...which...watching him hit this year strikes me as entirely possible...and he stays that good for 6-8 years surrounded by solid seasons before and after...and he is legitimately Andruw Jones good with the leather...does that make him a HOF candidate? I say it does...and no, I'm not kidding. Of course, he has to do all of that first before we talk seriously about the merits...but if he does...he's a perennial MVP candidate and a bubble guy for the HOF.
=== Hall of Fame Legends Dept. ===
It was about 1998-99, the M's wearing socks on linoleum trying to punch out the Yankees and Red Sox, and Rickey in the bouncearound phase of his career.
He told some Mariner player or other, you guys gotta get me witchoo up there in Seattle. You lose by one run every night, and I've got two runs in me every night...
After six full, it was Ichiro 2, Tigers 1, and come Bullpen Time ... we had basked in a joyous baseball game for two hours. As opposed to the two hours of suffering we'd have endured, if not for the HOF'er in right field.
- Ichiro game-leadoff smoked double, steal third, [score on sac fly, Italian ref calls it back in San Siro], Guti with his 19th straight line drive for an RBI
- Ichiro smoked triple to the power alley, cruise into 3B, score on Figgy sac fly
- MaggliO sticks a baseball in the chain-link fence about 30 feet off the ground, scattering the popcorn vendors on the stairwell
Boom. HOF leadoff hitter inverts a game result.
When Ichiro hit .372 full season in a pitcher's park, it was despite a .255/.309/.304 April. Check out those game logs. Terrible April, with the multi-hit games beginning May 1 on the dot.
Moral of the story: what would Ichiro have hit in 2004, if he'd had a good April, like he's having now?
My son noticed, by the way, that Ichiro's got the extreme bend to his front knee that he uses when he's trying to drive the green. He drove it twice today, and flared one, and walked.
=== Junior ===
Hope that I won't be reduced to giving him assists on Ichiro's and Bradley's monster seasons. :- ) He is cheating a LOT as he hits the big 4-0.
We'll see. He gets to hit LH-vs-RHP all year.
=== Cranklin ===
His line drive rate was about 45% last night -- check me on that.
Then tonight, his RBI single in the first was blistered -- it might have skipped along the dirt a couple of times, but it was a frozen rope. Do they call that kind of hit a line drive, or does it have to clear the skin of the infield?
I'm guessing that Cranklin won't be able to maintain a 45% LD rate, seeing as the league leaders wind up around 24-26%. And granted, his BABIP is approaching .500.
But don't kid yourself. This dude is right on everything. His bat is sudden, he's covering the front and back of the zone, and doing it with authority.
What's his upside, Dr. D idly wonders. Hm. Did you know that Milton Bradley is on his b-ref.com comps list? Similarities:
Milton bloomed late, not hitting that well in his early 20's
- Came up with Cleveland, pretty much
- Fairly similar K/BB's as a young man
- Aesthetic, powerful swings and 5-tool players
MB jelled into a .300 AVG, .500 SLG player (pretty much) at age 25. I've been behind the curve on Gutierrez, but you've got to love the way he's covering the long and short pitches.
Jolly Good Show,
Officially, it's not a line drive unless it hits the outfield grass on first touchdown. Both of his RBI singles were one hop near the back of the infield dirt and on out.
Is one of the big problems with GB/FN/LD metrics and making a lot of soup off that Oyster.
When a bloop hit to the outfield grass in front of the OF is called a LD, but a smashed hit that barely bounces on the dirt, but had no chance of getting touched is called a GB it really tempers how excited one can get with the metrics that use those rates.
Similar concerns abound with UZR and how a scorer scores where a catch or hit actually went and how hard it was hit.
These metrics are of course not useless, but things like this remind me to keep a healthy amount of salt around when I read about the / look atthem.
The home field scorer can severel deflect the defensive statistics by his own biases re: trajectories...after the 07 season it was observed that the Mariners led the universe in out of zone plays despite being among the worst defensive teams in baseball. A quick look revealed that they were having a lot of things called line drives (and thus attached to smaller zones) that other scorers might have called fly balls (you can tell this by looking at the team LD for and LD allowed stats...Seattle was an outlier high on both sides of the ball that year).
Anybody who's ever played SS is aware that Guti's coupla hits were as much LD's as if they'd hit the OF grass on first bounce.
Ya, the GB/LD/FB splits are verrrrrrrry useful, but I hope that folks are aware of the lack of precision inherent.
Worst thing is dogma skyscrapers founded on questionable data.
if he were [a cleanup hitter] x [top 10 D-specialist]. He might need to log 15 seasons at that level, or 12.
We assume that you are talking about sustained .500 slugging and not just the occasional season at that level.
Any truly game-changing glove, who is a legit MOTO hitter, is a great player. If Guti becomes a legit MOTO hitter he will be a great player, no argument.
...A number of defensive specialist CFers have gotten into the HOF after logging only 8 seasons at the MOTO-bat (or great-lead-off-hitter-bat) levels with many solid seasons around the peak chunk.
Examples of this would include Billy Hamilton and Joe DiMaggio.
Watching Gutierrez hit this season, I am seeing a legit perennial MVP candidate and MOTO star. Even the K he had with two in scoring position in the 8th today made me have visions of a right handed Ken Griffey in terms of his laser focus on the strike zone. Strike three was DEFINITELY inside and strike one was outside. I was exactly WRONG in my projection of his next change in profile type. He didn't dial the aggression up to 11 and accept his place as a low average Mike-Cameron-style TTO star...he became more selective without losing his power stroke.
None* of the HOF'ers have 15 seasons as good as their best ones.
Um :- ) Joe DiMaggio?! Give you a mulligan on injecting him into this particular conversation. ;- )
The Nazi suspension notwithstanding, Joe D had 11 straight seasons plus some war medals, as Manny Ramirez x Torii Hunter :- )
But yeah. The typical HOF'er, not the Mr. Coffee Icon type HOF'er, has like 8 big seasons and some bulk numbers tacked on later.
Am sure we'd agree that Guti has a looooooooooong way to go to get to that spot. Right now he's Mike Cameron.
1) DiMaggio was only a glove specialist for about 5 of his 11 great seasons. Perhaps his reputation credits him for having been an elite fielder the whole time...the statistics do not.
2) Perhaps, once again, the voters, give him credit for wartime service, but numerically, you can't invent years that never existed. He's got 11 top notch years offensively. Not out of the range we're talking about. No, we're not suggesting that Gutierrez will be as good as DiMaggio...that would be very silly. We're suggesting, however, that a short period of greatness can and frequently does make someone HOF worthy without requiring that player to run 12+ years of concentrated MVP level stardum.