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The Hit Tool

Talk shop about the various prospects and teams that make up the Cleveland Indians organization.

The Hit Tool

Postby Rocky55 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:23 am

Been thinking about this for a while. I believe that I'm starting to figure out the Mad Scientist's(Brad Grant's) plan for World Baseball Domination: The Hit Tool. This might be Grant's current Moneyballesque version of an undervalued area of the market.

Look at Grant's history in the draft/IFA markets. Since he took over from Mirabelli we've added: Chiz, Kipnis, Fedroff, Phelps, Henry, Holt, Wolters, Washington, Jordan Smith, Bryson Myles, Jose Ramirez, Naquin, Wendle, Paulino, Sever, Bautista, Haase, Santander, et al. A very high percentage of the position guys we draft could fit the same description. We've all read/heard it:

Player X has a good line drive swing, puts the bat on the ball, not a big power guy but should develop "doubles power" & hit 10-15 HR's.

Now Chiz & Kipnis show more power than that but at the time they were drafted not many expected it. Maybe some of the others (notably Paulino) will too.

Witness last night's LC game: 7 Runs on 10 Hits, 1 Double, 2 Triples, 0 HR. Smith, Myles & Naquin with multiple hits. Ramirez 1-2 with a walk & 2 RBI's. Most of the K's were by guys who don't fit the profile.

I was at a game once in the distant past, it might have been a Charleston Charlies game when they were a Tribe affiliate, in which a pitcher gave up 8 or 9 singles in a row. Not bloop hits, sharp line drives. That was the most angry, frustrated, messed up pitcher I've ever seen.

Imagine an offense full of high average hitters, guys with batting lines like .290/.375/.450/.825. I believe that's what Grant has in mind, future Tribe teams in which the starting pitcher limits the damage for 5 or so Innings, turns the ball over to a dominant bullpen, and an offense that line drives the opposition into oblivion.

With "the best laid plans" disclaimer understood, that seems to me a pretty pleasing prospect.
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Re: The Hit Tool

Postby daingean » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:52 am

Looking at recent drafts, I think his plan is to draft more athletes that can hit. This leads a lot of guys that fit into your theory. Besides catchers drafted recently: Lavisky, Haas, Lowery.... most of the position guys were SS/2B/CF/3B types (no real 1B drafted recently).
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Re: The Hit Tool

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:30 pm

..and athletes that hit a lot of line drives singles that play good defense and get on base.. get MLB FA contracts after they've been in the league for six years like the one you see Casey Kotchman get.. that is.. decent money, but not a mega nine or ten year $ 215 MM deal with NTC's etc.. The players are gamers/dirtbags.. and would probably be playing for the per diem for the Sugar Land Skeeters (read = money for food) if they weren't in a professional organization...
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