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11 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

This reminds me of an article where Bill James laid out that the White Sox did not have a quality 3B from when Willy Kamm retired (1930, give or take) until they acquired Robin Ventura.  For a frame of reference, they couldn't come up with a Brandon Inge level player in that 60 year stretch.

They basically tried kids who ended up sucking, cycled through retreads, traded for guys who basically either got hurt or started their (precipitous) decline right as the Sox acquired them or just were 'name' players who weren't nearly as good as their publicity.

His basic premise was you would think a team would stumble into a quality player even by accident (like the Tigers did Brandon Inge), over that long a period of time, but it didn't happen and he suggested that was impressive in its own way.

 

I remember that article.  His stuff was so much fun to read.  He was a very creative and entertaining writer.  The saber leaders of today are much more thorough and mathematically skilled, but nobody has ever replaced him as a writer.  

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Which part?

That Brandon Inge was a quality player.

I've often lamented and it's been written about multiple times how much better the Tigers of the 60s would have been with somewhat better players than Wert/Oyler in the INF - and in the 80s 3rd base was never filled properly either so it's been a historical weakness of good Tiger teams too.

 

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31 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

That Brandon Inge was a quality player.

I've often lamented and it's been written about multiple times how much better the Tigers of the 60s would have been with somewhat better players than Wert/Oyler in the INF - and in the 80s 3rd base was never filled properly either so it's been a historical weakness of good Tiger teams too.

 

Wert wasn't good, but he wasn't horrible (88 OPS+ as a Tiger).  He was practically Mike Schmidt compared to his teammates Dick Tracewski (51 OPS+) and Oyler (49).

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Brandon Inge had 19 WAR over a 9-year period starting in 2004 when he transitioned to 3B.

Say what you will, that is pretty solid run.  Not amazing but above average.  I'd take that out of any draft pick.

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14 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Brandon Inge had 19 WAR over a 9-year period starting in 2004 when he transitioned to 3B.

Say what you will, that is pretty solid run.  Not amazing but above average.  I'd take that out of any draft pick.

I'm sorry, he's my Austin Jackson.

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24 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Brandon Inge had 19 WAR over a 9-year period starting in 2004 when he transitioned to 3B.

Say what you will, that is pretty solid run.  Not amazing but above average.  I'd take that out of any draft pick.

Yes, I'll take a 2 WAR average over 9 years from anybody.  As you said, even most 1st rounders fall short of that.

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Right now our position players have combined for negative 2 WAR.   A 2 win player would seem like  a godsend to this team.  

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Austin Jackson had 19 of his 22 career WAR during the first 4 years of his Tigers career.

Once his fielding went away, so did his value.

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and I blamed Tori Hunter for his fielding issues... seems like when he got here Austin eased up a bit, not wanting to get in the way of a legend like Tori, figuring he could handle it.  He couldn't.  Just my preception.  Have done no research.

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32 minutes ago, Oblong said:

and I blamed Tori Hunter for his fielding issues... seems like when he got here Austin eased up a bit, not wanting to get in the way of a legend like Tori, figuring he could handle it.  He couldn't.  Just my preception.  Have done no research.

I think it had more to do with his hamstrings. He never again ran with any explosion after he went on the DL for the hammy.

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25 minutes ago, Oblong said:

and I blamed Tori Hunter for his fielding issues... seems like when he got here Austin eased up a bit, not wanting to get in the way of a legend like Tori, figuring he could handle it.  He couldn't.  Just my preception.  Have done no research.

Defense usually peaks early.  After about age 27, it starts to decline.  It's why shortstops move to 3B, third basemen move to 1B and centerfielders move to the corners.  Jackson's defense decline might have started a bit too soon, but it pretty much falls under the norm, especially if you consider that his 2011 fielding numbers might be a fluke.  Someone like Ian Kinsler, who had exceptional defense in his 30s, is the big outlier.

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That is all true, but it is pretty remarkable that Jackson went from a 4 - 5 WAR player to a replacement level player seemingly overnight at a pretty young age.

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Jackson thrived off Shelton's criticism.  Once he left the Tigers and he had nobody to prove wrong he faded into obscurity.

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5 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

That is all true, but it is pretty remarkable that Jackson went from a 4 - 5 WAR player to a replacement level player seemingly overnight at a pretty young age.

He had a couple lucky babip seasons that corresponded with his good defensive seasons. But when the luck ran out and his defense fell off as he got bigger, he was revealed to be the terrible player that he was always destined to be. 

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35 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

Jackson thrived off Shelton's criticism.  Once he left the Tigers and he had nobody to prove wrong he faded into obscurity.

Unlike McCann, who withered under my gaze.

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On 7/29/2019 at 3:36 PM, bobrob2004 said:

Defense usually peaks early.  After about age 27, it starts to decline.  It's why shortstops move to 3B, third basemen move to 1B and centerfielders move to the corners.  Jackson's defense decline might have started a bit too soon, but it pretty much falls under the norm, especially if you consider that his 2011 fielding numbers might be a fluke.  Someone like Ian Kinsler, who had exceptional defense in his 30s, is the big outlier.

I think the PED era exacerbated this. I think many guys were losing speed and agility and arm elasticity while bulking up to hit the long ball. I am curious to see if in a supposedly 'cleaner' environment more guys maintain their defensive skill at least somewhat longer in their careers.

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I think the idea that bulking up inherently means losing foot speed and flexibility to be false or oversimplified.

These guys as a group are using top end trainers for quite some time, and one does not need to sacrifice speed for strength.

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5 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I think the idea that bulking up inherently means losing foot speed and flexibility to be false or oversimplified.

These guys as a group are using top end trainers for quite some time, and one does not need to sacrifice speed for strength.

Sure you don't have to, but that assumes they cared a enough about their fielding to bother optimizing a program. You could see the mass increase in many guys over mid career and the difference to guys from an earlier era like Kaline or Stanley who looked at 32 pretty much the same as they did at 25. Maybe it wasn't PED's, maybe MLB post game spreads just got a lot better....:silly:

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2 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Fielding is much better than was the case 50 years ago and overall players are bigger and stronger now.

"bigger and stronger" is not necessarily an asset to every facet of the game. It is for the most important one - hitting, so that is what the game produces.

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The impetus of getting bigger and stronger isn't the relevant point.

I am claiming getting bigger and stronger does not need to be at odds with fielding performance or foot speed, and am using the fact that players have gotten bigger and stronger over the past 30 years and fielding has improved over the same time frame as evidence the two are not mutually exclusive.

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