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So what do we call players like that?
There's a guy on my softball team that claims to have played in a summer league with Moreland back in college. I asked him if Moreland was the best player on the team and he shrugged and said "not really."
A found out recently a neighbour of mine played little league with Joey Votto. His dad said Votto wasn't one of the team's better players. Though he also didn't seem to realize that Votto was any good now, so maybe he just isn't very into baseball.
Mitch Moreland is decidedly not a replacement player. Could you get him on a minor league contract? Would the Rangers trade him for "future considerations?" That's the idea behind a replacement level player. Now, obviously player with good trade value can produce like replacement level players, but I do think Moreland has been at least a hair above that level, hence all the starts he gets.
By the way ... do you think that MLB organizations ever really use the term or concept? I am doubtful. Most teams probably have deep contingency plans for every position, starting with their own backups and AAA guys, and they would use those numbers as their baseline, as opposed to a theoretical replacement level.
Little League as in T-ball, or up through 10-12? Because I can buy that Votto wasn't any good when he was very young, but past age 10, I'd certainly expect him to be a talent.
I tend to think that almost every mlb player was legendary in his hometown. I played with the younger brother of a pitcher that got drafted by the Braves. He made it to AA or AAA as a lefty throwing less than 90mph. His younger brother was, by far, the best player at every single sport.
I think that Moreland is arguably underrated by WAR because of his consistency - he's not good, but, like a dependable 5th starter, he guarantees that your team isn't starting the really atrocious guys.
I'm not trying to say that replacement level is too high, and of course there are counterexamples of teams that plug in total losers and get 1-2 WAR out of them. Just that it seems harsh to describe Moreland as replacement level.
There's some truth here, but I think this misses the reality of Moreland's time in Texas. They weren't starting him because he was saving them from the horrors of some -2 WAR train wreck; Texas really thought Moreland had the potential to be a valuable starting player. They thought/hoped he'd be Mark Trumbo or Adam LaRoche.
Hey - in the AL?
Keeping a Mitch Moreland around isn't terrible.
It constantly amazes me that he continue to play in such an out-of-shape condition. I mean, Fielder's not just big, he's visibly fat. As in "gut hanging over his belt" fat.
Pitchers seem to be able to get away with that, but it's got to be an awful sign for his future to be playing the field at that weight.
By my count, only 6 MLB FA signings since 12/18. 25 days ago.
I don't know his contract situation - but I know immediately after the and even at midseason 2013 - the OOTP AI will offer you MOreland for a warm bag of spit because he's due an arbitration raise
You can’t call him a journeyman because he’s played for the same organization his whole career.
Almost any 1B – I daresay most NL first basemen – get a start or two at DH.
Actually, a journeyman is not a man who journeys, but an experienced professional who hasn't achieved the rank of master.
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