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What should the batting order be?


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59 members have voted

  1. 1. What should the batting order be?

    • Trout leads off, Calhoun hits second, Pujols third
      24
    • Calhoun leads off, Trout hits second, Pujols third
      28
    • Trout leads off, Aybar hits second, Pujols third
      2
    • Aybar leads off, Trout hits second, Pujols third
      5


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Many articles I've seen put sophomore Right Fielder Kole Calhoun in the leadoff spot, followed by Trout and then Pujols. 

 

I don't think that's a good idea. I know there are proponents of Trout hitting lower in the order, in the three spot or the four, but for the purposes of this post, ignore that idea. 

 

I am a big proponent of Calhoun hitting at the top of the order over Aybar or someone else, but what Trout brings at the leadoff spot cannot be ignored. Calhoun was excellent at AAA last year and held his own in the majors too. (1.067 OPS last year at SLC).

 

In 2012, when Trout led off the majority of the time, he stole 49 bases and scored 127 runs in just 139 games. In 2013, when he hit second and third the majority of the time, he stole 33 bases and scored only 109 runs in 157 games. He was pitched around to get to a struggling Pujols, which is not the point of him hitting second. Yes, his walks skyrocketed. 

 

Calhoun, in the minors, was a very high OBP guy. Basically he was a .400 OBP guy in most of his years there. 

 

He's not slow, but he's not a stolen base threat either. He stole 20 bases in 2011 in the Cal League, but also was caught stealing 10 times. Not a very good success rate.

 

In his two years at Salt Lake, I checked a few lineups and he mostly hit 2nd or 3rd. I didn't see one lineup where he was the leadoff guy. (No I didn't check them all). He's also not someone who walks a ton, nor does he strike out a ton. And remember he's left handed. And he hits lefties and righties well. Sandwiched as the #2 batter, between a healthy productive Pujols and the best hitter in the game in Trout, and well, that's a better 1-2-3 to me anyway.

 

He'll get better pitches to hit, and he has a good eye, plus even moving the runner over is acceptable from the #2 spot, and Trout's first to third speed is ridiculous. Having Trout on base in 40% of Calhoun's plate appearances, will cause the pitcher to always be thinking about Trout, and can help him get mistake pitches. 

 

So I ask...

 

 

 

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I am fine with either Calhoun or Trout leading off and the other hitting second. I don't think you can go wrong either way. I prefer Trout-Calhoun-Pujols but if Calhoun leads off I'll be perfectly happy with it.

 

I will say that the reason Trout didn't score as many runs last year was not inherently because he was batting 2nd. I'd say it had more to do with the fact that Pujols and Hamilton were sucking ass and not driving him in. The stolen bases could have been a factor though. We've heard that Pujols doesn't like when the guy on 1st runs so who knows.

 

Like I said, either way is good. I do like the idea of Calhoun being sandwiched between Trout and Pujols. We all know Trout is gonna Trout, but Calhoun has the potential to be a pretty good hitter so it could benefit him more by hitting 2nd.

 

Also if I see Aybar batting leadoff at any point next year I'm going to projectile vomit blood.

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Against RHP:

 

1. Howie Kendrick - R

2. Kole Calhoun - L

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Albert Pujols - R

5. Josh Hamilton - L

6. David Freese - R

7. Raul Ibanez - L

8. Hank Conger - S

9. Erick Aybar - S

 

1. Kole Calhoun - L

2. Howie Kendrick - R

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Albert Pujols - R

5. Josh Hamilton - L

6. David Freese - R

7. Raul Ibanez - L

8. Hank Conger - S

9. Erick Aybar - S

 

1. Howie Kendrick - R

2. Kole Calhoun - L

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Josh Hamilton - L

5. Albert Pujols - R

6. David Freese - R

7. Raul Ibanez - L

8. Hank Conger - S

9. Erick Aybar - S

 

1. Kole Calhoun - L

2. Howie Kendrick - R

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Josh Hamilton - L

5. Albert Pujols - R

6. David Freese - R

7. Raul Ibanez - L

8. Hank Conger - S

9. Erick Aybar - S

 

Against LHP:

 

1. Howie Kendrick - R

2. Kole Calhoun - L

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Albert Pujols - R

5. David Freese (.312/.377/.465 career line) - R

6. Chris Iannetta (.251/.385/.484 career line) - R

7. Josh Hamilton (.201/.233/.363 last year) - L

8. Erick Aybar - S

9. J.B. Shuck (.310/.355/.390 last year) - L

 

1. Kole Calhoun - L

2. Howie Kendrick - R

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Albert Pujols - R

5. David Freese (.312/.377/.465 career line) - R

6. Chris Iannetta (.251/.385/.484 career line) - R

7. Josh Hamilton (.201/.233/.363 last year) - L

8. Erick Aybar - S

9. J.B. Shuck (.310/.355/.390 last year) - L

 

1. Howie Kendrick - R

2. David Freese (.312/.377/.465 career line) - R

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Albert Pujols - R

5. Kole Calhoun - L

6. Chris Iannetta (.251/.385/.484 career line) - R

7. Josh Hamilton (.201/.233/.363 last year) - L

8. Erick Aybar - S

9. J.B. Shuck (.310/.355/.390 last year) - L

 

1. Howie Kendrick - R

2. David Freese (.312/.377/.465 career line) - R

3. Mike Trout - R

4. Albert Pujols - R

5. Chris Iannetta (.251/.385/.484 career line) - R

6. Kole Calhoun - L

7. Josh Hamilton (.201/.233/.363 last year) - L

8. Erick Aybar - S

9. J.B. Shuck (.310/.355/.390 last year) - L

 

Would Trout be a great leadoff hitter? Obviously. He already was one. But it really is a waste of his power and his contact skills. He is easily the best hitter on the team, and if guys are on base he's the guy most likely to drive them in with his skill set.

 

Kendrick isn't really a true leadoff hitter, but he's better than Aybar. Plus, if Kendrick isn't batting 2nd he can't ground into double plays. And I would prefer Calhoun behind him against RHP because I think he has a little more pop and he's a lefty. Otherwise, there would be three righties in a row after Calhoun at 2, 3, and 4.

 

I prefer that first lineup against RHP, but all of the lineups are pretty solid. A case could actually be made for having Hamilton bat cleanup and Pujols bat 5th. If Pujols is what he was last year and Hamilton bounces back, that's a switch I wouldn't be opposed to.

 

Against LHP we have more potential combinations, but I feel like we also have more limitations.

 

Freese could bat 2nd. Calhoun could bat 5th or 6th. Hamilton embarrassed himself against lefties last year (sub .600 OPS). His skills are declining fast. Shin-Soo Choo can't hit lefties at all anymore, either. But he's still very good against righties. And I would expect Hamilton to still be solid against righties as well. But it's getting to the point where he might have to be platooned. Having him and Shuck out there against LHP is less than ideal at this point, but it's what we have to work with.

 

I think when Cron arrives, he'll help out us out a ton against LHP, at the very least. Ibanez is a placeholder until the organization feels that either Cron or Borenstein is ready. Honestly though, Cron could probably help us against LHP right now.

Edited by Llewyn Davis
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No love for Iannetta batting second when he plays? I'm assuming he'll split time with conger.

 

The dude gets on base and sees a lot of pitches.

I like him or Freese hitting 2nd.

 

Aybar and kendrick need to stay away from hitting 1 or 2.

 

1.Calhoun

2.Freese/Iannetta

3.Trout

4.Pujols

5.Hamilton

Edited by Poozy
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Vs Righties

1. Trout CF

2. Calhoun RF

3. Pujols 1b

4. Hamilton LF

5. Kendrick 2b

6. Ibañez DH

7. Freese 3b

8. Conger C

9. Aybar SS

 

Vs Lefites

1. Trout CF

2. Ianetta C

3. Pujols 1b

4. Hamilton LF

5. Kendrick 2b

6. Freese 3b

7. Calhoun RF

8. Green DH

9. Aybar SS

Edited by SigBaby
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No love for Iannetta batting second when he plays? I'm assuming he'll split time with conger.

 

The dude gets on base and sees a lot of pitches.

I like him or Freese hitting 2nd.

 

Aybar and kendrick need to stay away from hitting 1 or 2.

 

1.Calhoun

2.Freese/Iannetta

3.Trout

4.Pujols

5.Hamilton

 

Iannetta is too station-to-station for my liking as a table setter. He only averages 23 doubles per 162 games, too. So he really doesn't get himself into scoring position even when he gets on base.

 

Kendrick averages 38 doubles and 14 SBs per 162 games.

 

OBP is important at the top of the order, but if you're station-to-station and don't get very many extra base hits, it's misleading.

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Iannetta is too station-to-station for my liking as a table setter. He only averages 23 doubles per 162 games, too. So he really doesn't get himself into scoring position even when he gets on base.

 

Kendrick averages 38 doubles and 14 SBs per 162 games.

 

OBP is important at the top of the order, but if you're station-to-station and don't get very many extra base hits, it's misleading.

 

I think getting on base and seeing pitches is more important for the guy hitting 2nd.

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If Pujols and Hamilton were what they were 2-5 years ago, you could get away with batting Trout leadoff.

 

But the reality is they're not what they were. And the team is best served by having its best hitter bat 3rd in a position to drive in runs, not two has-beens who are still above average but no longer anything special.

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I think getting on base and seeing pitches is more important for the guy hitting 2nd.

 

I mean it's not really a terrible idea. That is what Iannetta does best, and he does it pretty well. Against righties, his career line is .223.343/.392. A .343 OBP isn't bad, but I don't think it's quite good enough for him to bat 2nd against righties, given his baserunning limitations and lack of extra base hits to put him in scoring position. I also want to see what Conger can do with full-time ABs against righties. I think he has more upside against them.

 

And since he hits for so much power against lefties (.233 ISO) aside from getting on base, I would want him in a position to drive in runs, especially with Hamilton in decline against lefties.

Edited by Llewyn Davis
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