What does 2023 look like?

Auger34

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It seems like it’s established that this is a pretty weak FA class for some of the positions the Sox really need (OF, pitching). Due to that people are talking about trading for good players at those positions.

Out of curiosity, who are the trade targets and what would you propose trading for them? Isn’t the book on the Sox farm right now that it’s pretty deep but not an abundance of blue chippers? Would Chaim take on salary to get someone back?

I’ve read this entire thread and it seems like some people are very optimistic yet acknowledge this is a weak FA class and don’t really offer up many avenues for improvement other than “trade for someone”.

I would love to be wrong but I don’t see many realistic ways to improve the team to any better than 4th in the East
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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It seems like it’s established that this is a pretty weak FA class for some of the positions the Sox really need (OF, pitching). Due to that people are talking about trading for good players at those positions.

Out of curiosity, who are the trade targets and what would you propose trading for them? Isn’t the book on the Sox farm right now that it’s pretty deep but not an abundance of blue chippers? Would Chaim take on salary to get someone back?

I’ve read this entire thread and it seems like some people are very optimistic yet acknowledge this is a weak FA class and don’t really offer up many avenues for improvement other than “trade for someone”.

I would love to be wrong but I don’t see many realistic ways to improve the team to any better than 4th in the East
There's been some discussion around one of Milkwaukee's starting pitchers combined with Yelich (which would address both OF and SP needs) along with trades for Kepler from Minnesota.
 

nvalvo

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I can’t be the only one who’d love to see Judge in Red Sox uniform.
I think if Judge seriously considers leaving New York, we should definitely be bidders. But he's a NorCal dude and the Giants will be very interested, so it's hard to see how we come out on top of that one.
 

moondog80

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I think if Judge seriously considers leaving New York, we should definitely be bidders. But he's a NorCal dude and the Giants will be very interested, so it's hard to see how we come out on top of that one.
Its easy to see how they could come out on top -- offer the most money. I'm not saying they should, but in most cases it really is as simple as that.
 

derekson

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Its easy to see how they could come out on top -- offer the most money. I'm not saying they should, but in most cases it really is as simple as that.
The Sox are some $85M below the luxury tax and he fits the Red Sox greatest need perfectly: a RH power hitter who can play an excellent defensive RF at Fenway.

Back up the Brinks trucks and pay what it takes. Sticking it to the Yankees would just be a bonus.

Are we so afraid of big contracts now that people would rather pay $19M/year for freaking Benintendi than pay a legitimate star something like 8/$320?
 

ponch73

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The Sox are some $85M below the luxury tax and he fits the Red Sox greatest need perfectly: a RH power hitter who can play an excellent defensive RF at Fenway.

Back up the Brinks trucks and pay what it takes. Sticking it to the Yankees would just be a bonus.

Are we so afraid of big contracts now that people would rather pay $19M/year for freaking Benintendi than pay a legitimate star something like 8/$320?
Was surprised to see that Judge only has a .693 career OPS in Fenway in 38 games and 178 PA. Here's what his stats look like by year in Fenway:

2017 (43 PA): .233 / .167 / .399
2018 (21 PA): .524 / .833 /1.357
2019 (38 PA): .158 / .270 / .428
2020 (11 PA): .273 / .111 / .384
2021 (26 PA): .308 / .435 / .743
2022 (39 PA): .410/ .581 / .991*

Career (178 PA) .303 / .390 / .693

I'd still take him at a $35M AAV over Benintendi at $19M even though Tendi's career OPS in Fenway is over 100 points higher (his 45 PA in Fenway since 2019 have been forgettable). Fortunately, those aren't our only 2 options for RF.

*In 2022, Judge faced this murderer's row of Red Sox starters in Fenway: Seabold / Crawford 2x / Pivetta 2x / Eovaldi / Wacha / Bello
 
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scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
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It seems like it’s established that this is a pretty weak FA class for some of the positions the Sox really need (OF, pitching). Due to that people are talking about trading for good players at those positions.

Out of curiosity, who are the trade targets and what would you propose trading for them? Isn’t the book on the Sox farm right now that it’s pretty deep but not an abundance of blue chippers? Would Chaim take on salary to get someone back?

I’ve read this entire thread and it seems like some people are very optimistic yet acknowledge this is a weak FA class and don’t really offer up many avenues for improvement other than “trade for someone”.

I would love to be wrong but I don’t see many realistic ways to improve the team to any better than 4th in the East
Sean Murphy, but not sure if the Sox would have the prospect capital to get him without giving up any of Mayer, Casas, and Bello who I'm guessing are all off the table. They have blue chippers, but they probably aren't available.
 

ehaz

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Sean Murphy, but not sure if the Sox would have the prospect capital to get him without giving up any of Mayer, Casas, and Bello who I'm guessing are all off the table. They have blue chippers, but they probably aren't available.
If Oakland wants to move Murphy this summer, I don't think it would cost any of those guys (who are consensus top ~30 prospects in baseball).
  • OAK traded two seasons of Matt Olsen for 4 prospects: Shea Langeliers (MLB #68), Pache (previously a top 10 guy who fell to unranked (MLB) and #90+ (BP)) + two Low-A lottery ticket pitching prospects.
  • OAK traded two seasons of Matt Chapman for 4 prospects, none of which made the MLB top 100. Headlined by Gunnar Hoglund, the Jays' recent 1st rounder who was finishing his TJ rehab.
  • OAK traded 1.5 seasons of Frankie Montas for 4 prospects: Waldichuk (MLB #70), Luis Medina, JP Sears, and Cooper Bowman.
Murphy would be under control for three seasons, so I'm guessing the package is closer to Olson than Chapman, but those guys were also established All Stars with top-10 MVP finishes under their belts. Something like Raffaela as the headliner/top 100 prospect + three more top 20ish in the system guys like Blaze, Lugo, Walter, Wikelman, etc.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Are we so afraid of big contracts now that people would rather pay $19M/year for freaking Benintendi than pay a legitimate star something like 8/$320?
very few people want Benintendi back. Maybe one. But Judge will cost over $40M/year, methinks.
2022 (39 PA): .410/ .581 / .991*

*In 2022, Judge faced this murderer's row of Red Sox starters in Fenway: Seabold / Crawford 2x / Pivetta 2x / Eovaldi / Wacha / Bello
This is some great, and disappointing info, for those of us Judge-curious
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Judge turned down 7/$214, right? We think the Sox would top that and go higher than the Yankees would? I think 95% of Sox fans would love to have him, just difficult to imagine the Sox outbidding the Yankees for a high profile player the Yankees want to keep.
 

jwbasham84

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I can't see us outbidding the yanks. But we should definitely present a strong offer. What about 7/$262.5? Sure, it's a TON of money and he probably will not be worth that in years 6 & 7. But he literally fills two of our biggest holes at once. Right-handed power hitter and he plays excellent outfield defense. If we structure it so it's like 35, 35, 40, 40, 40, 37.5, 35 then the biggest years come after Sale is off the books (unless his 2025 option vests, which if it does, he's pitching great and we are happy) and then has less of a hit at the end of the contract when he might be a lesser player. I just think he's too good of a player to not be in the mix. If he wasn't a Yankee there would be more clamoring for him to join the team, and I understand some restraint is because we never outbid the Yankees...
 

jon abbey

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I can't see us outbidding the yanks. But we should definitely present a strong offer. What about 7/$262.5? Sure, it's a TON of money and he probably will not be worth that in years 6 & 7. But he literally fills two of our biggest holes at once. Right-handed power hitter and he plays excellent outfield defense. If we structure it so it's like 35, 35, 40, 40, 40, 37.5, 35 then the biggest years come after Sale is off the books (unless his 2025 option vests, which if it does, he's pitching great and we are happy) and then has less of a hit at the end of the contract when he might be a lesser player. I just think he's too good of a player to not be in the mix. If he wasn't a Yankee there would be more clamoring for him to join the team, and I understand some restraint is because we never outbid the Yankees...
NY will go much higher than this IMO, as will SF. 8/320 gets you in the discussion.
 

chawson

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Of the FA crop Nimmo probably makes the most sense, but should Duran find his way back into the OF mix you do run the risk of becoming a bit left handed in the OF again this year. A healthy Kike' and retaining RFsnyder should temper that.
I think I'd genuinely prefer giving Refsnyder the job over signing Nimmo or Benintendi to multi-year deals. Nimmo will probably go between $80 and $100 million and Beni between $40-80.

Between the two, Benintendi’s a better bet because he actually hits some moderately deep fly balls to the opposite field. But I don’t see him coming back here, and I’m almost never a fan of slap-hitting lefties in the Sox outfield corners.

Was surprised to see that Judge only has a .693 career OPS in Fenway in 38 games and 178 PA. Here's what his stats look like by year in Fenway:

2017 (43 PA): .233 / .167 / .399
2018 (21 PA): .524 / .833 /1.357
2019 (38 PA): .158 / .270 / .428
2020 (11 PA): .273 / .111 / .384
2021 (26 PA): .308 / .435 / .743
2022 (39 PA): .410/ .581 / .991*

Career (178 PA) .303 / .390 / .693

I'd still take him at a $35M AAV over Benintendi at $19M even though Tendi's career OPS in Fenway is over 100 points higher (his 45 PA in Fenway since 2019 have been forgettable). Fortunately, those aren't our only 2 options for RF.

*In 2022, Judge faced this murderer's row of Red Sox starters in Fenway: Seabold / Crawford 2x / Pivetta 2x / Eovaldi / Wacha / Bello
Anyone who can paint a low changeup against Judge is going to have success, particularly lefties. Sale and E-Rod -- and Rick Porcello, weirdly -- all handled him fairly well, and Wacha is terrific against him.

In general, I'd say Judge's relative mediocrity at Fenway is the product of luck. He's got a .319 career wOBA there, compared with a .380 expected wOBA.

One question I find interesting about Judge going forward is whether an automated strike zone will negatively affect him. Aaron Boone has worked the umps really hard over the last few years to take that low offspeed strike away from opposing pitchers. It looks like Boone has a pretty strong case on a lot of those pitches, but many are borderline too — and then again, Judge’s frame kind of complicates the idea of a typical strike zone.
 

jon abbey

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One question I find interesting about Judge going forward is whether an automated strike zone will negatively affect him. Aaron Boone has worked the umps really hard over the last few years to take that low offspeed strike away from opposing pitchers. It looks like Boone has a pretty strong case on a lot of those pitches, but many are borderline too — and then again, Judge’s frame kind of complicates the idea of a typical strike zone.
No, the reverse, no one gets more low pitches out of the zone called strikes (I don't feel like hunting down the numbers but it is not close).
 

dhappy42

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I think I'd genuinely prefer giving Refsnyder the job over signing Nimmo or Benintendi to multi-year deals. Nimmo will probably go between $80 and $100 million and Beni between $40-80.

Between the two, Benintendi’s a better bet because he actually hits some moderately deep fly balls to the opposite field. But I don’t see him coming back here, and I’m almost never a fan of slap-hitting lefties in the Sox outfield corners.



Anyone who can paint a low changeup against Judge is going to have success, particularly lefties. Sale and E-Rod -- and Rick Porcello, weirdly -- all handled him fairly well, and Wacha is terrific against him.

In general, I'd say Judge's relative mediocrity at Fenway is the product of luck. He's got a .319 career wOBA there, compared with a .380 expected wOBA.

One question I find interesting about Judge going forward is whether an automated strike zone will negatively affect him. Aaron Boone has worked the umps really hard over the last few years to take that low offspeed strike away from opposing pitchers. It looks like Boone has a pretty strong case on a lot of those pitches, but many are borderline too — and then again, Judge’s frame kind of complicates the idea of a typical strike zone.
Speaking of robo-strike zones, who sets the top and bottom of the box? On TV I’ve seen the top set anywhere between the belt and the letters.
 

chawson

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Interesting, didn't realize that. I wonder if there's a philosophical divide between umpires who see the strike zone as fixed and those who believe it expands or contracts based on a player's size (to the degree that it's conscious to them). It looks like Brian Dozier led the league in called strikes high in the zone, which is the inverse of the Judge issue.

If anyone's interested, there's more good (and old) coverage on this here and here.
 

Max Power

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He should, although that's not coming until 2024 at the earliest.
It's also likely not going to be anything close to automatic ball/strike calls. The system they're testing and leaning towards is allowing managers to challenge up to 3 pitches per game, so it's not going to be some huge windfall for Judge.
 

Murderer's Crow

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It's also likely not going to be anything close to automatic ball/strike calls. The system they're testing and leaning towards is allowing managers to challenge up to 3 pitches per game, so it's not going to be some huge windfall for Judge.
I disagree generally about that statement. I think most pitches incorrectly called have every little impact but that twitter account (sorry for forgetting the name) that shows game result impacts has routinely shown that if you could overturn 2-3 pitches a game, there is usually enough of a run differential to impact many games. If Judge is the most impacted by wrong calls, then Judge is statistically likely to have the most impact on corrected calls in big spots.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I disagree generally about that statement. I think most pitches incorrectly called have every little impact but that twitter account (sorry for forgetting the name) that shows game result impacts has routinely shown that if you could overturn 2-3 pitches a game, there is usually enough of a run differential to impact many games. If Judge is the most impacted by wrong calls, then Judge is statistically likely to have the most impact on corrected calls in big spots.
This is true. Also, I imagine that one of the consequences of the challenge system is that we'll see a change in how umpires are calling pitches. If umpires are frequently being challenged and corrected on low strike calls, they'll eventually call fewer low strikes and effectively raise the bottom of the strike zone as a result.
 

Murderer's Crow

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This is true. Also, I imagine that one of the consequences of the challenge system is that we'll see a change in how umpires are calling pitches. If umpires are frequently being challenged and corrected on low strike calls, they'll eventually call fewer low strikes and effectively raise the bottom of the strike zone as a result.
Imagine a scenario where a manager keeps their challenge when they are correct (as is likely) and they just keep correcting an umpire? Bring Joe West back so he gets challenged 3 times in an inning and loses 3 times. Or twice in an AB. I would watch a game just to see that.
 

chawson

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Career stats...
Player A: .384/.489/.873 OPS, 125 OPS+, 4.6 bWAR per 162
Player B: .385/.441/.827 OPS, 130 OPS+, 4.6 bWAR per 162

Player B is Nimmo. Player A? JD Drew.
What time frame should we be looking at here? From their respective age 26-29 seasons, it's:

JD: .296/.415/.542, 957 OPS | 16.0 BB%, 18.1 K%, 151 wRC+
BN: .271/.383/.437, .820 OPS | 13.3 BB%, 22.3 K%, 134 wRC+

Using career numbers lumps Drew's decline into comparison with Nimmo's prime, which wouldn't help the accuracy.

What about this comp for Nimmo over the same age range?

BN: .271/.383/.437, .820 OPS | 13.3 BB%, 22.3 K%, 134 wRC+ in 1538 PA
XX: .289/.382/.458, .841 OPS | 11.4 BB%, 20.9 K%, 132 wRC+ in 2375 PA

Shin-Soo Choo
 
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chrisfont9

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What time frame should we be looking at here? From their respective age 26-29 seasons, it's:

JD: .296/.415/.542, 957 OPS | 16.0 BB%, 18.1 K%, 151 wRC+
BN: .271/.383/.437, .820 OPS | 13.3 BB%, 22.3 K%, 134 wRC+

Using career numbers lumps Drew's decline into comparison with Nimmo's prime, which wouldn't help the accuracy.

What about this comp for Nimmo over the same age range?

BN: .271/.383/.437, .820 OPS | 13.3 BB%, 22.3 K%, 134 wRC+ in 1538 PA
XX: .289/.382/.458, .841 OPS | 11.4 BB%, 20.9 K%, 132 wRC+ in 2375 PA

Shin-Soo Choo
Well the "greatness" (ahem) of JD Drew is that he really had no decline. He played half a season of poor baseball in 2011 and retired. But in 2009 - 2010 he racked up 4.4 and 3.1 bWAR, which is just about his average season (140ish games, not the 162 in the number I cited earlier). Your citation of prime numbers shows a difference, which is worth considering, especially since Drew's numbers don't have any park factor help (NImmo's don't either). The only meaningful difference seems to be slugging, which Nimmo would maybe raise a bit at Fenway? His spray chart doesn't seem overly pull-focused. Who knows. Defensively, Nimmo's range factor is below Drew's but pretty solid.

Choo isn't a bad comparison, and certainly a solid player, although his D was below average. Since we are talking about RF in Fenway, Nimmo's superior D is maybe below Drew's but above Choo's. Bottom line, the Sox should definitely be in on Nimmo to start with, at least.
 

chawson

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Well the "greatness" (ahem) of JD Drew is that he really had no decline. He played half a season of poor baseball in 2011 and retired. But in 2009 - 2010 he racked up 4.4 and 3.1 bWAR, which is just about his average season (140ish games, not the 162 in the number I cited earlier). Your citation of prime numbers shows a difference, which is worth considering, especially since Drew's numbers don't have any park factor help (NImmo's don't either). The only meaningful difference seems to be slugging, which Nimmo would maybe raise a bit at Fenway? His spray chart doesn't seem overly pull-focused. Who knows. Defensively, Nimmo's range factor is below Drew's but pretty solid.
Nimmo’s spray chart does seem overly pull-focused, to me.

56475


Compared to Verdugo:

56476

I’m with you on the defensive stuff. Drew was a phenomenal fielder in an era where the widespread perception that he wasn’t created an opportunity. I can see Nimmo pulling it off, but he hasn’t played right field much at all since 2018. And I suspect someone would pay more for him to be their center fielder.
 

jon abbey

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That's interesting, but an incomplete picture without information on if he's also getting more balls on actual strikes than other players & umps are just terrible at dealing with his size in both directions.
Yeah that doesn't happen but I don't know how to research it.
 

chrisfont9

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Nimmo’s spray chart does seem overly pull-focused, to me.

View attachment 56475


Compared to Verdugo:

View attachment 56476

I’m with you on the defensive stuff. Drew was a phenomenal fielder in an era where the widespread perception that he wasn’t created an opportunity. I can see Nimmo pulling it off, but he hasn’t played right field much at all since 2018. And I suspect someone would pay more for him to be their center fielder.
Yeah, I think if you overlay Fenway on that spray chart his production looks better in the usual ways for LHHs (more doubles for sure, HRs could go either way since you lose some in RF). But if he wants to play CF then he might not be all that interested in the Sox compared to whatever other options there are.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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From what I've seen, umps routinely call low strikes that are actually balls against Judge. It's like they can't adjust for how huge of a human he is.

Anyway, I'm a Nimmo fan. Can lead off, can shift over to CF if Hernandez leaves after next year. If he can stay healthy, seems like he can be a solid everyday guy. Obviously depends on the price, but I hope the Sox are involved here. I'd love to land Judge, he's obviously #1 on the list, but I don't see the Sox being the top bidder.
 

themactavish

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Interesting, didn't realize that. I wonder if there's a philosophical divide between umpires who see the strike zone as fixed and those who believe it expands or contracts based on a player's size (to the degree that it's conscious to them). It looks like Brian Dozier led the league in called strikes high in the zone, which is the inverse of the Judge issue.

If anyone's interested, there's more good (and old) coverage on this here and here.
Do I understand you correctly that you're saying some umpires see the strike zone as static, both width-wise and height-wise? Obviously, the width should be static at 17 inches, the width of the plate. But as I understand it, the height of a strike zone is the measure between the hollow below the knee to the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the pants. On this interpretation, Judge would obviously have a bigger strike zone (height-wise) than just about anybody in baseball. Are there any umps who would admit to a static strike zone on both measures, width and height? I'm honestly curious what umps would (a) say on this, and (b) what the real answer would be in how they call strikes.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Do I understand you correctly that you're saying some umpires see the strike zone as static, both width-wise and height-wise? Obviously, the width should be static at 17 inches, the width of the plate. But as I understand it, the height of a strike zone is the measure between the hollow below the knee to the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the pants. On this interpretation, Judge would obviously have a bigger strike zone (height-wise) than just about anybody in baseball. Are there any umps who would admit to a static strike zone on both measures, width and height? I'm honestly curious what umps would (a) say on this, and (b) what the real answer would be in how they call strikes.
Admit to it? Probably not. Subconsciously do it anyway? I imagine so. If you see a pitch cross the plate at a height that is a clear strike for 99% of batters, it can be difficult to not call it a strike just because an unusually tall hitter is at the plate.
 

sezwho

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Admit to it? Probably not. Subconsciously do it anyway? I imagine so. If you see a pitch cross the plate at a height that is a clear strike for 99% of batters, it can be difficult to not call it a strike just because an unusually tall hitter is at the plate.
Those Judge statistics essentially prove the assertion from where I sit.

Question:: I don’t think an ump can actually see the height of a low pitch over the middle of the plate (blocked by catcher?), so it’s all instinct and muscle memory at that point anyway.

Funny, I figured a 6’8” dude would have to be impossibly athletic to cover the bottom of the strike zone: and MLB makes it even harder than I thought!
 

Minneapolis Millers

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That's interesting, but an incomplete picture without information on if he's also getting more balls on actual strikes than other players & umps are just terrible at dealing with his size in both directions.
Does statcast use and analyze different vertical strike zones, depending on the player? Cuz Judge’s vertical zone is definitionally both higher and bigger overall than, say, Altuve’s.
 

JBJ_HOF

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Does statcast use and analyze different vertical strike zones, depending on the player? Cuz Judge’s vertical zone is definitionally both higher and bigger overall than, say, Altuve’s.
Yes, it updates the top and bottom of the zone on every pitch for every player.