Hultzen's IQ

Spec links us to a Hultzen vid:


I guess he's back to being "Danny."  So there.

Won't cut and paste this time, but the Gameday has all the velo and break info, and it's worth looking at.

3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Came right out of the gate at 94 on his first pitch, and hit 95 by the third batter.  Was pretty much 92-94 consistently for three innings.

Hope that is answering the concerns of those who didn't think he'd have that kind of velo.  And it looks like he knows where it's going most of the time.

Gave up a bunch of singles, but got himself out of it with a double-play ball on a slider.


Then there's an interview (he says he wants to be like Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte) and some game action from his first game here.  Hard to dislike the kid.


 Am I remembering wrong, or didn't Trevor Bauer also emphasize a number of ML templates he was trying to imitate?  Seems there was some Bauer interview in which he said he tried to learn mechanics from Lincecum, a changeup from some other ML star, pitch sequences from a third one, etc.

I know it's SuperGeek City to relate real sports to chess, but this is axiomatic with tourney chessplayers:  they try to extract Capablanca's simplicity, Alekhine's will to win, Lasker's active defense, etc.  It kinda sounds funny to hear a baseball player approaching his career with that kind of sophistication.

Of course, they'll all tell you they learn from the players around them, and they do, but not like Bauer and Hultzen talk about.  Methodically and scientifically.


And OBF volleys with


Danny!  Very well spoken, seemed humble, but knew he was going to be a star in the bigs.  Spoke well and easily in front of the camera.  Compare and contrast that to the very next video on that page the one of an interview with Nick Franklin and well...  Lets just say you can really tell which kids is the college graduate with Doctor parents and which kid was pick out of highs school from The Florida sticks ;)

Not that it really matters, I guess.  Who cares if Nick Franklin can't put otgether a coherant sentance of more than 3 words as long and he can pick it and hit it :)  I just thought the contast between the two videos was stark and interesting.  Good offseason fodder ;)


Link to the Nick Franklin Vid:

Bill James in the 1990's always talked about pitcher intelligence.  I remember that he called Norm Charlton's success on that basis... if there has ever been anybody else who talked about the distinction between pitcher and hitter IQ, dunno who that would be...

Remember.  Regardless of how they happen to keep score ... in baseball the pitcher is the inherently offensive player and the hitter is the inherently defensive player.

If they kept score more naturally -- as it pertains to the pitcher/hitter matchup -- the pitcher would score points with strikes and the hitter would defend points by knocking the ball away.  A hitter is like a cornerback trying to intercept a pass.  It's the pitcher who holds the ball, the pitcher who selects the play and who executes it at his own leisure.

A wide receiver knows where he is going; the cornerback doesn't.  The WR needs to organize the chaos in his mind, identify the soft spots in the defense.  The corner reacts.  It's not feasible for him to "deduce" his way to success, not on any consistent basis.  He needs reflexes.

Jason Kidd needs intelligence; the guy guarding him needs reflexes.

Charlie Whitehurst :cough: needs to make decisions; the strong safety across from him needs one-step change of direction.


Without a doubt, brains matter less in the bullpen.  It's when you go three times around the order that the brains matter most.  I'm sure you could grab a surfer out of the South Sea and make a closer out of him.  It's three batters, max effort.

But in the rotation ... gimme a Jamie Moyer, an Erik Bedard, a Doug Fister and we'll takes our chances.  Taro might take some consolation in the fact that --- > although Trevor Bauer appears to be very intelligent, Danny Hultzen  is known to be dreadfully intelligent.


Tell me that Manny Ramirez' attic is a little dusty and it don' bother me none.  "How are you supposed to think and hit at the same time?," Yogi.  IF it were true that Nick Franklin were running at 400 baud throughspeed, it wouldn't downgrade his hitting projection for me.  

(And incidentally, I don't think any less of a person for having a lower IQ, any more than for blond hair or being 6'2" or whatever.  Josef Stalin was smarter than George Washington.)

But to know that Danny Hultzen will play a brainy game of baseball for us ... ::shia lebeouf::well, that's just one more thing y'did for us, Z.



... no idea why he insists on switch hitting.  IQ issues?  >:-]
One thing to be aware of, in the 3B/SS competition ...  is that Brendan Ryan was the only non-Ackley to achieve over 1 WAR, and Ryan had 2.6 WAR.
In other words, over the course of 162 games, Ryan was the M's #2 player by a train ride and bus pass...   of course, Wells, Carp etc didn't play the first four months ...
The easy thing is to let Mr. 2.6 WAR play at SS until he gets injured, and then to call up Nicky from AAA ... whether that would be the wussy way out, or the sofistikated approach, you tell me...


OK...Y'all know I'm on record as being good with Seager at SS and Liddi at 3B in '12 but seeing the Franklin video (and a nice play into the hole where he shows a gun), what are the chances that Wedge goes into spring training with a completely open mind and a battle royale between Franklin and Liddi for a left-side IF spot?
As I think about it, Franklin as a decent SS would give his bat time to he certainly would hit better than your average Wilson or Ryan.  Not much pressure to hit early, really.
Listen, Robin Yount was an 18 year old MLB SS right out of HS (well, really he had 64 games as a 17 yr old MiLB'er).
No, Franklin isn't likely Yount.  But he may be a better option than Ryan right now, maybe.
Hadn't really thought about it before.
I'm still good on the Seager/Liddi deal....but a Franklin who hit .350 in ST might change that.
BTW, why the heck does he STILL swing from the right side?


I'm not only moving Hultzen ahead of Paxton, I'm ready to pencil him into the rotation in April.
I don't see why his game won't work in the majors right away. 

I like the balls as much as I like the strikes.
Gameday link.


If so, count me in - if Death means "next in line for a big league slot."
I adore Paxton - I liked him in college and he was a monster in the minors.  He's only getting better.
But Hultzen has the arsenal to succeed in the pros even if he loses the feel for a pitch or two occasionally.  
If he can come out of the blocks with his hair on fire, so be it.  We're better off for it.  I still expect at least one of them to go down for at least a few weeks to preserve a year of free agency (especially since we didn't with Pineda), but you can't run Tony Vasquez out there if Hultzen is nuking hitters left and right.
We may have to get a decent free agent pitcher in here in order to justify keeping Hultzen and Paxton in the minors long enough to wring an extra year out of them, and a cheaper one.
Can we add that to the cost analysis?


Scouting reports are "excellent."
And while we're at it, how about a guy who's ready to share time at DH and LF with the youngsters?
He can't be too old, because he's 10 years younger than the first guy.


Hultzen has moved from "giving him a shot" to "seriously considering."
like Michael Pineda last spring, the job is there for the taking.

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