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I am once again running the Scouting Report project. The Jays ballots were one of the most-filled last year, and I'm sure it's in no small part due to the Batter's Box readers. If you can take a few minutes, I'd appreciate it.
The 2005 Scouting Report - By the Fans, For the Fans | 16 comments | Create New Account
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TangoTiger - Tuesday, August 16 2005 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#125765) #
Wow, thanks for the response! I've already gotten 20 ballots for the Jays in a matter of hours (I had 30 or so last year for the whole month).

TangoTiger - Friday, August 19 2005 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#126134) #
I've got a healthy set of ballots of the Jays (42) so far, and I thought it would be interesting to ask about Hudson and Adams.

Hudson, according to the fans, is clearly the best fielder on the team. After him, it's Wells, and then Rios and Reed Johnson (nice outfield). Adams is clumped in with the below average fielders.

Comparing Adams and Hudson, on a trait by trait basis, and Hudson beats him easily in each of the categories. In fact, Hudson's worst trait is better than Adams' best trait.

Hudson's profile, to me, screams that he should be playing a more demanding position (SS), while Adams is screaming for a lesser position (2B).

So, what is it, exactly, about Hudson, who is such a good fielder, that would prevent him from playing SS? Is it his throwing motion?

I'd also say that whatever reason you can give me, I don't think I can possibly buy it. When a little squirt who can't throw like Eckstein can play SS effectively, I just don't see how a fabulous fielder like Hudson can't.

I'm now open to being taught.
Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2005 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#126137) #
Could Hudson be taught to be an above-average shortstop? Probably. Is it worthwhile in the Jays' particular circumstances? No.

Here's why. Hudson has a combination of 3 traits-he has great range, he's very good on the DP pivot, and his arm is average. Adams has above average range and a significantly below average arm; he does not turn the DP particularly well. If you switch their positions, what you gain in range, you lose in double play efficacy and there is increased risk of injury, particularly to Adams. Hudson, like the other great defensive second basemen in history, has a remarkable ability to turn the double play while avoiding injury. He does not bail. It's a fine skill that is not quite captured in the study.

The difficult question for the Jays is Hill vs. Adams. Many, myself included, feel that Adams will end up as an adequate defensive shortstop, and that Hill is a Gold-Glove quality defensive third baseman in the making. Others feel that Hill is a better defensive shortstop than Adams, and that Adams should move to second, and that he or Hudson should be traded. It is a pleasant problem.
TangoTiger - Friday, August 19 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#126140) #
Thanks for the enlightening comment.

Take the issue of the DP. The 2B as DP pivot comes into play how often over the course of a season? What you are saying is that there should be a noticeable difference in Hudson pivoting at 2B and receiving throws from Adams, against Adams pivoting at 2B and receiving throws from Hudson. My guess is that you are talking about at most 10 double plays lost (and I'm probably being generous).

On the flip side is the range. That comes into play several hundred times in a year. I'm sure the result would be at least 10 extra plays made (and I'm probably being conservative).

As for the injury aspect, I've never researched it, but my guess again is that there's very little causal association between avoiding injuries and being a good DP pivot.

I will tell you one thing though: if Hudson were to start his career as a SS and Adams at 2B, and the manager saw how well Hudson moves around 2B, there's no way he would make Hudson 2B and Adams SS.
Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2005 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#126141) #
I agree that Hudson would have been unlikely to be converted to second from short, if he had started there. He'll be 28 in December, so at this point, the prime of his range has passed or will be passing shortly.
Pistol - Friday, August 19 2005 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#126147) #
How many more chances does a typical SS get compared to a 2B over a season? Just taking a quick glance it doesn't look like there's much of a difference.
TangoTiger - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#126198) #
You're right that there is not much of a difference in number of plays.

But, in terms of time to make a play, the 2B has much more time, meaning that if you put Hudson and Adams at SS and at 2B, the difference in number of plays made per chance would be larger at SS.

That is, Hudson would make .9 plays at SS, and Adams would make .8. At 2B, Hudson would make .92 and Adams would make .84 (numbers for illustration only).
TangoTiger - Wednesday, August 24 2005 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#126439) #
Just looking at some prelim report on the Jays and a few teams. Ichiro will once again win the "Fans' Gold Glove" (need a name here) for best overall fielder. Right after him, though far below him, are Orlando Hudson, Scott Rolen, Mark Kotsay, and Cesar Izturis. This list is pretty much a repeat of last year. I got plenty of Jays support this year (56 ballots).
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2005 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#126440) #
Thanks, Tango, for doing this. It might be fun to name the "Scouting Report Gold Gloves", just after the official ones are released.
Ryan01 - Wednesday, August 24 2005 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#126451) #
Hudson actually did start out as a shortstop. But seeing as he was competing for playing time with other middle infielders like Joe Bernhardt (Dominican bonus baby), Glenn Williams, Joe Lawrence, Mike Young, Felipe Lopez, Ryan Freel, Chris Woodward and Cesar Izturis, it's not hard to see why he took to third base, and later second, so readily.

Hudson almost certainly could be a very good shortstop and it has been discussed a few times here. But at this point, I don't think the Jays are willing to risk the growing pains involved in teaching both of your middle infielders a new position.
Craig B - Wednesday, August 24 2005 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#126452) #
I think Adams has a stronger arm than Hudson does, though it's hard to tell because the 2B makes so few challenging throws.
TangoTiger - Wednesday, August 24 2005 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#126460) #
You know what would be interesting? Comparing the Scouting Report for the Jays (or maybe some other team), and getting a Jays scout to come up with his own rankings, and see how well they match.

Off the top of my head, I think that 20 hard-core fans = 2 professional scouts. So, the 50+ Jays fans here might know more than one Jays scout.

Is Pistol the one who spoke with the Jays scouts? You think it would be out of bounds to ask them?
TangoTiger - Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#126808) #
Mick Doherty - Saturday, August 27 2005 @ 01:42 AM EDT (#126810) #
<i> the "Fans' Gold Glove" (need a name here)</i>
This is all World-Wide Web driven, right? So would not the obvious name be The Globe Glove?
TangoTiger - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#127022) #
The Globe Gloves! Love it.

How about Webbed Gloves, or something with "Web" in it, as in webbing of a glove.
Rob - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#127026) #
World Wide Web Gems? I think Globe Gloves is the best.
The 2005 Scouting Report - By the Fans, For the Fans | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.