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Frater Perdurabo
01-19-2004, 11:45 AM
OK, before I get crucified, let me posit one suggestion:

If Harris is to be the everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter, would his OBP be enhanced if he started bunting for, say, 40 or 50% of his plate appearances?

First, it would allow him to take advantage of his speed.

Second, when opposing infields started playing in -- very in -- he could pop a fastball just over the infielders' heads for a ducksnort single.

Could such a strategy work to get him on base enough for the Sox formidable cast of 2-4 hitters: Lee, Frank and Maggs, to collect a respectable amount of RBI?

I'm trying to make lemonade out of the lemons the Sox are inisting upon buying.

CubKilla
01-19-2004, 11:48 AM
Harris needs to learn how to bunt first.

Frater Perdurabo
01-19-2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by CubKilla
Harris needs to learn how to bunt first.

But if he did, would it work? I say yes.

CubKilla
01-19-2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
But if he did, would it work? I say yes.

With his speed? I'd agree.

Foulke You
01-19-2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by CubKilla
Harris needs to learn how to bunt first.

He was getting better at it at the end of last season but he still needs a lot of work. With that tremendous speed, if he can learn to lay down even an average bunt, he should beat it out. Kenny Lofton made a living doing this in his Cleveland Indians days. Willie's track sprinting speed is what gives me optimism that he could eventually become a decent lead off man. Now if he can just learn how to hit... :(:

TheRockinMT
01-19-2004, 11:57 AM
You shouldn't be crucified about saying Willie Harris should be the lead off hitter. I think at this point it is a foregone conclussion he will be the lead off guy followed by either Rowand or Valentin. I will recerve judgement on Willie until we see what develops. He is young and learning, but I liked his last few games. He hit the ball hard- line drives- and showed some speed. This is his year to show the team and fans what he has to offer.

Lip Man 1
01-19-2004, 12:50 PM
Leading Off: Wille Harris

"and with one out, Carlos Lee the #2 hitter, sees if he can get on base..."

Lip

TheRockinMT
01-19-2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Leading Off: Wille Harris

"and with one out, Carlos Lee the #2 hitter, sees if he can get on base..."

Lip

OH YEE OF LITTLE FAITH! "That there Willis Harris, now that there guy can hit..." Mario Mendoza

hillbilly
01-19-2004, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by TheRockinMT
OH YEE OF LITTLE FAITH! "That there Willis Harris, now that there guy can hit..." Mario Mendoza

He Gone!!!!

I loooooooooooove when you analyze

Your so Cuuuute

ondafarm
01-19-2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
OK, before I get crucified, let me posit one suggestion:

If Harris is to be the everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter, would his OBP be enhanced if he started bunting for, say, 40 or 50% of his plate appearances?

First, it would allow him to take advantage of his speed.

Second, when opposing infields started playing in -- very in -- he could pop a fastball just over the infielders' heads for a ducksnort single.

Could such a strategy work to get him on base enough for the Sox formidable cast of 2-4 hitters: Lee, Frank and Maggs, to collect a respectable amount of RBI?

I'm trying to make lemonade out of the lemons the Sox are inisting upon buying.

I've seen Harris bunt and he was devastating when doing so. I think the reason he didn't do it in the majors was a lack of confidence. At the end of September, he appeared to me to be adjusting to the major league pitching and I believe that the bunting won't be far behind that. If he has a decent ST then he should be an excellent lead off man. As to him dropping Texas leagurers in over drawn in infields, I don't think his swing works that way, he doesn't hold the bat like Carew did. Then again who does?

Frater Perdurabo
01-19-2004, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Leading Off: Wille Harris

"and with one out, Carlos Lee the #2 hitter, sees if he can get on base..."

Lip

Hey, I'm the one (of many) who wanted the Sox to trade for Juan Pierre last July. I don't think Harris is "the answer" at leadoff or at 2B, but I recognize that as the roster stands right now, he is most likely to be leading off on opening day (unless Reed tears it up in Spring Training). Again, I'm trying to suggest that the Sox make the best of a situation and teach/encourage Harris to bunt to get on base, as his ability to hit with authority at the MLB level remains suspect.

Daver
01-19-2004, 05:10 PM
If Willie Harris is going to lead off I hope he learns the art of HBP.

Frater Perdurabo
01-19-2004, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Daver
If Willie Harris is going to lead off I hope he learns the art of HBP.

That might be part of the strategy, too.

Daver
01-19-2004, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
That might be part of the strategy, too.


With his pathetic bat it would be the only strategy.

FarmerAndy
01-19-2004, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo

If Harris is to be the everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter, would his OBP be enhanced if he started bunting for, say, 40 or 50% of his plate appearances?

. [/B]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Harris already attempt a bunt 40 or 50% of his plate appearances? It seemed like he was constantly trying to drop a bunt last year, wasn't very good at it, and never took the other team (or me) by suprise, because he did it all of the time.

There are times and situations for bunting, but if he keeps trying to drop 'em down every time he goes to the plate, he's never gonna learn how to swing the bat.

boog_alou
01-19-2004, 06:41 PM
For even the best bunters, how frequently do they succeed in getting a bunt hit? 20% of the time? Probably less. And, those that have the most success at bunting for a hit (like Lofton) certainly don't do it 40%-50% of the time. If Harris were bunting half the time, his OBP would be .200 instead of .250.

Why would ANYONE want Harris to leadoff? Yes, he has great speed, but, at best, that is a secondary concern for a leadoff hitter. More than anything, the leadoff hitter needs to GET ON BASE. Is there anyone is the Sox lineup that you think will get on base less often than Harris? If he has to be in the lineup, nothing but the 9-spot makes any sense. If Harris leads off, it will sap runs from this team that would otherwise be driven in by Ordonez, Thomas and Lee.

lowesox
01-19-2004, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by boog_alou
For even the best bunters, how frequently do they succeed in getting a bunt hit? 20% of the time? Probably less. And, those that have the most success at bunting for a hit (like Lofton) certainly don't do it 40%-50% of the time. If Harris were bunting half the time, his OBP would be .200 instead of .250.

Why would ANYONE want Harris to leadoff? Yes, he has great speed, but, at best, that is a secondary concern for a leadoff hitter. More than anything, the leadoff hitter needs to GET ON BASE. Is there anyone is the Sox lineup that you think will get on base less often than Harris? If he has to be in the lineup, nothing but the 9-spot makes any sense. If Harris leads off, it will sap runs from this team that would otherwise be driven in by Ordonez, Thomas and Lee.

Great post. I agree 100%

JRIG
01-19-2004, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by lowesox
Great post. I agree 100%

Unfortunately, Ozzie Guillen doesn't.

Frater Perdurabo
01-19-2004, 07:37 PM
Listen, it is pointless for us to argue about who should be leading off for the Sox. I think it should be Juan Pierre. BUT IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

The reality is that, like it or not, Harris probably will be leading off on opening day. I'm just trying to think of a way that he might be able to be at least a marginally successful leadoff hitter for the Sox.

boog_alou
01-19-2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
Listen, it is pointless for us to argue about who should be leading off for the Sox. I think it should be Juan Pierre. BUT IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

The reality is that, like it or not, Harris probably will be leading off on opening day. I'm just trying to think of a way that he might be able to be at least a marginally successful leadoff hitter for the Sox.
Well, someone said it earlier. The only way for Harris to be a marginally successful leadoff hitter will be for him to lean forward on every pitched ball and take one for the team.

BTW, do we know that Guillen has decided on who his leadoff hitter is? When has he said this? I'll give Ozzie the benefit of the doubt and assume that he'll make his decision in ST. If Harris continues to hit in ST as he has so far in the majors, I can't believe Ozzie would be stupid enough to put this hitless and walkless wonder at the #1 spot in the order.

voodoochile
01-19-2004, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by Daver
With his pathetic bat it would be the only strategy.

All this talk about him learning to bunt is hilarious. It got to the point last season that that was all he did for a while. It works the first time (maybe) after that, you are just giving away an out.

He needs to learn to HIT and take walks. The bunting could add some points to his average, but if it is your primary offensive weapon, you should NOT be leading off. Batting ninth maybe, but not leading off...

Frater Perdurabo
01-19-2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by boog_alou
Well, someone said it earlier. The only way for Harris to be a marginally successful leadoff hitter will be for him to lean forward on every pitched ball and take one for the team.

BTW, do we know that Guillen has decided on who his leadoff hitter is? When has he said this? I'll give Ozzie the benefit of the doubt and assume that he'll make his decision in ST. If Harris continues to hit in ST as he has so far in the majors, I can't believe Ozzie would be stupid enough to put this hitless and walkless wonder at the #1 spot in the order.

Who on the Sox roster would you hit leadoff? The options aren't exactly numerous. Other than Reed tearing it up in Tuscon, who? Rowand? Olivo?

voodoochile
01-19-2004, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
Who on the Sox roster would you hit leadoff? The options aren't exactly numerous. Other than Reed tearing it up in Tuscon, who? Rowand? Olivo?

Valentin at least has a league average (or thereabouts OBP) and it was better when he hit higher in the order. Other than that, it is a crap shoot.

How about Lee? He did better in the 2 slot last year and led the team in SB to boot...

ondafarm
01-19-2004, 07:56 PM
Harris will be leading off opening day barring a dismal ST. He'll also do fine, I figure a .350 OBP. Not great but adequate.

Daver
01-19-2004, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by ondafarm
Harris will be leading off opening day barring a dismal ST. He'll also do fine, I figure a .350 OBP. Not great but adequate.

He better average two HBP's per game to get that OBP.

JRIG
01-19-2004, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by ondafarm
Harris will be leading off opening day barring a dismal ST. He'll also do fine, I figure a .350 OBP. Not great but adequate.

Do you know how many players in the AL had an OBP of more than .350 last year? 33.

If Willie Harris has one of the top 33 OBPs in the league next year, it will be a miracle.

RKMeibalane
01-19-2004, 09:04 PM
What has Willie Harris been doing this off-season? Did he play Winter Ball? I hope he comes to ST prepared, because the only way the Sox are going to be able to fill some of their holes is if players from within the organization improve. With JR's self-imposed sixty-million-dollar payroll, it's looking less and less likely that the Sox will be able to pull off a trade between now and April 5.

boog_alou
01-20-2004, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
Who on the Sox roster would you hit leadoff? The options aren't exactly numerous. Other than Reed tearing it up in Tuscon, who? Rowand? Olivo?
The Sox have no particularly good options at leadoff, but I would definitely choose Rowand. So far, his career major league OBP has been .325. No, that isn't very good for a leadoff hitter, but he's the best of a bad lot for the Sox. That is much better than Willie Harris's .250 OBP (maybe .275 if everything breaks just right for him).

Rowand will have a better OBP than any Chisox, short of Ordonez, Thomas, Lee and Konerko, and you don't want any of those guys leading off, for obvious reasons.

Joel Perez
01-20-2004, 10:12 PM
Unless Jeremy Reed just absolutely tears up Spring Training, and becomes the next Lenny Dykstra (sp?), plan on seeing either Harris or Juan Uribe as leadoff.

As it has been mentioned throughout this post, Harris has to 1) Learn how to hit MLB pitching, 2) Learn how to bunt, and 3) Learn how to take a walk. Other than that, he'll be FINE...........

Ugh...it's going to be a long, long summer.