In the chapter on Sandy Alderson in Moneyball, one of the biggest things Alderson was credited for was how he ran his minor league system. Alderson runs a franchise like a military style boot camp. He has specific rules, and wants these rules and regulations enforced properly by his respective managers, especially in the minors.
In an effort to impose plate discipline on the minor and major league hitters, Alderson created a rule, mostly applying to minor leaguers, that no batter can move up in the minors unless they have a minimum of one walk per ten at-bats.
While reading Moneyball, I wondered if this philosophy which he used in Oakland would still be used once he got here with the Mets. After looking over a few stats, it has become apparent that Alderson still abides by this rule very heavily.
One example is the recent call up of Ruben Tejada. Tejada was tearing up Triple-A while Chin-lung Hu continued to be just embarrassing. Many, myself included, began to question why Tejada wasn’t being called up sooner. The reason, it seems, is because it was not until late this past week that Tejada reached the 1 walk per 10 at-bats mark on May 12th.
Granted it was not immediate once he reached the 1/10 mark, but I believe Alderson had wanted to call up Tejada, but was still sticking to his own strict standards. After Hu once again failed to deliver on Monday, he finally made the move. Tejada had 15 walks in 150 at-bats exactly.
Another example was Paul DePodesta’s recent comments about Kirk Nieuwenhuis. He praised Captain Kirk saying that he likes what he sees out of the 23-year old outfielder. Obviously he is having an all around spectacular season, but the fact that he has 25 walks in 144 ABs may factor into DePodesta’s great praise.
On the other hand, neither Nick Evans, Justin Turner, Fernando Martinez or Jason Pridie had reached the 1/10 BB/AB mark when they were called up, so maybe things aren’t as strict as they once were.
Maybe Alderson is looking at OBP as whole considering that both Turner and F-Mart had OBPs over .360 in Triple-A before their respective call-ups?
It was well documented that Pridie was a pure defensive decision and as for Evans, well, the Mets really had few choices on the 40-man roster, so there wasn’t much for Alderson to do, but promote him despite his mediocre numbers.
Could it be a sign that Alderson has become more lenient in how he runs his minors?
Or is it that the Mets simply have not had the roster depth for Alderson to enforce this rule?
I think it might be a mix of both.