Blog Archives

July 30, 2012

Drew Stubbs wins NL Player of the Week award

This afternoon, the MLB Network announced that Cincinnati Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs had won the National League Player of the Week award for July 23 – July 29. He shares it with Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Stubbs, who helped lead the Reds to a 6-0 mark last week, hit .370 (10-for-27) and tied with Gomez for the N.L. lead in RBI (10) and stolen bases (3). The eighth overall selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft ranked second in the N.L. with nine runs scored and was tied for second in hits while finishing third with three home runs and 21 total bases. On July 24th, the Texas native went 3-for-4 with a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning off Houston closer Francisco Cordero en-route to a 4-2 victory at Minute Maid Park. The following night, Stubbs paced the Reds offense, going 2-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI as the Reds capped a four-game sweep at Houston with a 5-3 victory. The right-handed-hitting slugger notched his 12th homer of the season in Sunday’s 7-2 win over the Rockies while collecting his team-leading 21st stolen base as the Reds completed a three-game sweep at Colorado. This is Drew’s first career weekly award.

Does that make it easier or harder to trade him by the deadline tomorrow? On the one hand, he’s increased his trade value a bit by showing how good he can be, but on the other hand, in showing the Reds how good he can be, maybe he doesn’t need replacing after all.

None of the options that the Reds have been linked to–Juan Pierre, Denard Span, or Shane Victorino–strike me as so much better than Stubbs that the Reds should obtain them no matter the cost. With Joey Votto about to return, I might not be too upset at Walt Jocketty for doing nothing again.

February 5, 2011

Drew Stubbs Time to Shine

John Erardi, with help from Joel Luckhaupt and others, wrote a nice article highlighting how important Drew Stubbs could be for the Cincinnati Reds this season.

At 26, Stubbs will be starting his second full year in the majors. This after a first full season that was…uneven, yet promising. The way Stubbs finished the season so strong was certainly a major factor in the Reds outdistancing the St. Louis Cardinals. What 2011 will show is whether that excellent showing at the end of the year was a fluke or a fulfilling of potential.

The last two months were a coming out party for Stubbs and Bruce. From August 1st on, Stubbs hit .308, got on base at a near .400 clip, hit 9 home runs and stole 12 bases in 197 plate appearances. Bruce was even better (.338/.418/.699, with 15 HR in 153 plate appearances).

What overshadows Stubbs growth as a player, though, is his lack of bunting prowess. I’ve often found this criticism to be a bit dubious. Yes, Stubbs is speedy, but he clearly has power, and you can’t bunt for a double or a home run.

Stubbs has also been criticized for his high number of strikeouts, much like Adam Dunn before him. Erardi takes on that criticism head-on.

Not everybody in Reds Country has absorbed this cardinal rule of baseball offense:

What kills an offense is not strikeouts, it’s almost any kind of out.

Stubbs struck out a team-high 168 times last year; Bruce, 136, Joey Votto, 125, and Jonny Gomes 123. Brandon Phillips struck out only 83.

But here’s why “making contact” can be so deceptive:

Despite having twice as many strikeouts as Phillips, Stubbs did a better job of “getting on base plus slugging” than Phillips did. And even though Phillips had a batting average that was 20 points higher than Stubbs, Stubbs had a better OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) because he walked nine more times and hit four more home runs (in 100 fewer plate appearances). Stubbs also grounded into 8 fewer double plays.

The point: Pay attention to how many outs a guy makes, regardless of how he makes them. Strikeouts aren’t all that big of a deal, especially when a guy does so many other things well.

Hopefully, this article will begin an education of both Reds fans and management. It would also be nice, as the article concludes, to focus on all the things a player does well instead of focusing on the things he doesn’t.