First Base is Dead (Baseball Prospectus)

Discussion in 'The Other 29' started by FedEx, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. FedEx
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    FedEx Delivers

    Thought this was an interesting feature from BaseballProspectus on the decline of 1st base productivity. (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29468)

  2. maurice
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    maurice Gangster of Love

    Works for me.

    When I was growing up, the 1B usually was the least athletic guy on the team. Almost always the fat kid who could mash but not move or throw very well. Nowadays, the trend has inverted. Because a majority of 8u kids in the U.S. can't catch or throw for shit, one of the most athletic players is stuck at 1B. (I blame soccer.) Glad to see that coaches must be switching them to more valuable defensive positions before or during HS.
  3. CrazyButtfuckMcGee
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    CrazyButtfuckMcGee No wallet. No crack. Not me.

    Or tallest with the best hand/eye in order to corral the errant throws that came your way every single time.
  4. maurice
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    maurice Gangster of Love

    The bigger kids with best hand/eye played SS or 3B so that the throws weren't errant.

    I'm talking Chicago Park District in like 1980, when only DP Polacks, Arabs, and Mexicans played soccer and literally every other boy played baseball pretty much every day all spring and summer.
  5. CrazyButtfuckMcGee
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    CrazyButtfuckMcGee No wallet. No crack. Not me.

    I definitely couldn't play any other infield positions but I could play OF. I also pitched every other game, something a lot of 1B did in LL too. Plus, I liked first. Funny though, once I started playing there, I lost all my speed.

    :gar:
  6. y2chae
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    y2chae Panda

    Played that D1 basketball at Baylor tho
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  7. y2chae
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    y2chae Panda

    Bevi and Brian Skinner dominating the Big 12 in the mid 90's
  8. Iwritecode
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    Iwritecode Writing Code Again

    It took me a long time to understand the "traditional" traits of each position on the field. Which positions usually provide more power, which positions are more defensive-oriented, why the right-fielders are typically the guys with the best arms, why pitchers suck at hitting, etc...

    When I played, nobody really filled the roles like they should have. The pitchers were all pretty good hitters, you only stuck a guy in right field because you didn't know where else to put him and the tall guy was usually at first but sometimes he would drop a ball thrown right into his glove.

    I was a pitcher more often than not but I played every other position on the field many times as well. I always preferred middle infield or center because I was fairly fast and athletic.

    These days on my slow-pitch team I mostly play third base and have played first a few times as well. It works out pretty well because our shortstop gets to most anything I can't reach.
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  9. CrazyButtfuckMcGee
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    CrazyButtfuckMcGee No wallet. No crack. Not me.

    Skinner was real.
  10. maurice
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    maurice Gangster of Love

    :helloexactly:

    On my kid's team, the best player is at 1B and the giant kid who can't run (but also can't catch) is moved to where he can cause the least damage. In year's past, that kid would play 1B 100% of the time...and kill the team with drops.

    It used to be routine for your best athlete to pitch, play SS, and bat 3rd. If the giant 1B could hit, then he'd bat cleanup. Otherwise, he was way down in the order. When you moved up to a level with a smaller, more athletic pool of players, most of them were a SP/SS and had to be shifted around.

    Same thing with youth football. You'd stick the most athletic kid at QB but, when they moved up, they'd end up on a team with 12 QBs and most of them would need to change positions. Basketball was the only big 3 sport where your position was based entirely on your height. The tallest kid played center, even if he sucked or was your best perimeter player. The shortest kid played guard, even if he couldn't dribble for shit and was tough as hell on the boards.

    Nowadays, I guess all the 1B need to change positions when they move up, creating a situation where the last guy standing at 1B isn't necessarily a good hitter.
  11. Zoso
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    Zoso *autistic screeching* Cupcake Mod

    Baseball athleticism is way higher in general these days. Everyone's jacked
  12. maurice
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    maurice Gangster of Love

    As recently as the late-'70s and early '80s, it was considered controversial for a baseball player to lift weights at all. It was supposed to tighten you up, fuck with your agility, and other bro science of day. Guys like Steve Carlton and Carlton Fisk made it seem normal.
  13. FedEx
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    FedEx Delivers

    Defensive positioning is all a "chances" game now. The traditional spots of where you should "hide" people don't always make sense if the number of balls hit in their direction or the number of plays they can influence positively or negatively doesn't add up. 1B should not be a position that's cast aside for some stiff fucker. Nothing will destroy or kill an inning like a shitty 1B missing a throw that's SLIGHTLY off or not being able to scoop.

    Now more than ever the confines of positioning on defense and where you should go and who should go where has been changed. Obviously this isn't possible on a little league level or whatever but there's nothing that says you can't shift your best fielders into spots they should be on a hitter-to-hitter basis. If this guy always hits to the right side of the field and your 2B isn't great but your SS is, move your SS there.
  14. maurice
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    maurice Gangster of Love

    We actually move our 1B to LF when the other team's best right-handed hitter bats, because he's likely to hit a fly ball to LF and the stiff who usually plays there is guaranteed to misplay it into at least a triple. Seems a little much for an 8u team, but there's no question that it's effective.

    He's prepared to play RF as well, but there apparently are no good lefty power hitters in the league. Three of the top four players on our team throw lefty, but two of them bat righty. Not sure how they ended up with Rickey Henderson's batting coach.

    My kid plays 16" style short center most of the time, because nobody ever hits a fly to CF, and because it's like pulling teeth to get the SS and 2B to cover the damn base.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  15. gbergman
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    gbergman Legendary Drunken Youth

    Our fattest kids usually played catcher or first base. Our worst fielding players went to right field. A lack of lefties and the inability for most people to go the other way made that a prime spot for the shittiest players. I remember a rf my last year in little league tossing the ball to me from 4 feet away to get the ball into the infield from our outfield fences that were only 205 feet or so. In my league we stuck our best fielders at shortstop and centerfield. 3rd was 3rd best player, LF 4th, 2B fifth.
  16. Iwritecode
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    Iwritecode Writing Code Again

    [​IMG]
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