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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 6/15/18

Beltre the international hit king; TAv vs. OPS+ vs. wRC+ once again; defining solid contact; the Phillies’ shift; Hicks generating whiffs

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Milwaukee Brewers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: When Adrian Beltre visited his old Dodgers team this week, he hit a historic milestone: the most hits of any player born outside the United States. Not only is he one of the best third basemen of all-time, he is also one of the best international players of all-time.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Mains ($): We’re back to the True Average vs. OPS+ vs. wRC+ debate. TAv weights hits differently than walks, so Barry Bonds’ peak years, for example, are given better marks in OPS+ for his immense walk totals. Comparing wRC+ and TAv, both park factors and situational hitting (which is considered in TAv and not in wRC+), makes “clutch” a factor in offensive performance.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): What does “hitting the ball well” even mean? Let’s say that it’s “launched between 10 and 30 degrees, and hit over 90 mph.” In that case, the likes of Matt Carpenter, Yan Gomes, and Matt Davidson are at the top of well-hit percentage.

Bill James Online | Andrew Kyne: The Phillies’ shift hasn’t been working. While part of the issue could be luck or positioning, a lot just comes down to bad defense: Scott Kingery, JP Crawford, and Maikel Franco rank near the bottom in Good Throw Rate, and they’re dead last in DRS. The shift is no panacea.

The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: We’ve talked about this here, but Jordan Hicks has finally arrived. With a revamped slider, a new release point, and actual command, the 105 mph hurler is finally generating whiffs, which is great news for the Cardinals.