Jeremy Reed on KJR

JMB · February 16, 2005 at 10:26 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s probable centerfielder was on KJR this morning, doing the usual “get to know the new player” interview. For what it’s worth, I thought he came across as well-spoken, intelligent and humble. He spoke repeatedly about not being handed the job, and needing to go out and “make the team” above all else. I also like that when asked about his approach at the plate, he said he loved to draw walks, used a line-drive swing and would hit to all fields. He said he’ll pull the ball when neccessary and thinks that more power will come eventually, though he certainly doesn’t consider himself a power hitter.

The usual fluff, I know, but he certainly said all the right things. Oh, and he was already in Arizona working out, even though he doesn’t have to be there for a few more days.


25 Responses to “Jeremy Reed on KJR”

  1. Dave on February 16th, 2005 10:30 am

    Reed’s a really nice guy. We got rained on a lot here in Winston in the half year that he played for the warthogs, and I talked to him quite a bit during the delays. He understands hitting, but I’m not sure he was being genuine when he said he “loved to walk”. He likes to swing the bat, and if he went 0-0 with 4 walks, he’d probably get frustrated. But he’s not going to get himself out that often.

    But, as a person, Reed’s good folk. He gets my stamp of approval.

  2. Tom B on February 16th, 2005 10:33 am

    In Ex-Mariners nightmare news:

    The Cardinals are close to agreement with righthanded pitcher Kevin Jarvis on a minor-league contract.

    Jarvis, 35, split last season between the Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies, going 1-0 with a 10.80 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

    Jarvis’ best season came with the San Diego Padres in 2001, when he was 12-11 with 133 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings.

    Cards to sign Jarvis

  3. JMB on February 16th, 2005 10:52 am

    I suppose I should also point out that he said he hates to strike out, and does whatever he can to avoid striking out. His minor league numbers certainly reflect that, and he only fanned four times in his 58 at-bat major league trial last season.


  4. Jim Thomsen on February 16th, 2005 11:36 am

    There is a lot of fussing and dithering about what Jeremy Reed’s stats vs. the expectations many have placed on him (including BP’s ridiculous overrating in the 2004 book), but to me, right now we should keep it simple. Like Bill James said, a player deserve the chance to keep succeeding at each successive level until he fails. He hasn’t failed. He may not be everything we’d want, but we won’t know until he gets at least a few major-league-regular months under his belt. Being a good, smart, humble guy can only help. Godspeed, Jeremy, and welcome to center field. May you rise to the challenge.

  5. adam on February 16th, 2005 11:38 am

    I think he is the perfect number 2 hitter. I really hope that’s where he ends up.

  6. Howard Hansen on February 16th, 2005 12:12 pm

    I heard most of the interview this morning. He came off as charming, self-effacing, level-headed, confident, and really smart.

    He’s going to step up to the plate knowing what he wants to do. I think he’s going to do a monster job in the two-hole this year.

  7. PositivePaul on February 16th, 2005 12:34 pm

    I delayed my entry into the drudgery called “work” this morning so I could hear the entire interview.

    I, too, met Jeremy, in Tacoma, and got a chance to chat with him a little. Defintely a good fit, personality-wise, on this team. I watched him extra closely in Tacoma, and my first impression wasn’t that great. However, the more and more I saw him play, and when I saw how he handled his Seattle promotion (even in his limited ABs), I’m ecstatic we have a player of his caliber.

    Sure, there’s been discussion like “Bloomquist hit .400 in September, when HE was called up, you can’t say Reed will be awesome — don’t get that excited about him.” But when you look at his minor league stats next to Bloomquists, you can certainly believe he’ll be much better.

    I, for one, am tremendously excited to have Reed patrolling CF. Sure his arm isn’t Ichiro-esque. But he really carries himself well out there, and should be an upgrade over Winn. We won’t be spoiled like we were with Griffey and Cammy, but he’ll do an above-average job, and won’t be a liability.

    I certainly agree that Jeremy’s ideal role in 2005 should be hitting second, and starting in CF. Jeremy was certainly keen with hitting between Ichiro and Beltre. I’m wondering what others think — is hitting #2 really that high-pressure? So much pressure, that we should “ease” Reed into the starting lineup further down in the order (7th)? I’m convinced otherwise, and see Reed as the best #2 hitter on this team, even above Winn. Considering how “well” Winn starts the season off, too, I’d give Reed the #2 slot and tell him it’s his to lose.

  8. Cap on February 16th, 2005 1:44 pm

    I heard the 4 best words in the world today:
    Pitchers and catchers report.

  9. tino on February 16th, 2005 2:24 pm

    Another thing they noted after the interview is that he will be set up really nicely for success in the #2 hole. Believe what you want about protection, but at the very least — hitting between Ichiro and Beltre has got to be one of the better lineup slots in MLB.

  10. Dan on February 16th, 2005 2:59 pm

    Jeremy Reed would have to have a disastrous spring to not be the starting center fielder on April 4th batting behind Ichiro. Bavasi, Hargrove and the rest of the front office says that stuff about him having to play well and that he is guaranteed nothing, lip service, that’s all it is, I would bet the farm that barring a .083 spring training average or John Levesque finding strange pills in his Peoria locker, Jeremy Reed will be the starting center fielder, book it.

  11. John on February 16th, 2005 3:39 pm

    I know historically average has been overrated, and because of that some have tempered their enthusiasm for Reed, but the way I see it, a high average if nothing else means he’s seeing the ball well. High contact, line-drive hitters sometimes fill out and then those high averages become high slugging percentages. Nothing is for certain, but it is nice to think at least Reed has the potential to become something truly special. I for one am not so excited about this year as I am for 2006, 2007 and beyond.

  12. joe bob on February 16th, 2005 4:07 pm

    In BPs roundtable discussions on outfield prospects he was mentioned as being amongst those outfield prospects behind the runaway leader delmon young. I know we didn’t develop him in our system, but its nice to hear a young mariner position player mentioned as a top prospect. Now if only he and Lopez step up and become valuable major leaguers we’ll be set for 2006.

  13. Dave on February 16th, 2005 4:19 pm

    Take the BP prospect discussions with a grain of salt. It’s not their forte.

    Also, John, unfortunately, it isn’t true that high average hitters often develop into power hitters. Players who hit for consistently high averages without many home runs are usually slap hitters by design who put an inordinate amount of balls on the ground. The skillset that most accurately predicts future power is the ability to consistently drive the ball in the gaps, which is best measured by extra base hits. I’ve promoted a statistic I call extra base hit ratio, which is simply extra base hits divided by total hits, that has done a good job at predicting future power from players who haven’t posted high SLG marks in the minors.

    And, despite his good qualities and solid future, XBH/H isn’t very kind to Reed. Odds are he’s not going to develop into more than a line drive, gap hitter. Which is fine. He’ll still be a productive player. But we’re not looking at a 30 HR hitter once he fills out.

  14. Jeff Sullivan on February 16th, 2005 4:25 pm

    A few days ago, I was looking at Boone’s XBH/H numbers over his career, and his suden post-30 peak numbers really aren’t that out of line with his “layman” seasons.

    I guess this post isn’t so much on topic as it is tying two recent thread discussions together…

  15. Jim Thomsen on February 16th, 2005 4:25 pm

    I’ll settle for the first six years of Von Hayes’ career. Is that reasonable?

  16. side note on February 16th, 2005 4:39 pm

    on a side note…it was reported that Sele reported to camp with and Angels duffel bag. What do you guys think? I don’t mean to be picky, but come on. If I guy shows up with a bag of a team that beat you to a pulp and started your downward spiral, would you want to see a fellow potential teammate having any of that team’s gear? Think of it this way: what if it were a hat or jersey instead of a bag? Or, what it were a Microsoft bag being brought to an Apple’s office? Would it have killed the guy to buy a duffel bag at some shop? I say this shows his attitude towards his potential team. I hope he doesn’t make it.

  17. JMB on February 16th, 2005 5:03 pm

    #9, on protection…

    I’m with you. It certainly can’t hurt to hit behind Ichiro, since he’s on base all the time, and hitters almost always hit better with runners on base. Plus there’s that large hole on the right side, and Reed’s a lefty.


  18. Kirby on February 16th, 2005 5:07 pm

    I was able to meet Jeremy Reed at this years fanfest and I asked him this question. “Long Bech State has a great tradition for putting out all-star quality baseball players. Do you think you can be the next MLB allstar from Long Beach State?”(for those who don’t know Reed went to Long Beach State and others include the Giambis, Weavers and Bobby Crosby) He looked me dead in the eye and said “Without a doubt”. That is the type of confidence this team needs and he will be an all star very very shortly.

  19. David J Corcoran on February 16th, 2005 5:43 pm

    If you all need humor, this comes from a souce I read:
    [It’s about Bloomquist]

    “And if anyone says he doesn’t have power, HE (LIKE ICHIRO) DOESN’T HIT THAT WAY! HE HITS FOR THE GAPS!”

  20. Jeff Sullivan on February 16th, 2005 6:44 pm

    More Willie humor.

    I love some of these page sponsors.

  21. DG on February 16th, 2005 9:10 pm

    Reed is a pretty classy dude from what i could tell in his two months in Tacoma.

    Best quote: “I’m an on-base type of hitter.”

    I hear Reeder has tacked on 8 or 10 pounds of muscle in attempts to stave off “slap hitter” status.

  22. Jon Wells on February 16th, 2005 11:36 pm

    More Willie Humor — that .923 fielding percentage at third base last year, which wasn’t much better than Russ Davis’ fielding pctg. the year he made 32 errors at 3B. I remember Davis playing LF one game and I remember a dropped fly ball out there but i didn’t recall that he made 2 errors in 3 chances there for a .333 FP!

  23. Paul Covert on February 17th, 2005 12:03 am

    Concerning protection:

    I don’t think anyone would dispute that Barry Bonds has hit fewer home runs than he would have if, for example, Pujols-Rolen-Edmonds or Sheffield-ARod-Posada were coming up behind him. In that sense “protection” is undeniably true. I suspect that the idea of “protection” took hold due to the tendency in some quarters to define a “good year” for a hitter as one with a lot of home runs and RBI’s.

    If, on the other hand, the quality of a hitter’s year is measured by something like RC or EQA or VORP– something that takes walks into account as well as homers in the effort to estimate a hitter’s overall contribution– then the “protection” notion becomes much more questionable. Indeed, it might even be argued (though to do so would involve more research than I have time for) that Bonds may actually have contributed more to the Giants’ offense this way– that is, that opposing managers may have followed a sub-optimal strategy by pitching around him so much.

    Another way to think of this is in terms of cost-benefit tradeoffs, as if this were an economic problem (which, in a certain baseball sense, it is). Suppose you have Jeremy Reed coming up, and Adrian Beltre behind him. Then the opposing team has an added incentive to keep Reed off base (in particular, not to walk him), due to the risk of Beltre going deep. Therefore, they’ll choose to take an added risk of Reed going for extra bases (i.e. give him more fastballs) to reduce the risk of Reed getting on and Beltre bringing him home. So, if opposing teams play it this way, Reed’s OBP will go down but his slugging average will go up. His OPS may go up slightly, although it shouldn’t be a drastic change.

    Consider also the scenario of Ichiro on first base with Reed at the plate. Here we have another cost-benefit tradeoff for the opposing team: They can reduce the risk of Ichiro running wild by allowing an increased risk of Reed getting a hit (having the 1Bman hold Ichiro at the bag, of course, and also reducing the number of slow breaking balls thrown to Reed). Doing these things will have a different effect on the batting stats: instead of allowing Reed a higher SLG to decrease his OBP, now they’re allowing Reed better batting stats in general in order to keep Ichiro’s SB totals from going through the roof (which is what would happen if they didn’t bother holding him on). So this time all the benefits to the offense of the tradeoff go into Reed’s batting stats (thus validating Jason’s point in #17 above).

    So– if “protection” is defined as “a lineup effect tending to improve a hitter’s overall batting stats” (using an all-factors-considered metric like EQA), then there may not be more than marginal “protection” from the hitter behind; but the “protection” from the hitter before can be significant, if he’s a good baserunner (but not one who makes you take pitches so he can steal– that swings the SB vs. hitting tradeoff back the other way).

    Even then, though, it must be emphasized that it’s the stats that are protected, not necessarily the contribution. If Reed benefits from Ichiro being on first as much as any other hitter would, then it’s not really his contribution; he’s just in the right place at the right time. If, on the other hand (following up Jason’s other point in #17), Reed as a lefty line-drive hitter benefits more from Ichiro’s presence than the average hitter would, then his lineup position really is allowing him to contribute more. (That’s the same effect that a righty slugger experiences in Fenway– the park increases his contributions more than it increases offense in general, and so even after the park adjustment he’s still contributing more there than he would someplace else.)

    Sorry for the long post– hope it wasn’t too convoluted….

  24. troy on February 17th, 2005 9:24 am

    Good analysis Covert. Makes sense to me.

  25. tino on February 17th, 2005 11:03 am

    I like it too Paul — Some of these things are really hard to quantify, and are a flaw with our current stats, which don’t account for:

    – Park effects on different types of hitters (as you mention)
    – Road park effects
    – Lineup effects
    – Context of every play. I’ve heard of some consultants doing work with play-by-play data and run expectancy, but nothing mainstream. (even this likely wouldn’t capture defensive alignment)
    – Sophisticated baserunning analysis (some of this could be captured by the play-by-play approach)

    All of this is a way to say that you are right — Reed’s skills or contribution wouldn’t be different, he just might be in a place to succeed at contributing more (and be measured as such).