warrick95 wrote:Oh good lord...here we go with the Moneyball thing again.
A speedy 1-2 punch can be just as effective as a high OBP 1-2 punch. Why? Because they will wreak havoc on the other team. The threat of a steal will take so much of the pitcher's attention. They won't even bother looking at the hitter, instead they will be glancing at Gathright and CC out of the corner of their eye. What will this cause? Bad pitches, speedier delivery out of the stretch. It ruins concentration. It ruins timing. Worst case scenario, they'll chuck a lot of fastballs to make it easier to throw them out if they run. Now, who can't hit a fastball? Having speedy guys in front of you makes it easier to hit. They set the table. It's what Pierre and Castillo did last year.
Trust me, in the era of stats, stuff is left out. The simple threat of a steal is a masterful duel of chess that will never be scored on stat sheets unless a guy actually attempts the SB, but the threat of it there will totally change the game.
Now, the OBP guy may get on base, but without the threat of the steal, the pitcher can concentrate on the batter fully. Without the SB, they have to get a big hit to drive them in.
It's hard to say which is better, but at the top of the order, I'd rather have my speedsters.
Yeah the speedsters definately have their benefits, but they're only affecting the pitchers concentration 1/3 of the time. I'd much rather have Young-Blalock at the top of my order than Crawford-Gathright. Crawford gets out too much to be an ideal leadoff man.