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View Full Version : Relying on Jimenez


hold2dibber
11-14-2002, 09:19 AM
It occurs to me that the potency of the Sox' lineup in '03 will be determined, to a large extent, by the success or failure of Jimenez at the top of the order. He did a really nice job there at the end of last year, but has not hit much in the majors before that. My question is, do people think Jimenez is ready and able to be a decent lead off guy (taking pitches, getting on base at at least a .350 clip, etc.)? And what do the Sox do if he falters? It doesn't seem like they have anyone else in the organization who is capable of being a MLB lead off hitter in '03 (Harris can't hit, Valentin doesn't get on base enough, same with Rowand, etc., etc.).

duke of dorwood
11-14-2002, 11:04 AM
So many questions, so little money. We do not have a legit lead off man. As long as it isnt Harris. He is an awful hitter.

maurice
11-14-2002, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
do people think Jimenez is ready and able to be a decent lead off guy (taking pitches, getting on base at at least a .350 clip, etc.)?

Yes. He has a .344 career OBP and posted a .355 OBP for SD in 2001 in 308 ABs. I'd be surprised if he did worse than .260 AVE / .340 OBP, and he may do significantly better than that. Not great numbers, but as you point out, the Sox (and most other teams) don't have better alternatives.

The bigger issue is the number 2 spot. I'd like to see Rowand or Lee there, with Valentin batting down in the order.

OneDog
11-14-2002, 12:01 PM
Valentin did his best with the Sox when he was hitting in the second spot. He does a good job pulling the ball to the right side when there's a man on first and would provide Jimenez better protection than Rowand or Harris. Also, I don't think we should give up on Harris yet. Right now he isn't ready to hit major league pitching, but he was hitting very well when the Sox called him up last year. Give him another year at Charlotte and he'll be fine.

Lip Man 1
11-14-2002, 12:49 PM
The question was asked by hold2dibber regarding D'Angelo Jimenez..."And what do the Sox do if he falters?

Answer....what they ALWAYS do...BLAME THE FANS!

Lip

RKMeibalane
11-14-2002, 01:03 PM
Jimenez is the best option for the leadoff spot for the time being. Reinsdorf and Williams won't do a damn thing until attendance improves, so I expect the Sox to enter Spring Training with the same team they had at the end of '02.

Valentin should remain in the two slot, and Frank Thomas should be hitting behind him. Thomas showed that he still several years of baseball left in him, and I expect him to build on the success he had at the end of last season. His bat made a huge difference for Valentin in 2000. The two of them could have a similar impact in 2003.

The next third of the lineup (4-6) is set with Ordonez, Konerko, and Lee. The bottom of the order is not as clear-cut. Crede will most likely be in the seven slot, but I have no idea who will follow him. Olivio looks to be the early favorite to start on Opening Day, but I think most people here would agree with me when I say that he isn't ready for full time duty at the Major League level.

Paulwny
11-14-2002, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane

Valentin should remain in the two slot, and Frank Thomas should be hitting behind him. Thomas showed that he still several years of baseball left in him, and I expect him to build on the success he had at the end of last season. His bat made a huge difference for Valentin in 2000. The two of them could have a similar impact in 2003.
.

Agree, Valentin is a very good fast ball hitter. If Frank has a Frank year then Jose will see more fast balls as he did in 2000.

Iwritecode
11-14-2002, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Reinsdorf and Williams won't do a damn thing until attendance improves...

That's the problem, JR and KW need to do a damn thing for attendance to improve! The ultimate catch-22...

On a related note, I found this tidbit of wisdom on the troll board. It makes so much sense it's scary:

If you want to bring in money, you have to put a good product on the field

Yet JR continues to try to bring in money first, then maybe he'll put a good product on the field.

doublem23
11-14-2002, 01:53 PM
Hmmm... Maybe its just me, but isn't it the nature of baseball to take risks on some players, anyways? I know there are varying degress of what people think of Jiminez, but he performed well... KW seems to have a knack for getting solid players below the radar screen (Marte, Jiminez, Harris), but screws up royally when he tries to make a blockbuster deal.

KW was doing just fine where he was before his promotion. If only the Sox had a solid MLB GM, we'd be in business.

sigh

Paulwny
11-14-2002, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
If only the Sox had a solid MLB GM, we'd be in business.

sigh

or an owner who'll spend $$$

doublem23
11-14-2002, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny
or an owner who'll spend $$$

Let's not get too greedy. :)

You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

voodoochile
11-14-2002, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
Let's not get too greedy. :)

You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Why not? Yankee fans do it all the time. Heck, if we can't do both, can we at least have SOME cake? We can always worry about what happens after we eat it when that time comes...

:reinsy
"No cake for you, NEXT!!!"

RKMeibalane
11-14-2002, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Why not? Yankee fans do it all the time. Heck, if we can't do both, can we at least have SOME cake? We can always worry about what happens after we eat it when that time comes...


I'm not sure that's a good idea. The cake is probably infested with mold, because KW couldn't manage to trade for a better piece.

maurice
11-14-2002, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by OneDog
Valentin did his best with the Sox when he was hitting in the second spot.

If Mark Johnson hit nine points higher in the two slot, would you bat him there on a regular basis?

Sorry for the sarcasm, but as I addressed at length in the "Want Him Back?" thread, while Jose's numbers may be slightly higher batting second, they're still not as high as CLee's numbers.

To summarize, the single most important factor for a top-of-the-order hitter (ability to get on base) overwhelmingly favors CLee. Jose posted a .249 AVE / .311 OBP overall in 2002. His numbers were still only .258 / .333 in 128 ABs batting second. By contrast, CLee posted a .359 OBP in 2002, including .407 in the second half (when he started drawing tons of walks -- a trend that is likely to continue).

Even if the Sox would rather bat CLee lower in the order, a healthy Crash also may be a better choice than Valentin. Crash had a .380 OBP in 99 ABs in the two hole in 2002. Whether he can maintain such a high OBP remains an open question, but history shows that Jose cannot, no matter where you bat him.

Finally, batting Jose 6 or 7 breaks up a long string of right-handed hitters (assuming LTP starts the year in AAA).

nut_stock
11-14-2002, 05:42 PM
I think they like Jose in the 2 spot because he's an excellent base runner. He doesn't have Harris speed but has great instincts on the paths.

doublem23
11-15-2002, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by maurice
If Mark Johnson hit nine points higher in the two slot, would you bat him there on a regular basis?

Sorry for the sarcasm, but as I addressed at length in the "Want Him Back?" thread, while Jose's numbers may be slightly higher batting second, they're still not as high as CLee's numbers.

To summarize, the single most important factor for a top-of-the-order hitter (ability to get on base) overwhelmingly favors CLee. Jose posted a .249 AVE / .311 OBP overall in 2002. His numbers were still only .258 / .333 in 128 ABs batting second. By contrast, CLee posted a .359 OBP in 2002, including .407 in the second half (when he started drawing tons of walks -- a trend that is likely to continue).

Even if the Sox would rather bat CLee lower in the order, a healthy Crash also may be a better choice than Valentin. Crash had a .380 OBP in 99 ABs in the two hole in 2002. Whether he can maintain such a high OBP remains an open question, but history shows that Jose cannot, no matter where you bat him.

Finally, batting Jose 6 or 7 breaks up a long string of right-handed hitters (assuming LTP starts the year in AAA).

You can't honestly compare the expected offensive production for a left fielder and a shortstop. Lee's offensive numbers in left are average, run-of-the-mill. Nothing spectacular, whereas Valentin's numbers were above average for shortstops (and this is the league of Nomar, Payrod, and Jeter) in 2000.

harwar
11-15-2002, 07:44 AM
I always liked Jose in the no.2 spot but it looks to me like hes' entering that part of his career where he'll have nagging injuries all the time.I do believe that Julio Ramirez(my man) is available and ready to try batting leadoff.

hold2dibber
11-15-2002, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by doublem23
You can't honestly compare the expected offensive production for a left fielder and a shortstop. Lee's offensive numbers in left are average, run-of-the-mill. Nothing spectacular, whereas Valentin's numbers were above average for shortstops (and this is the league of Nomar, Payrod, and Jeter) in 2000.

But that's not the point; the point is, who is better suited for the 2 spot in the order. Obviously, the position that the individual plays is irrelevant in that discussion. Maurice makes an excellent argument that CLee is better suited for that slot than Jose.

maurice
11-15-2002, 10:39 AM
All other things being equal, a guy who can play SS certainly is more valuable than a guy with a higher OBP who can only play LF. He's just not a better top-of-the-order hitter.

None of this is a knock again Valentin. I'm a big fan, but I recognize that he has certain limitations and should be placed in a situaton that best suits his talents.

OneDog
11-15-2002, 10:49 AM
The primary job of the leadoff hitter is to get on base any way he can. The primary job of the 2 hitter is to move the lead runner over any way he can. This is usually done by bunting and hitting tthe ball on the ground to the right side of the infield.

CLEE CAN'T BUNT AND HITS FLY BALLS TO LEFT NOT GROUND BALLS TO THE THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE INFIELD.

Manos is a better candidate to move along the runner and as such is a better 2 hitter

voodoochile
11-15-2002, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by OneDog
The primary job of the leadoff hitter is to get on base any way he can. The primary job of the 2 hitter is to move the lead runner over any way he can. This is usually done by bunting and hitting tthe ball on the ground to the right side of the infield.

CLEE CAN'T BUNT AND HITS FLY BALLS TO LEFT NOT GROUND BALLS TO THE THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE INFIELD.

Manos is a better candidate to move along the runner and as such is a better 2 hitter

Lee takes way more walks and would get tons of protection batting in front of Frank. I would think that he could be taught to bunt if he doesn't already know how.

maurice
11-15-2002, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by OneDog
The primary job of the 2 hitter is to move the lead runner over any way he can.


Not really. Even the best leadoff hitters fail to get on base about 60% of the time. When they do reach base, there's a very good chance that there already will be one or two outs. So, more often than not, a 2 hitter's job is to simply get on base for the heart of the line-up. (Billy Williams made this same point on the SCORE this morning.)

Besides, when the leadoff hitter reaches early in the game with no outs, I don't want my 2 hitter giving himself up just to move the runner. He should be trying to get on base also. In today's high-scoring game, non-pitchers should sacrifice only in late-and-close situations, or with a runner on third and less than two outs (which can be done with a fly ball to left).