September 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
Chipper Jones has spent the past few games hitting second. A few quick thoughts on the change.
- It’s a good spot for him to be hitting. This has been hashed many, many times, but managers frequently neglect the importance of the #2 spot. The #2 spot is where one of the team’s best three hitters should hit. Chipper is probably one of the team’s best three hitters right now, and if not he’s close. Martin Prado had been hitting second a lot before Chipper took over and he is certainly not one of the team’s best three hitters. By switching Prado with Chipper in the batting order the Braves are creating more runs.
- I really like the fact that Chipper is intent on not changing his approach based on his line-up spot. Chipper’s approach is one of the best in the game. It works. He shouldn’t change it based on where he’s hitting in the line-up. In certain base/out states the relative value of each batting event changes and the player should alter his approach accordingly, but tailoring one’s approach according to the situation–rather than his batting order position–is the correct way to handle this.
- Fredi Gonzalez said Chipper won’t be asked to bunt. Just having a #2 hitter that the manager won’t be tempted to ask to lay down a bunt is worth something. Giving away an out with your #2 hitter means either you’ve made a poor in-game tactical decision or picked the wrong #2 hitter.
Chipper has had a really nice season. His walk rate has dropped a bit but he’s hitting .282 with a .200 ISO. I hope he continues to hit second and continues to hit well. If so, this can only help the Braves score more runs.