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More Pivotal Position: Leadoff Or Cleanup?  
User currently offlineCanarsie VOR From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 95 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1048 times:

Which position do you think is more pivotal in helping a team win? An excellent leadoff hitter or an excellent cleanup hitter?

I've heard announcers say over and over again that when the leadoff hitter gets on base, teams score runs.

However some purists still believe that the cleanup hitter is the key to scoring runs and winning.

Which would you rather your team have?

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1000 times:

I'm going to have to go with the cleanup hitter, only because you still have the 2nd and 3rd hitters to get on base and do something if the leadoff hitter doesn't quite do it. You still need that solid big bat that can drive in those runs in the middle of the lineup.

User currently offlineUsatoeze From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 358 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 982 times:

A leadoff hitter with good speed, good eyes, and the ability to bring excitement to the game means a lot more than a cleanup hitter. A cleanup hitter isnt that useful with someone almost as talented batting behind him(he'll just get walked), while a leadoff hitter can spark a team almost on his own.....

I always think of

Ricky Henderson
Kenny Lofton (A younger)
Vince Coleman(Especially the year he was injured by the tarp)

and what an effect they had on their teams.



War is a very poor political tool
User currently offlinePhxairfan From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 811 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 980 times:

Leadoff hitter is a lot more important. When the leadoff hitter gets on base, generally they are a threat to steal. That threat forces the pitcher to take his full concentration off of the hitter which makes him more apt to throw a hittable pitch for the 2nd 3rd or fourth hitter.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21633 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 974 times:

Big cleanup hitters usually strike out a fair amount. A good leadoff hitter that puts the ball in play most of the time can be extremely valuable in a close game against tough pitching (which most playoff games are).

You still need that solid big bat that can drive in those runs in the middle of the lineup.

The thing is, if the leadoff hitter is on 2nd or 3rd by the time the 3 or 4 hitter comes up, you don't need a big bat to drive them in. A single will do the job just fine. Big extra base hits and homers won't have much impact if there's nobody on base when they're hit.



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 974 times:

Gotta go with leadoff. Apart from being a threat to steal 2nd base, a good leadoff hitter can put a spark to the fumes of a team in ways a cleanup hitter can't. I think Ricky Henderson was one of the best

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21633 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 970 times:

Also, if you look at the teams that have won the World Series recently, they all have good leadoff hitters (except for Arizona which had great pitching):

Marlins: Castillo and Pierre were perfect in the 1 and 2 spots
Angels: the trio of Eckstein, Erstad and Kennedy batted 1,2 and 9 IIRC, and were on base almost all the time, and made things happen.
Arizona: pitching
Yankees: None really stand out except for Jeter, who is great in the post-season, but there were a lot of get-on-base types (Paul O'Neill and Bernie Williams are good examples) who didn't have a lot of power, but would take turns hitting each other in.

The Yankees aren't like that anymore (pitching or offense). Last year Giambi and Soriano struck out far too much in big spots. If that kind of thing happens again this year, they won't win. But if they try to go back to the formula they had before, they could just roll through.



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
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