FG on FOX: Picking the Right Narrow Skill Set

There was once a statistical revolution that was supposedly about on-base percentage. Scott Hatteberg showed us the power of patience, right? In today’s league, though, it’s virtually impossible to make a living if the ability to walk is your only real skill.

The Twins just designated Chris Parmelee for assignment. He might not be a perfect comparable for Scott Hatteberg, but he’s close. Not a defensive asset anywhere but first, Parmelee also doesn’t have above-average power. So far so good.

Parmelee hasn’t shown great patience in the big leagues yet, but that’s complicated. He did have a 12.3% walk rate in the minors, and there have been grumbles in Minnesota that he was too passive as a hitter. Perhaps he’s been trying to be less patient in response to that pressure.

Parmelee himself admitted to me in May this year that he’s spent the last few years searching: “I was trying to find who I was as a hitter.” In the newest variant on his game, he’s been more aggressive. This year, he swung more than ever. He reached more than ever, too. “It might not be that perfect pitch that you were looking for, but it’s still a ball that you can put the barrel on and drive somewhere,” he said.

No matter. To date, Parmelee’s best skill to date has been his walk rate. He’s been just about league-average with the bat, but he’s been above-average with the patience. He *could* be a modern-day Hatteberg for the right team.

Except that it looks like, today, teams aren’t really interested in players that can walk but are having trouble adding value in any other way.

Read the rest on Just A Bit Outside.





With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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