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2002/06/12

you misunderstand, perhaps, my numbers-addled colleague. i agree almost entirely with your opinion about what constitutes valuable hitting. i understand and agree with you that jim thome’s strikeouts are not a big factor when evaluating his value as a hitter when the hitter is as productive as jim thome. the feeling (and i know numbers don’t feel) that i had watching the games and listening to the manager was that branyan simply had caused way too much stress on the rest of the lineup by not delivering in key situations frequently enough. furthermore, the three true outcome template is flawed in that a bases-clearing double is only one run away from a grand slam. i accept that branyan’s power was exciting, but his plate discipline – despite the evidentiary 80 walks on your chart – was horrific. i wonder, in fact, how many of those walks were intentional, in order to fill an open base. branyan wasn’t even able to deliver in sacrifice-fly situations, and even when the indians weren’t playing little ball (ugh!), that was unacceptable. anyway, he’s cincinnati’s dilemma now. (5 rbi in three games.) the great thing about the chart below is how closely it mirrors the credentials needed for the hall of fame…

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