The Mets’ Offensive Philosophy: Discipline vs Patience

wright murphy

There was a nice Q&A over on Metsblog with Mets’ hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who gave a little insight into what the Mets’ hitting philosophy is. Hudgens also spends a little time talking about Ike Davis and his recent woes, and seems pretty confident that he can turn things around.

Matt Cerrone highlights one quote in particular from Hudgens: “We want hitters to look for their strength, especially early in the count, from the first pitch to the fifth pitch, to the sixth pitch, when we’re in hitters counts we want to be aggressive on our pitch,” he said. “I mean, obviously, I’d rather see a double in the gap with two guys on than a walk. But, there’s sometimes during the game, David Wright‘s not going to get his pitch. I would rather him take the walk as opposed to swing at a marginal pitch and hit into a double play.”

I have one main concern with this quote—the player who qualified with the most pitches per plate appearance (P/PA), in 2013, was Mike Napoli, with 4.59. So nobody averaged five pitches per plate appearance last year. I was surprised to see that Eric Young Jr was the Mets’ player with the fourth-highest P/PA (minimum 100 games played). Young saw 3.74 pitches per plate appearance in 2013, which ranked him behind only Wright, Ike Davis, and Lucas Duda. I am starting to see why the Mets are enamored with him hitting leadoff—but he has to show me he can get on base more before I jump on board.

Here is my major issue with what Hudgens said—why is Hudgens talking about the fifth and sixth pitch in an at-bat? Simple math tells you that by the time a hitter see five or six pitches, they will have two strikes and naturally be more defensive, not aggressive. It’s impossible to get to the sixth pitch in a count without two strikes on the hitter.

Pitches seen and success varies greatly. Curtis Granderson saw just under four pitches per plate appearance in 2013 (3.99). Chris Young, Davis and Duda also averaged over four pitches per plate appearance. What do these four guys have in common? All four of them have a tendency to strike out.

lucas duda homersThe terms “discipline at the plate” and “patience at the plate” come up quite often when discussing hitters’ approaches at the plate—especially if you are a Mets fan. This notion that the organization is teaching their hitters to be more patient is a questionable one to say the least.

The two terms sound like they mean the same thing, but actually are quite different.

Patience refers to working a pitcher, seeing all his pitches, and waiting for the right pitch to jump on. The hitter basically is waiting for the pitcher to make a mistake. Some hitters excel using this strategy, while others flop. Patience naturally leads to a higher propensity to strike out, since you are taking at-bats into deep counts. The count itself is in the pitcher’s favor—three strikes versus four balls—which is more likely to occur?

You have to have an incredible amount of skill and mental toughness to hit using the strategy of patience. I would argue that this skill cannot even be taught. Being patient forces hitters to hit from behind in the count often, which also contributes to higher strikeout rates for patient hitters. So while patient hitters tend to pile up the walks, they also pile up the strikeouts. You either have what it takes to hit using this strategy, or you don’t.

Patience should be reserved for top-of-the-order hitters. The batting lineup is designed the way it is for a reason and is technically a division of labor. The top two hitters’ jobs are to work the pitchers and get on base. The middle-of-the-order hitters’ jobs are to drive in the top-of-the-order guys. The tail end of the lineup is generally reserved for defensive minded players, so not much is expected.

You cannot force your 3-4-5 hitter to be patient at the plate. Patience is not a strategy that can be forced on every player and that is why speed is not the only determining factor for guys hitting at the top of the order. Those middle-order hitters should show good plate discipline, but not be patient.

Discipline at the plate is the ability of the hitter to lay off pitches that are close, only swinging at pitches in the strike zone. This can be taught to hitters, and as they gain more experience at the plate, their plate discipline will improve. Of course, as with everything else, some hitters are better than others in this area.

So which is better to have, strike-zone discipline or patience at the plate?

The answer is that it depends on what slot in the batting order the hitter is in. For my one and two hitters, I would prefer them to be more patient. I want them to get on base as much as possible, see as many pitches as possible so the heart of my order gets a good look at what the pitcher is bringing. This also gets the pitcher tired. We know being patient comes with a higher propensity to strike out, but it’s a necessary evil.

The rest of the guys in the batting order should have good plate discipline. This means that they aren’t swinging at pitches out of the strike-zone, and not giving away at-bats.

The Mets were tied for third in the major leagues with strike outs in 2013—1384 total. That number was good for one in every four at-bats. The Mets also had the sixth-lowest OBP in baseball last season (.306). They gave away a ton of at-bats.

One could argue that the Mets are being overly patient, which is not attributing to the team getting on base more, or scoring more runs. They should focus on being more disciplined, which means not chasing balls out of the zone, and not patience, which has attributed to higher strike out rates and lower on base percentage.

Presented By Diehards

  • Alex68

    I would rather him take the walk as opposed to swing at a marginal pitch and hit into a double play.”

    Marginal pitch? WTF does that mean? When you at the plate, you don’t know how the umpires will call a game, there are plenty of times when the umpire calls a “marginal” pitch a strike. can’t forget about the human element side of things which of course, with this FO is out the window it seems. Marginal pitch.. only this FO accepts and embrace mediocrity, we have gotten worst the last 3 years and they bring back pretty much everyone with new contracts and extensions… my goodness

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Strike zone discipline and patience at the plate are the same thing to me. Patience meaning looking for the best pitch to hit and not swinging at anything close, which is also strike zone discipline.

    “They should focus on being more disciplined, which means not chasing balls out of the zone, and not patience, which has attributed to higher strike out rates and lower on base percentage.”

    Are those not contradictory statements?

  • CJM

    The problem is not the approach. The problem is the hitters. It’s totally obvious. Good hitters will be successful regardless of the hitting coach. Poor hitters will be unsuccessful regardless of the hitting coach. The Mets had crap hitters last year and those crap hitters produced crap.

  • omar minayass

    would be nice to see players held accountable for their crap performances. instead of TC the grandfather who will pat you on the back after your second 0-5 of the homestand, how bout backman & whoever he would bring in here as hitting coach? at least if the team sucks with wally, i’d still watch to see what HE WOULD DO ABOUT IT. because collins is unable to get the team fired up.

  • Bromancer

    Offensive philosophy? Yeah baby, we’re #1. Nobody’s got a more offensive one.

  • AJF

    Matt Cerrone only post the quotes that would make the Mets front office and coaches look good

  • Taskmaster4450

    Swing the damn bat.

  • RyanF55

    exactly

  • Benny

    Whatever happened to that philosophy?

    “See ball, hit ball.”

  • omar minayass

    that philosophy died with the fall of victor conte

  • Taskmaster4450

    Or those immortal words from Chevy Chase…

    “be the ball”

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Disagree to a certain extent. Sometimes, when you start going bad, you’re not able to identify little hitches or gaps in your swing, so you need someone that can see it. That person is the hitting coach. Same reason why professional golfer have coaches.

  • omar minayass

    cerrone is a great blogger, oh wait i’m sorry writer. he’s a writer.

  • nacho6

    There’s a difference between being patient and giving away strikes and outs. I remember there was a stretch when Todd Ziele used to take the first pitch every at bat and pitchers recognized it, so most of his at bats started 0-1. It’s alright to be more patient when you know that the pitcher you’re going against has either control issues or is known for get hitters to chase. When you’re facing Cliff Lee or someone else of the like, however? You’re going to see a lot of backwards K’s if you don’t try to be aggressive.

  • CJM

    Ok perhaps I should rephrase by saying good hitters will be good regardless of philosophy. And of course, bad hitters will be bad regardless of philosophy. There might be some merit to a hitting coach, but no coach’s philosophy is gonna turn Mike Baxter into a good bat and no coach’s philosophy is gonna turn Mike Trout into a bad one.

  • sperry

    Not really. Sometimes the first pitch is the best a guy is going to see. The disciplined hitter will swing most of the time (if it’s a good pitch), while the patient hitter won’t. Patience is only good if you lay off bad pitches. But if you just plain aren’t a legitimate major league ballplayer (which this team is full of), this philosophy of patience leads to a lot of 0-2 counts.

  • Martin

    You are arguing against something he didn’t say. He never advocated going 6 pitches deep he advocated looking for pitches to hit every pitch.

  • Martin

    Nobody on the mets, or anyone ever advocating anything else. It’s dishonest to claim that anyone has a strategy other than hitting hittable pitches and being aggressive when a useful pitch comes.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I think the right philosophy can make Mike Baxter better, but it can’t turn him into Mike Trout.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    “You’re not being the ball, Danny.”

  • Gland1

    I think the term you are looking for is “internet visionary”

  • CJM

    If you aren’t a major league caliber hitter, the philosophy of swinging early leads to similarly poor results.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    “Digital media strategist.”

    Or, my personal favorite, “guy known across the internet for saying the Mets might get Ryan Braun for Ike Davis.”

  • Martin

    Correct. Discipline and patience mean the same thing. The discipline causes the patience to wait for a pitch to hit, which is why sluggers have high obp.

  • gameball

    It’s like the pitching coach who says “throw strikes, but don’t give him anything good to hit.” Well, duh. That’s not an approach, that’s a goal. You can’t teach a goal. You can help a young player streamline his swing, teach him about the path of the bat through the hitting zone, how to use his lower body to maximize power, prepare him for the kinds of pitches and pitchers he’s going to see from league to league and from game to game.

    But if you aren’t addressing a player’s individual needs and building on his individual strengths, then you can preach philosophy all season and it won’t make a bit of difference.

  • Martin

    By marginal pitch he means a pitch that you can’t get good contact on. Why is that confusing to you. The whole goal of the pitcher is to make the batter swing at marginal pitches for ground balls and popups.

  • CJM

    Hey, you write what you need to write to bring in record traffic, right?

  • AJF

    Its all about page clicks with that clown

  • CJM

    It’s really amazing that he was so willing to sacrifice quality by turning away people who had been posting there for years with dedication. I wonder if his new business model is actually producing for him.

  • XtreemIcon

    Mitch, I don’t agree with your assessment that patience and discipline have two different meanings in this regard. You have to be disciplined enough to be patient. In fact, I think you contradicted yourself by saying they have different meanings by defining them the same way using different words.

    You said patience means working the pitcher, seeing all his pitches and waiting for your pitch to jump on. Then you said discipline is laying off close pitches and swinging at pitches in the strike zone. The only way I can conclude those are different meanings is if you believe that there are major leaguers who’s “pitch” is located outside the strike zone, and I don’t believe that you believe that.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    “I had eleventy billion page clicks in 2013, everybody. Those clicks may have only created $220 in sales for advertisers (you’re welcome, Caesar’s Palace!), but I’m too busy dipping and swerving to notice.”

  • coyote521

    You just gave him Tomorrows headline:

    “Mets still not pursuing ryan brawn in trade”

  • Gland1

    Those goalposts aren’t going to move themselves!

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Agreed, but that’s not really what he’s talking about. I would say it takes “discipline” to jump on the first pitch but patience to not when you shouldn’t.

    It’s a fine line but I think the two words are the same.

  • Guest

    ….

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    I think his long-term goal is to be seen as some sort of digital media expert, and turn that into consulting $$$.

    To do that, he had to get rid of the thousands of comments on Disqus chronicling his ineptitude. He’s also installed a 24/7 comment guard dog (Vazzano) to remove anything that calls him out.

    He’s created a boring fantasyland for himself, where no one criticizes him and one-word Facebook/Twitter comments rule the day (LOL!!!1!!).

    He’s the perfect fit for ownership.

  • E1Guapo

    “Tejada unable to start at SS after a close, head first slide into 1B”

  • Connor O’Brien

    He posted the entire interview.

  • CJM

    You know, I honestly don’t care about any perceived bias Cerrone has towards ownership/the front office. Actually, I don’t think he’s intelligent enough to effectively propagandize anyone, so even if the bias exists, I doubt it makes a modicum of difference. The blog’s friendly treatment of the team didn’t bother me. Cerrone’s hubris, his deafness to his loyalist visitors, his blatant fabrications, and his stupidity are what drove me away.

  • Fast Eddie

    Good article. It would seem that, by definition, “patience” is situational, I.e., it implies that the batter is waiting for something specific to occur, be it a fat pitch or a runner stealing a base. Case in point: Junior Gilliam taking pitches with Maury Wills on first base in a steal situation. Another example would be the old Ted Williams bromide: “Get a good pitch to hit.” If you can hit like Teddy Ballgame, you can afford to take the obvious balls and foul off the close ones until you get your pitch. Mere mortals have fewer options.

    As for “plate discipline,” It’s something all batters should cultivate, regardless of the situation. How many times last year did we see a Mets batter start his AB by taking a fastball right down the middle, waist high? This was often followed by a wild swing at the second pitch, usually a breaking ball completely out of the strike zone. Yikes!

    Every ML batter should know what kind of pitch he can hit the hardest. And if he is lucky enough to get such a pitch served up on a platter, he should hit it as hard as he can, regardless of the count. Until he has two strikes against him, a batter can be choosy; once the count gets to two strikes, he needs to concentrate on making some kind of contact, even if it results in a foul ball.

    Hitting is difficult but it’s not rocket science.

  • Gland1

    I actually agree 100% with all of that. What has always irritated me about him was how he refused to improve the site or listen to his readers because he thought he knew better. He thinks he’s fantastic at what he does, and anyone who criticizes is in the wrong.

  • CJM

    It’s quite sad. Instead of working to improve himself, which really wouldn’t be hard, he changed the game. For us it does suck that the blogger with the highest level of access is so bad at his job. That’s the most frustrating thing with the whole situation.

  • Gland1

    …..

  • E1Guapo

    Well Tom Glavine would have argued that he needed marginal pitches for called strikes as well…

  • CJM

    The joke is on him, ultimately. Even if he eventually becomes recognized as the ultimate blogging guru, any intelligent person will see right through him.

  • sperry

    I think that was the moment I realized I needed to get the heck out of there

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Caption contest!

    “Matt Cerrone, enjoying a My Little Pony episode.”

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    “I’ll write ‘according to sources!’ They’ll buy that for sure!” – Matt Cerrone.

  • CJM

    The worst part wasn’t the article. He actually explained maybe 3 weeks later why he posted the article–he was unable to detect his source’s sarcasm. The worst part was when he blamed the readers the next day for misinterpreting what he wrote.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I read both. Cerrone for persistent and homer-ic optimism and MMO for constant negativity and complaints. Get a nice mix and fall somewhere in between with my opinions.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    It’s astonishing to see how hard this site kicks his ass in terms of quality content, with much less access.

  • mitchpetanick

    I never said he did…I’m arguing that he said to be aggressive on the fifth and sixth pitch but that is when most batters have 2 strikes on them so they switch to a more defensive mode…that was the only issue I had with anything Hudgens said.

  • Gland1

    “Yes, level 14 of Candy Crush done!!”

  • CJM

    The quality at MB is lacking so severely now, unfortunately. Its greatest asset was the conversations occurring in the comment sections. I’ve been a huge baseball fan my entire life, playing a fairly high level until I quit, and I’m not embarrassed to say I learned more about the game from the MB comment section than anywhere else. I’m more interested in having conversations about baseball than anything else. So when the comment section shifted away from the more conversation-friendly disqus, my incentive to visit dropped entirely. I’m naturally optimistic about the team, but not in a blind way, so I don’t have as much desire to read other optimistic writing. I actually prefer being on the other side of the coin when reading MMO.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Unfortunately, there’s about one intelligent person for every 1,000 dopes these days. He can make a mint just by convincing fools that he’s worth hiring.

    Look at all the dilettantes and mediocrities making great money by claiming they’re experts. He’s working that angle now.

  • mitchpetanick

    The pitchers’ goal is to deceive the hitter…thus getting them to swing at pitches that appear to be strikes that aren’t…or take pitches that look like they’re out of the strike zone and end up being strikes. That is the art of pitching – moving the ball around and using a variety of pitches to keep the batter off balance.

    I have good plate discipline, but I am about as far away from being patient as you will find hence the nickname first-pitch-Mitch. So there is a difference…just because I’m not patient doesn’t mean I swing at pitches outside of the strike zone.

  • sperry

    Haha that must have been after I left. What a joke.

  • Gland1

    I don’t believe the comments here are more negative than they are there. Most of the commenters left there are too stupid to realize there are other blogs, or just want to rant and rave without actually engaging other people.

  • CJM

    “Matt, please stop texting me. I figured not responding to your last 25 texts would help you get it. I’M NOT JOKING.”–David

    Thinking to himself, “He must be joking.”–Matt

  • Benny

    I personally thought he was looking through some David Wright photographs.

  • mitchpetanick

    New Sports Media

  • CJM

    It’s also pleasant to see people who care about their work. MMO isn’t perfect by any means, but they recognize that and are constantly working to be perfect. That’s admirable and will help them keep the readers who appreciate quality. They’re also completely willing to interact with their readers, both in the comments and elsewhere. The other day the site didn’t seem to be loading to the most recent post. I sent a DM on Twitter and received a response almost immediately. And then the issue was resolved. A+ customer service.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Agreed on all counts.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    It seems like everything has a negative slant, even when there’s positives. Perfect example is the article about the Michigan camp. Tejada is unpopular so let’s not talk about his extra work and why that’s good. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that the Wilpons only paid half, even though they befriended the trainer, hired him and got the players involved in the program.

    I for one hope Tejada completely rakes and takes a huge step forward this season.

  • mitchpetanick

    Patience means working the pitcher until he gives you the best pitch…which can be futile because many times that pitch comes on the first pitch of the at-bat. Discipline is not chasing pitches outside of the zone. As a player, I had excellent plate discipline and strike zone knowledge but I never had patience often swinging at the first pitch.

  • mitchpetanick

    exactly

  • mitchpetanick

    but I know what Hudgens was alluding to because of previous quotes, like “if you see 150 pitches a game, there is a good chance you are going to win.”

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    “Sweet! Baron just took another photo of David Wright’s helmet!”

  • WillisReid

    I think Hudgens takes too much blame for Ike and Lucas being not what fans hoped they would be.He really hasn’t had much to work with here quite honestly. Coaches coach up talent, they don’t create it.

    He coached some really good A’s teams, and did very well with both Reyes and Byrd and helped Wright adjust to Citi.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    1. The writer chose the most interesting angle about Fat Camp: its impact on Flores. And I believe the writer explained himself to you–how it was an extension of the end-of-year interview with Flores. (Maybe it was someone else; apologies if so.)

    2. Making the players pay half is a cheap, penny-pinching move, and only cements the idea of self-centered ownership. If they don’t like that perception, it’s simple: don’t be cheap and pay the full bill. It’s called investing in your employees’ development.

  • Gland1

    Question for you on #2….do you know if other teams send players to camps like this and foot the whole bill? I haven’t been able to figure that out.

  • coyote521

    That could never appear at metsblab.
    You spelt everything right.

  • Bail4Nails

    I don’t understand using a “team philosophy” on hitting. It’s like the phrase “company goal” to employees. Too broad and confusing to the hitters. Pete Rose laughed, when asked how he hits so well, and said, “See thee ball, Hit thee ball!”. How do you do this? Drills, smart drills.
    Carlos Beltran practiced pitch recognition by lettering baseballs, and reading the letter on the ball before it reached the plate. How does he hit?
    The Les Moss Drill- Hojo had the players hit 80 curveballs in a row, all trying to put the bat on it, and send it to the opposite field– better hitting with 2 strikes.
    And, one of my favorites: Lenny Dykstra used to set the pitching machine as fast as it could go, then gradually move closer and closer to the machine as he went. He swore this was his secret to improving his bat speed and hand-eye coordination. At one point, Dykstra was hitting .400. Yes, he took steroids, but he also (like other good hitters) drilled on hitting religiously.
    I understand having a “team approach” to each pitcher (like Delgado’s book). But beyond that, practicing hitting any pitch in any situation, until it’s second nature, will lead to more success than any philosophy could.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Not sure why Flores, who doesn’t even have a position, is the more interesting angle when Tejada actually has a job, but I digress. That’s up to the writer to decide, you’re right. But it would also fly in the face of what they usually do, which is bash the team.

    It’s not cheap. I’ve talked about this ad nauseam so I’m not going to get into a whole thing, but the Mets hired this trainer, facilitated the players attending and already pay them millions and provide state of the art training facilities. The players should WANT to go to the extra camp, whether the Mets are paying for it or not.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Unless there’s some rule that prevents it, I don’t see why on earth you’d make players pay for this.

    To me, an organization committed to winning pays for these things–the organization will benefit from the players’ hard work and sacrifice (being away from home, etc.). An organization that has no money goes halvesies. 🙂

  • RyanF55

    The hitting coach might be the most controversial component of the clubhouse. I’m in the thinking that good hitters hit, and bad hitters don’t. Throw philosophy out the window. The hitting coach is always the most thankless job when the team is hitting, and the most scapegoat position when the team isn’t. All I know is if the team had Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, David Wright and Andrew McCutchen batting in the middle of the order, the hitting coach could tell them that standing on their head and spinning in circles will improve their performance and it wouldn’t matter in the least. I think too much stock goes into the effect a hitting coach has on the lineup. In my opinion it’s so much more about that actual hitter than anything else.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Because I’m a pessimist when it comes to this team, I’m probably oblivious to it all.

    I feel that if you don’t want pessimism and negativity about your team (from fans, media, etc.), it’s simple: build a better team. If you want to go to war with Tejada and Ike, expect negative feedback.

    I feel Flores is a much more interesting angle, because he could be a difference-maker in years to come. Tejada is at best keeping the position warm until we can find someone better, or can find 5-6 good position players so we can carry his weak bat and adequate defense.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Tejada is only 24 and before his down year last season, he was pretty good in 2011-2012. I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say he’s jut a place holder. He had a down season and didn’t make any friends showing up out of shape, but I’m surprised so many people want him out of town. I think it’s entirely because everyone wants Drew and anyone else is trash.

    My only point is there’s a difference between being a pessimist and ignoring clear positives because it would mean going back on previous statements or actually giving credit. It’s more fun to be pessimistic, I get it.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Most people don’t care about Tejada, imo. He looks like a low ceiling offensive and defensive player, so what you feel is some anti-Tejada campaign is, to me, just collective ambivalence for a guy who will probably have minimal impact.

  • Hey Pedro, you are absolutely right as far as the followup interview.

    I want to explain our philosophy on MMO.

    Many Mets sites all see the same articles from beat writers and they will all cover it to some extent. One of the things we are committed to doing at MMO is to take a different approach to put some distance between us and our friends.

    First of all, I ask all our writers to inject some context to a sourced article if they intend to write about it. But most of all, I ask them to take a position depending on the article, and to be objective about it. We know that either way someone will have an opposing view and complain. And we’re fine with it.

    In this particular “Fitness Camp” piece, I decided to make it about a player that we knew and interviewed and one that was named to several Top 100 Prospects in the last two weeks.

    Here’s the thing about interjecting passion and opinion into a post, you can’t please everybody.

    I could have made the post about Lucas Duda and then woke up to a dozen comments about why I slighted Flores.

    That said, our writers on MMO are hardened to the reaction to anything we post. Criticism is expected and it doesn not bother us or cause us to post a reaction post the next day to flip-flop our position.

    We would rather be passionate, opinionated and unique, than the alternative.

    Whenever someone says what I post is too negative, I invite them to join us and post their own positive responses.

    We are 100% independent and we welcome all opinions on MMO.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Not an anti-Tejada campaign. More like playing into the commenters who want to complain about him as if he’s been dragging this team down for years.

  • joeythew

    Somewhere Manny Sanguillen is crying. .296 career batting average and swung at anything – on or off the plate. Not all hitters are the same.

  • joeythew

    John Milner was notorious for never swinging at the first pitch – and pitchers knew this. EXCEPT when it was bases loaded. Milner knowing the pitcher knew he never swung at the first pitch and he didn’t want to walk a run in, would groove a first pitch fast ball. Milner hit 3 grand slams one year.

  • joeythew

    I prefer “cut and paster”.

  • joeythew

    More likely his underwear.

  • joeythew

    There were articles on Tejada attending Fat Camp and excelling earlier in the winter – the author is just spreading the wealth. No slight intended towards Tejada. Though if I was forced to go to Fat Camp…excuse me “encouraged” I wouldn’t want it spread all across the newspapers. But that’s just me.

  • joeythew

    Exactly, if you don’t drink the Kool-Aid at Metsblog and have a dissenting opinion – the other posters attack you.

  • Martin

    That may mean lots of batters bat, not necessarily seeing lots of pitches. At definitely means you will see lots of relief pitchers, which is good.

  • Martin

    I didn’t see him saying to be aggressive on those pitches. He did mention being aggressive in hitters counts.

  • joeythew

    It always seemed off to me and not right that someone from Virginia (and let’s face it a bandwagon jumper) and not New York ended up being in charge of the “official” Metsblog.

  • joeythew

    Agree, they put a lot of articles by the newspaper reporters to shame.

  • XtreemIcon

    But what would happen if that first pitch is off the plate? Or even just on the black? I’d bet you’re not swinging. I’d bet that if the first four pitches are off the plate, you’re on first and the bat never left your shoulder.

    So I’ll ask again. What’s the difference between “jumping on your pitch” and “not swinging until you get your pitch,” besides the phrasing?

  • Martin

    So you are defining patience to mean taking hittable pitches?

  • NewYorkMammoths

    “JACK LEATHERSICH RESPONDED TO MY TWEET!!!”

  • mitchpetanick

    By jumping on the first pitch, I meant first pitch that was a strike. If it’s a ball a person with good discipline won’t swing, but the difference is a hitter that is considered patient may not swing if it’s a strike.

  • mitchpetanick

    Yes, taking strikes – either due to trying to work the pitcher, waiting for the pitcher to make a mistake or “their pitch.”

  • mitchpetanick

    I know what you’re saying, Martin – and you are right. More pitches means getting to the bullpen which generally is a good thing.

  • mitchpetanick

    But unless the hitter is in a 3-1 count, he will naturally have two strikes on hi. 5-6 pitches into an at bat meaning he is no longer in a hitters count.

  • mitchpetanick

    And there is nothing with that…but it’s very difficult to constantly be hitting out of a two strike count.

  • NewYorkMammoths
  • mitchpetanick

    Lucas Duda is a patient hitter, arguably takes too many hittable pitches for strikes. This leads him to have a ton of walks, but also strike outs. He is hitting many times with two strike counts which means he is taking defensive swings which cut down his power numbers.

  • Martin

    I think most people consider a full count a hitters count

  • IndianaMet

    Hitting philosophies are what they are. Get a good pitch to hit and hit it hard. Not everyone in the org is capable of following the game plan. Duda and Davis have been atrocious trying to implement Hudgens’ philosophy.

    In my opinion the best thing a hitting coach can do, with the pro, is keep him updated on the opposing starting pitcher’s repertoire and subsequent trends in certain instances (first pitch with a runner at 2nd base, 3-2 breaking ball, etc) and to do the same with the relief pitchers as they enter the game.

    A great hitting coach will notice when a pro’s swing is “off” mechanically a little bit and can get them back on track. Other than that, I can’t fathom Hudgens pulling Wright or Granderson aside and offering advice, unsolicited.

  • Sometimes I think it’s hard to judge the philosophy based on the level of talent Hudgens has been working with. However…I count more stories of regression than success. That matters. It matters enough for me to believe that the philosophy AND its execution has been disastrous.

  • mitchpetanick

    Not necessarily…in 3-2 count you’re swinging at anything close and protecting the plate…anytime a hitter has two strikes they are naturally more protective. Not saying hitters can’t do damage from a two strike count but success rates go down quite a bit.

  • XtreemIcon

    That makes more sense. And to be fair, I’m sure the overly passive Duda isn’t what the FO is looking for. There’s a happy medium between Duda swinging at nothing and Ike jumping out of his shoes at every slider in the dirt.

  • XtreemIcon

    Sanguillen was not a very good hitter. He had a .32-something OBP and no power. Bad example.

  • XtreemIcon

    The philosophy is sound and correct. The issue is a mix of lesser talent, like you said, and the real possibility that Hudgens isn’t the right guy to coach it. But it’s not the philosophy itself. Look at the correlation between the top run-scoring teams each year and the teams with the best OBPs. It’s very strong.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    LoL…Hudgens is a clown…he is making this stuff up as he goes along…

    He claims he doesnt care when they swing in the count just as long as they are swinging at THEIR PITCH

    Yet the main complaint about lagares is they want him to be more patient at the plate….They said the same thing about Byrd last year that he was encouraging young hitters to swing early in the count.

    He is a joke….terrible hitting coach

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    I got scared when I heard Granderson had sent Hudgens a tape of his at bats…Hudgens is going to screw him up

  • AJF

    This should be the Mets official blog not that other joke of a blog

  • Martin

    Ok. I feel like we are parsing his words in a desperate effort to find fault with the approach. I guess you have to write an article about something.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Nice! That little guy is my stunt double over at the old place….

  • dealingwithidiots

    Says the guy behind a keyboard while Hudgens is the guy in MLB getting paid. I love guys like you that say “he claims he doesn’t care”, as if you actually know the guy and know how he “cares”.

    Just because you don’t understand the difference doesn’t make it a bad philosophy.

    L O V E R

  • Old Geezer

    Supposedly, according to Mets’ brass, Byrd did not get an offer to come back because he wouldn’t follow Hudgens’ philosophy. Reyes was a good hitter before Hudgens came.