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Why doesn't Weeks bunt?


Wesrob1
It's just so frustrating to me how often he comes to bat swinging when nobody is on. He has the speed, why isn't he capitalizing on it? I still believe he can turn in a great career(with us hopefully) and feel this is one of the keys to help him become successful. It's almost like he hasn't shaken off that #3 hitter mentality, yet.
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He is bad at it.

 

The 3B usually plays him very deep. If he even puts a mediocre bunt down the 3B line he would be safe. I would think just the threat of a bunt to bring in the 3B would open a few more lanes for him to hit through.

 

But then, most of the things Rickie does are frustrating.

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I think a better question is: why doesn't Weeks hit? His career contact rate is well below average and when you couple that with his penchant for taking strikes early in the count because he has no batting eye, you get someone who will be average at best using his current strategy.

 

along those lines, I wish that Weeks would concentrate on only one thing. By trying to be Joe Morgan (power & discipline), he's not doing anything. I wish he would either swing more early in the count to try to take advantage of his supposed power (remember, Kremblas said Weeks has more power than Prince, though his slugging percentage has been below the league average every year of his career), or try to make contact/bunt more in order to take advantage of his speed and patience.

 

as of now, Weeks is a very frustrating player who is trying to have it both ways.

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I've often wondered why Rickie doesn't bunt more, too. Hart seems to have a much better understanding of how to use it as a weapon. I've only seen Rickie try a few times, and when he gets it down, he easily beats it out
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Thank you for starting this thread. This issue has been bothering me for so long.

 

The manager needs to wake up and force Weeks to bunt more often. There is no excuse to not be bunting when you have blazing speed but are hitting less than .200.

 

I don't understand what is going on here.

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I honestly don't understand why so many people want as powerful a hitter as Weeks bunting. Sure, mix it in here & there if you're good at it, but Rickie isn't. It's basically asking a guy to make more outs.
Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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I think his pitch recognition is among the best of the current Brewers (if not the best). Rarely does he even have to check his swing on the sliders/breaking stuff that breaks down & away. Compare that with someone like Hall -- who I would agree has little to no batting eye -- that frequently starts his swing on breaking pitches out of the zone.

 

When trying to define something as abstract as "batting eye", I think the raw data helps, but only to a point. I think Rickie has ended up taking pitches that are strikes, but this year I think that has far more to do with his early struggles than 'not having a batting eye'.

 

In short, I think he happens to not be 'seeing the ball well' right now, but overall I think his eye at the plate is as good as the best the Brewers have, if not better. Perhaps I'm in the 'it seems like' territory. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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"he has no batting eye"

 

Come on. That's not even close to being fair.

 

I don't think he does either. He takes a lot of pitches but they are equally balls and strikes. Check out fangraphs.com.

What I'm seeing is Rickie is swing at less outside the zone than last season (18.18% v 19.05%) and more inside the zone (38.82% v 37.97%). Very small, but improvement over last season, nonetheless.

He's even making more contact no matter where the pitch is thrown, when he does decide to swing. These are all good signs, but his awful line drive percentage says there's something wrong with his swing right now, down to 12.0% from his career average of 18.4%, which kills his BABIP (.200), and in turn kills his batting average.

I'm not sure what he needs to do with his swing, but I'm convinced the ability for line drive contact doesn't disappear for good. It'll be back, and in the meantime I think his approach has been as much as we could expect.
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Were not saying Rickie should bunt EVERY time hes up, but maybe once a game... Rickie does have power, yes I agree, but if he shows bunt more, most likely he can get some better abs because they are gonna try to get around him

Once a game is way too much. I can't say I watch too many games in which guys like Juan Pierre and Chone Figgins are playing, but I'd have to imagine if they don't attempt to bunt for hits that frequently.

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EDIT: Having trouble formatting for some reason. Anyone else have problems with

 tags?

 

Rickie Weeks, Bunting Statistics:

 

BU SH BUH BUH%

2005 4 2 1 .500

2006 8 2 3 .500

2007 4 3 0 .000

TOTAL 16 7 4 .444

 

BU=Bunts; SH=Sacrifices; BUH=Bunt Hits; BUH%=BUH/(BU-SH)

 

According to this article - LINK - the league average BUH% has been around .400 the last few seasons, and the best players can be successful as much as 50-60% of the time.

 

I don't know if looking at Rickie's 9 bunt for hit attempts tells us anything due to its small sample, but it does suggest it wouldn't hurt him to try laying down a few more if the situation is right.

 

And to expand on the worth of a bunt single, keep in mind its just that - a single. Even though it may be successful 40% of the time, its value could be less than swinging away with a batting average of .250 and a respectable walk rate and slugging percentage. If you consider a hypothetical player who only bunts for hits and is successful 40% of the time, he would hold a .800 OPS. Last season, Weeks had an .807 OPS.

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