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 Post subject: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:56 am 
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Has anyone else noticed that Andy bends his back knee to much which makes his head dip on every swing. It seems as though he is trying to crush every pitch. From my experiences of playing and coaching, I try to instruct my batters to keep your eyesight on one level plane. Otherwise, you can lose track of the ball causing you to hit a ton of pop-ups or swing and miss.

I though maybe it was just on a few pitches, but I have noticed that he does this on almost every swing. The ones he does not do it on are FB's to the outside part of the plate where he is reaching.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:24 am 
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He's pull happy and likes to work himself into a pitcher's count. Is he ever not in an 0-2 or 1-2 count??


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:18 am 
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The good thing is that its not an end of the world flaw. He seems to be a little like Jose Castillo in that if he were to work all fields he would be a very successful hitter. Lets just hope he is more teachable than Castillo.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:02 pm 
Piratefan13 wrote:
The good thing is that its not an end of the world flaw. He seems to be a little like Jose Castillo in that if he were to work all fields he would be a very successful hitter. Lets just hope he is more teachable than Castillo.


I know he's young and still developing, so I'm willing to give him more of a chance, but gosh, by the looks of things to this point, he really looks like he just doesn't have it.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:12 pm 
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He looks to me like a AAA player, except we already have Walker there. Maybe we trade Andy and find a real third baseman for next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:13 pm 
Ralphie wrote:
He looks to me like a AAA player, except we already have Walker there. Maybe we trade Andy and find a real third baseman for next year.


Yeah, despite the fact they have two "prospects" in Walker and LaRoche, I don't feel very good about 3B in 09 at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:19 pm 
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I dunno. All the scouts have him projected as a Glaus/Rolen type thirdbaseman. I would want to take a thorough look at him before casting him away. It's his brother I'm desperate to get rid of. 18 HRs and 68 RBIs from first base just ain't going to cut it. Maybe Neil Walker is our future first baseman.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:36 pm 
doug frobel wrote:
I dunno. All the scouts have him projected as a Glaus/Rolen type thirdbaseman. I would want to take a thorough look at him before casting him away. It's his brother I'm desperate to get rid of. 18 HRs and 68 RBIs from first base just ain't going to cut it. Maybe Neil Walker is our future first baseman.


I'm with you about getting rid of Adam, but what has Walker shown you that makes you think he's the 1B of the future? It seems to me he can't handle AAA pitching yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:28 pm 
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Well, he's only 23, and he had a great final month at Indy. Seems to have finally adjusted to AAA pitching. After learning to play 3B so quickly, 1B should be pretty easy. I'm talking 2010...

Who knows, maybe Steve Pearce will find his power stroke, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:40 pm 
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Its way too early to be tossing Andy away. I would hate for another team to reap the benefits of his talent because we were too quick to judge. But I am confident that the front office will give Andy every opportunity to make good on his talent.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:00 am 
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I concede that trading Andy now would be a mistake. It's just frustrating watching a minor-leaguer after going for a while with nearly all big-league position players.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:15 am 
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It seems to me that it wasn't so long ago that Pirates fans were bitching about another young 3rd baseman who had monumental struggles over his first few seasons in the majors. And then, of course, they were bitching when he left Pittsburgh as well. But just for poops and giggles, lets compare lines:

Minor league career: AB's HR OBP SLG K's
Aramis Ramirez 1520 69 392 515 261
Andy Laroche 1800 95 452 439 294

First 250 or so AB's in MLB:
Aramis Ramirez 251 6 296 351 72
Andy Laroche 259 6 301 297 49

Seems to me that there is reason for hope. But that's because I'm just a stupid optimist. I'm sure the prudent thing would be to trade Andy for a Bobby Hill/Matt Brubak package while we still can. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:21 am 
I'm not saying they should trade Andy, either. They just got him. My point is I hope they don't bank on him - I haven't seen enough from him to make me feel comfortable anointing him as next year's 3b or the 3b of the future. I certainly hope he's both.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:32 pm 
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BBF wrote:
It seems to me that it wasn't so long ago that Pirates fans were bitching about another young 3rd baseman who had monumental struggles over his first few seasons in the majors. And then, of course, they were bitching when he left Pittsburgh as well. But just for poops and giggles, lets compare lines:

Code:
Minor league career:
                      AB's   HR   OBP   SLG   K's
Aramis Ramirez        1520   69  .392  .515   261
Andy Laroche          1800   95  .452  .439   294

First 250 or so AB's in MLB:
                      AB's   HR   OBP   SLG   K's
Aramis Ramirez         251    6  .296  .351    72
Andy Laroche           259    6  .301  .297    49

Seems to me that there is reason for hope. But that's because I'm just a stupid optimist. I'm sure the prudent thing would be to trade Andy for a Bobby Hill/Matt Brubak package while we still can. :roll:

This should help BBF's numbers be more readable. By the way, BBF, excellent point.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Willton wrote:
BBF wrote:
It seems to me that it wasn't so long ago that Pirates fans were bitching about another young 3rd baseman who had monumental struggles over his first few seasons in the majors. And then, of course, they were bitching when he left Pittsburgh as well. But just for poops and giggles, lets compare lines:

Code:
Minor league career:
                      AB's   HR   OBP   SLG   K's
Aramis Ramirez        1520   69  .392  .515   261
Andy Laroche          1800   95  .452  .439   294

First 250 or so AB's in MLB:
                      AB's   HR   OBP   SLG   K's
Aramis Ramirez         251    6  .296  .351    72
Andy Laroche           259    6  .301  .297    49

Seems to me that there is reason for hope. But that's because I'm just a stupid optimist. I'm sure the prudent thing would be to trade Andy for a Bobby Hill/Matt Brubak package while we still can. :roll:

This should help BBF's numbers be more readable. By the way, BBF, excellent point.


Damn BBF you beat me to the punch on the Bobby Hill thing

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:01 pm 
Let's home that Walker, LaRoche or a new addition can be a good third baseman in 2009. Having options is a good thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:56 pm 
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BBF wrote:
It seems to me that it wasn't so long ago that Pirates fans were bitching about another young 3rd baseman who had monumental struggles over his first few seasons in the majors. And then, of course, they were bitching when he left Pittsburgh as well. But just for poops and giggles, lets compare lines:

Minor league career: AB's HR OBP SLG K's
Aramis Ramirez 1520 69 392 515 261
Andy Laroche 1800 95 452 439 294

First 250 or so AB's in MLB:
Aramis Ramirez 251 6 296 351 72
Andy Laroche 259 6 301 297 49

Seems to me that there is reason for hope. But that's because I'm just a stupid optimist. I'm sure the prudent thing would be to trade Andy for a Bobby Hill/Matt Brubak package while we still can. :roll:

While I'm of the belief that LaRoche will work out just fine, I have to point out that his at bats have come at ages 23 and 24, while Ramirez accumulated his first 250 at bats at the age of 20. That's a tremendous difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:52 am 
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I agree we need to wait a little, he's still had fewer than 300 major league ABs. I'll genuinely start to worry if he continues this production through all next year.

But Sisyphus makes a really good point about the age differences.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:18 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
While I'm of the belief that LaRoche will work out just fine, I have to point out that his at bats have come at ages 23 and 24, while Ramirez accumulated his first 250 at bats at the age of 20. That's a tremendous difference.


Sadly, I had already anticipated that counterargument, but didn't bother thinking up a response to it (I honestly didn't think Laroche's detractors were bright enough to make the argument...thanks sisy!).

However, Rammy's next 300 AB's weren't much better, either, and that is approaching 21-22 yo.

In fact, Rammy's age 24 season saw him OPS a beastly .666 (he did smack 18 big flies though). OPS+ of 72 that year. And that was after parts of 4 seasons in the big leagues, one of which was quite impressive (34 homers the previous year, with a .300 BA).

I think my point still holds true that it is ridiculous to be judging Laroche based on his first 250 AB's when he is still 24 years old. His minor league stats are probably much more useful at this point in predicting what sort of player he will become, and they are pretty damn good (though I personally think he will turn out to be less of a power hitter than the raw numbers suggest, and instead be an OBP and doubles machine).


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche Batting Approach
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Fair points raised all over the place here.
I'll add the fact that scouts assessing LaRoche were far from convinced that he could make the step to the bigs and felt that he would, at best, hold his own against #4 and #5 pitchers and struggle against top of the rotation pitchers.

So far, he has struggled against all pitching and (I think ZM raised this point) looks very much like a player that the Dodgers would give a rat's backside about losing in a trade.

I hope I'm wrong but I have very little expectation out of LaRoche and even less out of Steve Pearce. It's my belief that anyone holding hope that these two will be major factors with the next contending team in the 'Burgh will be gravely disappointed.

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