aint bad.
July 10th, 20125:09 pm
10 whole games, huh? let’s give him a few dozen more….
July 10th, 20125:10 pm
we all gotta do what we gotta do scoots
July 10th, 20125:11 pm
Beltre is a Hall of the very good candidate I think, he also has a very suspicious looking 2004 season where he hit 48 HR’s (and his second highest season total is 32 last year in a more hitter friendly park)
July 10th, 20125:12 pm
No way. Trade Prado and stick him at 3rd base in 2013.
Salcedo! Salcedo! Salcedo!
I don’t think you can compare Rolen, Aramiz Ramirez and Beltre to Chipper. That’s not a knock against those guys. They’ve all had great careers. But those guys aren’t at all likely to approach top 5 all-time among thirdbaseman. It’s not impossible, I suppose, but it might as well be.
Ramirez, for instance, in his 30’s has 7.1 WAR. Chipper had 41.9 WAR in his 30’s. Yes, Ramirez is 34, so he still has a ways to go. But in 4 1/2 seasons Ramirez basically hasn’t even provided the value that Chipper, in his 30’s, did in 2 typical seasons.
I like Beltre’s chances for the Hall reasonably well because he appears to be fairly close to an elite defender with plenty of solid-to-outstanding offensive seasons, plus he’s still young enough to have the 3-4 more solid seasons that he likely needs to be considered. But I don’t think he comes all that close to Chipper.
July 10th, 20125:14 pm
Salcedo is how old? not even 21 yet?
The positive thing is he’s progressing and I reckon that he might be ready for the show by age 24. Maybe a little sooner if he can work on his plate discipline a bit.
He exhibits all the signs of what I like to see a step ladder type improvement at every level increase.
Now if they can just teach him to field!
2013? There’s your hater. Ward wants him to replace Simmons now.
July 10th, 20125:18 pm
I like Beltre’s chances for the Hall reasonably well because he appears to be fairly close to an elite defender with plenty of solid-to-outstanding offensive seasons
“fairly close”, “solid-to-outstanding”…maybe the name gets changed to Hall Of Equivocation.
My HOF criterion is simple: any doubt, he’s out. There’s no room for the “fairly close”.
Ward wants him to replace Simmons now.
Todd Cunningham in CF and Salcedo at 3B and Ward is all set.
Mets R Best
July 10th, 20125:19 pm
Hey Braves fans: I guess you didn’t know that the first 4 games the Atlanta team played against the Mighty and the Amazing Mets this year were won by the team from New York.
I’m not sure I agree that you can say that Salcedo has progressed all that much in three years
July 10th, 20125:20 pm
then why are the Muts below us in the standings nimrod?
July 10th, 20125:21 pm
I think you have to give extra credit for switch hitting. Granted his stats should show the benefit but to truly be a switch hitter is something special. You also see how hard it is to get a swing straight for players who just hit one way. To get it squared away from both sides of the plate is even more impressive.
Really learning that with my son. Luckily in Little League/Pony League he can go with whichever side he is swinging better from in the games, especially in bigger at bats, while still working on both sides at practice and in games that are not close. Last year it was all left handed and this year he hit the cover off the ball right handed. For Chipper to do what he does from both sides of the plate year after year is truly special
July 10th, 20125:22 pm
He hasn’t tried to iron a shirt while wearing it, and he’s not in jail. I think you may be setting the bar a little too high.
With individual players, I think guys like Gibson and Koufax would still be good even great today if you put them into a game as they were at their best. I just don’t think they would be as great as they were then. And then if we take the average player at any position from the 1950’s or 1960’s and put him in a game in 2012, I think they would look like second-division types, at best, maybe even closer to fringe types.
Disagree, Shaun. the 1950s and 1960s are ancient history. Relatively speaking, those decades aren’t that long ago.
Players than had plenty of talent and good or better athleticism.
FYI, Spahn was a savvy pitcher on the order of Greg Maddux. When Sphan was younger, he also had a very good fast ball. Has he aged, he developed more pitches, studied batters more closely and mastered his control. I believe he last won 20 games in 1963 at the age of 42.
Spahn would have been just as great today.
July 10th, 20125:23 pm
“Aren’t” ancient history.
Mighty and Amazing…Good to know they’ve made progress since 1969.
For some idea of how large Miguel Cabrera is, look at him standing next to Prince Fielder during AL batting practice while ago.
July 10th, 20125:24 pm
“any doubt, he’s out”
Small Hall guy. I can dig it. But, so we’re clear: scoots’ Hall is 17 guys and the under-construction Ezekiel Spruill Wing.
McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:
Glen Hubbard!!! http://twitter.com/mlbbowman/status/222802790211256322/photo/1/large
Who’s he with, and why wasn’t I notified he’d be at the ASG??
Look like Chris Young will start Friday for Mets with Gee out (blood clot in shoulder).
He hasn’t tried to iron a shirt while wearing it, and he’s not in jail.
Braves All-Prospect Position player team:
LF Todd Cunningham, CF Matt Lipka, RF Adam Milligan
3B Edward Salcedo, SS Nick Ahmed, 2B Tommy La Stella, 1B Joey Terdoslavich, C Christian Bethancourt DH Kyle Kubitza
July 10th, 20125:25 pm
if he can hit lefties as a LHed hitter he is better off there most likely
July 10th, 20125:27 pm
ncscoots Hitting ML pitching is hard enough without squatting for three hours and trying to swing with a numb left hand after the sixth. People who rake McCann in these pages don’t get that, I reckon.
True that. And we’ve had a goodly amount of upper-90’s throwers for a couple years now…
I badly want to see Zeke Spruill start a game for this franchise. Go Zeke. Go groundballs.
July 10th, 20125:28 pm
Blood clot? Yikes…
I meant for a “Sigh…” to be after my All-Braves Position player team post. But that’s okay.
Salcedo OPS by season starting in A ball
2012- .744 and rising
looks like gradual improvement to me!
real men just drown their pain in donuts and carry on
Good for us. Guessing it’s Young, Dickey, and either Santana or Niese on Sunday.
July 10th, 20125:29 pm
and the under-construction Ezekiel Spruill Wing.
Zeke doesn’t get a wing. He gets his own city.
you can quote stats all day and it really doesnot matter. trying to compare players from different generations, different playing fields, different teammates, different coaches, different weather, will make you stupid. I’m old enough to have been able to watch most of the players you are discussing and each played the game different. don’t compare just enjoy. you miss to much when you look at just the stats.
July 10th, 20125:30 pm
the last ten days are the reason he is higher today than last year for the most part.
2012- .744 and rising
How about an .800 from just one of Salcedo, Lipka, Ahmed, Bethancourt, or Cunningham?
I guess Kubitza will get there. He’s about it.
July 10th, 20125:31 pm
Man, watching the All Star game in what is arguably the BEST BBQ town in America. Can it possibly get any better?
And it’s been exactly 10 games too. He was awful in May and June – up until the last two games.
We already ascribe a player more “value” because they play a more difficult position. Why not for a more difficult style of hitting? Especially for a place that honors the game?
It’s not necessarily because of the difficulty of the position as to why we ascribe more value to a player playing the more difficult position. It’s because a player who hits like a firstbaseman and is capable of playing shortstop is going to be better offensively than all other shortstops but will not be anything special as a firstbaseman. It has to do with making winning easier for you team more than simply giving a guy credit for doing something difficult.
Plus we don’t give a guy more credit because he’s a shortstop, in something like WAR or fWAR, for instance. The value he provides by being a presumably capable shortstop is built in to that value. It’s not as if we tack on something to his WAR because he’s a shortstop.
Fredi: “I tip my cap to Bob Horner. Not many third basemen have hit four homers in a game. And did you see him lean over that gut of his to get to a ball on the ground? Impressive feat…and good footwork. I was impressed with the speed of his homerun trots too. All around great third baseman… Chipper’s okay too. It’s great that I can pencil him in the lineup between two left-handed baters OR between two right-handed batters. He’s versatile like that. I tip my cap to him too–for the way he makes it easy for me to make out my lineup card.”
July 10th, 20125:32 pm
I’m interested to see what Gattis can do for another year in AAA. It stinks about his wrist injury as he was putting up quite the year in the minor’s in 2012.
I reckon if he comes back swinging he might get a Sept. callup anyway…..
could be a nice story developing if he can make it to the Show by 2014
BAS has me pinned like a butterfly to a board, though. There are an awful lot of guys in the Hall who would not have gotten a vote from me. Not because I’m mean or anything.
July 10th, 20125:33 pm
MiaBchBravesFan: Have you ever eaten barbecue in Memphis, Tennessee? Or even in Owensboro, Kentucky? I don’t think that KC trumps the que in either of those towns. Ask Bob Horner.
July 10th, 20125:34 pm
McFann, Hubbard is with the Royals now.
July 10th, 20125:35 pm
I’m with you on the HOF:
No Mazeroski , no Jim Rice,no Phil Rizzuto , no Ralph Kiner, maybe no Lou Brock, no Andre Dawson
July 10th, 20125:38 pm
Our systems lacks a projected impact hitter. Were loaded with arms, defense, and speed.
And a tip of the finger to you too, Fredi. What a jerk. Horner he sees as better than CJ and that is out manager, folks.
July 10th, 20125:39 pm
For Gattis I’m putting him as a Eric Hinske type player as his ceiling
July 10th, 20125:40 pm
Jeff R, I agree that comparing players on the 1950’s and 1960’s to players now is not the same as comparing players from something like the 1920’s to now. But I still think there is a difference.
There is obviously no way to prove it but I do think Spahn would be a little less great nowadays than he was in his day. I think in 10-15 years, a mid-1990’s version of Maddux wouldn’t be as great as he was in the mid-1990’s. But, again, there is obviously no way to prove this. The best I can do is give the reasons why. Mostly I think it’s because of the pure athleticism of players and people in general by then. Their athleticism would allow them to more easily handle a pitcher like that. That’s not too say it would be easy. I still think Spahn would be pretty great if you were to put Spahn at his peak into a game today. I just don’t think he would be as great because I believe the hitters he would be matching up against would be better.
I’d say Gattis projects as an impact hitter. you don’t OPS over .900 at 3 levels without solid batting skills.
His problems are going to be , can he play left field, can he stay injury free, can he avoid the personal demons?
July 10th, 20125:41 pm
I didn’t know the all star game was in Memphis this year!
July 10th, 20125:43 pm
I’m excited to see Sheets finally start for the Braves.
July 10th, 20125:44 pm
no Kiner? are you discomboobilated? he’s a 149 OPS+ hitter. sheeeesh
Braves center fielder Michael Bourn believes the Nationals were interested in him last summer, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The Nationals, who continue to seek a long-term answer in center field, are expected to pursue Bourn when he hits free agency this coming offseason. Bourn told Kilgore he’ll take his time deciding on where to sign his next contract. “Right now, I’m focused on this season right now,” he said. “I think I’m on a good team right now in the Atlanta Braves.”
July 10th, 20125:46 pm
Agreed. Maybe not as good a hitter as Hinske most seasons but maybe provide as much value if he is capable of catching at all in the majors. Obviously it would really help his value if he’s able to be just a third/emergency catcher.
July 10th, 20125:49 pm
Agreed, Ryan Doumit might be a better comparison.
lotsa folks still drinking the Gattis-flavored kool ade I see
July 10th, 20125:50 pm
I think Que is more restaurant specific than city specific.
We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever (except politics or religion)
Atlanta Braves RSS feed
Previous entries »
Send a feedback technical issue
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more
Visitor Agreement | Privacy Statement© 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution