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Why does Leyland hate Quintin Berry?

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Side note: whenever there are discussions here about a player who does unexpectedly well based on minor league sats, seemingly the 'lots of similar players improved in the majors, so why not this guy' argument is raised.

Examples are then given, which are then argued not to be terribly relevent for whatever reason, new examples given which are then argued until we get to the point of a couple of guys who are somewhat applicable and somewhat support the assertion that there are guys who play better in the majors than the minors.

In any event, I guess I don't get the point of the argument. I mean, even if there are some guys who improve, are there enough of them to make hoping for it / expecting it a good strategy?

Perhaps the comparisons are just the reflex for a broad and sweeping statement. Sometimes those are thrown around on these boards.

In Berry's case, it wasn't so much DD's strategy to bring him up as much as it was a last resort. Think of Berry as that extra extra $20 you had stashed in your freezer after you lost your wallet on a Sunday when you didn't have any groceries left in the house.

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The fact that Jackson or Cabrera produce at a position of scarcity is not a good argument to not look to upgrade at other positions when the current option is underproducing relative to league average.

Did I say--or even hint--that DD shouldn't always be looking out for a deal that could benefit us?

And just because Boesch/Young/Raburn are all underproducing, does that mean that it is good business for DD to sell low and buy high right now? Variance should allow one or more of those guys to heat up and start creeping their numbers back up to acceptability even if there isn't a viable trade option out there.

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Perhaps the comparisons are just the reflex for a broad and sweeping statement. Sometimes those are thrown around on these boards.

Even if it is the reflex, it still isn't a persuasive argument, IMO. That was my point.

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Even if it is the reflex, it still isn't a persuasive argument, IMO. That was my point.

I won't pretend like I can can persuade you into anything on this forum. Although I do like to see how far you will go—from time to time—to defend a position.

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Did I say--or even hint--that DD shouldn't always be looking out for a deal that could benefit us?

You suggested we shouldn't buy into 'cookie-cutter' ideas of the levels of offense (whatever that means) that a given position should provide, and you prefaced that by pointing out they are getting better levels of production at some positions.

So I took that to mean you are arguing that we don't need as much offense in LF b/c we are getting more than expected in CF or 3B.

If that wasn't your intent, apologies, but I'd say you weren't exactly clear what you meant.

And just because Boesch/Young/Raburn are all underproducing, does that mean that it is good business for DD to sell low and buy high right now?

If one thinks those guys are performing at levels that reflect their skills at this moment in time, then I'd argue it isn't selling low. Besides, it isn't like those guys have much value anyway when they are going good.

Variance should allow one or more of those guys to heat up and start creeping their numbers back up to acceptability even if there isn't a viable trade option out there.

Some might say that is the gambler's fallacy.

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I think the concept of average production relative to position is good because it helps us understand where the team stands at each position. I don't necessarily agree that it should form the basis for criticizing the team where certain positions fall short of average. Resources are not unlimited, whether in the form of money or trade chips. The tigers used resources to acquire players that were above average at some positions, and that inherently results in fewer resources to find average production at other positions. Additionally, there are 29 other teams that are trying to do the same thing. If was as easy to find a productive bat at 2b or corner OF, we would have one. Moreover, there is always the issue of the degree of upgrade over internal options. Delmon was not the best option this offseason, but he may have been the best available at the time.

That's a long way of saying that I can see giving the team a pass at corner outfield or 2b because they are above average at 3b, 1b, c, and cf.

That isn't to say that shouldn't bother looking to upgrade where they can if the cost/benefit makes sense. And again, I'm not just talking about payroll or dollar/win. I don't really care about being fiscally efficient.

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I guess this is what I'm confused about. At one point is it considered that he has had enough at-bats/plate appearances to say that this is where his median line is going to be?

Given the number of at-bats he already has this season and the point in the season we're at, I think I can say that the point you're referring to will not be this season. Unless he does extremely well or extremely terribly, he won't have a significant MLB track record even if he plays every day for the rest of the year, which itself is unlikely to happen.

Indeed, due to his age, mixed minor league track record, and extreme streaks the jury is still out on players like Brennan Boesch, who have over 1,200 MLB PAs. Boesch is something of a special case though because of the aforementioned reasons. Still, it takes kind of a long time for a player to build a significant MLB track record and Berry, who has all of 89 Plate Appearances on June 19th, probably won't have one by year's end. So his minor league record will continue to be the primary point of reference for many throughout that time when speaking of his future, unless his results are extreme. Right now he looks good and hopefully Leyland will put him in the best position to succeed. We shall see.

Edited by DET Mr Malefic

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Their options for the first corner OF spot aren't that good either.

Agreed, literally speaking. I do think Dirks can be an average corner OF, or perhaps a bit below average. I don't think Boesch or Young will ever be average corner OF, or even a bit below average. They are just not acceptable options, IMO. And I don't just mean because they are both in the .650 OPS range. Even at .750, they are both well below average overall, because of their HORRIBLE defense.

Rob

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I think the concept of average production relative to position is good because it helps us understand where the team stands at each position. I don't necessarily agree that it should form the basis for criticizing the team where certain positions fall short of average. Resources are not unlimited, whether in the form of money or trade chips. The tigers used resources to acquire players that were above average at some positions, and that inherently results in fewer resources to find average production at other positions. Additionally, there are 29 other teams that are trying to do the same thing. If was as easy to find a productive bat at 2b or corner OF, we would have one. Moreover, there is always the issue of the degree of upgrade over internal options. Delmon was not the best option this offseason, but he may have been the best available at the time.

That's a long way of saying that I can see giving the team a pass at corner outfield or 2b because they are above average at 3b, 1b, c, and cf.

That isn't to say that shouldn't bother looking to upgrade where they can if the cost/benefit makes sense. And again, I'm not just talking about payroll or dollar/win. I don't really care about being fiscally efficient.

+1

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Serious question...more pertaining to 2013. But if Victor is healthy, can anyone look up the stats to see if Prince or Victor would be a better defensive option at first base? I would assume they'll go with Prince because they both suck, but I just thought I'd ask.

Kle,

Great question, I think! So, the numbers (including range and errors) say that Prince is the second worst fielding 1b in the majors - Only Ty Wigginton is worse. Martinez is a below average fielder, and has played MANY less innings at first than Fielder, but in general, he appears to be a substantially superior fielder to Fielder. Yes, I enjoyed typing that last part.

Here's the problem. Cabrera is the worst fielding regular 3b in the majors, and it isn't really close at all. Only Jordan Pacheco of the Rockies is worse overall, and he's played 1/2 the innings Cabrera has. The reason that Cabrera looks good to the naked eye is that he's actually ABOVE average in error making - He's catching the ball when he gets to it, and not making bad throws. He's also starting an above average number of DPs. The problem is that he has far and away the worst range in the majors (even compared to Pachedo). So, it's just tough to have him, AND Fielder, AND Raburn, AND Boesch, AND Young, and add a mediocre fielder in Peralta. That's just a brutal, brutal team defense.

Maybe if we can fix the other positions, or get a plus fielding SS, we can keep Cabrera at 3b.

Rob

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As fans who analyze the Tigers right now, perhaps we need to adjust our thinking in terms of what kind of numbers go with each position. To put it in perspective:

-Austin Jackson's offense has been as good as we could expect from a corner outfielder in the .960 OPS range. He just happens to play CF for us.

Right, the fact he plays CF makes his offensive contribution even more remarkable. The fact that he plays a GOOD defensive CF makes it astounding! If (I suspect it will be tough for him, because it's tough for ANYONE) he keeps up at a .900+ level, he's one of the most valuable players in the AL.

-Miguel Cabrera at 3B is performing at a level few guys at his position ever do at the plate, and he's performed at least to or even above expectation in the field. Fielder is having a nice year at the plate at 1B for us to "replace" him in the field, even if Cabrera was a better glove at 1B.

So, I'm not clear what the expectation was for Cabrera in the field. I'm not trying to be obnoxious, but unfortunately, he's one of the worst fielding 3b in the majors. So, that's not good. I'm not in favor of moving Cabrera to 1b because he's all that much better than Fielder there, it's because whoever replaces him at 3b has to be better defensively. Of course, this won't happen.

-Between Berry and Dirks, the two have put up very positive offensive results and have been at least adequate in the field.

I see these guys as very different. Dirks has shown me things in his career that make me think he can be average offensively in the majors long term as a corner OF. Berry, not so much. However, I'm in favor of starting Berry as a corner OF for the rest of the year, because his offense+defense is better than our other options. Sadly.

That said, Avila coming back and Raburn starting to show some life at the plate (even though I hate his defense and feel he should leave his glove at home).

We shouldn't be trapped into thinking that a player should put up cookie-cutter/prototype stats for him to be of any use to the team. We are within shouting distance of first place in spite of key injuries and in spite of underperformance by most of our "power" bats.

That's why I'm arguing for Berry to play right now. I don't care about cookie-cutters or prototypes. I care about players contributing value to win. I think we should play the players most like to play the best, and contribute the most value to win games.

OTOH, in general, comparing the stats of players at a given position to other players at the same position is extremely valuable to let you know how easy it is to replace them and get more value. So, longer term, it should be very easy to get a player that is better than Quintin Berry.

Our corner outfielders are decent enough to not hurt our chances to win baseball games, especially if we keep Delmon out of the field. It will never hurt my feelings to have Berry doing his best Juan Pierre impersonation in left field, especially when that keeps Boesch out of the 2nd spot in the order and keeps Raburn out of the outfield completely.

You've said some true things, and some things I don't agree with. Our "corner OF" are not decent. They are, in fact, overall (offense and defense) terrible. What do I mean by that? I mean that the production we've gotten from RF and LF in 2012 has been very poor. I think our best shot until Dirks comes back is Berry and Raburn. Why? Because Ryan Raburn is a better fielder than Young or Boesch. Not a good fielder, but not the horror shows that they are. When Dirks comes back, he replaces Raburn.

I certainly hope that Berry does not do a Juan Pierre impersonation, but I'm afraid you're right. He will probably be just as bad as Pierre. But of course, that's better than what we've had so far in RF/LF.

Rob

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I certainly hope that Berry does not do a Juan Pierre impersonation, but I'm afraid you're right. He will probably be just as bad as Pierre. But of course, that's better than what we've had so far in RF/LF.

Rob

Well, it depends on which Pierre we're talking about. 2003 and 2004 Pierre was a great table-setter for the Marlins, stealing bases, hitting a combined .315ish, scoring 100 runs per and getting on base at about a .370 clip. Although he's never had an arm he did cover some nice ground in the OF back then.

Can we expect this? Probably not, but I would sure as heck take it for a player we pretty much inherited. We expended nothing other than his salary to get him, which is dirt cheap by MLB standards. If Pierre—who is batting .325, closing in on 600 career steals, hit 88 triples and who has scored 1000 runs while flirting with .300 over 13 seasons—is bad, then we should be so lucky to have a bad player or two like that on the squad.

I fully expect to be jumped on the usual suspects who hate Pierre's game and hated the idea of signing him in the off-season, but so be it. Guys like this still have a place in the league and in the game, and thank God—if I wanted to watch a mechanical game I would go down to the dog track and watch the senior citizens play $1-$2 limit seven-card stud.

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I never understood the sentiment around here that Juan Pierre is a poor baseball participant.

The guy has only averaged 186 hits in a full season throughout his career as well as 90 runs scored and 51 SB's. If the goal for an offense in baseball is to score runs, then he has been an excellent asset for his team.

Jon

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If one thinks those guys are performing at levels that reflect their skills at this moment in time, then I'd argue it isn't selling low. Besides, it isn't like those guys have much value anyway when they are going good.

Some might say that is the gambler's fallacy.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. At the beginning of the year we probably could have gotten at least a little something for Boesch. Who knows, maybe we still can? He is pretty cheap, and there are always teams out there looking to dump salary.

Delmon has zero worth now, and that's been documented/beaten to death. Will he stick once Dirks comes back? Your guess is as good as anyone's.

And Raburn is Raburn. Would they try to deal him now that he's having the worst season of his career? I imagine they favor him over Delmon for a myriad of reasons in spite of the numbers going forward this season.

What does all of this mean? IMO, Boesch will be moved in any deal involving a corner OF. Raburn playing 2B is his trump card, along with those (rumored) blackmail pics he has of Leyland.

While these outfielders are certainly misfits, the Toledo cupboard is empty. Whatever DD is cooking up with other teams is a mystery, but I have to think he's always in motion this time of year.

And variance? There are enough rakeback pros out there online to prove it. It takes years to prove live, though.

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As of last night, Berry is on my fantasy team. So, I get to enjoy his awesomeness twice as much as Danjo.

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Pierre was overrated, but he had some pretty good years.

Depending on who was rating him I guess. I always thought the sentiment about him was he was a good baseball player and I would agree with that. I would say he was a top 10 leadoff hitter for a good chunk of his career. And while he may have been only average defensively, he was not near as bad as some of the posts I have read on this board.

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Shelton tells the best baseball stories.

I imagined some inspirational Americana music playing in the background, with some French horns or a trumpet solo over soft strings...

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Juan Pierre had 4 really good years early in his career and then has mostly stunk since. That's why some people overrate him and other people are overly harsh on him. It depends on what part of his career you remember best. I mostly remember the middle of his career where he struggled to get on base and wasn't that efficient of a base stealer, therefore I think he's garbage.

However, I think we'd all love to have early career Juan Pierre where he got on base 35-38% of the time with good speed and even a little bit of doubles power.

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Juan Pierre had 4 really good years early in his career and then has mostly stunk since. That's why some people overrate him and other people are overly harsh on him. It depends on what part of his career you remember best. I mostly remember the middle of his career where he struggled to get on base and wasn't that efficient of a base stealer, therefore I think he's garbage.

However, I think we'd all love to have early career Juan Pierre where he got on base 35-38% of the time with good speed and even a little bit of doubles power.

This might be true. But he was around 35% even as recent in 2009 and 2010. That is not too shabby.

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As of last night, Berry is on my fantasy team. So, I get to enjoy his awesomeness twice as much as Danjo.

He dropped that fly ball today. Now I think he is a bum. Send him down to Toledo. If he is going to drop an easy fly ball he should at least do it with some theatrics like Delmon. Spin around in a circle then miss it.

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He dropped that fly ball today. Now I think he is a bum. Send him down to Toledo. If he is going to drop an easy fly ball he should at least do it with some theatrics like Delmon. Spin around in a circle then miss it.

Hah!

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He dropped that fly ball today. Now I think he is a bum. Send him down to Toledo. If he is going to drop an easy fly ball he should at least do it with some theatrics like Delmon. Spin around in a circle then miss it.

I'm pretty sure Delmon caught the ball that spun him around. Am I remembering it wrong?

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