Skip to main content

Hey Rook!

Watching yesterday's painful game, one of the interesting subplots was that the two top American League Rookie of the Year candidates were playing: Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Rays' rightfielder Delmon Young. Of course, I think this is a no-brainer. Pedroia is batting .325 at the top of the order of the best team in baseball. D.P. has also become a master at the D.P. and every other aspect of the defensive game. He might not have Rey Sanchez range, but he has just 5 errors and a .991 fielding percentage - amazingly, that only ties him for fourth in the league. He does rank pretty high on the subjective "zone rating" statistic which is supposed to gauge how many balls a player gets to that he should get; he's 4th in the league which isn't bad since that's supposed to be his weakness.

Anyway, that's not why I'm writing. I was just caught up in the fun of those sortable fielding stats. What does that say about me? Never mind...

What's interesting about the Delmon v. D.P. contest is that they are prototypes of two different, and seemingly contentious camps in baseball thought. The old skool types believe that it's essential to get "tools". That is, scouts' primary goal should be to find young players with potential in all five tools - speed, power, arm, hitting for average, and fielding. Young has this and it's working. Another school of thought maintains that you look for results. If a player has a funky motion but always gets outs (Chad Bradford), then it's reasonable to expect him to continue to get outs. If he has Molina-brother-speed but hits .400 at every level, he'll continue to hit (Youk). Pedroia is this guy. He has always been underestimated because of his size and lack of speed. Yet, he has been a force everywhere he's played.

Part of this is also what I'll call a contrast in rawness. Young strikes out a lot (on pace for 128 this season) and never walks (on pace for 26) while D.P. is one of the hardest people to strike out and walks quite a lot - he's 5th in the AL in walks per strikeout (1.13) while Young is 164th in the majors at 0.24 (5th from the worst).

I'm putting this out there more for debate then to judge who's better. In my opinion, I'd take Pedroia over Young right now. But, the "ceiling" is still a relevant subject for player analysis and Young's is cathedral-esque. He's nasty and he could be one of the great players of his generation, in the scary Vlad Guererro mold. Lastly, these can both be correct ways to analyze players; they don't have to be mutually exclusive. Prof. Gammons has noted that some old school people might not support D.P. for R.O.Y. because they still don't believe he's very good and somehow begrudge him as a product of the new wave in baseball thought. That's a terrible reason not to vote for him.

Note: funny how no one seems to mention Young's mountain-dew-level-extreme past or even is pedigree: his brother Dimitri continues a pretty solid major league career.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Red Sox Reality: Don't Make Another Trade

The Red Sox simply should not make another trade this season unless it's a long-term solution and a real steal.  Aside from getting Chris Sale straight up for Dan Butler, the Sox should not get involved in another trade.

The Sox actually are about as well situated as they can get on pretty much every front.  That's not to say they are a perfect team, just that the cost of getting anyone who would substantially improve them is prohibitive.

The starting rotation is clearly the spot for which most fans are crying for improvement, with the bullpen a close second.  But in the starting rotation, David Price is one of the best pitchers in baseball and we should expect him to pitch like it.  His high strikeout and low walk totals, and his health, bode well for him.  It looks likely that the Sox' fate with rest on the one game Wild Card playoff, so much of the season really hinges on that one start by Price.  Short of Sale, there's no one available on the market who would be an…

Chris Sale, Bullpen Reboot, Hot Stove Checklist Addition, Sell High

CHRIS SALE TRADE: The Sox just got ace lefty Chris Sale for America's top prospect Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, another Basabe, and Victor Diaz.  That's a true ace for a potential superstar who clearly needs more seasoning, a golden arm who seemed to be a possible headcase, and two lottery tickets.  This is a very good trade for the Sox. While the Sox would have found room to play Moncada once he was ready, he didn't exactly fill a void with Peddy blocking him at second, Panda getting another shot at 3B this year, and 3B prospects Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec - and maybe Michael Chavis - not too far off possibly.  Moncada might not be the biggest pain felt here. After trading Anderson Espinoza for Drew Pomeranz - a trade that is looking worse these days - the trade of Kopech leaves very little high-end pitching talent in the system right now.  There is now a very large drop off after Jason Groome.  Also, the loss of Basabe, Diaz, Dubon and Pennington today just really d…

Yoan Moncada Is Being Rushed

The Red Sox have the top prospect in baseball.  I honestly don't know when we've ever had that.  He's playing in Portland (...in Portland...), the same spot from which Andrew Benintendi jumped into the bigs with great early success.  So, bring up Yoan Moncada right now. Right?

I know it's too late, but the answer was: no.  There are a lot of logical problems with the calculations at play with this promotion.  Benintendi was the best player in college baseball last year and there is a strong recent track record of players making a quick jump from major college programs to the bigs. Heck, John Olerud had a brain aneurysm, was a part time pitcher in Washington State, and still jumped directly to the big leagues and a very strong 17 year career.  But, Moncada did not play major college baseball.  Instead, he played two years of professional baseball in Cuba, then missed almost a year as he went through the process of joining the Sox.

Moncada, also unlike Benintendi, has si…