August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat -- 11/1/16
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august fagerstrom
12:29
You are an excellent defender, relative to your first base peers. You are a very poor defender, relative to the rest of all the baseball players
Nelson
12:30
Who is the Indians emergency catcher? Santana before Napoli? Someone else?
august fagerstrom
12:30
I'm pretty sure it would be Santana
Minty
12:30
I agree with everything you said about Baez. So what exactly are you expecting from him the next year or two as he attempts to find some consistency.
august fagerstrom
12:30
Honestly, I have a hard time seeing him ever becoming much more than a slightly above league average hitter, maybe 110 wRC+ or so
12:31
Which again, with his other tools, is a super valuable and still exciting player!
I just can't see him being a true superstar
Bruce
12:31
But my Baez's reputation as an ridiculous tagger has even exceeded the hype!
august fagerstrom
12:31
I actually don't think it has
Maybe people think it's worth more than it is, but he's so much better at it than anyone I've seen, I think he actually is deserving of the hype there. His hands are ridiculous
Michael
12:32
Is it possible Dombrowski goes after Miggy & Verlander Benintendi & Redsox prospects? Clears salary for Avila to build his own team & makes them younger. Redsox become world series contenders. Win/Win??
august fagerstrom
12:32
Trading Andrew Benintendi for Miggy/Verlander is not a Red Sox win.
weezy
12:32
While watching game 5, I showed a friend your Baez tagging article from a couple months ago. After going through it, the Fox broadcast talked for a long time about this, basically spreading your work to millions of watchers. Do you feel your article had an impact on that? And how did it feel watching that?
august fagerstrom
12:33
Nope, I was not the first person to take note of Baez's tagging abilities
If Fox talking about it gets more eyes on my work, though, cool!
Dock Ellis
12:34
One thing I don't understand about Baez. If I know the pitcher in an 0-2 count is throwing a slider outside the zone, Maddon knows the pitcher is throwing out of the zone, that 108 year old Cubs fan knows he's throwing it out of the zone, why can't he just not swing period? Baseball is 90% mental. I know it's easier said than done, but am I crazy to think he's just not that smart?
august fagerstrom
12:34
It can be very difficult, particularly for elite athletes who rely more than anything on their instincts, to let the mind overcome those instincts
12:35
He's telling himself "if it's a slider away, don't swing," but the whole problem is, the moment the pitch leaves the pitchers hand, he's (apparently) more likely than almost any other batter to, for a split-second, misidentify that pitch as a fastball middle-middle, and the instinct kicks in
if the instinct kicks in for even a millisecond, it's too late
12:37
the difference is, for whatever reason, Ben Zobrist's mind never misidentifies that pitch as a fastball middle-middle for a millisecond, so the instinct never kicks in. Ben Zobrist sees it as a slider away the whole time, so he lays off. Baez just doesn't see what other hitters see, so he has more time for his instincts to kill him
C
12:38
Something I've been curious about for a bit - let's say you have a hypothetical pitcher. Below average fastball velocity and mediocre K/9, but succeeds by running elite walk rates and a crazily suppressed BABIP due to inducing very high fly ball and pop up rates, but keeping HRs manageable at the same time. What sort of pitch mix/pitching approach would you expect to produce those results?
august fagerstrom
12:38
Marco Estrada's, I think
Kevin
12:38
Why has Maddon basically stopped using Strop-Rondon in high leverage innings after they were so valuable all season?
august fagerstrom
12:38
They must be physically compromised to an extent that makes them less reliable than guys like Grimm and Montgomery
It's the only explanation
12:39
I'm honestly not a huge fan of Maddon as a tactician, but there's no way he's just totally ignoring guys like Strop and Rondon if they're at 100%
Q-Ball
12:39
If Cubs win, who is the front-runner for MVP? Or has that story not been written yet?
Kevin
12:39
Say the Cubs win today and tomorrow. Who would the Cub frontrunner be for MVP? Whoever helps them the most in the next two games? Chapman?
august fagerstrom
12:40
I think Q-Ball had it right. If the Cubs win the next two games, someone in particular likely stepped up and had two good games that made it clear
Off the top of my head, Zobrist has been great, and Lester has been big, but there's no clear frontrunner until the Cubs win 2 more
Kyle
12:40
Would you rather wear an Aroldis Chapman fastball on the ribs, or take a KO punch from prime Tyson?
august fagerstrom
12:40
Jesus Christ.
Fuck, man. Chapman, I guess, to avoid a concussion.
weezy
12:41
why doesn't Baez always cover second? I always wonder why Russell is there sometimes on steal attempts/any situation where Baez could get there.
august fagerstrom
12:41
I was under the impression that he pretty much does
mryashin
12:42
I guess the nightmare scenario for the Indians tonight would be turning it over to Shaw/Miller/Allen for 4-5 innings and losing the game. How much do you think Francona can realistically squeeze out of his bullpen over two consecutive nights?
august fagerstrom
12:42
I'm pretty sure Allen and Miller could both throw 40 pitches tonight and both they and Francona would be willing to ask 40 more from each in a potential Game 7
The gloves are off at this point
That's almost certainly not going to happen, and they'd never game plan for that, but if it comes down to it, I think they'd do it
I am the walrus
12:43
Would it make sense to bring in say 10 Cubs minor league pitchers to throw curves to the hitters in BP instead of coaches or pitching machines.
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