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left handed hitters theory

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left handed hitters theory

Postby dsd10988 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:35 pm

I tried a strategy in 2007 to draft 6+ hitters who were great vs righties and were terrible vs lefties.

Off the top of my head I drafted guys such as
Berkman
Sizemore
Patterson
Laroche
Overbay
Chris Duncan
Jacque Jones
AJ Pierzynski
Geoff Jenkins

The idea was is that these guys in 2006 hit on average .300 20 hr 80 rbi in about 110-120 games started vs righties. Berkman was as good as pujols in 2006 vs righties.. I had 4 righties on my bench..youkilis, thomas, burrell and some right handed catcher..who i pretty much started almost every game due to one of the above sitting vs lefties.

All of those players underachieved in 2007...but surprisingly some like Sizemore, Laroche, patterson improved vs lefties, but were far worse vs righties than they were in 2006. Berkman, Overbay, Duncan, Pierzynski didn't improve vs lefties..but were much worse vs righties than they were a year ago.

Could it be for some players, that when they are terrible vs lefties, that during the offseason they will work very hard to improve themselves vs lefties, and not as much vs righties because they figure they are good enough.

Of course this is not true for every player, and I haven't done much research to defend my point. Its just a thought and maybe makes you look at players with these kind of splits more closely. Someone like Brad Hawpe, I might look at more because good chance hes putting a ton of effort in learning to hit lefties better this offseason so that he doesn't become a platoon player.


Also anyone ever use this strategy of drafting a ton of lefty bats and it actually work?
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby EverybodyHits » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:27 am

i like to platoon a few lefties for 1 or 2 roster spots. neever thought about trying it w/ a whole team.
Last edited by EverybodyHits on Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby Snakes Gould » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:34 am

i think you over thunk the situation. now drafting two players like say geoff jenkins and jayson werth could be a good idea late in the draft (jenkins will play vs rhp, and werth will play vs lhp and they both are above average vs both) but its usually not worth the extra draft spot.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:30 am

Not so much a ton of lefty hitters, but I generally fill out my util and bench with lefty hitters in the late rounds of drafts and then platoon them through util/of/ci spots. While this costs you some roster flexibility, I generally find I can put together a decent platoon that gives me early round performance.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby fantasyfiend » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:44 am

Studies have shown that vs R/L is insignificant, and the average hitter will hit at about 8-10% better vs the opposite hand.

The idea that some guys rake vs L, or R, is an overblown/overstated concept.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:40 pm

fantasyfiend wrote:Studies have shown that vs R/L is insignificant, and the average hitter will hit at about 8-10% better vs the opposite hand.

The idea that some guys rake vs L, or R, is an overblown/overstated concept.


It's a little bit larger for LH hitters (about 12% IIRC). The difference is not insignificant, but it is common to all hitters. Thus, when the issue at hand is, would you rather have a LH hitter facing a RH pitcher or a RH hitter facing a RH pitcher, it's a perfectly relevant and meaningful difference. A 8-12 percent difference is 20-30 point difference in a batting average.

If you are talking about two RH hitters each hitting against a LH pitcher where one of them shows a larger split, the research suggests that split is not meaningful.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby hot4tx » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:49 pm

Also by averaging all hitters you aren't considering that some might be better/worse against same armed pitchers.

One thing - you have to look at career averages (or at least averages of 3 years or more) before saying a hitter is a RHP platoon candidate. Can't just assume ALL lefties are.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby dsd10988 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:12 pm

someone like berkman though..had never had much power vs lefties nor a high batting avg. Anyone know the percentage of games a team will face vs lefties and vs righties? I think its got be like 110+ games a team will face vs a righty. The chances are if you have something like 8 guys for 5 spots in your lineup. You should get at least 2 players a day batting vs a left handed pitcher thus benching them and starting someone else vs righties.

Ideally, this plan should work..if everyone hits the way they are supposed to. But like some of you have responded, its too hard to tell year by year what a player's splits will be.

But, if theres anything you should be able to realisticly predict..it is that a power hitting lefty, or someone who has always hit righties much better than lefties...sizemore/patterson...its that they will continue to do so...and if you start them only vs righties, you should get better stats for each player.

I mentioned in my first post though that could it be that players like sizemore, patterson who have always hit righties well..and not so much lefties...last offseason they worked more against improving vs lefties. And that to not as much work vs righties. Leading to dissapointing years vs righties in 2007.

Granderson and Hawpe..id put in that same category this year.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby freeling_prideful » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:51 pm

I think this theory might apply best if you're drafting very young (ideally under 25, max maybe 27-28) players.

For instance, Berkman is definitely not going to change at this point. Any work or effort he puts in will be cancelled by physical decline. And the fact is, if he wanted to work at it he would have done so long ago.

To a certain extent, this becomes true of guys who have reached physical prime (27-28) and still haven't shown many signs of progress. Hawpe is one of those guys, as is (maybe) Granderson. That being said, Granderson in particular will likely improve on the atrocious .160 he hit off of lefties last year (that's just impossibly bad, even if he K'd like 1/3 of the time). Unfortunately for him, his .337 average vs. righties might be difficult to sustain as well.

Overall, these guys who really have hideous splits against lefties generally also have some significant problem like huge K totals. B/c of this, it isn't good to expect them to improve that much in the AVG category, which is what this split most affects anyways.
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Re: left handed hitters theory

Postby IllinoisBandit » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:00 am

I've been wary of fantasy platooning in recent years. Seems like you always get burned when you sit a better hitter based on a lefty/lefty match up only to see him hit a home run against a right-handed middle relief pitcher.

Just my two cents.
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