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View Full Version : What is the Ideal Lineup Construct


Lillian
11-28-2006, 08:26 AM
I raised this concept in a previous thread, but it was in the context of some specific trade speculation. I'm very interested in your reactions to the basic premise, which centers upon the ideal type of hitters, for each slot in the batting order. Am I correct in my assumption that the basic idea of the ideal batting order as follows:

1) A guy at the top who takes a lot of pitches, giving the on deck hitter a chance to see the pitcher's repertoire, has a high on base percentage, and is a stolen base threat.
2) A patient number 2 hitter, who takes a lot of pitches, thus giving the base runner a chance to run; has good bat control, and is a good contact hitter, enabling the hit and run.
3) A power hitter, and or high average clutch hitter, who can drive in runs
4) Another number 3 type hitter, but batting from the other side of the plate, in order to break up the righty - lefty match ups.

If that is the best lineup construct, then why wouldn't the same fundamental system apply equally to the second half of the order, even if the pieces may not be quite as potent?

What's different about this lineup construct, is that the 5 hitter is viewed more as the "leadoff" hitter, for the second half of the order. In the rare instance, where you have a capable RBI man, who also has a respectable OBP, and can steal, you could utilize him best in that 5 spot. This is a player with both power and speed, Soriano, would be the prototypical number 5 hitter, in this construct. Carl Crawford was the specific player about whom I speculated.

I realize that this is not possible for most teams, because they lack the players who possess the right skills to perform their respective roles. However, conceptually, does it make sense?

ondafarm
11-28-2006, 08:56 AM
Typically, you want another power guy at #5 so that you can't pitch around #4 so easily. #6 also tends to be power in the AL. 7, 8 and 9 have good average, different sides of the plate and speed requirements.

CashMan
11-28-2006, 09:02 AM
Isnt the #3 hitter a higher avg less power guy than the #4 guy? I thought the #4 guy was the more HR hitting guy.

Luke
11-28-2006, 09:13 AM
#3 is usually a teams all around best hitter. he may have a higher avg. than the lead off man, or more HR than the #4 hitter.

Moneyball made the argument, that statisically it doesn't matter what the batting order looks like, the same nine hitters are likely to produce similar results no matter in what order they hit. I'm not a big proponent of that theory.

Beautox
11-28-2006, 09:24 AM
Isnt the #3 hitter a higher avg less power guy than the #4 guy? I thought the #4 guy was the more HR hitting guy.

The #3 hitter should be the teams most complete hitter.

Lillian
11-28-2006, 09:27 AM
I understand that, ideally, it is desirable to have a guy with power in the number 5 position. However what about the dual role of protecting the # 4 hitter, and driving in runs, but also providing another lead off type function, in those instances where he comes up with first base unoccupied?

Minnie Me
11-28-2006, 09:57 AM
Where a batter hits in the lineup is far less important than making sure your lineup is balanced with speed, power, and OBP from both sides of the plate.

Against poor to average pitching you could take the 06 Sox lineup and pick them out of a hat, and they would produce at least four runs per game.

Against above average to excellent pitching where it is helpful to play "small ball" it helps to have the traditional type speed at the top, power in the middle type lineup.

To the 06 Sox it didn't matter anyway. Ozzie was the same as Earl Weaver waiting for the 3 run HR.

Madvora
11-28-2006, 10:01 AM
The first inning is the only inning where you can set up your batting order to produce runs with this formula. Every other inning it's just random where it starts.

You would think that the first inning would give you the best chance of producing runs.

Ol' No. 2
11-28-2006, 10:11 AM
There are a number of factors that determine who hits #3 and who hits #4. One that hasn't been mentioned is OBP - you want the higher OBP hitting ahead of the #4 and #5 hitters, for obvious reasons.

Also, players that tend to be doubles hitters are ideal for the 5-7 spots, since #3 and #4 hitters are often slow and it takes extra base hits to advance them home.

FedEx227
11-28-2006, 04:58 PM
I always use to be of the:

1) Leadoff man, quick, high OBP
2) Patient hitter, good bunter
3) Power
4) Power
5-9) the others

But now I've gone onto the bandwagon that No. 2 talked about

1) Leadoff man, high OBP, quick
2) Patient hitter, good bunter, good OBP
3) Another good OBP guy
4) Power
5) Power

Putting a big power guy at the 3 spot limits the amount of chances for driving in runs, why not put a guy with a great history of getting on base in front of the big run producers. That way your 4 and 5 will have even more chances to drive in runs. Why put your most complete hitter at the 3-spot and only allow him to drive in a maximum of 3 runs in his first at-bat, why not try for four?

UserNameBlank
11-28-2006, 05:05 PM
Ideal lineup?

1. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
2. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
3. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
4. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
5. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
6. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
7. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
8. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract
9. Speed, power, avg, obp, high avg w. risp, great D, cheap contract

FedEx227
11-28-2006, 05:23 PM
Solid contribution.

Ol' No. 2
11-28-2006, 05:36 PM
I always use to be of the:

1) Leadoff man, quick, high OBP
2) Patient hitter, good bunter
3) Power
4) Power
5-9) the others

But now I've gone onto the bandwagon that No. 2 talked about

1) Leadoff man, high OBP, quick
2) Patient hitter, good bunter, good OBP
3) Another good OBP guy
4) Power
5) Power

Putting a big power guy at the 3 spot limits the amount of chances for driving in runs, why not put a guy with a great history of getting on base in front of the big run producers. That way your 4 and 5 will have even more chances to drive in runs. Why put your most complete hitter at the 3-spot and only allow him to drive in a maximum of 3 runs in his first at-bat, why not try for four?For the #3 hitter, I think you need a mix of power and good OBP. Frank Thomas was the quintessential #3 hitter. Jim Thome, for all his SO, still has a very high OBP, and I prefer him hitting third over Dye, although the difference in OBP isn't that large. Generally a team is going to have 2-3 power guys in the middle of the linuep. I prefer to have the highest OBP of them hitting ahead of the others.

Lillian
11-29-2006, 06:31 AM
For the #3 hitter, I think you need a mix of power and good OBP. Frank Thomas was the quintessential #3 hitter. Jim Thome, for all his SO, still has a very high OBP, and I prefer him hitting third over Dye, although the difference in OBP isn't that large. Generally a team is going to have 2-3 power guys in the middle of the linuep. I prefer to have the highest OBP of them hitting ahead of the others.

That makes sense. Moreover, you are giving that high OBP hitter more at bats, by moving him down in the lineup. Over a season, it makes a difference, and of course, he is assured of getting to the plate in the first inning of every game.

I was more interested in the idea of the fifth guy being able to provide a second "leadoff" type role, as I explained. If your number 3 hitter is more of an on base percentage hitter, and less of a power hitter, that would render my concept less feasible, in that you would then only have one true slugger in the middle of the order, that being number 4, your traditional "clean up" hitter.

Ol' No. 2
11-29-2006, 10:19 AM
That makes sense. Moreover, you are giving that high OBP hitter more at bats, by moving him down in the lineup. Over a season, it makes a difference, and of course, he is assured of getting to the plate in the first inning of every game.

I was more interested in the idea of the fifth guy being able to provide a second "leadoff" type role, as I explained. If your number 3 hitter is more of an on base percentage hitter, and less of a power hitter, that would render my concept less feasible, in that you would then only have one true slugger in the middle of the order, that being number 4, your traditional "clean up" hitter.I L-O-V-E Jermaine Dye as the #5 hitter. To me, that's a spot for a guy who might have a bit less HR power than the #4 hitter (Yes, I know JD hit more HR than PK last year, but that's not likely to happen every year), but is still good at driving in runs. Normally, your #3 and #4 hitters are going to be pretty slow guys, so to drive them in you're going to need extra base hits. That's the job of the 5-6 hitters.

The #5 hitter should still have a decent OBP, but OBP becomes less and less important as you go down the lineup because there's less and less likelihood that the following hitters are going to drive you in.

WhiteSox5187
11-29-2006, 10:36 AM
3-4-5 you want guys who can slug the ball. With 6 you want a guy who can hit with a bit of power but has a high average.

I always thought that 7-8-9 should be good contact hitters with speed, so if you're batting around, this allows your lead off guy a chance to drive in runs or bunt them over. That's just me though.

MRM
11-29-2006, 06:20 PM
I raised this concept in a previous thread, but it was in the context of some specific trade speculation. I'm very interested in your reactions to the basic premise, which centers upon the ideal type of hitters, for each slot in the batting order. Am I correct in my assumption that the basic idea of the ideal batting order as follows:

1) A guy at the top who takes a lot of pitches, giving the on deck hitter a chance to see the pitcher's repertoire, has a high on base percentage, and is a stolen base threat.
2) A patient number 2 hitter, who takes a lot of pitches, thus giving the base runner a chance to run; has good bat control, and is a good contact hitter, enabling the hit and run.
3) A power hitter, and or high average clutch hitter, who can drive in runs
4) Another number 3 type hitter, but batting from the other side of the plate, in order to break up the righty - lefty match ups.

If that is the best lineup construct, then why wouldn't the same fundamental system apply equally to the second half of the order, even if the pieces may not be quite as potent?

What's different about this lineup construct, is that the 5 hitter is viewed more as the "leadoff" hitter, for the second half of the order. In the rare instance, where you have a capable RBI man, who also has a respectable OBP, and can steal, you could utilize him best in that 5 spot. This is a player with both power and speed, Soriano, would be the prototypical number 5 hitter, in this construct. Carl Crawford was the specific player about whom I speculated.

I realize that this is not possible for most teams, because they lack the players who possess the right skills to perform their respective roles. However, conceptually, does it make sense?




Wow, you are building the perfect lineup. Unfortuntely that's not possible, but what you propose makes perfect sense. Any team that can make a Soriano or ARod their #5 or #6 hitter is in GREAT shape for exactly the reasons you outline.

MRM
11-29-2006, 06:41 PM
3-4-5 you want guys who can slug the ball. With 6 you want a guy who can hit with a bit of power but has a high average.

I always thought that 7-8-9 should be good contact hitters with speed, so if you're batting around, this allows your lead off guy a chance to drive in runs or bunt them over. That's just me though.

I disagree. Especially in the 3 hole. I think you want a pure hitter in that spot. I mean the best overall hitter on the team. A guy with some pop who also hits for a good average and gets on base a ton. A Frank Thomas in his prime. In the 4 hole you want a slugger, but one who also hits for a decent average. A Thome. Hitting 5th is probably the most difficult, IMO. That guy has to be versatile. Needs to be able to get on base like a leadoff hitter or hit like a cleanup guy depending on the situation. Dye fits here, so does Konerko. 6th, 7th, and 8th..ideally...are guys who can get on base first and foremost. Anything else is a bonus. 9th you want a guy who is basically a lead off hitter, but maybe not polished enough to handle that place in the order. A Figgins or Pods, for example. If Pods were hitting 9th, we'd LOVE him. You can live with a speedster striking out alot in the 9 hole. Can't at lead off.

With this current team I'd hit Dye 3rd, Thome 4th, Konerko 5th. I think Dye is more versatile in the 3 hole than Thome who is going to 1) Strike out 2) Draw a walk or 3) Hit a home run. I think you can do more with Jermaine in that spot. You won't ask Jim to take pitches to let the running game get going and you sure don't want to hit and run with Thome, IMO. You can be comfortable doing both with Jermaine. And Thome is the IDEAL cleanup guy. You couldn't ask for a better clean up hitter. The question is, how does Paul take to hitting in the 5 hole regularly?