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Old 08-22-2019, 12:18 PM   #21
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And, yes, I know that the 4.5 K/9 rule of thumb will miss a few guys. To BirdWatcher's point, generalizations are pretty much always wrong somewhere. The one that always registers for me is Randy Jones, who struck out almost no one, but still succeeded by being off the chart in what OOTP would call movement and control.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonCo View Post
And, yes, I know that the 4.5 K/9 rule of thumb will miss a few guys. To BirdWatcher's point, generalizations are pretty much always wrong somewhere. The one that always registers for me is Randy Jones, who struck out almost no one, but still succeeded by being off the chart in what OOTP would call movement and control.
Just to amplify my central point a bit:
My sense is that most people who play OOTP probably end up settling on their own personal sweet spot in terms of statistical modifiers, strategic settings, etc.
A big part of what I love about OOTP is this flexibility, the ability to play it your way.
But that also renders most generalizations meaningless. What is generally true for one person, playing the game their way, is not necessarily true for many others, and almost certainly not true for all others.
I'm not saying there are no generalizations that are usually true. In almost any OOTP setting a shortstop with great range is much more valuable then one with more limited range. But even with that example, the weight of the importance varies depending upon the overall environment.

So whenever I read something here like "in my experience with OOTP, x always leads to y", my immediate thought is, I have no doubt that in your experience that is true but that doesn't mean it is true of anyone else's experience with OOTP.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:54 PM   #23
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If Perfect Team number crunching is anything to go by, then in OOTP... Movement > Control > Stuff in order of importance. That could be different in a regular league environment where there's a lot more humdrum mediocre players.

But I've found I can get those low-Stuff finesse pitchers to work very well in OOTP. Get ho-hum finesse guys like Fritz Peterson and Jim Merritt, stick a good defense behind them, and boom, they're good for 3.0 to 4.0 WAR.

Conversely, in a hitter's park I'd want some more Stuff to blow guys away and help get out of trouble.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:58 PM   #24
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Yes, the generalization that holds true in OOTP is success (statistics) is the result of player's ratings cross-matched with his or her surrounding environment.

That said, the question "what is stuff" is as much on trial in this conversation as anything else, and in that conversation, OOTP defines it very narrowly as "k-rate." While whatever baseball people mean by "stuff" often correlates to strike outs, that is not always true. Hence the hole in how people perceive OOTP/Baseball performances.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by RonCo View Post
Yes, the generalization that holds true in OOTP is success (statistics) is the result of player's ratings cross-matched with his or her surrounding environment.

That said, the question "what is stuff" is as much on trial in this conversation as anything else, and in that conversation, OOTP defines it very narrowly as "k-rate." While whatever baseball people mean by "stuff" often correlates to strike outs, that is not always true. Hence the hole in how people perceive OOTP/Baseball performances.
Yes, sorry, I was admittedly responding to one very specific point made in this discussion and not really the larger issue surrounding what stuff means in OOTP as opposed to what it means in the baseball world at large.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:57 PM   #26
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I've never given this much thought. I always ignored the terms and correlated the ratings with strikeouts, home runs and walks. It's a computer game.

That said, we all may have different opinions on what 'stuff' means. To me, there is little to no difference between 'stuff' and 'movement'. And 'stuff' isn't necessarily based on velocity as there are some nasty pitchers that don't rely on velocity (not to mention knuckleballers). To me, stuff is the ability to get swings and misses. This can be by velocity and/or movement. I suppose the game could have been designed to use velocity, movement and control as the three ratings. From what I can tell, OOTP uses the ratings in a 1 to 1 fashion and that's OK as long as you don't get caught up in the terms 'stuff' and 'movement'.

If I wrote a game, I'd use velocity, movement and control (for each pitch type). You can be struck out by velocity or movement, that's no mystery.

I'd also use 'percentages' for depth charts. Instead of 'every 4th game', I'd use 25%. The code wouldn't have to jump through hoops and over a long stretch, the 25% would work itself out.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:39 PM   #27
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That said, we all may have different opinions on what 'stuff' means.
Yes. And it's prevalent throughout baseball. At one point I spent a half day or so reading baseball people talking about what "stuff" meant. When you do that, you'll find that stuff is a nebulous term in common use, and a lot of really smart baseball people use it in different ways. Same, really, for command, which we sometimes use interchangeably with control but is not actually the same thing. A lot of guys without very good command can avoid walking guys by just getting it over the plate and "pitching to contact."

At best, "stuff" seems to be a result of some combination of pitches and their qualities that makes them hard to succeed against.

We can get our knickers wadded up, though, because OOTP uses pitching language in ways that are imprecise, and therefore sometimes "wrong" ... whatever that is.

Bottom line: no matter how great the model is made, there will always be a point where the game player will need to squint and say "hey, it's baseball," or whatever meta thing you find workable. Like you said: computer game.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:20 PM   #28
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I use a 1-10 scale, but in my fictional save I see pitchers, starting pitchers mostly, with 4 or 5 stuff but very good to great movement and very good to great control who pitch very well. In fact, the ace of my staff, a pretty sure future HOF'er, has only 5 stuff but 8 movement and 9 control. And granted, his stuff was a bit better in his younger days, but he finished second in the Pitcher of the Year award voting in the most recently completed season with the ratings listed above.
I don't know why I see pitchers with stuff at the middle of the ratings scale or lower having success while you, with far more years of experience playing this game than I have, don't.

(I've also heard it said many times here by long-time OOTP'ers that pretty much any pitcher with a really low movement rate will inherently fail, no matter their other ratings. And one of the best starters on my staff has a 2 movement rating (again, 1-10 scale). So, with all of the varied statistical environments possible, the array of settings, etc., I'm skeptical of any broad generalizations about how things work in this game.)
Depending on how far back you go, Movement can become almost meaningless. Like, who cares if you give up twice as many homeruns than average when the guy who led the league in the category hit 6 of them?
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:22 PM   #29
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Depending on how far back you go, Movement can become almost meaningless. Like, who cares if you give up twice as many homeruns than average when the guy who led the league in the category hit 6 of them?
True that! And hence my argument that context matters.

Though I will say that the context in which I have had successful low-movement pitchers is somewhere in between the dead-ball era and the current MLB climate. (Using statistical modifiers that range from the 1970's to the early 1990's.)

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Old 08-23-2019, 01:25 PM   #30
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I think of Movement in the OOTP context as "ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone", coupled with "ability to hit the corners, above and beyond the ability to avoid walks". Movement doesn't *exactly* map straight HR rate. I think it's more HR/FB, which means that GB% can be a big factor (although I believe that a guy with a low Movement but, say, a 65% GB rate will still give up more HRs than a guy with an average Movement and a 55% rate).
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:23 PM   #31
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I think of Movement in the OOTP context as "ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone", coupled with "ability to hit the corners, above and beyond the ability to avoid walks". Movement doesn't *exactly* map straight HR rate. I think it's more HR/FB, which means that GB% can be a big factor (although I believe that a guy with a low Movement but, say, a 65% GB rate will still give up more HRs than a guy with an average Movement and a 55% rate).
I think the "Movement" you see in the profile does map directly into HR/AB. It is, however, an amalgam of the pitcher's core movement rating adjusted by both GB% and whatever repertoire differences come into play.

I like your view of what movement is, but I doubt many people would come to that idea on their own, and at the end of the day that's not really right--which is the point of the conversation, really. The labels the game uses are baseball-like, but not really right. Ability to put the ball on the corners where you want them is, I think, almost universally thought of as command rather than movement. Vertical/horizontal location is, well, vertical and horizontal location. In modern baseball, pitching up in the zone (I think) is one way to attempt to limit homers, and sinkers are lower value pitches.

I think it's fair to say that the term Movement would make almost every person on the planet think about vertical and horizontal break, which then perhaps in today's world goes to spin rate.

None of that says "HR-rate," which is what OOTP is using the term to represent on the pitcher's profile page.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:19 PM   #32
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How do the quality of the individual pitches tie-in to the movement discussion? A guy with a killer slider that has good stuff but low movement... does that imply that he hangs it more often? And shouldn't that be measured by control?
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:38 PM   #33
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Pitchers can only control three things. HR's given up, BB given up and balls put into play.
Even the best defense cannot convert every ball put into play into an out.

Stuff controls balls put into play because it influences their K rate.
The more K's a pitcher gets the less balls are put into play and the fewer chances the defense has to try and convert into outs.


So yes, stuff is very important.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:57 PM   #34
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If OOTP labelled the three ratings "Strikeouts," "Avoid HR," and "Avoid Walks" we would not behaving this question. There would be other discussions, of course, but this one would be understood.
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:32 PM   #35
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pitchers mostly have no effect on babip, but with some pitchers after a long career you can see that they did have an influence on that result for one reason or another. This concept that a pitcher has no effect is not a proven thing.. far from it. there are numerous exceptions, so it's less likely the lottery-effect.

not sure if they normalized for defense or not, but it takes 2000+ innings (made up number but it takes a very very long time.. ~10 years) to know their babip-against. so, basically you'll never know with RP, because i don't think they ever have a sample size suitable and/or retiring soon, so age becomes a major problem to consider by the time you have a sample size suitable to use in that manner.

in ootp, you have an advantage. if you find a correlation between a pitch type and a lower babip, which like others above i am 99% certain that's in the game at the very least for KB pitch and likely a couple others to a lesser extent, you can be fairly certain it's a real cause in OotP and not coincidence.

i'm fairly sure each pitch has it's own profile of attributes. that's how you'd differentiate them... although if the game only uses overall stuff in the sim, that's just a figment of my imagination. but, how would it handle the kb and its drastic differences if it didn't at least recognize the different pitches that make up that rating.

i think what battists said is mostly right, and for an end-user's purposes probably all you need to know, but i woudln't doubt there's a bit of overlap in some cases. and, in extreme cases, can invert the decision curve.

i think we all know of some player with an extremely high rating, and 2 mediocre ones that have a long and successful career that defies what "should be." maybe he has a low control but somehow keeps his bb/9 at or below league average, etc etc....

i've seen a guy with low control keep his walks below league average his entire career and be one of the most dominant closers i've ever seen --highest save% i know off hand, but maybe not the highest ever... that'd by crazy low percentage if pure luck.

now, if that sort if stuff is extremely rare, it's just anomalous, but i think it happens enough that it is just normal and simple math of the game. (not referencing 1 good year at any point above... long-term success, suitable sample)

no matter how they did choose to make this work, there will be holes... what imean is a reference to wkelly73 rhetorical questions above... some of that stuff, not neccessarily all of it, is inevitable... they won'thave a perfectly logical solution, most likely. it's a complicated thing to model with insufficient data, so there's some personal preference and guessing invovled, inevitably.

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Old 08-25-2019, 07:38 AM   #36
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Yes, the generalization that holds true in OOTP is success (statistics) is the result of player's ratings cross-matched with his or her surrounding environment.

That said, the question "what is stuff" is as much on trial in this conversation as anything else, and in that conversation, OOTP defines it very narrowly as "k-rate." While whatever baseball people mean by "stuff" often correlates to strike outs, that is not always true. Hence the hole in how people perceive OOTP/Baseball performances.

While probably true, what's problematic about that is that this sort of turns the chicken/egg scenario on its head. To the point, how does one pitcher get rated high for "stuff" when you haven't actually seen whether he can strike out hitters or not? (think someone you just drafted here)


The key point in all this is trying to figure out what makes a pitcher more likely to strike a guy out. It could be that he throws four distinct pitches rather than just one. It could be because his slider moves like Dave Stieb's did before all the injuries. Or maybe his velocity is up in Aroldis Chapman territory. Or he could have pinpoint control.

I'll describe a guy I've got on my team right now (I can screenshot this for you if you like but half the time I can't get those things to upload properly). His name is Carl Faison. He's a rookie. On a 1-20 scale, he's got the following ratings:

Stuff: 20/20
Movement: 6/6
Control: 10/12
Velocity: 95-97


He throws two pitches: a 20/20 fastball and a 17/17 curveball. Now right there, I've got an issue. If his curveball is 17/17, how in blue heck does he have Movement of 6? What else can a 17/17 curveball do other than curve? Unless the game is only tracking Movement of fastballs (and then the question becomes what does Movement correlate to in guys that aren't rated for fastballs, but instead are rated for sinkers or cutters).


He's a high-K guy and, as the low Movement rating would suggest, he's giving up too many dingers (averaging around 1 every 3-4 innings).

But this makes me wonder how he's doing it. There's good Velocity there for sure, but only two pitches and low movement on (I'm assuming) both of them. Control is decent. This is why I think a category called "Knows How to Pitch" is more telling than "Stuff," because I'm not whether "Stuff" is reacting to his strikeout count, or foretelling the ability to have high strikeout counts in the future. Is "Stuff" the chicken, or the egg?


I've had similar guys with similar numbers and stats with Velocity topping out around 90-92, too, so that causes me to question the role Velocity is playing in the overall ratings.

I just feel like we're getting incomplete pictures of our pitchers here. Or we're getting summary results that already tell us what the stats are telling us. It's enough to make me want to play with scouting turned off, but I still need scouting to inform me about my low minors.
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:23 PM   #37
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I just feel like we're getting incomplete pictures of our pitchers here. Or we're getting summary results that already tell us what the stats are telling us. It's enough to make me want to play with scouting turned off, but I still need scouting to inform me about my low minors.
I agree with and understand all your points. If Fiason's ratings were:

Strikeouts: 20/20
Avoid HR: 6/6
Avoid BB: 10/12
Velocity: 95-97

Fastball: 20/20
Curveball: 17/17

Things might make a little more sense in that you've seen guys who strike out a lot of guys, but have homer problems. You would probably have different sets of questions, though. At the end of the day, my point here is that regardless of whether the pitch model is good, bad, or indifferent, if OOTP moved away from labels that essentially serve to obscure things in ways that get people tied up into logic knots the game would actually be communicating what's happening (like your comment about how a guy can have an elite fastball and a nearly elite curve ball and crappy movement--those two things are in absolute disagreement and that disagreement influences the enjoyment of people who care about such things).

Your feeling on scouts/stats is, in my opinion, one shared by a lot of folks. And, yes, you can use stats to manage your minor leagues just fine as long as you read sample size issues well enough. To be direct, as long as you're using lower resolution rating systems (2-8, 1-10, 1-5, and even really 20-80), the disparity in performance between ratings bars is essentially more than enough fog of war to make the game fun ... for me anyway.

I haven't played in a league with scouts on for years, and I'm far happier for it. Again, though, that's just my view.

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Old 08-25-2019, 03:48 PM   #38
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It's not just pitchers, of course. Similar conversations can be had with the AvoidK rating batters have. There are multiple ways a guy can avoid getting struck out: (1) not swinging at balls outside the zone, (2) swinging at balls in the zone, and making contact (avoiding swinging strikes). You can probably argue for more. So Avoid K is an rating with incomplete data, also.

Same with Contact, which is basically batting average.

Eye is the ability to draw walks, which could be broken down further into plate discipline, which is comprised of at least the two skillsets I note in the AvoidK paragraph.

At question there is how deep the game design can go and still create outputs that satisfy us human beings who play it. But, yes, as you (ConStar) note, we're playing with incomplete models...or at least models that are kind of working their way backwards.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:43 PM   #39
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It's not just pitchers, of course. Similar conversations can be had with the AvoidK rating batters have. There are multiple ways a guy can avoid getting struck out: (1) not swinging at balls outside the zone, (2) swinging at balls in the zone, and making contact (avoiding swinging strikes). You can probably argue for more. So Avoid K is an rating with incomplete data, also.

Same with Contact, which is basically batting average.

Eye is the ability to draw walks, which could be broken down further into plate discipline, which is comprised of at least the two skillsets I note in the AvoidK paragraph.

At question there is how deep the game design can go and still create outputs that satisfy us human beings who play it. But, yes, as you (ConStar) note, we're playing with incomplete models...or at least models that are kind of working their way backwards.

Yeah, the whole "Eye" and "Avoid Ks" thing tend to comingle as well and lead to situations like me having a guy who is 5/20 in Eye but 15/20 in Avoid Ks. Let's think about that for a moment: His plate recognition is so bad that he's 5/20 in walks taken but he almost never strikes out. So, OK, maybe he's a high-contact guy who just swings at everything he sees ... nope, he's 11/20 in contact. So basically his plate discipline ends exactly at the edges of the strike zone.



As hard as that is to believe on its face, what it tends to lead to is his batting average being overinflated. To wit: this guy has hit .270 - .300 now in three out of the four years he's been in the majors. The system seems to be having the same issues I am figuring out what to do with his at-bats. It seems to be prioritizing accuracy in the Eye and Avoid Ks categories and is dumping its "errors" into Contact. In doing so, the system has created a player I love having at the plate in key situations, especially two outs and/or bases-loaded scenarios. On top of this, he's got a 16/20 gap power rating, and he's on pace for 55-60 doubles this year despite the fact he's only going to get about 520-550 ABs. I have basically watched the game create a guy who has Carlos Beltran's career profile despite not having the ratings necessary to do it.

Going back to Faison, I'd just like to know what a 20/20 fastball and 17/17 curve would look like in real life on a guy with Movement of 6. I get low-movement relievers; the game is full of them now and has been for decades. Just wind it up and throw it hard, Ace. But those kind of guys eventually circle around to the Stuff argument again. It's maddening.
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:37 AM   #40
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And, yes, I know that the 4.5 K/9 rule of thumb will miss a few guys. To BirdWatcher's point, generalizations are pretty much always wrong somewhere. The one that always registers for me is Randy Jones, who struck out almost no one, but still succeeded by being off the chart in what OOTP would call movement and control.
And for how long was Randy Jones successful, compared to, say, Nolan Ryan (and Ryan's control wasn't great)?

A pitcher can have a long, successful career with a poor walk rate or a poor HR's allowed rate. It isn't easy, but you could find guys who'd rate 3/10 at their peak on control or movement but had 10 year productive careers. You can't find anyone who'd rank 3/10 in their best year at getting K's who had long, productive careers. Even Randy Jones had two years over 5 K's/9 innings.

Randy Jones had a total of 4 years (I just looked it up) with an ERA+ above 100 (as in his ERA was lower than the league average ERA). 1973 was one of those years, and he struck out 5.0/9 innings in 1973, so he had a total of 3 good years with a low K rate. His second highest ERA+ was 119, so he had exactly one year in which he was a star with a low K rate.

Nolan Ryan had five years in which he led the league in walks allowed while having an ERA+ above 100. He led the league in walks allowed 3 other years and was slightly below average in ERA+, at 98.

I write this despite that stylistically I like crafty ground ball pitchers better than power pitchers. But the fact is you can have a 27 year career like Ryan did with poor control (when he led the league in walks he didn't have the worst control in the league; the guys who really couldn't get it over at all didn't get to pitch enough to lead the league in walks; but his control was poor).

BABIP is mostly fielding. The pitcher's main control over batting average allowed, by far, is by getting K's. If you don't get K's you'll have a high batting average allowed, and while batting average was overrated for years before sabermetrics showed us that Darrell Evans can have a low batting average and by a great player and Rob Deer can have a very low batting average and have value, it's still true that if you hit .330 you're a good hitter even with very poor walks and power, because you'd have a .660 OPS if you never walked and never hit more than a single-- but a guy with no plate discipline walks 20 times a year and a guy with no power may not (before the last 20 years anyway) have hit any home runs, but he hit doubles at the least. If someone hit .330 and only drew 20 walks and only hit 20 doubles, no triples, no home runs, he might be a bad hitter (at least for DH/1B/LF/RF), but you have to go to extremes there that maybe no one's average has been as empty as that.

But that's what the guy who gets no K's has to do. He has to never give up home runs and never walk anyone, which no pitcher can do, becuase he's making his opponents .330 hitters.

And no one will keep his job as a hitter hitting .190. There could be someone who takes Rob Deer to the extreme and hit so many home runs and draw so many walks he might have value doing that, but no one has done that and lasted. If you're making so poor and rare of contact to hit .190 regularly, it's unlikely that with whatever strength you might have you have enough power to hit all those home runs, and almost as unlikely that you have a super eye for the strike zone to have tons of walks.

But you can have a star career with way below average power, as Ozzie Smith did with almost no home runs, or even at an offense-first position, as Tony Gwynn did (Smith is an all-time great because of defense, but Gwynn's defense wasn't exceptional for his fairly easy position, and he's not a legend like Ozzie but was a very good player for a long time). And lots of hitters, some undeserving but not all, have been seen as stars despite very low walk rates.

The pitcher who never records K's is the pitching equivalent of the .190 hitter. He'll give up lots of hits and can't give up so few home runs and walks to make up for that, just like Tony Gwynn got so many hits he was going to be good even though he didn't contribute that much in other ways (and can be overrated due to those hits, but they're enough he was going to be good even with his limited contributions in other areas).
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