The Dayton Game, Mariner-style

DMZ · May 30, 2008 at 9:33 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Joe Posanski offers this interesting challenge: what Mariner player-skills would rate over 60 on the major-league 20-80 scale for the seven hitter skills? (“hitting, power, speed, defense, arm”). And remember, those tools are in isolation. You can have monster power and suck at hitting. I know, it’s a little dumb.

I don’t think 50 as ML average and 60 = All-Star is quite accurate (especially since 40 is “a tick below average), but for me, anyway, I immediately thought

Okay, Ichiro’s hitting, arm, and baserunning, Ibanez hitting, power, uhhh… shooooot. Sexson power? Betancourt hitting? Wlad power? Beltre defense, Ichiro defense… though compared to CF peers, maybe not… ummm… crap.

Now, that’s just what occurred to me while reading that article. If I sat down and went through the lineup, I might come up with more — but I’m a little shocked that so little sprang to mind. It’s a little depressing.

Thanks to Jason for the pointer.


30 Responses to “The Dayton Game, Mariner-style”

  1. red_devil20 on May 30th, 2008 9:40 am

    Lopez sac bunting…
    WFB grit…
    Cairo power…
    Really, the list just goes on and on.

  2. Dave on May 30th, 2008 9:51 am

    Contact: Ichiro, Betancourt, Lopez, Johjima, Vidro, Bloomquist

    Power: Sexson, Beltre, Balentien

    Speed: Ichiro, Betancourt, Bloomquist

    Approach: None

    Fielding Range: Ichiro, Beltre

    Fielding Hands: Beltre

    Throwing Arm: Ichiro, Beltre, Betancourt, Balentien

    It’s pretty easy to see what the M’s value (contact hitters) and don’t value (plate discipline), but this isn’t news.

  3. PhilKenSebben on May 30th, 2008 10:02 am

    Cairo: Spinning and Throwing out runners at second on a bunt = 100

  4. msb on May 30th, 2008 10:12 am

    Approach: None

    well, sometimes some of them sometimes have a sort of an approach, for an inning or so.


  5. bratman on May 30th, 2008 10:16 am

    2 – Absolutely, The plate discipline (approach) on our team is completely atrocious — and it is VERY sad that we do not value it.

    I know we can point to many examples throughout the season of this being a problem (Yuni Betencourt pops into my head a bunch) … but I wanted to point out the last game of the Boston series … the Gem thrown by Bedard.

    The Red Sox ‘offensive approach’ was so far above and beyond the Mariners it was laughable. You knew you were watching a good hitting team because of care and focus they put into EACH AND EVERY at bat. They worked the counts … battled back from 0-2 … you could just see the difference.

    The Mariners swung at literally everything Wakefield threw to them … I don’t remember for certain but at one point I think Wake’s PC was at 50 through 5 innings and Bedard’s was above 75.

    Lack Plate discipline is a huge and mostly overlooked problem to have (I know this blog doesn’t over look it, but so many do).

    I’m sure we can uncover so many wasted AB’s by this entire team over the past couple years if we tried … it is just disgusting.

  6. abender20 on May 30th, 2008 10:17 am

    Dave: I disagree on one point. Betancourt is not a 60 speed. He just isn’t. He is slightly above league average (though not at his position), and this shows in his baserunning. I attempted to find a site that tracked infield hits so that I could use that as a measure, but I don’t have it. For those of you with Baseball Prospectus memberships, check out the speed rating for Yuni and compare it to guys like Ian Kinsler. I would put Kinsler just at All-Star speed level, while guys like Carlos Gomez and Michael Bourn are at the 70-80 range.

    Also worth noting… Lopez is a 60 at Bail Out swings, and Silva at 80 for consuming In ‘N Out (4 4×4’s? one meal?)

  7. Dave on May 30th, 2008 10:20 am

    Betancourt can freaking fly. He’s not a very good baserunner, but that’s a function of other flaws. In terms of raw speed, he’s just really, really fast. Fangraphs has infield hit rates, by the way.

    Carlos Gomez is an 80 on the scale, by the way. He’s right there with Joey Gathright as the fastest guy in baseball.

  8. jlc on May 30th, 2008 10:23 am


  9. bratman on May 30th, 2008 10:24 am

    I really think with better approach to the plate Beltre would be even more underrated than he already is.

    Imagine if Beltre had any plate discipline … too exciting to think about.

    I would love to see some sort of measurement on Approach for Beltres huge year in 04. Is this possible?

  10. abender20 on May 30th, 2008 10:25 am

    Hm I guess I should watch more closely. I do know he runs funny (watching Yuni leg out a triple is a 60 for Comedy), but I just havent seen the speed. I know it’s hard to quantify and we usually just use triples and stolen bases which is really more a function of baserunning. If he really does have the speed tools, why isnt someone working with him to translate that speed into baserunning success?

  11. bratman on May 30th, 2008 10:29 am


  12. jlc on May 30th, 2008 10:30 am

    BTW, [ot]

  13. Dave on May 30th, 2008 10:34 am

    Scouts don’t measure tools by the results they create. Speed is quantified by stop watches, just like in track. Players are measured on their home to first and first to third times, and Betancourt is well above average in both. Dude can run.

  14. Tek Jansen on May 30th, 2008 10:36 am

    Yuni would win a 200 meter race in which all M’s competed. Ichiro might lead the first 50 meters, but I suspect that Yuni would overtake him. He is fast. Who the heck disagrees.

  15. abender20 on May 30th, 2008 10:44 am

    I guess I must unlearn what I have learned about Yuni. Thanks for the happy news.

  16. bratman on May 30th, 2008 10:47 am

    Dave: You wouldn’t put Ichiro in the ‘Fielding Hands’ Category? Or does it not apply because he is not an infielder?

  17. mln on May 30th, 2008 10:52 am

    Here’s another baseball skills metric?

    It measures an important ability undervalued by many teams, but not by the M’s!

  18. Johan Garpenlov on May 30th, 2008 10:52 am

    From the Baseball America 2006 Prospect Handbook:

    “55-59: The majority of first division starters are found in this range, including quality No. 2 and 3 starters, frontline setup men and second tier closers.

    60-69: You’ll find All-Star caliber players here: No. 2 starters on a championship club and first division plaers. See Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez.”

  19. Dave on May 30th, 2008 10:52 am

    Hands are basically irrelevant to outfielders, and since they would be functionally useless in the OF even if he did have great hands, he doesn’t make the cut.

  20. Evan on May 30th, 2008 11:00 am

    Given your scores, Dave, I’m surprised the team doesn’t let Willie start more.

  21. bratman on May 30th, 2008 11:12 am

    Now that I think about it more, I think we should add Bill Bavasi to the ‘Approach’ Category.

    Can’t believe I missed that one the first time around.

  22. joser on May 30th, 2008 11:24 am

    I put Ichiro in the “Jazz Hands” category. (Wasn’t that what he was doing after he ran into the wall the other night?)

  23. Mike Snow on May 30th, 2008 11:28 am

    Position players only? I know that’s what Posnanski apparently focused on, but don’t scouts also use the scale for pitching skills (and individual pitch types, I believe)? Plenty of 60s out of Felix, Bedard, Morrow, and Putz. I’d think even the Royals would have squeezed something out of Zack Greinke for this game.

  24. Dave on May 30th, 2008 11:30 am

    Derek specifically mentioned position players, so that’s what we’re talking about. But yes, if we ventured off into pitcher land, we’d find a few more.

  25. Mike Snow on May 30th, 2008 11:32 am

    Right, I was seeing it as an oversight by Posnanski more than Derek.

  26. kidlondon on May 30th, 2008 11:44 am

    Garlic Fries have “60” rated flavor, that’s my kind of all star.

  27. bratman on May 30th, 2008 12:06 pm

    Well Red Fairly never wanted his pitchers throwing anywhere but home …

  28. BaltimoreDave on May 30th, 2008 12:37 pm

    So Dave found 18 60-grade Mariner tools, while Posnanski found *two* on the Royals. Either Dave’s being too generous or Joe is being too harsh.

  29. Mat on May 30th, 2008 3:40 pm

    So Dave found 18 60-grade Mariner tools, while Posnanski found *two* on the Royals. Either Dave’s being too generous or Joe is being too harsh.

    I think Dave may have been considering slightly different categories than Posnanski, plus there’s also the possibility that KC just has that few tools compared to the Mariners. I would be interested to know Dave’s opinion on Royals with 60+ tools, though.

  30. Zonis on May 31st, 2008 10:40 am

    Lets see if I can do this for the A’s. (Be interesting to compare the other AL West teams as well).

    Daric Barton
    Travis Buck
    Carlos Gonzalez
    Mike Sweeney

    Jack Cust
    Frank Thomas

    Rajai Davis
    Travis Buck

    Mark Ellis
    Bobby Crosby
    Eric Chavez

    Donnie Murphy
    Bobby Crosby

    Does that sound good? Trying not to be too biased. Barton, Buck and Gonzalez I am basing it mostly on their minor league track records since they are pretty much rookies.

    But if we are going just with tools that have already been realized in the Major Leagues, scratch those three and leave just Sweeney in Hitting (hitting for average is really the only thing left he seems able to do), and that is that.

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