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Orange County Register: Dipoto's take on Trout's declining SBs


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Huh? Why is it either/or? ah, its better if he is a MOTO bat than a base-stealer, but in 2012-13 he was BOTH. Why not try to be both? I don't expect 49 SB ever again, but there really is no reason Trout shouldn't regularly be stealing 30 bases a year. Plenty of MOTO bats have done so, its call a "30-30" hitter. Trout should be one, year in and year out - and it has nothing to do with fantasy baseball, it has to do with being the best player one can be in order to help the team win ball-games.

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Huh? Why is it either/or? ah, its better if he is a MOTO bat than a base-stealer, but in 2012-13 he was BOTH. Why not try to be both? I don't expect 49 SB ever again, but there really is no reason Trout shouldn't regularly be stealing 30 bases a year. Plenty of MOTO bats have done so, its call a "30-30" hitter. Trout should be one, year in and year out - and it has nothing to do with fantasy baseball, it has to do with being the best player one can be in order to help the team win ball-games.

 

Plenty?

 

Since 1990 (a sort of arbitrary modern era date I picked), there have been only 10 guys who have done it more than once. Only two have done it more than twice (Alfonso Soriano and Barry Bonds).

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Trout hit 26 fewer singles and 27 fewer walks this year than last, so he had significantly fewer opportunities to steal bases. 

 

Good point. Let's do some math, taking singles + walks + HBP and then dividing it by SB to get a "SB per times being on first". This is inexact because it doesn't factor in fielders choice and when someone was on second, but maybe those things even out to an extent.

 

2012: 190 / 49 = 3.9

2013: 234 / 33 = 7.1

2014: 182/ 16 = 11.4

 

So there is a strong trend there.

 

Plenty?

 

Since 1990 (a sort of arbitrary modern era date I picked), there have been only 10 guys who have done it more than once. Only two have done it more than twice (Alfonso Soriano and Barry Bonds).

 

Now you're quibbling semantics. My point was that with Trout's skill set of both power and speed, there is no reason why he couldn't put up regular 30-30 seasons.

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More on 30-30 players.

 

60 seasons

38 players

13 players with 2+ 30-30 seasons

 

Players with at least two 30-30 seasons:

5 - Bobby Bonds, Barry Bonds

4 - Alfonso Soriano

3 - Howard Johnson

2 - Willie Mays, Ron Gant, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, Raul Mondesi, Vladimir Guerrero, Bobby Abreu, Ian Kinsler

 

40-40 seasons (4) - Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano

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As a fan, I miss the stolen bases and the speed.  In his first two years he was a genuinely exciting player.  When he took off out of the batter's box there was always the possibility that he'd turn a groundout into a single, or a single into a double.  Once he was on base he was a constant threat to either steal 2B or go first-to-third on a routine single.  That was fun.  That dimension was missing from his game this season, and I would love to see it come back, even if it's at the expense of 5-8 HR and 10 RBI.

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Now you're quibbling semantics. My point was that with Trout's skill set of both power and speed, there is no reason why he couldn't put up regular 30-30 seasons.

And my point, and Dipoto's, is that stealing bases is not easy. It's about more than speed. It beats you up. And that's why the other guys who have possesed that combination almost always end up stealing fewer bases, because it beats you up and potential prevents you from being able to produce where it counts a lot more, in the batter's box.

 

Dipoto's other point, which I hadn't thought of myself, is that stealing bases is even harder on Trout's body than on a guy like Jarrod Dyson because Trout is a big dude. That's a lot of weight to go flying into bases (including all the times diving back into first, by the way).

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I get it, but there is a precedent for good hitters who continued to steal bases, and did so without getting injured. Barry Bonds stole 30 bases a year into his 30s, for instance.

 

30 bases isn't a lot - its one per five games. That seems to be about the right number for Trout, imo. Ken Griffey would steal 15-20 bases a year and Trout's faster than Griffey was.

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As a fan, I miss the stolen bases and the speed.  In his first two years he was a genuinely exciting player.  When he took off out of the batter's box there was always the possibility that he'd turn a groundout into a single, or a single into a double.  Once he was on base he was a constant threat to either steal 2B or go first-to-third on a routine single.  That was fun.  That dimension was missing from his game this season, and I would love to see it come back, even if it's at the expense of 5-8 HR and 10 RBI.

 

That stuff hasn't changed.

 

Infield hits:

2012: 25

2013: 34

2014: 23

 

Extra bases taken (1st to 3rd on a single, 1st to home on a double)

2012: 65 pct.

2013: 59 pct

2014: 58 pct.

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At the end of the day I think the upshot here is that moving forward Trout will be less "exciting" to watch in terms of how dynamic his game is and maybe less of a threat to shatter records (and he'll be less valuable from a fantasy standpoint) but more valuable to the Angels and what they need.

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All that aside, I think the stolen bases are the secondary concern for Trout, and the primary one is strikeouts. Fewer strikeouts = more hits, more opportunities to steal, etc. Also, some of those gained hits will be HR, so even if he loses some power by striking out less (leveling out his swing), he'll gain a few back.

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I get it, but there is a precedent for good hitters who continued to steal bases, and did so without getting injured. Barry Bonds stole 30 bases a year into his 30s, for instance.

 

30 bases isn't a lot - its one per five games. That seems to be about the right number for Trout, imo. Ken Griffey would steal 15-20 bases a year and Trout's faster than Griffey was.

Trout also weighs about 30 more pounds than Griffey in his playing days. And he did steal 16. He may steal 25 next year. Just don't look for 30-40.

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And my point, and Dipoto's, is that stealing bases is not easy. It's about more than speed. It beats you up. And that's why the other guys who have possesed that combination almost always end up stealing fewer bases, because it beats you up and potential prevents you from being able to produce where it counts a lot more, in the batter's box.

 

Dipoto's other point, which I hadn't thought of myself, is that stealing bases is even harder on Trout's body than on a guy like Jarrod Dyson because Trout is a big dude. That's a lot of weight to go flying into bases (including all the times diving back into first, by the way).

This is why you put a batter behind Trout who doesn't foul away every single pitch like Pujols. Trout stole most of his bases last year after Pujols was on the DL. He stole a ton of bases in 2012 with Torii Hunter batting behind him. 

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At the end of the day I think the upshot here is that moving forward Trout will be less "exciting" to watch in terms of how dynamic his game is and maybe less of a threat to shatter records (and he'll be less valuable from a fantasy standpoint) but more valuable to the Angels and what they need.

 

I disagree. Trout was more valuable in 2012 and 2013 than he was 2014. And more exciting!

 

But the key is that he needs to find a way to cut those strikeouts, and significantly so.

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Trout also weighs about 30 more pounds than Griffey in his playing days. And he did steal 16. He may steal 25 next year. Just don't look for 30-40.

 

I can live with 25, and that's what I'm expecting going forward--maybe with one more 30ish season. But as I said, I'm more concerned about the Ks.

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I didn't expect him to get close to 50 steals every year, but I do think the team and Trout should be looking to get him going a bit more.   When you steal at a clip he does  andwhen offense is down around the league, those steals are worth more than just the fun of talking about 30/30, etc.   

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I disagree. Trout was more valuable in 2012 and 2013 than he was 2014. And more exciting!

 

But the key is that he needs to find a way to cut those strikeouts, and significantly so.

 

I think given the current team's lack of options for run producers (HRs, XBHs, RBIs), Trout is more valuable providing that for them.

 

But for the record, I'm with you in that I would like to see him as a 30-30, potential 40-40 guy. But I think that's more of a selfish thing from a fan's perspective.

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