Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 30, 2006
BASEBALL: A Year On
Looking over the batting stats over the past 365 days on Pinto's database, a few random observations:
*Grady Sizemore is not a future star, he's just a star, period. And Travis Hafner is a monster.
*I've got to stop thinking of Michael Young as a guy who had a good year; he's been a tremendous producer for some time now.
*Concerns that the incredibly consistent and productive Bobby Abreu may be slowing down could be well-founded. Abreu's .268 average and 18 homers aren't that impressive, and 11 caught stealings in 36 attempts, and 11 GIDP, are comedowns from his previous levels. Abreu's still a highly valuable player, and this could just be a short-term rut, but like a lot of guys he may be entering the phase where he's not the same bankable superstar year in and out. Ditto Jim Edmonds (.246, 12 GIDP after going almost a year without one).
*Carl Crawford - who's been on fire lately after another slow start - has some serious power potential, given his age and athleticism. (And like super-fast players like Kenny Lofton, Marquis Grissom, Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, and Davey Lopes, Crawford may be a good bet to have a very long career). But Crawford's drawn 29 walks in the past year compared to 40 for Jose Reyes. Until he learns more patience, Crawford won't tap his true power potential. Willy Taveras, meanwhile, may be fast but he has not learned to steal bases.
*Lance Berkman may be baseball's most underappreciated slugger (120 RBI).
*Randy Winn has had a heck of a year, hasn't he?
*I never thought I'd see Craig Biggio end up as a low-OBP slugger at this age: 65 extra base hits compared to 62 times on base by walk or hit by pitch. Then there's 74 extra base hits for Bill Hall.
*Miguel Tejada has become quite the GIDP machine (27 of 'em). Ditto Jason Kendall (25), although Kendall can still get on base (.359).
*Matt Holliday sure has mastered Coors Field (.587 slugging).
*Brian Roberts went back to what he'd been before: a doubles machine. So did Brandon Inge - an easy out (.298 OBP). And Jose Guillen's days as a star appear to have been short-lived.
*Justin Morneau and Dan Johnson have been nothing to write home about - but unlike Johnson, Morneau is lucky not to have any big prospects breathing down his neck.
*Angel Berroa: 14 walks, 104 K. That's what happens to talented young players when they have no reason to learn how baseball games are won.
*Mike Cuddyer: .277/.501/.350, still no regular job.