“I don’t believe that on-base percentage stuff. That’s overrated to me. If you get hits, you’ll be on base. That’s what it’s about.”
Brandon Phillips has led the Reds in outs for each of the last two seasons, this even while he missed the last 3 weeks of the season last year. He is a very good player right now, but he would be an incredible player if he learned to not swing so frequently and just take an occasional walk.
I had an interesting conversation with someone a couple of days ago where we talked a lot about sabermetric concepts. One of the things that we both marveled at is at the idea that on base percentage is a new idea built out of sabermetrics. This is something that has been around for almost as long as the game, and was being frequently used by people such as Branch Rickey to evaluate players. This is not a new idea and it amazes me that so many in the game find it to be a silly concept.
Yes, Brandon, if you get hits, you get on base. But unless you are hitting .350 or better, you need to start supplementing your hits with fewer outs. There are times when the value of a hit is much, much better than the value of a walk. But there are many more times when the value of not making an out is better than the risk of trying to get a hit. Isn't it time for big leaguers to start realizing that?