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   1. jimmybob Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:41 AM (#2499199)
Its fun playing the White Sox. Their lineup in the 2nd game as well as their OPS. Yup, thats Erstad batting 3rd.

Owens .589
Fields .762
Erstad .681
Konerko .865
Dye .791
Uribe .645
Richar .694
Gonzalez .643
Hall .489
   2. GIANTlhbASS Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:58 AM (#2499200)
Yeah, what a breeze of a day, except for Beckett's first inning.

And the Jeter/Pedroia stars are nearly perfectly aligned: Jeter -- .323/.393/.442. Pedroia -- .320/.392/.441. Makes me remember this:

69. Darren Posted: September 15, 2006 at 10:37 PM (#2178464)
Since this is the current Minor League/Prosect thread, it seems like the right place for this. In looking at Sickels's Derek Jeter Prospect Retro and it struck me how much Jeter's last year at AAA looks like Pedroia's 06 at AAA. Here they are, side-by-side:

Jeter: 21 yo, ~547 PA, .317/.394/.422, 27 2B, 9 3B, 2 HR, 61 BB, 56 K.

Pedroia: 22 yo, ~444 PA, .301/.379/.421, 30 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 45 BB, 26 K.

Jeter's far more than a year younger, closer to 2 years, and he's got far better speed. However, Pedroia seems to have him beat in power, contact, and discipline. All in all, they're pretty darn close.

There you have it. Pedroia is the next Derek Jeter, only with actual defense!
   3. PJ Martinez Posted: August 25, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2499271)
Well, those two years strike me as pretty significant, as does the difference in speed, which is galactic. But yeah, Pedroia does look better defensively (albeit at a slightly less important defensive position).

It's funny that Pedroia had twice as many HRs as Jeter in their respective final years at AAA (I know, SSS). He has 6 HRs so far this year, to go along with 27 2Bs (meaning he still has more XBH's than SO, just barely: 34-32). Jeter has managed to average 17 HR/162 games for his career, which seems unlikely at this point for Pedroia-- though the little man is already hitting doubles around Jeter's career rate, 34/162 games.

Anyway, nice to see the lead at 6.5 games.
   4. Dave Cyprian Posted: August 25, 2007 at 02:09 PM (#2499272)
I also like hearing the recent reports from the clubhouse that the Sox are in good spirits. All that talk about the football draft, and now dancing to a silly song about Okajima, combined with good on field performances is encouraging. It seemed not that long ago that the "unstoppable Yankee juggarnaut" in the rearview mirror had was causing mounting stress and tension for Tito's club.
   5. Dave Cyprian Posted: August 25, 2007 at 02:12 PM (#2499273)
PJ, isn't it typical for a scrawny 23 yo contact hitter to develop some power in the next couple years? Maybe not 17/year, but I'm hoping for 12-15.
   6. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 02:28 PM (#2499279)
I also compared the two in a thread earlier this year: Jeter vs. Pedroia


.333 .407 .461
.336 .411 .478

One of these guys is a future first ballot HOF middle infielder. The other one is Jeter.



I hope it was clear that I was joking in both cases. Those are two pretty dissimilar players. Interestingly, though, I think Pedroia is more similar to Gary Sheffield than he is to David Eckstein.
   7. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2499282)
PJ, isn't it typical for a scrawny 23 yo contact hitter to develop some power in the next couple years? Maybe not 17/year, but I'm hoping for 12-15.


I wouldn't say Pedroia is scrawny--he claims to have the best body on the Red Sox! But I think the notion that short players peak early and don't add power as they age is a myth. I took a look at it here:

There is a concern that Pedroia, being a smaller player, is not as likely as larger players to fill out and add power as he matures. I took a look at some other good 5'10 and under players the other day, and this seems to be a myth. Most of these players seemed to add some ISO in their mid-20s. Examples include:

Tejada (jumped from 150 ISO to 200s)
Furcal (100 to 150)
Knoblauch (70 to 150)
J. Morgan (130 to 200)
Durham (120 to 170)
Rollins (130 to 200)

A lot of these guys are speedsters, so they may have been more inclined to be slappy at a young age. Giles is an interesting case in that he started at 170 so he didn't have much place to go. Brian Roberts started in the 100 range, had one year of 200, and has dropped back down.
   8. PJ Martinez Posted: August 25, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2499296)
I just glanced at Marcus Giles's page on bb-ref. I didn't realize his first good season was at age 25. It was a great season-- his best-- but Pedroia is well ahead of him at the moment, so far as performance at this age goes.

I think Pedroia's slowness makes him difficult to compare to other players. Anyone know how/if a lack of speed is likely to affect other aspects of a player's game? It seems odd to compare him to those speedy guys in post #7.

Also, to follow up on the scrawniness issue: Pedroia already looks fairly filled out to me. He may add some power, as many players do, but I don't see him getting a whole lot bigger.
   9. Dave Cyprian Posted: August 25, 2007 at 03:27 PM (#2499305)
I don't expect Pedroia to grow, just to become more comfortable with the game and learn to drive out the pitches he can handle. I asked Theo Epstein what he thought about his rookie's power potential in the GM's latest online chat but he ignored me.

I also "reminded" Mr. Epstein that Mr. Matsuzaka has performed less than admirably in day games throughout his career and I asked the boss if he was going to be mindful of that. Again he ignored me, but hey, maybe someone's listening.
   10. John DiFool2 Posted: August 25, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2499313)
The power thing for Peds-note his often violent swing, despite which he rarely swings and misses; a slap hitter he ain't (tho he does use the opposite field well). You're (rhetorical you) telling me that a guy with a swing like that has little chance to develop double-digit power?

But the speed thing is worrisome in the long term (I'm thinking Johnny Ray here).
   11. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2499316)
I think Pedroia's slowness makes him difficult to compare to other players. Anyone know how/if a lack of speed is likely to affect other aspects of a player's game? It seems odd to compare him to those speedy guys in post #7.


Let's not forget that Pedroia is 5-5 in stolen base attempts, better than Tejada's 8-15 at least. I could see speed being relevant in that these other guys may well have focused on slapping the ball and beating it out, then as they aged and slowed, tried to drive the ball more.

If you want to throw out the speedy comps, I think the best guys to look at (among good players) are Tejada, Sewell, and Giles, who seem to have had decent but not great speed.
   12. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 03:54 PM (#2499318)
But the speed thing is worrisome in the long term (I'm thinking Johnny Ray here).


This beats the comparison by some dude on RLYW: Jose Lind. I kid you not. What makes you think of Ray?

Pedroia could not gain an ounce of strength and still hit for better power simply by laying off more pitches. I'm amazed by how often he swings and makes poor contact with a ridiculously low pitch.
   13. GIANTlhbASS Posted: August 25, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2499348)
Mainly because I just scored a $1 Bill Madlock bat at a garage sale, I thought of Bill Madlock.

5'11", 185 pounds. Not great speed, but more than Dustin's: an average of 16 sb/ 8 cs per 162, and only 34 triples over 15 seasons and 6,594 ab.

First full year, also age 23: .313/.374/.442, 124 OPS+, 21 2B, 9 HR, 42 BB, 39 SO in 509 PA.

The strikeout rate is 7.7% to Pedroia's 7.3%. Pedroia has a better walk rate, 9.6% to 8.3%.

A slight power increase as he got older, but his rookie year was in line with his career average of .305/.362/.442, 123 OPS+. I'm a Pedroia optimist, and I'd be very happy 15 years from now with these numbers, with a slight increase in OBP.
   14. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:12 PM (#2499370)
I'd be happy with a Madlock career, of course. 5'11 is pushing the height thing, but their other stats are fairly similar.
   15. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2499375)
As long as we're going with 3B from the 70s, how about Ron Cey. He was 5'9, 185. Not a good comp in many ways, but he was the right size and had no speed either. His ISO went from 140 in his rookie year at age 25, to 200ish during his late peak. Jody Reed is a common comp--similar size and lack of speed. He went from an 80 ISO in his age 25 rookie year to about 100 during his peak.

I still see little reason to say Pedroia won't develop power in the way most players do.
   16. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:23 PM (#2499378)
And I almost forgot my absolute favorite short, slow guy comp: Matt Stairs! Stairs (5'9, 217) was putting up 150-170 ISOs in AA and AAA in his early 20s. He's now got a career MLB ISO of 220, despite not getting his start until age 28. I will accept that for Pedroia.
   17. PJ Martinez Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2499379)
So, best single-season HR total for Pedroia in his career?

Hard to say for a million reasons, of course. In any case, ou guys have pushed me higher than I would have been before this thread. I'll say 23.
   18. Mister High Standards Posted: August 25, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2499395)
Darren wheer is the power going to come from? I mean real increase in power not just season to variation. He really can't fill out or get any bigger. He can't really change his approach to generate any more power. So I just don't see where your going to get more than say 45xbh, 10 of which are dingers. If he is a reall 300 hitter thats a good player.
   19. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 25, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2499396)
Darren wheer is the power going to come from?

Steroids, duh.
   20. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2499397)
I offered one theory above: he'll refine his pitch selection a bit with experience. He will also likely add muscular bulk as he ages, just like just about everyone else. I don't see how people look at Pedroia and conclude that he can't get bigger/stronger. He's not a weakling but he's not exactly huge either.

Where did the increased power come from with the other players I've mentioned?
   21. John DiFool2 Posted: August 25, 2007 at 06:05 PM (#2499398)
This beats the comparison by some dude on RLYW: Jose Lind. I kid you not. What makes you think of Ray?


Just that he was a 2B who had little speed to start out with (only stole 18 & 16 a couple of times because it was Pittsburgh and early 80's and everyone on that team was expected to steal), and became too slow to play the position at age 33 (tho a .146 secondary average probably had something to do with his retiring as well-i.e. he never developed much power). Peds has a secondary average of .255 this year tho so that bodes well.

Hate to imply that I'm saying, "Oh he won't be a big help to this team unless he hits 20 homers/year." What the Sox have right now is pretty durned valuable.
   22. Mister High Standards Posted: August 25, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2499400)
The other players you mentioned generally as far as I know weren't as "stocky" as Dusty is. I see little reason to think he will refine his approach, which is good. He doesn't chase much at all. The reason his walk rates are low isn't because he is going out of the zone its because pitchers are challanging him.

I just don't see much projection in Dusty. He is what he is, and thats a nice ball player!! What a play in CF! Go Curacao!
   23. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2499406)
I disagree about him chasing. For a guy with his great k and bb numbers, he ends up hitting "balls" a lot more than I'd expect.

There is a lot of talk that Dustin's body means he won't follow a normal aging/development curve, but I have yet to see any hard evidence. The anecdotal evidence I've found doesn't point toward that conclusion either.
   24. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 25, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2499435)
I disagree about him chasing. For a guy with his great k and bb numbers, he ends up hitting "balls" a lot more than I'd expect.

Yeah, with two strikes, he swings at pretty much everything. Not that it's not working for him, but it's possible if he, say, takes more 2-2 pitches for ball 3 rather than spoiling them, he'll get something better to hit on 3-2. I dunno, I'm just speculating.
   25. Mister High Standards Posted: August 25, 2007 at 07:10 PM (#2499436)
There is a lot of talk that Dustin's body means he won't follow a normal aging/development curve, but I have yet to see any hard evidence.


See, we are comming from comepletly different perspectives. I don't see any reason to think ANY SPECIFIC player will follow any type of specific predetermined development/aging curve. Projection systems do a good job at the aggregate level of projecting performance, but so doesn't an educated fans gut by just looking at a guys history. The reason I don't find projection systems all that useful is that the value in them is to find guys who don't age/develop normally. None of them really do, though some come up with some differential based on skill sets.

Based on the lack of traditional atheltic ability (speed and arm are great proxys). The lack of size. The length of his swing. Bat speed ect... I just don't see how he adds real power beyond what he all ready has. His one true PLUS skill seems to be hand eye coordination which I can't imagine him improving since it's so good all ready. So I ask again where does this power come from. If he bulks up he likely won't be able to stay at second, his arm doesn't play at 3b and he too small a target for 1b, not the speed for cf... so he is a 5'6 left fielder. I don't find it likly he can improve his pitch recognition which has long been considered one of his biggest strengths.

I think your expection of true improvement are misguided. He might get better at the margins as he grows into the major leagues. He will likly has some biggger years (and worse) due to variation, but I don't see a reason to expect more than what we have.
   26. Joel W Posted: August 25, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2499446)
I think it's hard to doubt that Pedroia is a real .300 hitter. His contact rate has always been that high, both in the minors and in the majors now. When you're putting the ball in play 93% of your at bats, with a fairly standard BABIP you're going to have a high average. Watching Pedroia though, he swings so hard, and makes such good contact, that we have good reason to believe that he has a higher than average BABIP. I guess this is what everybody has always said about him, his hand/eye is just so good he can swing that hard and still make contact constantly.
   27. Darren Posted: August 25, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2499463)
I think your expection of true improvement are misguided. He might get better at the margins as he grows into the major leagues.


I'm only talking about the margins, though. I'm not expecting 900+ ops out of him. I'm talking about 20-50 points of ISOP as a he ages.
   28. John DiFool2 Posted: August 25, 2007 at 08:00 PM (#2499467)
He fouls a ton of balls off too, esp. w/ 2 strikes, which brings Luke Appling to mind a tiny bit. And if he keeps swinging hard, sooner or later he'll figure out how to use that hard and fast loopy swing to hit some over the fence. If he was a simple little slap hitter I wouldn't be that high on his power potential.
   29. Darren Posted: August 26, 2007 at 12:11 AM (#2499763)
The certified optimist is back--things must be going well! :)
   30. chris p Posted: August 26, 2007 at 02:55 AM (#2499822)
I disagree about him chasing. For a guy with his great k and bb numbers, he ends up hitting "balls" a lot more than I'd expect.

the guy has insane contact ability. he's going to hit more "balls" than you'd "expect".

I'm not expecting 900+ ops out of him.

he could peak at 425/475 :)
   31. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 26, 2007 at 04:36 AM (#2499881)
Btw, is it just me, or Kevin Cash about half as annoying as Doug Mirabelli? They're equally inept at the plate, but Cash seems to be better defensively, and he doesn't annoy me as much.
   32. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 26, 2007 at 04:41 AM (#2499883)
He drew a couple of walks today, too.
   33. Darren Posted: August 26, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2500031)
Today is an all-hands on deck game for the pen. Everyone's pretty well-rested and there's an off-day tomorrow. Let Tavarez go only until he stumbles, then mix and match: Delcarmen (up to 2 IP), Timlin (1), Gagne (1), Okajima (1), and Papelbon (1.1). You could even throw Lopez in for a tough lefty somewhere.

On the offense, TAKE TAKE TAKE and get into the decimated bullpen early. This is a chance to go into the Yankees series with little to worry about.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 26, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2500220)
A good weekend in Chicago, too. 7.5 very nice.

The Sox were consistently below average in turning hits into runs over the last three months, and they just made up for the underperformance in three days.
   35. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 26, 2007 at 09:25 PM (#2500231)
A good weekend in Chicago.
   36. rr Posted: August 26, 2007 at 09:32 PM (#2500244)
As some people (Andy, notably) pointed out, some of what was going on the Yankees and the Red Sox was about the schedule, not about the teams themselves. As the Yankees' 2-4 week against the Angels and Tigers indicate, the Yankees are still well set-up to crush bad teams but struggle against good ones, and the Red Sox were never really in any serious trouble and still aren't.
   37. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 26, 2007 at 09:34 PM (#2500246)
I still get a little twitch of happiness every time someone refers to the Tigers as a "good team."
   38. rr Posted: August 26, 2007 at 09:52 PM (#2500263)
I still get a little twitch of happiness every time someone refers to the Tigers as a "good team."


Yeah--that's right: you are kind of the BTFTigerfan answer to Darren. I remember posting on the last day of the season last year telling you and some other distraught Tiger fans that if the Tigers could take a game in NY in the ALDS, the whole thing might look a lot different in a hurry.
   39. Darren Posted: August 26, 2007 at 10:11 PM (#2500277)
Maybe we're normal and you're the weirdo, robin.
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 26, 2007 at 10:14 PM (#2500281)
Yeah, I read robin's posts on people worrying about their team and I wonder how he approaches his own fandom. If it's with the same self-satisfied assuredness that he suggests, I'd think he's the outlier.
   41. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: August 26, 2007 at 10:15 PM (#2500283)
This goodness started when I changed my nick.

Checks or credit cards are acceptable.
   42. Darren Posted: August 26, 2007 at 10:32 PM (#2500302)
P8P,

I just checked your profile and saw you live in Lakeland. Anywhere near Auburndale? I've got some family there--maybe we should do a meetup at a Tampa game someday. I assume tickets are pretty easy to get, even to Red Sox games.
   43. rr Posted: August 26, 2007 at 10:51 PM (#2500309)
Yeah, I read robin's posts on people worrying about their team and I wonder how he approaches his own fandom. If it's with the same self-satisfied assuredness that he suggests, I'd think he's the outlier.

Right. Check the "Can Winning be a Priority Now, Please?" thread and what was said to Darren on the first page, by other Red Sox fans, no less. Also, several Yankee fans--notably JC and Itza--were talking him off the ledge.

And you are missing the point. I am more of a "baseball fan" now, but I still root for the Reds and the Padres although not, admittedly, the way you guys root for the Red Sox. The Padres have a slightly-above average team, a pretty good shot at catching AZ and a very good shot at the Wild Card. They have a weak farm system and their future is mixed--but they have some good pieces and Towers and Alderson are pretty smart. Still, I don't see any rings on their horizon--and the Padres have never won the WS, as you know. The Reds are chronically mismanaged and cannot even contend in the NL Central, but there is some hope--a few good prospects and weak competition. Baseball has a way of changing quickly. Last year, Vaux, IIRC, totally wrote off the Tigers before the ALDS and I just pointed out to him that youneverknow--and sure enough, we didn't. It is about trying to be objective while still being a fan.

And I can understand the anxiety of hardcore fans, of say, the Indians, or the Cubs--or the frustration of rooting for the Blue Jays or the Pirates or Giants. I could understand Brewers fans being worried about their first October in 25 years slipping away. If the Red Sox play the Yankees in the ALCS and are down 4-3 in the 8th of Game 7, I won't say a word. That is nail-biting time. But, you guys root for a team that, at the time of that thread, still, as it does today, had the biggest lead in baseball and the best record in baseball, and was entering an easy part of the schedule, while the Yankees were entering a tough part, indicating that the lead would increase again--as in fact it has. You root for a team that has a deep, well-staffed front office, a developing farm system, huge revenue streams, a loyal nationwide fanbase, the greatest comeback in post-season baseball history--against the YANKEES, no less, and the second-highest payroll in the majors. So, yes, I think it is humorous that a few Red Sox supporters act like they are always fighting the odds, under the gun, etc anytime anything goes wrong. Having seen Larry Lucchino work the media and the politicos in San Diego with variations on the same theme for much higher stakes, it does, at times, get on my nerves. This, is no doubt a flaw of mine to some extent, but there are some high-profile Red Sox fans, like David Gassko, who are tired of the "Chicken Littles" as well.
   44. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 26, 2007 at 11:03 PM (#2500315)
A bunch of pants pissing bed wetters, in large part.
   45. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: August 27, 2007 at 12:06 AM (#2500352)
Darren,

My bad. I recently moved from Lakeland to Orlando. I still get down to the Lakeland/Auburndale area often enough to meet.

While Tampa tickets are never really difficult to get, good ones for the Red Sox or Yankees can be tough on gameday. Let me know when and we can probably make it happen.
   46. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 27, 2007 at 01:32 AM (#2500491)
This goodness started when I changed my nick.

You wish! I changed my nick on Friday during game 1. This is all because of me.

(Of course, I never thought we were in trouble in the first place.)
   47. chris p Posted: August 27, 2007 at 01:35 AM (#2500495)
This goodness started when I changed my nick.

You wish! I changed my nick on Friday during game 1. This is all because of me.


my old nick was jinxing our center fielder.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2007 at 02:34 AM (#2500540)
I was worried my nick was a jinx, but I looked into it, and Matt Clement just sucks.
   49. Dan Posted: August 27, 2007 at 05:37 AM (#2500619)
I had high hopes for Clement once. But I think we were all naive about how big the gulf between the leagues had become at that point, right?
   50. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 27, 2007 at 05:44 AM (#2500622)
It's been 2 years, and I'm still amazed at how Matt Clement makes Derek Lowe look like Jack Bauer.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2007 at 02:19 PM (#2500742)
I was kidding. Matt Clement was a perfectly good pitcher who blew out his shoulder and tried to pitch with a blown shoulder for the better part of a year.
   52. chris p Posted: August 27, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2500743)
Matt Clement was a perfectly good pitcher who blew out his shoulder and tried to pitch with a blown shoulder for the better part of a year.

not the smartest guy in the world, though.

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