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Jay and the Batting Title

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Posted: 9/1/2014 5:34 PM

Jay and the Batting Title 


As of the end of today's game, Jon Jay is batting .313, two points higher than Josh Harrison's and Justin Morneau's .311 and three points higher than Ben Revere's .310.

However - with only 379 plate appearances, Jay is 46 PA short of qualifying for the batting title.  (With the Cards having played 137 games, he would need 425 PA to qualify).

Assuming an average of 4 PA per game from here on out, Jay wound wind up the season at 479 PA, still 22 short.

There is, of course, the rule that states that if a player is short of the requisite number of plate appearances, but still would be atop the list were those deficit PA's be added to his record, he would still be the batting champion. 

But to do that, Jay would have to wind up leading the others by at least 20 points or so, to be able to take a virtual 0-for-22 and still lead the league.

Now, if you increase his PA per game from 4.0 to 4.88 per game, that would give Jay his 501 PA.

That's a bit of a tall order, that many plate appearances, especially since he usually hits in the lower part of the order.

So... what might need to be done is to flip-flop him and Wong - bat Jay second and Wong sixth or seventh - to get Jay a few extra PA's over the final 25 games and at least mitigate the impact of the virtual 0-fer - say, perhaps, get it down to a deficit of 8 PA's to where the virtual o-fer would only cut his BA by 4 or 5 points.
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Posted: 9/1/2014 8:49 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 



Probably not happening.  Carpenter has averaged about 4.4 PA this year.  Last year when we were much better offensively, Carpenter averaged 4.57 PA in the games in which he actually played.

Jay has had a great season and could certainly be trusted to bat high or low in the lineup, against LHP and RHP.  However, I hope Matheny doesn't let the prospect of any individual award have even an iota of impact on his managerial decisions in the midst of a tight pennant race in September.

Last edited 9/1/2014 9:34 PM by EuroWolf

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Posted: 9/1/2014 9:20 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


I hope and expect Matheny won't change plans for Jay's chase.  But I think I'd rather have Jay batting second right now than Wong.  Jay had a .474 OBP in August.  Wong is at .287.  Batting second would be a good idea and would get him ABs.  But I don't see him playing every day, so I think he still falls short.
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Posted: 9/1/2014 9:37 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


Jay has really hung in there and had a nice season so far. He's gotten a lot of criticism on here, including by me who called for us to put Bourjos out there every day back in May.

But the guy has been a very valuable member of the club, doing whatever was required and covering all three outfield spots from time to time. 

Hitting him second vs righties is probably the way we should go, with Wong hitting 8th. So you'd go Carpenter, Jay, Holliday, Adams, Molina, Peralta, Taveras, Wong. Versus lefties you might go Carpenter, Peralta, Holliday, Adams, Molina, Grichuk, Bourjos, Wong.

Grichuk still seems mostly overmatched at this level, and will probably need regular playing time to get to the point of where he can adjust and gain confidence against big league pitching day in and day out so that he makes contact more often.  His time might be a year or two away yet.

Last edited 9/2/2014 7:00 AM by bicyclemike

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Posted: 9/2/2014 12:03 AM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


Jay is a survivor. In 2011 he fought off Rasmus with a good year, then fell of the next two years. In 2014 with his job at stake with Borgeos coming on he is having a career year. We just need someone to threaten his starting job every year.

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Posted: 9/2/2014 5:34 AM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


And just for the record, who the hell still thinks Jay is not a good center fielder?  His arm is not strong, I get that.  But I've been watching him play all season and he's running down balls everywhere.  He's smart, gets good jumps, takes good routes to the ball and has sure hands.  Folks, this guy is a quality outfielder.  cool
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Posted: 9/2/2014 8:29 AM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


I'm pleased to see Jay getting some much deserved recognition, even from those that have been his biggest critics over the years. All the guy has ever done is perform and win with a smile on his face. He has won championships at multiple levels of the organization, hit .296 during 5 years of major league service, and played a central role in many great Cardinal moments. In my opinion he is a shining example of the Cardinal Way.
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Posted: 9/2/2014 9:49 AM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


I agree that Jay probably won't get enough PA to qualify for the batting title.  What I'm hoping for is that he does well enough, and gets enough PA over these past 25 games to at least be close enough to 501 PA to where taking a virtual 0-for-8 or 0-for-10 keeps him in the lead and gives him the title under that portion of the rule.

Here's what I mean:

Jay, in August, played in 26 games (starting in 23 of them) and hit .382/.474/.487 with 29 hits and 9 walks in 76 AB and 96 PA.  That's an average of  3.7 PA per game, brought down by the fact he was batting lower in the order and that he didn't start 3 games.  Assuming he starts every game the rest of the way, he ought to be closer to 4 PA per game.  Moving him up in the order might get him another 10 PA over the 25 games remaining.

He's already gone 2-for-3 with a walk in his first game in September.  Assuming another 110 PA would give him 114  for September.

So, if he were to maintain his averages over those 114 PA, he'd wind up going 34-for-94, finishing the season 138-for-426, a .324 batting average.  He'd have 493 plate appearances, 8 short of qualifying.  So, under the rule, they'd add those 8 PA to his AB total, making him a virtual 138-for-434, which still works out to a .318 batting average - which this season might just be enough, unless Harrison also stays hot and winds up at .320 or .325, as he may very well do.

That said, it's correct to state that MM shouldn't base his decisions on helping Jay win a batting title - but he should base his decisions on what's good for the team, and right now, at least, Jay is a hot hitter - and we know how MM likes to go with the hot hand.  Don't be surprised if he does indeed start using Jay in the #2 slot (I doubt he'll move Carpenter out of leadoff for now) and Wong batting sixth or seventh.
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Posted: 9/2/2014 10:05 AM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


It also assumes that Jay will remain hot for the next month, which his past track record suggests may not happen.
Brian Walton
The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation blog
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Posted: 9/2/2014 10:29 AM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


Yes sir, gotta hand it to Jon's supporters here. He is having a magnificent season and has really made some amazing plays in center field this summer. His hitting approach is much more classic now since he eliminated all that bat pumping and wiggling.
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Posted: 9/2/2014 12:36 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


And besides, we need to put those big sluggers like Kolten Wong lower in the lineup so they can drive in a lotta runs.

wink

Last edited 9/2/2014 12:37 PM by dls357

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Posted: 9/2/2014 12:38 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


Amen, Agee.
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Posted: 9/2/2014 1:47 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 


Quite true.  He is quite capable of going on a cold streak just as awesome as his hot streaks.

It is kind of fun, however, to speculate about the possibility of a Jon Jay batting title.  Who'd'a thunk it?

Domeboys wrote: It also assumes that Jay will remain hot for the next month, which his past track record suggests may not happen.
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Posted: 9/2/2014 3:07 PM

Re: Jay and the Batting Title 



Jmodene1 wrote: Quite true.  He is quite capable of going on a cold streak just as awesome as his hot streaks.

It is kind of fun, however, to speculate about the possibility of a Jon Jay batting title.  Who'd'a thunk it?
Well, at least one Cardinals scout did once upon a time...

"Jay has an unorthodox approach but consistently shows the ability to hit pitches in all parts of the zone.  His game is built around hitting line drives and making the most of his solid-average speed.  While he doesn’t have a standout tool, he is pretty solid across the board.  He’s a capable center fielder with an accurate arm.  Some Cardinals scouts believe he will one day win a major league batting title"
- Quote in Baseball America
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