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Back to 2B again...

Back to 2B again...

PostPost #1 by Old Sneakers » March 13th, 2013, 3:21 pm

I'm somewhat irked that this issue seems forgotten already. At the start of ST Roberts seemed to be getting a fair amount of playing time which gave way to the hope that he's once again healthy. However, we all know we really cannot count on that. Apparently Buck Showalter is on board as Roberts is seeing game time cut for guys I figure are long shots to make the team (Niuman Romero and Ryan Flaherty).

OK so we knew we weren't getting a star. More of a solid affordable back up plan in Alexi Casilla. Roberts unless completely healthy and dirt cheap he is gone at the season's end.

What exactly is the plan at second Base? Is this position likely to become an annual issue as 1st Base has been?

If you bring up Jonathan Schoop, please realize that he's not reached AAA yet nor really settled at one position. For that matter the guy could sputter much like our third baseman of the future Josh Bell did a few years ago. Yes, I'm just as disgusted as you that notion was thrown at us.

In another thread we all chimed our thoughts regarding Arizona and JJ Hardy. But to me, this is the bigger issue. We need a lead off hitter. Right now we have Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Zach Britton that have yet to loch a rotation spot. I would favor trading two of them for a prospect at LF or 2B that looks to be a good lead off hitter in two years time. Who? I won't guess at how possible it is but I will try to offer some candidates.

Christian Yelich (seems unlikely) http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=yelich001chr

Kolten Wong (Huge pricetag to trade for) http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=wong--001kol

Eddie Rosario (Possibility but needs one position) http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=rosari001edd

Those are three semi-high profile prospect and not one a finished product. Good lead off bats do not grow in trees and it's something this team has failed at miserably. In the draft there is a lack of high ranked prospects at 2b/SS this coming June. To make matters worse I see no free agent possibility that inspires a soggy bowl of box macaroni and cheese either. David Murphy maybe (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/murphda07.shtml) Yes, simply maybe.

So what exactly does the team do here?
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Re: Back to 2B again...

PostPost #2 by A_K » March 13th, 2013, 6:30 pm

I'm sort of confused. You're saying "What's our plan at 2b?" but you're stipulating that we can't mention our best prospect at the position, because prospects often fail. If that's the case, what's an acceptable answer to the question?
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Re: Back to 2B again...

PostPost #3 by Old Sneakers » March 14th, 2013, 1:38 pm

You can absolutely bring up Jonathan Schoop, however he doesn't look like a 2B to my eyes and he's yet to make it to AAA. I think he becomes a solid if unspectacular 3B in 2-3 years. His power at 2B is nice, but power isn't what the team needs (IMO). We need guys that are singles machines that have high OBP. Prior to drafting Manny Machado, Schoop was a SS. OK, so he's bounced around a little bit position wise.

Basically I am calling out the organization on this. Is he a SS? 2B? Or 3B?

Can we get the guy consistently hitting and good at drawing walks at AAA before he even gets a look at the ML club?

I will clarify my issue. The past few drafts the team has drafted guys (John Ruettiger and Trent Mummey) that aren't power hitters hoping that they could become utility type outfielders when I really think they should have been targeting young men that even with power limitations might be good at the #1 and #2 spots in a batting order.

Last year they nabbed Adrian Marin and that may or may not work out in 3-4 years time. Meanwhile the major league club is finding itself in a bind at yet another position. I am stating there is an issue regarding draft and player development strategy here that needs addressing. Finding utility infielder and outfielder types can be done after round 10.
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Re: Back to 2B again...

PostPost #4 by A_K » March 14th, 2013, 2:23 pm

First, I think you're absolutely right in identifying a systemic problem with the organization. Identifying and developing position players has been a pressing issue for almost two decades, and it isn't even close to receding just because Manny Machado appears to be a stud and Johnathan Schoop is a promising prospect who's made his way onto some top 100 lists.

However, I think you mistake a few things.

What matters, at every position, is overall value. Whether a guy presents that value through a high OBP or SLG or defense or baserunning is ultimately immaterial, so long as their strengths are more than enough to make up for their weaknesses so that they can still provide overall positive value.

So, in the context of Johnathan Schoop, that means whether or not he hits a lot of singles or hits for a lot of power ultimately doesn't matter very much. What's important is that his overall value is that of an above average 2B. Is he an above average 2B? I have no idea. He hasn't even played in AAA yet, is still very young, and oh by the way I've only seen him play a handful of times, so what the hell do I know? But even still, the means of producing positive value is far less important to the basic question: can he he provide positive value? According to many scouts, and apparently in the eyes of the organization, there's a good chance that he can, though the jury's out on whether that's at 2B (where he'd presumably be an above average bat with hopefully average defense) or at 3B (where he'd probably be closer to an average bat with above averagish defense). Or maybe he won't be a starting caliber player at all! We don't know. That's the nature of prospects. But that doesn't mean they don't figure into your long-term plans (which should always be written in pencil anyway).

Hardy's under contract for two more years. Maybe he stays at SS and Machado stays at 3B and the left side is set for the next two years, and the only in-house hope for a good 2B is Schoop, who may or may not be capable of filling the need. Maybe Hardy moves to 2B and Machado moves to SS, the middle of the infield is set for the next two years, and the only in-house option at 3B is also Schoop, who once again may or may not be capable of filling the need. Or maybe Hardy gets traded, either for something that fills a need at 3B or 2B or for something else entirely, and the org looks to Schoop or a new acquisition to fill in one of those two positions, with all the necessary understanding that no prospect is a sure thing. Or maybe Hardy sticks around, either at SS or 2B, and Schoop is packaged in a trade of some sort for a MLB-ready 2B or 3B who comes in to fill the void.

And amidst all this, you've got the ever-present option of adding veterans on managable, short-term contracts who can always plug a hole for a short period while having a good chance of providing positive value. Guys like Kelly Johnson are always out there, and can always offer a good chance at providing league average or greater production at a small cost.
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Re: Back to 2B again...

PostPost #5 by Seafordeagles » March 14th, 2013, 2:40 pm

I think it's very clear by looking at Schoop's stats the last 2 years that he is being groomed for 2nd base. He played some games at shortstop last year after Manny got called up, probably out of necessity in fielding a team.

I really believe he is the plan for 2014 for the big league club at 2nd base.
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Re: Back to 2B again...

PostPost #6 by ofahn » March 14th, 2013, 3:00 pm

Old Sneakers wrote:Basically I am calling out the organization on this. Is he a SS? 2B? Or 3B?


I have no doubt that the org would LOVE to see him become an above average 2B, but I think the expectation is that he will become an above average 3B.

Old Sneakers wrote:Can we get the guy consistently hitting and good at drawing walks at AAA before he even gets a look at the ML club?


I would like to see some of those things from him, too; but then I remember that he held his own at AA last year as a 21 YO. Let's see what he gives us as a 22 YO.

Old Sneakers wrote:I will clarify my issue. The past few drafts the team has drafted guys (John Ruettiger and Trent Mummey) that aren't power hitters hoping that they could become utility type outfielders when I really think they should have been targeting young men that even with power limitations might be good at the #1 and #2 spots in a batting order.


I would agree that we have enough of those guys in the system at this point. I would prefer that we take some risks on HS guys that have real power potential but need a LOT of instruction and guidance in their development. Many of these guys will be complete flops, but the reward of one a draft making it will be worth the investment.

Old Sneakers wrote:Last year they nabbed Adrian Marin and that may or may not work out in 3-4 years time.


I would not be surprised to see Marin making someone's top 100 list in a year or so. I also wouldn't be surprised to see us THINK about moving him to 2B.
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