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Torii Hunter 2013 Outlook

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He's never come across as a particularly intelligent guy. But we don't get points for their smarts, we get 'em for what they do on the field.

Does anyone know where he'll be batting in the lineup? If he's 2nd that's going to change my projections vs. if he's batting after the big sluggers. His babip was a career high 389. It was fueled by a career high line drive rate, career high strike out %, and a near career low walk rate. Looking at all the peripherals leaves me a bit confused, as quite a few things seemingly contradict one another. My guess is his skills are really starting to erode but it was covered up by hitting in front of Pujols. If he's hitting before Prince/Miggy, I'd be comfortable rolling the dice on him (depending on his ADP).

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He's never come across as a particularly intelligent guy. But we don't get points for their smarts, we get 'em for what they do on the field.

Does anyone know where he'll be batting in the lineup? If he's 2nd that's going to change my projections vs. if he's batting after the big sluggers. His babip was a career high 389. It was fueled by a career high line drive rate, career high strike out %, and a near career low walk rate. Looking at all the peripherals leaves me a bit confused, as quite a few things seemingly contradict one another. My guess is his skills are really starting to erode but it was covered up by hitting in front of Pujols. If he's hitting before Prince/Miggy, I'd be comfortable rolling the dice on him (depending on his ADP).

I can see him being second.

Jackson

Hunter

Miggy

Fielder

VMart

Avila

Peralta

Infante

Dirks

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He is batting second in the lineup. As far as his comments, I don't know what his intentions were and can't speak to his intent. To do so would probably just as wrong as what many percieved he did. To his credit, he did speak to it directly after his comments came out and tried to make it right while respecting his beliefs. I am not a highly religious person but I respect those who have strong beliefs...as long as they aren't using it to hate on others. I don't think that was his intent here.

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he probably recanted all that after his agent told him it'll kill any of the tv gigs he's otherwise destined for post-retirement ... where has tim hardaway gone?

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He's never come across as a particularly intelligent guy. But we don't get points for their smarts, we get 'em for what they do on the field.

Does anyone know where he'll be batting in the lineup? If he's 2nd that's going to change my projections vs. if he's batting after the big sluggers. His babip was a career high 389. It was fueled by a career high line drive rate, career high strike out %, and a near career low walk rate. Looking at all the peripherals leaves me a bit confused, as quite a few things seemingly contradict one another. My guess is his skills are really starting to erode but it was covered up by hitting in front of Pujols. If he's hitting before Prince/Miggy, I'd be comfortable rolling the dice on him (depending on his ADP).

I can see him being second.

Jackson

Hunter

Miggy

Fielder

VMart

Avila

Peralta

Infante

Dirks

He is hitting 2nd, I was pretty shocked to look at this guys career run total through the years, much lower than I would of expected. No 100 Run seasons and only 1 over 90. Maybe this is the year at 38. He had a pretty nice across the board season last year.

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He is hitting 2nd, I was pretty shocked to look at this guys career run total through the years, much lower than I would of expected. No 100 Run seasons and only 1 over 90. Maybe this is the year at 38. He had a pretty nice across the board season last year.

I don't see him having a season better than last year again in his career. I'm sure he'll be solid, but chances are he won't even match last year let alone top it.

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I don't see him having a season better than last year again in his career. I'm sure he'll be solid, but chances are he won't even match last year let alone top it.

He won't hit .313 again, but he'll be really good even at .285. Hitting in front of Migs/Fielder, I can't see how he won't have a shot at 100 runs. He scored 57 runs in 85 games in the 2 hole last year in front of Pujols. He hit 5th in the order for most of the peak of his career behind Morneau and Vlad, then cleanup for the Angels when they were dismal prior to Pujols coming. Hence no seasons close to 100 runs. He's being drafted like an OF5, but can bring in profits like an OF3. He can put up similar numbers to Alex Gordon in 2012, with maybe half the doubles.

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Hunter was the luckiest player in all of baseball last year. No way will I draft him, simply because he will always go higher than he should because of how inflated his numbers were last year.

BB% was his lowest since 2007. K% was the highest of his entire career. ISO was his lowest since his rookie year. Highest GB% of his entire career.

And somehow his BABIP was a staggering .389, a full 82 points below his career average.

Luckiest hitter in baseball. Stay away

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Hunter was the luckiest player in all of baseball last year. No way will I draft him, simply because he will always go higher than he should because of how inflated his numbers were last year.

BB% was his lowest since 2007. K% was the highest of his entire career. ISO was his lowest since his rookie year. Highest GB% of his entire career.

And somehow his BABIP was a staggering .389, a full 82 points below his career average.

Luckiest hitter in baseball. Stay away

His ADP on ESPN is 128. His ranking in Yahoo is 193. You could do a lot worse near Round 15.

Guess who were next in line to your "luckiest hitter in baseball"? Trout and McCutchen. You staying away from them in the 1st round? Yes, I know they are significantly younger than Hunter, but BABIP is BABIP no matter who it is, since that's the basis to your point. Give me Hunter's situation over those peripherals.

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Hunter was the luckiest player in all of baseball last year. No way will I draft him, simply because he will always go higher than he should because of how inflated his numbers were last year.

BB% was his lowest since 2007. K% was the highest of his entire career. ISO was his lowest since his rookie year. Highest GB% of his entire career.

And somehow his BABIP was a staggering .389, a full 82 points below his career average.

Luckiest hitter in baseball. Stay away

His ADP on ESPN is 128. His ranking in Yahoo is 193. You could do a lot worse near Round 15.

Guess who were next in line to your "luckiest hitter in baseball"? Trout and McCutchen. You staying away from them in the 1st round? Yes, I know they are significantly younger than Hunter, but BABIP is BABIP no matter who it is, since that's the basis to your point. Give me Hunter's situation over those peripherals.

No, BABIP is not BABIP no matter who it is. You can't simply sort by BABIP and reason that the highest totals equal the luckiest players. It's more important to look at how much the BABIP deviates from the players career norm. Some players can establish higher than league average BABIP baselines by having good speed and hitting the ball hard. Shin-Soo Choo has a career BABIP of .353. So if he posts a BABIP of .380 one year and a player who has a league-average BABIP for his career (.300) posts the same .380 total, the player with the league average number is clearly the one that was favored by luck moreso than Choo.

Yes, McCutchen was quite lucky last year (though not to the level of Hunter) and no I don't think I would take him in the 1st round. I have both Giancarlo and Kemp ranked over him in my OF list and I think he'll hit closer to .270 than he will .327 again. But I'm not saying I wouldn't draft him (or Hunter) under ANY circumstance, I'm simply saying I wouldn't take them where they're being valued this year based on last years production.

Trout, indeed, was helped by some luck too with a .383 BABIP, but he routinely posted .380+ BABIP numbers in the minor leagues and has the perfect skill set to be the type of guy that suatains a .350+ career BABIP.

I don't think Trout's .383 mark was more than a 30 or 40 point "luck" swing from what will be his career norm. McCutchen's was still only 49 points away from his career average. Hunter's was 89, and that is with him being much slower than he was in his days of posting league average BABIPs. There is a big difference between the amount of luck that factored into Hunter's totals and the two you mentioned.

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I think Tori is top 5 in runs scored in the American League. Don't think he will match last years totals, but do think he can/will hit .280 give or take a few pts. Batting number 2 in Detroits line up is guaranteed fantasy relevance. I think so many are concerned with him matching last years totals, that people forget how effective he will be in the Tigers awe inspiring offense. His RBI's may not be hurt so much either, he will have Infante in the nine slot (not bad for a #9 hitter) and then Austin Jackson a .300 hitter in front of him to generate RBI opportunities. He's gonna have a nice year. Not last years totals, but some cats will go up, like runs scored and maybe RBI's.

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It's extremely unlikely he'll be top 5 in runs scored in the AL. That means you're projecting him for 100+ when he has never scored more than 94 in his career and scored only 81 last year hitting in front of Pujols and Hamilton with his extremely inflated OBP. When his OBP drops back down to the .335 range I think you're looking at closer to 75 runs

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Hamilton wasn't on the team last year and Pujols was not the same player he used to be

Yes he was; just not in April and May.

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It's extremely unlikely he'll be top 5 in runs scored in the AL. That means you're projecting him for 100+ when he has never scored more than 94 in his career and scored only 81 last year hitting in front of Pujols and Hamilton with his extremely inflated OBP. When his OBP drops back down to the .335 range I think you're looking at closer to 75 runs

Using his career to gauge this season isn't appropriate. He has never consistently been a 2 hitter. He hit 5th for most of the peak of his career behind Morneau or Vlad, and then hit cleanup for the Angels when they had a dismal lineup prior to Pujols coming. If you look at his 2012 splits, he scored 57 runs in 85 games as the #2 hitter in front of Pujols. I think it's safe to say he's got a decent shot at 100 runs barring injuries with the protection he's got. He's in a completely different situation than he's been in for most of his career.

iAugust, I agree with your points. Those are the hard facts, but it's one thing to think his average will go down due to BABIP as opposed to his entire season line. His lineup spot dictates how his production will change. Sure, his RBI will go down, but his runs will go up. Say each take a swing of 15 in the opposite direction. He scores 95 runs, drives in 75 with 15 HRs, while hitting .285. That looks an awful lot like Alex Gordon in 2012 to me, but 5 rounds later than where Gordon goes this year.

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Another thing you have to understand is that a #2 hitter sees a LOT better pitches, and a lot more fastballs than a #5 hitter. Just look at Hunter's stats from last year:

#2: 85 games / 57 runs / 9 homers / 69 rbis / 8 steals / .343 AVG / .376 OBP

#4: 22 games / 11 runs / 3 homers / 12 rbis / 0 steals / .263 AVG / .364 OBP

#5: 22 games / 9 runs / 3 homers / 9 rbis / 1 steal / .309 AVG / .347 OBP

When you are hitting in front of the best hitter in baseball (Cabrera) who is going to be followed by probably the best cleanup hitter in baseball (Fielder) who is then followed by a .300 + batting average hitter in Victor Martinez - you are going to see a lot of hittable fastballs. With a very solid leadoff hitter in Austin Jackson, I think Tori is in the perfect position to have a solid year if he can stay healthy. I think 100 runs is definitely in reach. Assuming a full slate of games (which is never a given) I would go:

.290

.330

20 home runs

100 runs

80 rbis

5 steals (I don't think he will run much at all with all those bats behind him)

I think his BA will be a little above his career average and his OBP a little below. I just don't think he is going to be walking very much. Pitchers are going to pitch to him because they simply can't put men on base with Cabrera and Fielder behind him. The key for Hunter is staying healthy. If he stays healthy he will be a solid OF3.

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The other thing to factor in here is Leyland's outright insistance on staying with guys through slumps in relation to where they bat. He stubbornly stuck with Raburn in the number 2 slot for months, dispite his horrid sub .200 BA. In other words, Tori will be given even more leash, so any kind of extended slump he could have will be covered by Leyland's unrelenting loyalty to his players. He also really respects past achievements in relation to batting slot. In other words, Tori will stay at #2, even an extended slump will not move him out. He would have to be total crap for 2+ months to even have Jim consider moving him.

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No love for Hunter yet?

He's seeing the ball great, came cheap in the drafts and should lock up great numbers quietly.

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I am loving Hunter, I think he is going to have a huge year: 85 r 10+ HR 90+ rbis but I am also trying to trade high on him right now cuz I need pitching and think HUnter's value is high right now

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I am loving Hunter, I think he is going to have a huge year: 85 r 10+ HR 90+ rbis but I am also trying to trade high on him right now cuz I need pitching and think HUnter's value is high right now

The .474 BABIP would say a steep correction is due at some point. Hes on a hot streak no doubt and will be a good 2 hitter for Detroit but I dont think his value can get any higher.

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I am loving Hunter, I think he is going to have a huge year: 85 r 10+ HR 90+ rbis but I am also trying to trade high on him right now cuz I need pitching and think HUnter's value is high right now

85 runs, 90+ rbi? You're aware he's the #2 hitter in that lineup, right? He won't drive in more than 75, but he will definitely cross the plate 95-100 times.

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I'll preface by saying the BABIP is going to correct itself soon. But ... there are reasons beyond luck that he had a major spike last year in BA.

I was digging into this guy's numbers tonight. There's a notable approach change that began in 2012 which has carried over into 2013. There's an obvious attempt to swing a lot more and walk less.

The biggest change is that he's taking the ball the opposite way. A TON.

Opposite field hits:

2008: 16

2009: 24

2010: 30

2011: 26

2012: 43 (in only 140 games!)

2013: 11 already

He was never a particularly good opposite field hitter until last year. With the changed approach, Torii closed 2012 with 4 straight months of .297+ BA, including a whopping .350 after the break.

A lot of this upsurge probably had to do with being sandwiched between Trout and Pujols. As his lineup role changed so did his approach. His job was to move the runner over by hitting to the right side, either by ground out or base hit. Hunter started getting tons of hits to RF and apparently he's continued this same objective on DET at least in the early going.

The results of this approach shift has been a drop in HRs and a lot more singles.

I think Hunter is a pretty good bet to get 100 runs and hit .300 this year if he continues establishing himself as a top opposite field hitter. The downside here is he's somewhat iffy on power when he doesn't pull the ball and he's become allergic to walks.

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Good info Cymb.

He was a steal where I drafted him. Already 2 doubles and a triple today. I had him pegged as my backup OF/UTIL slot but I have to keep him in the lineup at this rate.

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