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I happen to think people react to Francouer because of the press - and they even think they're responding to the press - but it comes off aimed at him.
I think it's pretty obvious that pitch recognition and selectiveness is mostly a talent like speed or power. And like speed and power, it can be improved incrementally through practice and experience (hence the phrase "old player skills"), but it's extremely rare for players to improve significantly. I don't think intelligence has much to do with it.
When they learned not to swing at lousy pitches, they became monsters.
McGwire always had a pretty good batting eye. Sammy indeed learned to do a better job of laying off pitches out of the zone, as I noted above.
But the guys who were Godawful at drawing walks--walking in less than 4% of their PAs....these guys were almost all hopeless.
It's one thing to have the smarts/awareness telling you to lay off that damn slider on the outside corner, but actually doing it is another kettle of fish entirely.
i would agree that batting eye, even if not 100% innate,...
...is pretty ingrained by the time players are drafted.
...almost every player in history who was playing regularly past age 35 was drawing a lot more walks than he did at age 30...
And there are plenty of them. But the guys who were Godawful at drawing walks--walking in less than 4% of their PAs....these guys were almost all hopeless.
beyond a coach hollering across the diamond, "wait for your pitch! Wait for your pitch!"
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