Sizzlers and Fizzlers, 5.22.19
A LH catcher with a life OBP of .366? Howzat grab ya

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DANIEL VOGELBACH - SIZZLER

Ripping along at a cool .270/.400/.659, which gives him a 186 bat for the season.  For amusement's sake, Mike Trout's is 175 and next in line career, Joey Votto, is at 153.  Slumping the last two weeks, he's hit .240/.340/.660 there.  Widening out to his career, with the false starts he's still at 130 for life OPS+.

If his power seems a little bit high-ish, it's probably because that compact swing is getting to hot fastballs.  Here's a stat; tell me what you think of it.  "Home runs off fastballs 95-100 MPH."  'Bach leads the majors in that category, with 5 despite his short season.

...

Is it Dr. D's style to put a permanent ballplayer in the Yahtzee DH slot and clog it for 6-8 years?  My own thing is that a permanent DH, like Edgar, must have a high OBP.  Otherwise, if it's a Steve Balboni type with a .299 OBP and thirty homers, then when he's not catching a mistake on the barrel then there's nothing much happening.  I'll take Vogelbach and his near-.400 OBP, and the who-knows-what PWR, at DH for the next 5 years.

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DEE GORDON - FIZZLER

His slash is okay, I guess, at .281/.310/.369 for an 87 OPS+ in Seattle, especially with a gold glove in the middle infield.  But he's only got 16 runs on a ballclub that's scoring them by the scads.

This is what I imagine would happen if somebody offered me a GM job.  That I'd make super-logical moves which crashed and burned for absolutely no reason that I could perceive.  It seems to me that over the last 40 years, the Mariners have had way more than their share of these.

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DYLAN MOORE - SIZZLER

.... in the org's eyes, anyway.  Check it out, one cubicle to the left.  He's got a bat of 108 and a position array like Ben Zobrist.  I could see him filling a McLemore-type role on a championship team.  But see Dipoto's remarks in the attached link.

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OMAR NARVAEZ - SIZZLER

Hitting .288/.362(!)/.477 he's WAYYYYYYY above low watermark for a starting AL catcher - or even for a MOTO hitter, if you want to go there.  The EYE is a strong 0.50 and the last 14 days, it's .353/.353/.647.  Here, this is kind of amusing:  pull up Fangraphs' leaderboard, isolate to catchers, go to 100 PA's, and sort by wRC+.  Narvaez is rockin' and rollin' the league.

Fave stat ... wait for it ... a lifetime OBP of .366.  Wowza.  With an EYE of 0.68.

I always assumed he'd run into a Miguel Olivo problem, where the org pronounced his defense to be prohibitive, but the signals coming out of Mariner Central are very positive.  Word is that he's "really putting in the work" to improve and that "the pitchers like working with him."  If that's the case, then slap me silly maybe the Dipoto Mariners have found a catcher.

Sizzle On,

Dr. D

Comments

1

We had this dispute last month, whether tis nobler in the mind to prefer a .900 OPS that is OBP heavy, of .500/.400 to a slugging heavy .900.  That is, why do teams vastly prefer Bryce Harper to Khris Davis?

That the OBP hitter is the tougher out and more of a big game player is a light bulb that I hadn't really considered.

That is to say, the shtick is especially fresh today.  Good to have ya back Doc!

2

You knew that the top key to a productive offense is making less outs.  That is certainly difficult to do without enough power to keep the pitchers honest.  I know Doc has pointed out before that a lineup full of 1.000 SLG doesn't approach one full of 1.000 OBP in production.  OBP right now starts looking good around .315-.330 where SLG must be .420-.450 before it does.  They're about that far off of equal.  I didn't find any history of 1.000 OBP but here's an Article on one hot start by Mays:


https://www.nytimes.com/1964/04/20/archives/mays-over-1000-mark-in-slugg...

Dee has been playing injured again and it hasn't worked out again.  He was at .304/.336/.406 as he sat out 3 games after being plunked by Happ.  He didn't get a PA in his first 2 games back, his line was still that .742 OPS from May 9th through the 15th.  He just went on the IL for the same injury to his wrist.  It seems possible that he was getting a bit better then reinjured it.  He kind of Gordoned Cano last year and may be in the process of getting Longed now though. 

Over 1/3 of the team's runs have been scored by (I don't mean batted in by, that's over 1/2) the guy who put the ball over the wall.  Through the Texas sweep...143 of their 271 runs this season scored via 93 HR.  That's heavy reliance. 

When Moore was acquired (as well as several others recently) his stats looked to me exactly as Dipoto described.  Why was this guy available?   I wondered about his defense but they were still in Japan when I started liking his at-bats although he only had 1 official PA.

It's amazing to me that these OBP warriors are being undervalued by other GMs.

But I'm not as appeased by "he's really putting in the work".  I've heard similar about a list of names I'd rather not rehash right now.  Catcher for me is still a position I'd look to supplement, though I'm not unhappy with Narvaez.  He's at least ok for now and a quality backup, possibly more.  This year's defense is making me want inspector gadget even behind the plate.

I have the same idea in theory on DH but if I have an Ortiz or late career Bonds or Ruth type of production I'm keeping them around as long as I can.  This is what was envisioned when he was first acquired if he made those strides and he has.  Just Sharpie in Vogelbach and keep him healthy.  Enjoy him in the All-Star games and maybe even HR derbies. 

In related news, Santana has a negative WAR due to sub-Ibanez fielding.

3

Sizzler - Daniel Vogelbach's player family. At any given time, there's only like 2-to-3 fat-but-agile hitters in the league. And, because the bias is strongly against them, they're basically all fantastic hitters. Prince and Cecil Fielder. Big Papi towards the end. Kendrys Morales and Billy Butler are like the worst of the recent bunch, and they got two years of MVP votes and one Silver Slugger between them.

Want another comp? Kevin Youkilis wasn't quite fat, per se, but he sure was weird and kludgy. Barrel chested, and only kind of in the good way. They called him the Greek God of walks, and the most he ever BB'd in a full season was 13.4%. Bach is at 17.6% right now, 14.8% for his career. What's better than a god? You tell me. Add to that Bach's clearly superior power (Youk ISO'd in the 250s twice in his career: Bach is at 380 this year lol, 250 career) and you've got a clearly superior player to the one who hit 5 behind Papi and Manny on all those championship Sox teams. CYWYNPW indeed.

Incidentally, the player family for the fat-but-agile? Babe flippin' Ruth. Just sayin'.

4

The age 35+ version, before that he really wasn't fat.  But Big Man Dan sure looks like Ruth when he's boppin'.  Even kind of like the 35+ version of Bonds, but not the same family.  David Ortiz was the family ceiling comp around here when he was first acquired in July of 2016.  Nobody felt comfortable mentioning Ruth yet. 

The original Family conversation I think lists all the same names except Ruth and Bonds: 

https://seattlesportsinsider.com/?q=blogs/mariners-prospect-talk/g-money...

Then Doc jokingly asked "What, was Gehrig not available?"

https://seattlesportsinsider.com/?q=blogs/aiki-mechanics/dan-vogelbach-a...

And his Aiki-based exec sum before those convo's

https://seattlesportsinsider.com/?q=blogs/aiki-mechanics/aiki-doc-on-vog...

A lot of great insight then, including in the shoutboxes.  Nobody expected what we're seeing now but it certainly seemed possible to some.

5

Shows that I haven't been reading the comments quite as closely as I should for the last couple months. I'm not surprised that everyone thought of Ruth/Ortiz, those are common sense family men. Personally I'm hoping that the bit I can add is Youk - I've felt just rosy about Bach's floor ever since I noticed the similarities there.

6
(Not) Mike's picture

The overlord of obp, the Baron of BB's, the first gentleman of free passes...

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