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 Post subject: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:24 pm 
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Great article over at Fangraphs by Dave Cameron. Take a read, fellow fans of the PLAYOFF BOUND PITTSBURGH PIRATES:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-the- ... yoff-team/


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Great stuff (as usual from Dave Cameron) - especially the last paragraph on the Martin signing.

Re: Walker and the position changes in the minors, it would have probably been worth pointing out that it was Iwamura flopping that ultimately landed him at 2B, but regardless the point is valid that the organization surprised just about everyone which how far his defense at 2B has come.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Not being from Pittsburgh, I can understand anyone's surprise. But, for those of us who saw the raw athleticism from him as a HS multi-sport star, it isn't so much of a surprise. Really, the only thing he lacks from the great 2nd basemen is the explosive first step. By most any other measure I see, he is a top 3-4 2B in the NL, at least.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:38 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Great article over at Fangraphs by Dave Cameron. Take a read, fellow fans of the PLAYOFF BOUND PITTSBURGH PIRATES:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-the- ... yoff-team/


With success comes many accolades . . .

I think that he is dead on right with #2, #4 and #5. They certainly were patient with Cutch, they've embraced defensive shifting and saw that they needed massive improvement out of the catcher spot and found a defensive gem in Martin.
I think that he is cherry picking a bit with #1 to fit his argument/conclusion - particularly in light of #5. I also think that Searage has played a significant role. But . . . did the Bucs look at who was prime for bounce back years? Yes, they did and they have hit on some key acquisitions.
As for #3, I think that his analysis missed on key points. With respect to Walker, the decision to move him was dictated by drafting Pedro Alvarez. I recall that, as Pedro shot up the minor leagues, it was pretty apparent that Walker had no role on the team unless he found another position or became a super-sub. He's always been considered a very good athlete with good hands and quick feet. Not that the Pirates shouldn't be commended. They hung with the former #1 pick and found room for him on Victory Field in 2010 after Pedro was promoted to Indianapolis. Given that Alvarez was deemed to be the 3rd baseman of the future, it was either release Walker or find a new position for him. To their credit, they didn't give up on him and realized that his athleticism would play at second base (think Craig Biggio). Also, it is my recollection that there were plenty of doubters as to whether his bat would produce like the stereotypical third baseman.
As for Marte, the reason he's playing left field is because the Pirates recognize that he is exactly the type of player that is needed in PNC Park. They've long stated that PNC Park calls out of a center fielder-type playing left field. Instead, I'd claim that they have recognized that PNC Park's cavernous left field demands a player with center field range and, in recognizing this, the Pirates have created a marked advantage when playing at home. The combination of PNC Park's left field robbing home runs due to its vastness and with Cutch and Marte roaming out there, the Pirates turn a fair number of extra base hits that turn into outs.

Thus, I'm not sure I buy into the conclusion that the Pirates "ignored positional stereotypes" in developing Walker and Marte.

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:21 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Not being from Pittsburgh, I can understand anyone's surprise. But, for those of us who saw the raw athleticism from him as a HS multi-sport star, it isn't so much of a surprise. Really, the only thing he lacks from the great 2nd basemen is the explosive first step. By most any other measure I see, he is a top 3-4 2B in the NL, at least.

ZM

Good points, and I recall the discussions you and I had back in 2009, where we discussed the fact that Walker could become at least an adequate defender.

He is more than that as of now, I submit. I know that his UZR is still just league average, but he is a good defender. He turns the DP very well, and the defensive positioning puts his skills to best use.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:23 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
As for #3, I think that his analysis missed on key points. With respect to Walker, the decision to move him was dictated by drafting Pedro Alvarez.

I suspect that Walker's move to 2nd base was also based in significant part on just how incredibly, amazingly, stunningly awful Akinori Iwamura was.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:04 pm 
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That was a great read.

I agree with No. 9, ignoring PNC's left field was a glaring omission. Marte fits the bill for the type of player we need there. The prototypical left fielder would cost us quite a bit.

Not only that, but the game has changed dramatically and I'm buying into this defensive philosophy to the point where I'm glad we have another center fielder type coming up to play right field, even though our right field is small.

Walker is also a great instinctive athlete. He is the opposite of a choker on defense. When the pressure is on, he almost always seems to come up with exactly the right play.


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
As for #3, I think that his analysis missed on key points. With respect to Walker, the decision to move him was dictated by drafting Pedro Alvarez.

I suspect that Walker's move to 2nd base was also based in significant part on just how incredibly, amazingly, stunningly awful Akinori Iwamura was.


No doubt that helped with his promotion but . . . to be fair . . . where else was he going to play? SS - No. 1B - No. CF - No. LF - not at PNC Park. RF - Maybe. Back to C - No. So . . . it was either 2B or RF for Walker and - although I admit that my memory is growing fuzzier by the day - I seem to recall that they had Walker playing at 2B to start 2010 in Indy when Alvarez was manning 3B. Thus, they had him at 2B before Iwamura proved to be an absolute disaster. Had Iwamura been competent, I suspect that we would have seen Walker play the entire year at 2B in Indy to get experience.

Or . . . maybe my memory is off and they moved him to 2B in Indy when it was clear that Iwamura blew goats.

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Stumbled upon this via USS Mariner.

Great read.

A great addition to the 'The Bucs are rebuidling, I mean it this time!' scrap-book.

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:06 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
As for #3, I think that his analysis missed on key points. With respect to Walker, the decision to move him was dictated by drafting Pedro Alvarez.

I suspect that Walker's move to 2nd base was also based in significant part on just how incredibly, amazingly, stunningly awful Akinori Iwamura was.


No doubt that helped with his promotion but . . . to be fair . . . where else was he going to play? SS - No. 1B - No. CF - No. LF - not at PNC Park. RF - Maybe. Back to C - No. So . . . it was either 2B or RF for Walker and - although I admit that my memory is growing fuzzier by the day - I seem to recall that they had Walker playing at 2B to start 2010 in Indy when Alvarez was manning 3B. Thus, they had him at 2B before Iwamura proved to be an absolute disaster. Had Iwamura been competent, I suspect that we would have seen Walker play the entire year at 2B in Indy to get experience.

Or . . . maybe my memory is off and they moved him to 2B in Indy when it was clear that Iwamura blew goats.

A little memory jogger for you. Walker's games played at each position from 2010 at Indy.

1B - 7
2B - 21
3B - 1
LF - 14

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:43 am 
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Tim Williams wrote a great follow-up to the Cameron piece yesterday. Very cool. Take a read.

http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09 ... rsion.html


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:28 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Tim Williams wrote a great follow-up to the Cameron piece yesterday. Very cool. Take a read.

http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09 ... rsion.html


This was great.

LOVE the cost/production comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:18 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Tim Williams wrote a great follow-up to the Cameron piece yesterday. Very cool. Take a read.

http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09 ... rsion.html


Been a Pirates (and baseball) fan for 47 years. Even played college ball for WVU. But I learned more from that article about what is going on with our Buccos than I could have ever figured out on my own. Wow. Just wow. Hats off to Tim Williams, who obviously knows more about this team and this game than me. Great analysis!


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 Post subject: Re: Dave Cameron: How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:57 am 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Tim Williams wrote a great follow-up to the Cameron piece yesterday. Very cool. Take a read.

http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09 ... rsion.html

If you like inside baseball stuff and Pirate strategy for development read the links in this post.

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