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JJ Hardy, groundball hitter?


logan82
I am not sure who will be interested in this or how useful it is, but while looking at LD% and BABIP graphs for the Brewers I ran across this graph. It shows Hardy's FB/GB ratio shifting towards more groundballs starting around the middle of last year. Not sure how closley it coincides with Hardy's drop in HR numbers, but it seems to cross over to more ground balls about the time his HR numbers started to taper off.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Hardy is currently hitting 50% ground balls and with his speed, or lack thereof, that can't be a good thing. It's also a big reason why his slugging pct is down so much this season. This is complete speculation based on watching him, but it appears to me that he started getting pitched outside a lot more after his hot start last season and a lot of those turned into ground ball outs.
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I hope he can finish the year well and we package him in a trade and bring Escobar up. Yes, he will struggle a bit, but will do no worse offensively than Hardy and will play with more range at short.

 

 

(edit: pared back a couple sentences that unintentionally caused a couple responses that could have derailed the thread... those responses have been hidden --1992)

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Yes, he will struggle a bit, but will do no worse offensively than Hardy and will play with more range at short.

 

His offense will not match Hardy. Escobar has not hit well enough at Triple-A to suggest that. To me the question is 'will Escobar's defensive value + his offense be greater than Hardy's offense + defense. I'm not sure what to expect for 2009 just yet, but if we're basing the assessment on Hardy off just his ~ 200 PA for 2008, then that's unwise.

 

I know many feel that J.J. hasn't proven that he can be anything more than a streaky hitter, but I think judgment is better reserved until we see how he adjusts back to the pitching in 2008.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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His offense will not match Hardy. Escobar has not hit well enough at Triple-A to suggest that.
Escobar doesn't play in triple-A. There isn't really anything to suggest that Escobar will not outhit Hardy. It's not like it would take that much to do so anyways. Also, Hardy plays fine defense. There wouldn't be that great of an improvement, if any at all, other than range.

 

 

(pared back long quote --1992)

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Escobar doesn't play in triple-A. There isn't really anything to suggest that Escobar will not outhit Hardy.

 

Sheesh, am I embarassed. Guess with all this 'Escobar to take Hardy's spot' talk of late, my mind just blocked out reality. He's hitting at a clip at Double-A that doesn't indicate that his offense will be MLB-ready in 2009, let alone better than Hardy.

 

Escobar is in his age-21 season. In Hardy's age 20 season, he put out .279/.367/.428/.795 at Hunstville. I don't see how anyone can claim that there's no evidence Escobar won't out-hit Hardy, let alone that Escobar's offense would even be ready for the bigs next year.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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There isn't really anything to suggest that Escobar will not outhit Hardy. It's not like it would take that much to do so anyways.

 

Hardy, MLB - .659 OPS, .737 Career

Escobar, AA - .723 OPS

 

To say that Escobar, who's hitting about the same against AA pitchers as JJ is against MLB pitchers, will outhit him in the majors right now is just an odd thing to say.

 

Also, Hardy plays fine defense. There wouldn't be that great of an improvement, if any at all, other than range.

 

Which is, like, half the equation. Hardy's good, but Escobar's great, they say. It would be stupid to bring him up now, he won't be an improvement - probably not even in 2009. 2010 is probably Escobar's debut as a regular.

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I still don't think that it's very likely he'll out-hit Hardy... but in terms of the O+D considerations, he could very well be better in a year or two. He might actually be a nice successor to Kendall in the 9-slot down the road.
Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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