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   1. villageidiom Posted: August 02, 2016 at 11:00 AM (#5277142)
In my job I've worked with internal recruiters to hire people for openings we have. Every now and then the internal recruiter throws me someone who has no experience, no discernible relevant skills, but is a nice, hardworking person stuck in a job they don't like. And every time that happens, the recruiter encourages me to consider the person with the statement, "It sure would make a nice story." Well, yeah, if it worked out, sure it would make a nice story. But that doesn't mean it'll work out, nor that it's in my or their best interest to pursue it.

That's my gut reaction to calling up Benintendi now. It sure would make a nice story if he were to hit well, provide a spark to the team, and they surge to the division title, the playoffs, and a championship. Yep, that would be great, and I hope it happens. But I don't think that it's a good move, because I don't think it will happen.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 02, 2016 at 11:14 AM (#5277161)
I think the big thing is it's not really a bad move. He's still under club control until 2023 if I calculate it right and the bar is pretty low for success. Even if he flops I don't think losing a month (and that's all it is because the minor league season ends in early September) of development should hurt him.
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 02, 2016 at 11:15 AM (#5277167)
Don’t misunderstand, I think he has a very good future and is a “low floor” kind of player.


It sounds like you think he's a high-floor, low-ceiling guy, not a low-floor one.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 02, 2016 at 11:21 AM (#5277172)
Oops, yeah, high floor. Will edit.
   5. DCA Posted: August 02, 2016 at 11:34 AM (#5277180)
With JBJ and Betts, is there a shorter regular starting OF in recent memory? Listed at 5-10, 5-10, 5-9 and they are probably all shorter than that in real life.
   6. Toby Posted: August 02, 2016 at 12:20 PM (#5277231)
Mike Greenwell?
Fred Lynn?
Brady Anderson?
Phil Plantier?
Ellsbury?

Don't mind me, I'm just throwing out names of lefty rookie outfielders from the past.

Markakis has always reminded me a bit of Greenwell, at least as an offensive player. Markakis probably quite a bit better defensively.
   7. bbmck Posted: August 02, 2016 at 12:38 PM (#5277258)
4th highest WAR by draft position:

1st: Joe Mauer 49.9
2nd: J.D. Drew 44.9
3rd: Evan Longoria 45.5
4th: Thurman Munson 45.9
5th: J.D. Drew 44.9

6th: Zack Greinke 54.8
7th: Nick Markakis 28.1
8th: Dick Ruthven 18.6
9th: Mark Kotsay 21.5
10th: Tim Wallach 38.3

...
20th: Bob Welch 44.2
22nd: Bruce Hurst 34.8
30th: Travis Fryman 34.3

67th: Mike Moore 28.5
71st: A.J. Pierzynski 23.0
75th: Jason Thompson 24.8
89th: Nick Johnson 14.6

2nd pick is Josh Beckett 35.9 if you exclude Drew who didn't sign. The players and teams seem to be a match after that until the 75th pick with Tino not signing with the Red Sox and knocking 4th down to Wade Davis 9.5. The 89th pick Unit doesn't sign with Braves and Stubbs doesn't sign with Astros knocking 4th down to Tom Paciorek 7.6 and I certainly could have missed other players who didn't sign.

Trout 44.7 just passed Knoblauch 44.6 for the lead among 25th picks.
   8. Cmax Sox the Box that Rocks? Posted: August 02, 2016 at 12:49 PM (#5277270)
I have no problems with this, mainly because Brock Holt filling in through the infield, spelling other OFers.. and the fact that Chris Young and Swihart are out. This likely won't ruin his chances to still be a productive major leaguer, and we need it. As Jose said, our LF has been a sore thumb for our team. Even if he struggles and he doesn't produce well, we aren't likely to see a huge fall off. He is a good player, and he is definitely a high floor type of guy. I like it. I want to see him play :)
   9. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: August 02, 2016 at 01:10 PM (#5277291)
Steamer projects him to hit .287/.338/.451 with a 106 wRC+. Not bad for someone who hasn't played above AA.
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 02, 2016 at 08:57 PM (#5277696)
Nick Markakis is a hell of a good outcome. If they get 2 All-Star quality years and 2 above average out of him before he hits free agency I don't see how that's anything less than a success... especially since he's got JBJ and Mookie in the OF with him.

eta: Markakis had a 7.4 WAR year. If Benintendi ever has a year that comes within 1.4 WAR of that he'll be a success.
   11. Darren Posted: August 02, 2016 at 09:28 PM (#5277718)
I am fine with this move. It doesn't seem like he'll make a big difference over Holt at this point (1 WAR tops?), but he'll have more variance. So there's a decent downside here, beyond stunting his growth.
   12. Dan Posted: August 02, 2016 at 10:46 PM (#5277821)
I am fine with this move. It doesn't seem like he'll make a big difference over Holt at this point (1 WAR tops?), but he'll have more variance. So there's a decent downside here, beyond stunting his growth.


Keep in mind that there's chaining downstream. Holt will be taking ABs from the likes of Michael Martinez and Bryce Brentz.
   13. MHS Posted: August 03, 2016 at 09:13 AM (#5277937)
Let me ask you guys this - does this shine a light on a reasonably large offseason/early season error(s). Specifically, penciling in Holt as the starter in left?

To me that move had a very low probability of success and now that they are moving on from it they are forced into another move that has a low chance of success.

The counter argument would be: They were optimistic that Castillo would be the starter during the offseason, and felt the move reasonably hedged with Young as the 4th outfielder and Holt's flexibility.

I viewed that plan as wishcasting for two reasons. 1) Their was a reasonable probability that Castillo wouldn't work out. While, I think it's OK to give him the chance to start, my bigger issue was the lack of quality hedge.

Young, shouldn't be used as more than a platoon starter. Playing against righties is poor usage. Holt isn't a primary OF. Using him to spot is OK, but more would lead to underproduction. I would think they would have been in a decent position to sign a decent OF'er if they positioned it as a chance to compete with Castillo for the starter job.

I would have preferred they brought in a 4th OF'er who was a starter lite, as opposed to a platoon guy. Outside of that, I would have preferred they had done a better job of bringing in 4A guys for AAA to serve as a plan B or C. Really, I would have much preferred a spring or early season trade to shore up the position or at worst a deadline move.

Little things can matter in tight playoff races, and this probably wouldn't matter if the pitching wasn't a #### show but still this was a totally foreseeable situation that have developed and now they are rolling the dice (for a second time - since Blake in left was the same) for lack of better alternatives.


   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2016 at 09:41 AM (#5277959)
I am #13: I have never liked the idea of Holt being the LF'er with Young. Holt's value is not that he is a particularly good hitter, or an excellent defender, or an excellent baserunner, or anything like that. He's valuable because he is a good enough defender to play virtually any position for a spell if you need him, and he won't kill you with the bat. In an era where teams really can't afford to have more than about three bench players, Holt is very valuable.

When you pencil him in to play most days in left field, though, you shouldn't be surprised when your left field production is the second-weakest position on your team.


   15. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 03, 2016 at 09:52 AM (#5277970)
a reasonable probability that Castillo wouldn't work out. While, I think it's OK to give him the chance to start, my bigger issue was the lack of quality hedge.


I think they had a quality hedge in the form of Young. The problem is that Castillo completely flamed out, Young got hurt after hitting .277/.338/.508, THEN Holt became the starter. I think you can pick on a few other things (Swihart getting hurt, Sandoval completely flaming out making Shaw the every day third baseman rather than a potential LF option also).

With all that said I think they could've gotten a bit more outfield depth prior to the season. JBJ was no certainty either when the year began and the Kimbrel trade took away the one outfielder (Margot) that looked MLB ready. Benintendi raced through the system and Brentz has done well in limited time. I think you are dismissing Young's injury a bit too casually though. That's a huge loss. He was exactly what they needed, a decent fourth outfielder who could start if one of the regulars went down. The problem is the cascade effect. I would have liked better 5th/6th outfield options but Holt isn't awful, he's just being asked to be more than he is.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: August 03, 2016 at 10:05 AM (#5277983)
Holt and Young both got hurt, and still the Sox have been better in LF than they were last year and the year before - without having used substantial additional resources this offseason. If the Holt/Young plan was an error at all, it certainly wasn't a major one. All the resources they burned on the other potential LF options (Rusney, Craig) was the bigger error.

And I've said it before, but Holt's positional versatility is only a strength if you actually use him to cover weak spots ... like, say, LF this year.
   17. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 03, 2016 at 10:51 AM (#5278031)
I would have liked better 5th/6th outfield options but Holt isn't awful, he's just being asked to be more than he is.


Holt's put up .5 WAR in 55 games, primarily in LF. What more were you hoping for from the 5th OF option at the start of the season?
   18. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 03, 2016 at 10:58 AM (#5278044)
I'm with ya'. As a fifth option he's fine, that's just lackluster performance out of a left fielder. Like I said, he's just being asked to be too much.
   19. MHS Posted: August 03, 2016 at 11:06 AM (#5278057)
I think you are dismissing Young's injury a bit too casually though. That's a huge loss. He was exactly what they needed, a decent fourth outfielder who could start if one of the regulars went down


I think we strongly disagree here. Its not that I am casual about Young's injury, or I am not giving him proper credit for his production/value when healthy. It's that I fundamentally, don't believe he is a true 4th outfielder. I don't believe he is a guy who can start if a regular goes down. I think he is completely stretched out of his value if he is playing every day versus RHP. Pure platoon guys are terrible primary back-ups.

I think you can pick on a few other things (Swihart getting hurt, Sandoval completely flaming out making Shaw the every day third baseman rather than a potential LF option also).


I'd quibble that Swihart getting hurt has nothing to do with planning for LF in the offseason/early season because he should not have been considered at LF at that point. Heck, a reasonable case can be made that a major reason they were considering him a LF was poor handling of the offseason/early season as it relates to LF. I do think it's fair to say that Sandoval's worthlessness played a part that I didn't consider, and realistically they had thought of Shaw as the primary LF backup (vs RHP) until Pablo Pablo'd.

Good exchange.

   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 03, 2016 at 01:10 PM (#5278197)
#15 -
With all that said I think they could've gotten a bit more outfield depth prior to the season.


#18 -
I'm with ya'. As a fifth option he's fine,


I'm not sure I follow your logic.

Yeah, it'd be nice if the Sox could get some real positive value from LF, but as a whole I think it's just been a tough position for them to do that at with all the injuries. And I think Dombrowski and Farrel have gone a good job at juggling what they've had to work with. And as Nasty points out - they haven't burned any prospects trying to fix the hole.
- Castillo flopped, bad move.
- Young got hurt, then was good, then got hurt. Good move (signing Young).
- Holt played well, then fell back to normal utility 5th OF level, then got hurt. Good move (keeping Holt and making sure he kept his OF glove handy).
- Swihart looked like a natural in LF (very good judgment on balls near the LF foul line - not an easy thing in Fenway) and starting hitting, then got hurt. Good move (finding a new position for him to play).
- Brentz comes in to platoon with Holt - too soon to tell.
- Benintendi comes in to replace Holt - too soon to tell.
   21. The Mighty Quintana Posted: August 06, 2016 at 02:13 PM (#5279796)
Instant gut reaction comps for this guy:

Terry Puhl
Lee Mazzili
Josh Reddick

Or some combination thereof....A very useful player who will not hurt you defensively at any OF spot, or on the basepaths.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 09, 2016 at 08:52 PM (#5281650)
Just going to say, I like him so far. 7 for 15 will do that for ya'.
   23. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2016 at 09:58 PM (#5281696)
Another slight-physique outfielder that will do well...but I'll never get an actual handle on their skill set.

Betts will be a 7 WAR player this year...but it will never quite feel like it to me. Dunno why. Maybe cause it seems like his routes are weird,and he stabs at the ball.
   24. Toby Posted: August 10, 2016 at 02:56 PM (#5282058)
But can Benintendi bowl, that is the real question.
   25. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 10, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5282084)
Not really related to Benintendi but the lineup is being shifted around. Top three tonight;

Pedroia
Bogaerts
Betts
   26. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: August 15, 2016 at 10:07 AM (#5284450)
He should be batting leadoff.
   27. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 15, 2016 at 10:42 AM (#5284490)
I wouldn't rush that. He's been very good but it's been two weeks and it's not like Pedroia is hitting .220. Until a hitter has been seen a few times and had to make some adjustments I don't think you should rush him up the lineup.
   28. covelli chris p Posted: August 15, 2016 at 05:00 PM (#5284758)
Josh Reddick
reddick is a dead pull hitter that at times looks like he should be a platoon guy. benintendi looks pretty adept at going the other way, and has handled lefties well in the minors.

Betts will be a 7 WAR player this year.
speaking of comps, betts is looking like gary sheffield with better defense. nephew of (former) major leaguer, former middle infielder, handsy/wristy swing, surprising power ...
   29. Dale Sams Posted: August 15, 2016 at 05:28 PM (#5284770)
But can Benintendi bowl, that is the real question.


See. And now Betts is getting MVP noise.

I think it's because he's an OFer. It just throws me off.
   30. SY Ruined School Lunches! Posted: August 15, 2016 at 05:31 PM (#5284773)
speaking of comps, betts is looking like gary sheffield with better defense. nephew of (former) major leaguer, former middle infielder, handsy/wristy swing, surprising power ...


I love this comp. A couple days ago he dived way over the plate and yanked a low and outside breaking ball 400 ft. Sheffield was the first thing I thought of.
   31. Chip Posted: August 15, 2016 at 07:33 PM (#5284812)
Gammons quoted somebody awhile back saying Betts' ability to generate so much power with his wrist snap reminded him of Hammerin' Hank.
   32. Toby Posted: August 15, 2016 at 08:30 PM (#5284842)
By bref similarity scores his top comp is Grady Sizemore.
   33. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 16, 2016 at 02:11 PM (#5285203)
By bref similarity scores his top comp is Grady Sizemore.


So after Betts finishes with only 1 MVP vote this year you're saying Chris Davis is going to win the MVP next year?
   34. Darren Posted: August 16, 2016 at 09:14 PM (#5285490)
Sheff's the one I've been going on about for years. The superfast wrists that it seems impossible to get anything past. He used to have some discipline like Sheff too, but maybe that will come back.
   35. Darren Posted: August 16, 2016 at 09:48 PM (#5285524)
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mookie-betts-needs-some-new-comparisons/
   36. Darren Posted: August 16, 2016 at 09:57 PM (#5285537)
Vlad and Hanley
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 17, 2016 at 07:56 AM (#5285687)
Betts now has a higher career slg % than Bryce Harper.
   38. Norcan Posted: August 23, 2016 at 12:53 AM (#5288572)
I couldn't think of the hitter whose swing Benintendi reminded me of, with his weight set up on his back foot and his front foot on tip toe. It kept bothering me but I have it and I can't believe I couldn't place it: Robinson Cano. Eerily similar setup to the point that I'm stunned no one has made the comparison. If he was Dominican, the comp would have been made by now. I mean, Devers got compared to Cano for his swing when he signed and I suppose it was kind of close based on his setup but not as close as Benintendi's.
   39. Cmax Sox the Box that Rocks? Posted: August 28, 2016 at 07:34 PM (#5291462)
I'm confused how none of you old fellas have noticed that he has a near identical swing to ol' Trot Nixon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DoWTUN2KAc

Although Benintendi seems better at going the opposite way, his swing looks a ton like Trot's.

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