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sox230
06-07-2011, 03:16 PM
In Jayson Stark's "What Wrong With..." article, which gives the analysis of scouts as to why players are struggling so badly (and what they expect for the rest of the year), three White Sox are included: Danks, Dunn and Rios. The scouts seem to think Danks and Dunn will rebound, however, this is what a scout said about Rios:

"A lot of this is mechanical," said one scout. "He starts his hands real low, and he never gets in position to hit. By the time he does, the ball gets too deep on him and he can't do anything with it. But it's tough to watch. His body language is terrible. I hate watching him. He's a kid with so much ability, but he doesn't get the most out of it."

Obviously Rios himself is the one that is sucking, but I seem to remember it was Greg Walker who drastically changed his stance sometime last year. I just thought these comments were spot on, echoing the feelings I have watching him as a Sox fan.

What does everybody else think and am I correct about Walker changing his stance?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page=rumblings110607

dickallen15
06-07-2011, 03:45 PM
In Jayson Stark's "What Wrong With..." article, which gives the analysis of scouts as to why players are struggling so badly (and what they expect for the rest of the year), three White Sox are included: Danks, Dunn and Rios. The scouts seem to think Danks and Dunn will rebound, however, this is what a scout said about Rios:

"A lot of this is mechanical," said one scout. "He starts his hands real low, and he never gets in position to hit. By the time he does, the ball gets too deep on him and he can't do anything with it. But it's tough to watch. His body language is terrible. I hate watching him. He's a kid with so much ability, but he doesn't get the most out of it."

Obviously Rios himself is the one that is sucking, but I seem to remember it was Greg Walker who drastically changed his stance sometime last year. I just thought these comments were spot on, echoing the feelings I have watching him as a Sox fan.

What does everybody else think and am I correct about Walker changing his stance?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page=rumblings110607

Walker did not change Rios' stance. Rios changed it on his own. His hands were low last year when he was having success.

Foulke You
06-07-2011, 03:47 PM
Walker did not change Rios' stance. Rios changed it on his own. His hands were low last year when he was having success.
Correct. It was the lowering of his hands that Rios credited to his turnaround season last year. The stance is exactly the same when Alex was putting up .284avg 21HR and 88 RBI last season.

doublem23
06-07-2011, 03:48 PM
Correct. It was the lowering of his hands that Rios credited to his turnaround season last year. The stance is exactly the same when Alex was putting up .284avg 21HR and 88 RBI last season.

Is it possible pitchers just figured out how to pitch to him when he stands like that?

TheOldRoman
06-07-2011, 03:55 PM
Is it possible pitchers just figured out how to pitch to him when he stands like that?It's times like this I wish the Sox had someone whose sole job was to coach hitters. Someone to work with him to craft a new stance that will be more comfortable for him and work better with his lanky body type. It's too bad the Sox don't have one of those people who works with hitters, because clearly what Rios is doing now isn't working.

balke
06-07-2011, 03:58 PM
I think he got Rios back to what he did when he was successful at Toronto. Rios also had a "contact" stance and "power" stance when he was going good. Now it looks like his hands are lower - he's not as balanced and he is only using his power stance. Haven't analyzed enough to know for sure.

dickallen15
06-07-2011, 04:01 PM
Is it possible pitchers just figured out how to pitch to him when he stands like that?
It could be, or he might be set up even lower. Many guys set up wierd. Eric Davis and Bobby Bonds were as low or lower than Rios. Different things work for different people. If there was one way that was guaranteed to work, I'm sure Rios would be in that stance, but he has to be comfortable.

TheOldRoman
06-07-2011, 04:03 PM
It could be, or he might be set up even lower. Many guys set up wierd. Eric Davis and Bobby Bonds were as low or lower than Rios. Different things work for different people. If there was one way that was guaranteed to work, I'm sure Rios would be in that stance, but he has to be comfortable.Neither of those guys was 6'5", though. There is a whole lot of motion in Rios' swing considering how tall he is, and the longer the arms the more time it takes to move them.

SI1020
06-07-2011, 04:17 PM
Neither of those guys was 6'5", though. There is a whole lot of motion in Rios' swing considering how tall he is, and the longer the arms the more time it takes to move them. That's they way I see it. That hands low stance is killing his reaction time on most pitches. I hate watching it.

dickallen15
06-07-2011, 04:21 PM
Neither of those guys was 6'5", though. There is a whole lot of motion in Rios' swing considering how tall he is, and the longer the arms the more time it takes to move them.

Rios had his hands higher when he came to the Sox and he was awful. His only success in a Sox uniform is with his hands low the first half of last season. He was as mediocre the second half of last season as he was with Toronto when they gave him away, and has been as awful this year as he was when he first came to the Sox in 2009. He obviously has ability but for some reason it isn't working.

Nellie_Fox
06-07-2011, 04:28 PM
...but he has to be comfortable.Not if he's stinking out loud.

You can be comfortable in a recliner chair, but that's not the best approach at the plate. It's not working, it hasn't been working, and he needs to try something else.

forrestg
06-07-2011, 04:35 PM
Walker did not change Rios' stance. Rios changed it on his own. His hands were low last year when he was having success.
he also has his finger below the knob of the bat. his idea.

canOcorn
06-07-2011, 04:39 PM
The article also states that Rios' BABIP is .205 and he's likely to come out of it.

Nellie_Fox
06-07-2011, 04:42 PM
The article also states that Rios' BABIP is .205 and he's likely to come out of it.The stat guys can help out here, but I think BABIP is intended to measure pitching performance, not hitting. If you're hitting popups and grounders, your BABIP is going to be low, and it's not an indication of some statistical anomaly that will straighten itself out over time.

doublem23
06-07-2011, 04:53 PM
The stat guys can help out here, but I think BABIP is intended to measure pitching performance, not hitting. If you're hitting popups and grounders, your BABIP is going to be low, and it's not an indication of some statistical anomaly that will straighten itself out over time.

BABIP is useful for both pitchers and hitters, but you've hit the nail on the head with the problem of relying solely on BABIP; a low BABIP is usually indicative of a hitter whose unlucky, but sometimes, guys are just bad. If I were to somehow get picked up by a Major League team and play everyday, my BABIP would be horrible, too, not because I am unlucky, but rather I am not a good enough baseball player to be in the Majors.

Looking a little deeper into Rios's funk, his line drive % is 18%, which is a little low for him (his career average is 20% and he's been as high as 23% in earlier seasons), but right around the MLB average of 19%, and he's also striking out a lot less than usual, only 9.9% this season, remarkable considering his career average is 16.3% and he's never been lower than 14.5% before.

Two other big ones that stick out: His HR% and HR/FB ratio are both way down plus the percent of fly outs on the infield are also up. Looks like a guy who is (hopefully) just in a funk, get some of those fly balls to start stretching out to HR in the warmer weather and straighten out those IF popups and maybe that will fuel a turnaround.

JermaineDye05
06-07-2011, 04:54 PM
The stat guys can help out here, but I think BABIP is intended to measure pitching performance, not hitting. If you're hitting popups and grounders, your BABIP is going to be low, and it's not an indication of some statistical anomaly that will straighten itself out over time.

Yeah, Rios has hit a ton of groundballs to the left side. Many of them not hit that hard at all.

FielderJones
06-07-2011, 05:06 PM
The stat guys can help out here, but I think BABIP is intended to measure pitching performance, not hitting. If you're hitting popups and grounders, your BABIP is going to be low, and it's not an indication of some statistical anomaly that will straighten itself out over time.

When the difference between a popup/grounder and a squared-up line drive is a few millimeters, by dumb luck you will eventually square up some balls and put them into play where there are no fielders.

russ99
06-07-2011, 05:28 PM
BABIP is useful for both pitchers and hitters, but you've hit the nail on the head with the problem of relying solely on BABIP; a low BABIP is usually indicative of a hitter whose unlucky, but sometimes, guys are just bad. If I were to somehow get picked up by a Major League team and play everyday, my BABIP would be horrible, too, not because I am unlucky, but rather I am not a good enough baseball player to be in the Majors.

Looking a little deeper into Rios's funk, his line drive % is 18%, which is a little low for him (his career average is 20% and he's been as high as 23% in earlier seasons), but right around the MLB average of 19%, and he's also striking out a lot less than usual, only 9.9% this season, remarkable considering his career average is 16.3% and he's never been lower than 14.5% before.

Two other big ones that stick out: His HR% and HR/FB ratio are both way down plus the percent of fly outs on the infield are also up. Looks like a guy who is (hopefully) just in a funk, get some of those fly balls to start stretching out to HR in the warmer weather and straighten out those IF popups and maybe that will fuel a turnaround.

BABIP by itself indicates little for a hitter, but BABIP vs. his career average and in Rios' case BABIP vs. his single-season lowest average imply that he's "unlucky" and over time should swing closer to the mean in hits per batted ball.

kufram
06-07-2011, 05:31 PM
I find Rios' stance painful to watch but not because of the hands. It's the tall guy crouching like that. Jeff Bagwell's crouch was painful for me to see also but he was more successful than our guy is right now. I do wonder if Alex Rios is really into it. He looks a little casual to me.

Having said that he used to hit the ball very hard a lot only for it to go straight to somebody most of the time. I think if a player is hitting the ball hard there's not very much wrong, but it doesn't seem to me that he's making the kind of contact he was only a few weeks ago.

JermaineDye05
06-07-2011, 05:33 PM
I find Rios' stance painful to watch but not because of the hands. It's the tall guy crouching like that. Jeff Bagwell's crouch was painful for me to see also but he was more successful than our guy is right now. I do wonder if Alex Rios is really into it. He looks a little casual to me.

Having said that he used to hit the ball very hard a lot only for it to go straight to somebody most of the time. I think if a player is hitting the ball hard there's not very much wrong, but it doesn't seem to me that he's making the kind of contact he was only a few weeks ago.

Did you see what he did to the bubblegum tub after he almost grounded into a DP?

ZombieRob
06-07-2011, 05:45 PM
Not an expert, but I'd like him to try a stance similar to Moises Alou. Same similar crouch but with the hands higher and a better starting point. Looks like the pitchers are getting on top of his hands a bit.

hi im skot
06-07-2011, 06:01 PM
I find Rios' stance painful to watch but not because of the hands. It's the tall guy crouching like that. Jeff Bagwell's crouch was painful for me to see also but he was more successful than our guy is right now. I do wonder if Alex Rios is really into it. He looks a little casual to me.

Having said that he used to hit the ball very hard a lot only for it to go straight to somebody most of the time. I think if a player is hitting the ball hard there's not very much wrong, but it doesn't seem to me that he's making the kind of contact he was only a few weeks ago.

Did you see what he did to the bubblegum tub after he almost grounded into a DP?

http://withfriendship.com/images/h/36455/bp.jpg

kufram
06-07-2011, 06:17 PM
Did you see what he did to the bubblegum tub after he almost grounded into a DP?

I didn't even know there was a tub for bubblegum.

TDog
06-07-2011, 06:42 PM
Is it possible pitchers just figured out how to pitch to him when he stands like that?

It's possible, even likely in many cases, that pitchers have adjusted, but that wouldn't account for all of his decline. There are hitters having better seasons than Rios who are holding their hands at least as low as he is. It isn't so much that he holds his hands too low. It's that he isn't bringing them through the hitting zone when he should. That is as much timing as his stance.

He may feel comfortable in his current stance, but if he doesn't have the timing to bring his hands through the hitting zone consistently, I don't see how he can feel comfortable hitting. A hitter knows when he isn't hitting well. You would think that he would be open to making adjustments.

oldcomiskey
06-07-2011, 07:32 PM
It could be, or he might be set up even lower. Many guys set up wierd. Eric Davis and Bobby Bonds were as low or lower than Rios. Different things work for different people. If there was one way that was guaranteed to work, I'm sure Rios would be in that stance, but he has to be comfortable.

so did Ed Herrmann and Julio Franco--in fact Franco may have been the weirdest I have ever seen

DSpivack
06-07-2011, 07:40 PM
so did Ed Herrmann and Julio Franco--in fact Franco may have been the weirdest I have ever seen

Tony Fernandez was an odd one, too. I want to say his stance was so open that he started with both toes pointing towards the pitcher.

Lip Man 1
06-07-2011, 07:51 PM
Ed Herrmann had a pretty normal stance to me. He'd rest the bat on his shoulder until right before the pitch was released than elevate it into the hitting position. He was balanced and upright in his hitting stance.

I used to try to copy his stance so I know. His hands were never as low as Rios are.

BainesHOF
06-07-2011, 08:24 PM
I wonder what the scout would say about Rios' fielding decline. I've never seen anything like it. He went from being one of the best Sox center fielders in my lifetime to a guy who looks lost out there. His jumps and routes were impeccable last season. They're terrible this year.

I guess the easy explanation would be that Rios has taken his troubles at the plate into the field. I think you also have to allow that it might be something like personal problems or drugs. At least that would make sense.

doublem23
06-07-2011, 10:56 PM
Did you see what he did to the bubblegum tub after he almost grounded into a DP?

That doesn't mean he's "in to it," it just means his temper got the best of him.