Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 13, 2004
BASEBALL: Successes and Failures

Some good stuff over at ESPN.com, including Page 2's list of the ten most overpaid players and John Sickels' analysis of one of the most surprising and significant improvements this season, by Braves catcher Johnny Estrada, a .332-hitting doubles machine thus far this season (the Win Shares board over at The Hardball Times has Estrada ranked in the top 10 players in the NL this season):

In Estrada's case, he hit for average in the low minors, but showed poor strike zone judgment and not much power. He struggled at times in the upper levels, and was awful for the Phillies in 2002. But then he showed major improvement when he was 26 years old in Triple-A. Few hitters show real, genuine, sustained improvement in their numbers at that age. But it does happen sometimes, and in Estrada's case it looks like the optimists (the Braves and their fans) were right, and the pessimists (people like me who worried about his low walk rate and weird Triple-A performance spike) were wrong.

As to the Page 2 list, of course, I'd rate guys like Roger Cedeno, Higginson or Chan Ho Park above, say, Carlos Delgado or Bartolo Colon, who still seem like decent bets to be their old selves in the second half.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:06 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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