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   1. tfbg9 Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3862258)
I've lost all intrest in Darnell McDonald.
   2. John DiFool2 Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#3862263)
And Cameron needs to be re-interred back into his crypt, and have it sealed under 6 feet of concrete.

Beltran would be able to play 3 times a week against all lefies, filling in (in turn) for all 3 starting OFers, occ. spelling Gonzo and Papi too.
   3. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#3862264)
I've lost all intrest in Darnell McDonald.

Seconded. DFA him.
   4. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3862269)
Everybody hates McDonald around here, and I can't understand why.
   5. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3862272)
Everybody hates McDonald around here, and I can't understand why.

It might be because he sucks. Just a theory.
   6. Dan Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3862274)
McDonald's jumps on defense have looked a lot better to me this season, but he's yet to hit. On the other hand, he's had fewer chances than Cameron and probably deserves a slightly longer leash to see if he can get it going. Cameron needs to be gone yesterday though. He isn't even hitting soft-tossing lefties and his defense has been horrific.

Beltran is just too perfect of a fit for this team to not happen. He doesn't even need to play every day, he can take 2-3 games off a week and split time in RF with either Drew or Reddick (I'd prefer Reddick until he shows that his performance so far isn't for real).

The other obvious upgrade to make via trade would be a solid left-handed reliever.

I think Lackey's issue is his elbow. He even admitted that it's gong to get worse at some point, and presumably require surgery to get it right. Just go ahead and get the damn surgery already, because you're not accomplishing anything productive by trying to pitch through it.
   7. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3862275)
Darnell McDonald, 2011: 122/185/195

This has something to do with it.
   8. Dan Posted: June 25, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3862279)
To be fair to the guy, it's only 44 plate appearances. Compare that to Cameron's .156/.220/.278 over 101 PA (while probably also costing the team at least 2-3 runs on defense in RF). And that's even being supported by one game where he hit 2 home runs, at least one of which I recall to have been pretty heavily wind-aided.
   9. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 25, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#3862290)
Exactly. The guy's barely played. He and Cameron have the same skill set, except Cameron has gotten the bulk of the playing time and been terrible.

44 PA's mean nothing. Especially in light of what he's done the rest of his career.

Nevertheless, I suspect McDonald gets traded in a deal for a depth starting pitcher. If Lacky does indeed go down, we'll need a warm body.

Or maybe Kyle Weiland. Guy's earned a callup.
   10. Dan Posted: June 25, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#3862298)
Weiland, Doubront, Duckworth, Millwood. I'm pretty sure any of those guys would be better than Lackey at the moment.
   11. Jim Wisinski Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:06 AM (#3862455)
44 PA's mean nothing. Especially in light of what he's done the rest of his career.


Be mediocre in the minors? He's a 32 year-old with a .279/.338/.425 line in nearly 900 AAA games, why would anyone expect him to be anything other than an easily replaceable backup outfielder in the majors? I remember in 2006 a bunch of posters at RaysBB were clamoring for the Rays to call him up like he was going to be some sort of asset; sure, the 77 OPS+ of Damon Hollins would have been nice to replace but it's not like McDonald was going to help a terrible team much anyway. I don't get why he generates the interest he does from some people.
   12. Dan Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:07 AM (#3862456)
He should at least hit lefties.

Reddick needs to play every day until he gives a reason to bench him.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:09 AM (#3862458)
I'm not a believer in Reddick but if he's going to keep hitting, stay with the hot hand. His defense is very very good.
   14. Darren Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#3862510)
That is an amazing level of awfulness out of our backup OFs. You think with the Red Sox resources, they could have gotten something better than way below replacement level for their bench.
   15. John DiFool2 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#3862511)
He's a 32 year-old with a .279/.338/.425 line in nearly 900 AAA games, why would anyone expect him to be anything other than an easily replaceable backup outfielder in the majors?

And in the majors he's had a .247/.307/.383 line-and I did I mention that he's 32 now?
   16. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:19 AM (#3862514)
Be mediocre in the minors? He's a 32 year-old with a .279/.338/.425 line in nearly 900 AAA games, why would anyone expect him to be anything other than an easily replaceable backup outfielder in the majors?


He had a .765 OPS against everyone last year, and has a career .846 OPS against lefties (in a lefty-heavy lineup). And he plays all three OF positions.

Where's the guy who you know can replace that?

EDIT: The .846 OPS vs L doesn't include his crappy 2011 stats...not that that matters.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#3862521)
McDonald, at 32, only figures to head downhill from here.
He's not a prospect. Screw the platoon stuff, let's see what Reddick can do. At least he's a bit of a prospect.
   18. tfbg9 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:46 AM (#3862523)
And Wakefield is back to his standard crappiness. We really needed a good start tonight and he dissapointed.

Lester, Beckett, Bucholz, Miller, Aceves...after Lackey sucks away his two remaining tries.

Then try Doubront. At least he's another LHP.
   19. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:51 AM (#3862524)
Realistically we can't rely on Wakefield for any more than he's giving, crappy start tonight included. Lester hasn't been his usual self and Beckett's been great, while Buchholz isn't doing all that hot. Basically, the rotation isn't solid, and there's not much that can be done about that save somebody coming up from AAA (again) and shining.

What's wrong with platoons? Besides, if you bench Drew and start Reddick, you're getting the best of both worlds--seeing what Reddick can do, AND having a platoon option if Tito thinks Reddick can't hit a particular pitcher.

Plus Crawford has never hit lefties in his career.
   20. tfbg9 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:13 AM (#3862531)
I want Reddick given McD's AB's.
Edit: and Cameron's.
   21. tfbg9 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:16 AM (#3862532)
I don't think Drew is quite toast. And I like his glove.
   22. ptodd Posted: June 26, 2011 at 07:32 AM (#3862553)
In 2009 JD was batting in the 230's in mid July with 30 something RBI's. Went on a 6 week hot streak and was basically the best hitter in the AL in the 2nd half. Not that I expect a streak of that magnitude this year, but he should be better than the replacement level that he has been thus far.

Cameron needs to be gone though. Reddick can be the one to give JD a rest even if he is a LHB (LHP and RHP).

Crawford should be back soon, but nobody really misses him except when D-mac is in there. Reddick has been better than CC against RHP'ers. D-mac should be used only as an emergency replacement or pinch runner, or to give guys a rest during a blowout.

On the SP front, the top 3 of Beckett, Buchholz and Lester is as good a top 3 as there is in MLB now that Oswalt is out. Lackey is probably hurt (elbow), but maybe Miller has turned it around, if not, you have Millwood, Doubront, Aceves. Wakefield has been fine but he is an injury waiting to happen at his age, so they may need to make a deal at the trading deadline to make sure they have enough depth.

Lowrie return is a bit uncertain, but Scutaro is a better SS anyways. They can bring up Navarro as utility IF who can also play the corner OF position as a RHB.

Don't really see any other holes so long as the key players stay healthy.
   23. Darren Posted: June 26, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3862582)
Does anyone know what the deal is with Drew being out of the lineup so often, even when healthy? He's not bad against lefties, usually. I wonder if that's affecting his ability to get in a groove. (/grasping)
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 26, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3862599)
I watch this team virtually day - Cameron and McDonald bring very little to the table. Drew isn't much better, but at least has the potential to go banas for a couple of months. I don't know how good Reddick is, but he sure looks better than any of the three people listed above, and he's by far the youngest, with the greatest upside. Play him until he shows he can't hit.

I like Lowrie, but have little confidence that he'll ever be able to play 130 games in a season. Luckily, Scutaro looks good, is getting on base, plays solid defense, and is not being asked to be a table-setter at the top of the lineup.

Pedroia, Youkilis, Gonzalez, Ortiz, and Ellsbury are playing really well. Scutaro and Reddick are also playing very well. The catching situation has been as good or better than most could've expected. The failure of the two corner OF slots is troubling, and I hope that Crawford plays a lot better than this.

The biggest problem with the 2011 Red Sox is that they are paying Drew, Cameron, and Crawford about $42 million to suck. Suck a lot.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 26, 2011 at 01:59 PM (#3862602)
A very minor deal could be trading for Brandon Boggs. The Brewers love Mark Kotsay so Boggs is stuck at Triple A. He isn't great, but he can swing the bat and play the outfield. He knows the strike zone. Switch-hits.

Just an idea.
   26. haggard Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3862610)
In fairness, McDonald has hit some pretty hard shots since coming off the DL, with nothing to show for it.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3862629)
McDonald has nearly as many PA in AAA this year as in the majors. He hit 345/457/655 with Pawtucket. It's too bad he's been a little fluky good in the minors and a lot fluky bad in the majors, but he'll be just fine.

On Drew, I've been guessing that his spottier playing time has been a function of his body breaking down - then there's one underlying cause for both his struggles and his drop in playing time. But who knows.

For now, I think Reddick looks really good and deserves playing time. He's made huge strides as a hitter, and we have to find out if he can maintain this improvement over several weeks. If there's a possibility that the Sox would trade anyone of value for Beltran, they should make sure first that they can't get 80% of Beltran without giving away prospects. That means playing Reddick regularly and putting him in a position to succeed. If you give Cameron's and McDonald's PA to Reddick, you're giving him mostly PA with a platoon disadvantage. That's putting your young player in a position to fail, and it's a terrible idea. Reddick's PA have to come mostly from Drew, Crawford, and Ellsbury. I think mostly from Drew.
   28. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#3862689)
A very minor deal could be trading for Brandon Boggs. The Brewers love Mark Kotsay so Boggs is stuck at Triple A. He isn't great, but he can swing the bat and play the outfield. He knows the strike zone. Switch-hits.

Or just wait for the Brewers to call him up and then DFA him again. They've waived Boggs three times this year. But yeah, Boggs is a capable fourth outfielder that the Brewers have no interest in actually using as such.
   29. tfbg9 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#3862701)
Give Reddick the Crawford AB's as well, for the next week.
Just go with a Reddick, Ellsbury, Drew OF.

Does Reddick have massive splits? Is he incapable of playing LF?
McDonald fails my OF D eye test.
   30. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3862740)
I don't know how Reddick handles lefties. But I do know that Pedroia was allowed to suck against all comers for two months before he figured everything out.
   31. Darren Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3863040)
Pedroia was allowed to "suck" but he was still a very valuable player while doing so. Also, he's got a track record as a very good player.

Everything in Reddick's career points to him being a pretty bad hitter right now except for his last 40 or so MLB ABs. I wouldn't mind taking a shot with him, but there's a really good reason that he's not given the same chance Pedroia is.
   32. Mattbert Posted: June 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#3863067)
Reddick had a significant jump in his walk rate in the minors lately and has spoken about how being passed over in favor of Kalish and Nava was a wake up call for him in terms of the hacktastic ways of his youth. I think he deserves a chance to continue demonstrating he's learned the lesson.
   33. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:05 AM (#3863082)
Pedroia was allowed to "suck" but he was still a very valuable player while doing so. Also, he's got a track record as a very good player.


I meant in his first year, 2007. Though it was actually only his first month that was bad, he wasn't at all good during that month. He had a .544 OPS in April 2007.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#3863089)
Everything in Reddick's career points to him being a pretty bad hitter right now except for his last 40 or so MLB ABs.
As Mattbert said, Reddick's walk rate spiked this year in AAA. From 7.5% of PAs in the high minors in his career before 2011 to 14.3% this year. His overall AAA numbers this year aren't good, but it looks like it's in part a BABIP fluke (.217).

Hackers have hot streaks, but Reddick looks like he might not actually be a hacker anymore. That's why I think he deserves more playing time.
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#3863096)
I meant in his first year, 2007. Though it was actually only his first month that was bad, he wasn't at all good during that month. He had a .544 OPS in April 2007.


But even then Pedroias minor league track record was superior to Reddick. Additionally There is the soft marker that he was simply better regarded as a prospect than Reddick.
   36. Darren Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:46 AM (#3863099)
Might the drop in BABIP be a result of his new walking ways? A hacker who takes more pitches is going to be less likely to attack pitches he likes.

He may well have turned a corner, but I can certainly see the rational for not inserting him in the starting lineup forever.
   37. Mattbert Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3863113)
I think we all more or less agree on Reddick. Given something like the expected production from the five outfielders the Sox began the season with, Reddick is not a guy who anyone would be trumpeting to force his way into a starting place on the big club. However, only one of those five guys has been healthy and worth a damn for the majority of the season. Unless and until the incumbents get their #### together and/or Reddick cools off, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't continue to start in LF while Crawford is out and in RF after Crawford returns.

Are the improvements Reddick has made in 2011 real and sustainable? I don't know, but there's not a compelling case that the Sox shouldn't give him the opportunity to find out at the big league level.
   38. Banta Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:31 AM (#3863114)
Beltran doesn't even need to be spelled, he's been playing everyday for awhile. Something like 39 consecutive games. And his speed has even returned to an extent.

So, in other words, you guys can't ####### have him!!!

*coughs*
   39. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:35 AM (#3863115)
The last thing Boston needs is yet another aging, injury-prone outfielder.
   40. Mattbert Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:38 AM (#3863116)
Damn straight. We have plenty of young injury-prone outfielders, thank you very much!
   41. Textbook Editor Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:40 AM (#3863118)
Put me in the camp that would rather see us pursue internal options than dump prospects to take Beltran. I'm still stinging from the "non-prospects" we dumped for Gagne, all of who may wind up being far more valuable long-term than Gagne ever was for the 3 months we had him.

That is to say, I fear Beltran going all Gagne upon getting traded to the Red Sox. I'd rather just see what Reddick can do. Moreover, we could have a SP problem come 7/31--the way things are going, aside from Lester and Beckett I'm not at all sure what 5 guys are going to be in the rotation come 7/31 due to injury/ineffectiveness... If there was a F'ing-A trade to make on 7/31, to be honest I'd rather have it be for a starter.
   42. Banta Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:49 AM (#3863121)
Well, if you guys don't want him then, fine.

Could I interest you all in barely used Jason Bay? And since I like you all so much, I'll waive the usual prospect required! Don't let this twice in a lifetime opportunity pass you by!
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3863122)
Beltran's got a 130 OPS+ and plays a very good RF. I don't think it's at all crazy to think the Mets will be looking to sell Beltran, but no one's just going to get him for free. The Red Sox aren't the only contending club with a bad corner outfielder.

If the Sox are seriously considering Beltran, then they need to find out first whether Reddick's for real. If, that is, there's already a plan in the works to bench Drew, then Drew should be sitting / dl'ed once Crawford returns. They shouldn't get involved in a bidding war for Beltran without a better idea of Reddick's quality. I guess the counterpoint would be that the Sox also need to give Drew time to see if he can bounce back. That's a good point, interlocutor inside my head. Damn. I guess it's a judgment call for the Sox based on what they see in the next week.

On Reddick's splits, my memory is he had normal splits in the minors. He shouldn't be the weak side of any platoons. If the Sox want to give up on McDonald and Cameron simultaneously, there are lots of RHB corner outfielders just waiting for a major league bench job all around the high minors.
   44. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:58 AM (#3863126)
If there was a F'ing-A trade to make on 7/31, to be honest I'd rather have it be for a starter.
Starters are crazy expensive at the deadline. Every contending team can use a front of the rotation starter, while only a subset need a right fielder. You end up with big bidding wars and winners curses. It's certainly possible to make a good trade for a starter, but it's a good bit less likely.

Plus, I'm totally sold on Miller. Lester-Beckett-Buchholz-Miller-whoeverisn'thurt works for me just fine.
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: June 27, 2011 at 03:27 AM (#3863136)
I'm sold on Miller too. It's Buchholz's back I'm worried about becoming a long-term issue this season, which leaves us with Miller as our #3 starter and Wakefield/Lackey as 4/5. Now, I'm fine with Wakefield there at #4; it's possible he'd only have to make 1 playoff start (should we get there), but Lackey I think is pretty close to a total write-off for 2011, and the above plan has Miller--a guy who's made two starts!--as your presumed #3 starter in a playoff series.

To say nothing of the fact that, of the Wakefield/Lackey combo at 4/5, how many wins could you realistically project over the last 3 months of the season? 10? maybe? And, again, this assumes a guy who's made two decent starts for you (with a history of wildness many years in the making) can act as your #3 starter should Buchholz's back issues flare up again.

I know you get hosed looking for starters at the trade deadline. Where I might start looking is teams with guys under contract (but maybe a bit too rich of a contract) for 2+ years after this one, on teams that might be willing to dump salary as the primary motivation for the deal. I confess I have no idea who falls into this category.

Again, if Buchholz comes back and stays healthy/effective, the points are moot and they won't be finding a starter. But I really do worry Buchholz's issues will wind up being persistent (at least for 2011), mainly because aside from rest to treat it they don't seem to understand what is actually causing the problem in the first place...
   46. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 27, 2011 at 06:47 AM (#3863190)
Relying on Miller seems like a bad idea. He has all the talent in the world...but is also a big injury and/or ineffectiveness risk.
   47. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 27, 2011 at 09:24 AM (#3863197)
I think the Miller pick up was great in a low risk/ high reward way. However I'm waiting , his first three starts are SD, Pittsburg and the Astros for starters.
   48. tfbg9 Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:04 PM (#3863228)
Did somebody actually mention giving Wakefield a playoff start? A playoff start?
   49. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3863247)
It's Buchholz's back I'm worried about becoming a long-term issue this season
So far, I've been not worrying, since the discussion at the time was mostly that the Sox were being careful and they wanted to give Miller a tryout and all that. I haven't heard any troubling updates on Buchholz since then. Certainly, if Buchholz has lingering back problems, the Red Sox will need another starter.
   50. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 27, 2011 at 08:37 PM (#3863782)
According to PeteAbe the Sox have activated Junichi Tazawa and assigned him to AA. He will be pitching tonight for Portland and the game is on NESN.
   51. Dan Posted: June 27, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3863881)
Navarro's been playing a ton of RF lately in Pawtucket since he came off of the DL. Looks like he'll be replacing either Cameron or McDonald as the short side of an RF platoon pretty soon if one of those two can't turn things around. Maybe he can be our very own Ben Zobrist and play all over the infield and outfield while swinging a decent bat?
   52. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 27, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3863886)
That is to say, I fear Beltran going all Gagne upon getting traded to the Red Sox.

I doubt Beltran would actively lose games the way Gagne managed to...
   53. OCD SS Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:48 AM (#3863965)
That is to say, I fear Beltran going all Gagne upon getting traded to the Red Sox.


Oh well fine, as long as you have a rational reason to avoid improving the team.

If the Sox are seriously considering Beltran, then they need to find out first whether Reddick's for real.


Not necessarily. Beltran is not a long term solution, he's just someone to plug in until his contract expires. Reddick could be a long term solution in RF (and if his newfound plate discipline is real, I like his other tools more than Kalish's) but not seize the starting job until next year.

What about SS? If the Sox are looking to upgrade by pilfering the Mets, I'd rather replace Scutaro/ Lowrie.
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:03 AM (#3863973)
Not necessarily. Beltran is not a long term solution, he's just someone to plug in until his contract expires. Reddick could be a long term solution in RF (and if his newfound plate discipline is real, I like his other tools more than Kalish's) but not seize the starting job until next year.
My point wasn't that Reddick would be blocked, it was that Beltran won't be free. I'd rather have a pretty good RF and what's in the farm system than a somewhat better RF and fewer prospects. If Reddick (or Drew) isn't a pretty good RF, then I'd rather look into Beltran.

I have no idea how the Red Sox system is perceived right now, actually. What would fans of teams other than the Mets or Red Sox think would be a fair package for Beltran? Would something based around Doubront be good enough?
   55. OCD SS Posted: June 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM (#3864123)
That's a tricky one MCoA; I think your previous point about who else would be in the bidding holds. Beltran is a half season rental with a high salary that won't even bring back draft pick compensation. I don't think he'll cost that much, although it's certainly a matter of finding a player or two who the Mets like as a project, diamond in the rough/ 2nd division, back of the rotation starter sort of way. I doubt the Sox would be giving up anyone we'd truly miss for also taking on the remainder of Beltran's non-deferred salary.
   56. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM (#3864134)
I doubt Beltran would actively lose games the way Gagne managed to...
My wife pays barely any attention to baseball, but I think the Gagne experience scarred even her. Now and then she'll pay some attention to a Sox game and suddenly ask me "They don't still have that terrible guy with the glasses who lost every game he pitched, do they?"
   57. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM (#3864141)
What about SS? If the Sox are looking to upgrade by pilfering the Mets, I'd rather replace Scutaro/ Lowrie.

Oh god, don't let any Mets fans hear you say this. :-)
   58. Pingu Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3864143)
According to PeteAbe the Sox have activated Junichi Tazawa and assigned him to AA. He will be pitching tonight for Portland and the game is on NESN.


Well that didnt go so well.....6 ER in 2/3 IP. The long road remains ahead.
   59. Pingu Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:04 PM (#3864148)
That's a tricky one MCoA; I think your previous point about who else would be in the bidding holds. Beltran is a half season rental with a high salary that won't even bring back draft pick compensation. I don't think he'll cost that much, although it's certainly a matter of finding a player or two who the Mets like as a project, diamond in the rough/ 2nd division, back of the rotation starter sort of way. I doubt the Sox would be giving up anyone we'd truly miss for also taking on the remainder of Beltran's non-deferred salary.


Beltran's not coming to Boston for free unless there is no interest from any other team. There will almost certainly be interest from other teams. I dont have the slightest idea who the Mets would ask for, but its going to be someone decent.
   60. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3864151)
Taxawa looked like we've come to expect a TJ "survivor" to look. His velocity and pitch movement were fine, his location was a disaster. It was curve in the dirt, fastball at the eyes, hanging curve lined to the gap seemingly to every hitter.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#3864153)
Our farm system's in a bad way for trades. All of Iglesias, Britton, Pimentel, Vitek, and Tejeda have lost a ton of value since the beginning of the year. Kalish is injured and won't be traded. That leaves Doubront, Reddick, and Ranaudo as the only real tradable pieces that could bring in a good haul.

The Sox have an incredible wealth of C prospects, so if maybe we could offer a grab bag with some collection of Middlebrooks, Coyle, Navarro, Workman, Brentz, Hassan, Chiang, Wilson, Hazelbaker, Lavarnway, Jacobs, or Weiland. (Vitek and Tejeda could go on this C-prospect list now, too.) I don't know which of those guys the Red Sox are higher or lower on, and which of those guys have more or less trade value, but hopefully there is enough volume of guys like that that some trades could be worked out.

(I admit I easily could have put both Xander Bogaerts and Miles Head on that list, and chose not to because I'm too excited about those two.)
   62. Pingu Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3864155)
The Sox have an incredible wealth of C prospects, so if maybe we could offer a grab bag with some collection of Middlebrooks, Coyle, Navarro, Workman, Brentz, Hassan, Chiang, Wilson, Hazelbaker, Lavarnway, Jacobs, or Weiland.


I cant see any of these guys being the centerpiece of a deal. I suppose its possible that the Mets want to throw spagetti at a wall, but I doubt it.
   63. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#3864175)
I think right field is the one place an upgrade is reasonable. I don't see a starter out there that is a good bet to be an appreciable improvement over the combination of 4/5 guys we have (Lackey, Miller, Doubront, Wakefield, Aceves) to warrant giving up someone useful. Shortstop is the same way. Unless the Mets are willing to move Reyes (and I don't see how we get that done) I can't imagine getting someone who is a big upgrade over Scutaro though I'll admit I'm higher on him than many here seem to be.
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3864181)
I cant see any of these guys being the centerpiece of a deal. I suppose its possible that the Mets want to throw spagetti at a wall, but I doubt it.
Yeah, and Doubront's barely above grab bag level. I have to think the Mets would want Ranaudo or Reddick, and I don't want to do that. If Doubront plus one or two from the grab bag would work for them, I think that's the best option. I don't see a lot of other packages possible.

And I like Doubront and a bunch of the grab bag guys. I'd rather see if Reddick can be the upgrade first, before committing to a trade.
   65. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:59 PM (#3864189)
I'd rather see if Reddick can be the upgrade first, before committing to a trade.


I agree with this approach but I fear its going to bite us. For all the advances he's made on plate discipline this year I worry that he's going to look good for the next month then as teams figure him out he's going to go back to hacking and chasing right around the time the deadline passes. I'm not sure how to avoid that though because I think he's worth a long look.
   66. OCD SS Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#3864190)
Beltran's not coming to Boston for free unless there is no interest from any other team. There will almost certainly be interest from other teams. I dont have the slightest idea who the Mets would ask for, but its going to be someone decent.


Of course they'll ask for that, but I think recent trade history has shown that they're not going to get a top prospect back unless they essentially buy one by eating all of Beltran's salary (we can call this pulling a Casey Blake); I'd kind of assumed that the Mets didn't have the finances to pull this off.

If another team decides he's a must-have acquisition then they'll certainly overbid the Sox (who could just plug Reddick in or stick with Drew anyway), but I expect that it will come down to a bunch of similar offers where the Mets wind up going with the guy they like a little better.
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3864201)
Of course they'll ask for that, but I think recent trade history has shown that they're not going to get a top prospect back unless they essentially buy one by eating all of Beltran's salary
Right, but the Red Sox don't have any top prospects. The question is whether the Mets would do it for just C prospects, or if they'd demand a B prospect along with a couple Cs.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:13 PM (#3864204)
I think at this point, the best guess of what they will target on the trade market is starting pitching depth. I don't think they will go after someone who would necessarily start a playoff game, but someone who would be insurance against the potential issues of Wake/Lackey/Miller etc. Of course, the status of Clay in the next couple of weeks will clarify the level of need they have for SP depth.
   69. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:13 PM (#3864205)
Right, but the Red Sox don't have any top prospects.


Does Ranaudo not rate as a "top" prospect? A cursory look at the numbers suggest he is pitching well at Single A and my recollection is he was considered a top 10 talent in last year's draft with just the injury concern.

I guess "top" is a vague term but he was #67 in BA last year. He's certainly a higher ceiling than any other pitcher the Sox currently possess.
   70. OCD SS Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3864213)
I'd think that Iglesias and Ranaudo would be off the table. Iglesias being overmatched in AAA at his age should in no way be seen as an indictment of his potential, especially given his defensive upside, and the same should go for Raunado's stuff.
   71. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3864215)
I think the bullpen is a bigger concern than the rotation. I think they have pretty good rotational depth right now. I count eight guys that I would feel comfortable with in the rotation;

Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Wakefield, Doubront, Miller, Aceves. Certainly if the Sox can improve one of those last five they should do it but I don't think depth is the need as much as quality.

I'm more concerned about the bullpen. After Papelbon and Bard I think we're a bit weak. If Jenks comes back right that's a difference maker but I think it's at least as likely if not more likely that he's on the DL again in a few weeks. I'd like someone a bit stronger than Wheeler/Albers/Aceves to fill that gap between the starters and Bard.
   72. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: June 28, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3864242)
The Sox have an incredible wealth of C prospects
A lot of this is going to be definitional, but I think you're being too harsh on the Sox system. Sickels had the Sox with 11 prospects graded B- or better going into the season and it looks to me like they've got even more now. Middlebrooks, Brentz, Jacobs, Coyle, Hassan, Bogaerts, Head, Wilson, Navarro, and Weiland were all C+ or ungraded heading into the season, and all have taken big steps forward.
All of Iglesias, Britton, Pimentel, Vitek, and Tejeda have lost a ton of value since the beginning of the year.
I'd dispute that "ton of value" line for a couple of those guys. Iglesias was a B coming into the year and I doubt he's less than a B- now; 200 bad ABs for 21 year old glove-first SS at AAA is not something that worries me too much. Pimentel and Britton are seriously lost in the woods and you've got to wonder if they're hurt; both are essentially untradeable. Vitek's lost some value, but probably only half a grade. He's not the first polished college bat to struggle some in his first full pro season; Lowrie and Ackley turned out just fine. Tejeda's also lost maybe half a grade, but is a 21 year old middle infielder mostly holding his own at AA; there's still time.

By my count that's four prospects who have fallen below B- (Britton, Pimentel, Vitek, Tejeda) versus the ten I listed above who have crossed that threshold going the other way. Not a bad half-season for the farm system.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: June 28, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3864299)
I think the bullpen is a bigger concern than the rotation. I think they have pretty good rotational depth right now. I count eight guys that I would feel comfortable with in the rotation;

Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Wakefield, Doubront, Miller, Aceves. Certainly if the Sox can improve one of those last five they should do it but I don't think depth is the need as much as quality.


I think the prospect of having 2 of Wake/Doubront/Miller/Aceves in the rotation for any extended period of time is something that the team will try very hard to avoid. Wakefield's back is not good enough to depend on for a long time, and his performance may or may not merit a rotation spot. Doubront hasn't even averaged 5 innings a start in the minors the last couple of years, so I don't think you use him more than spot start or so. Miller is the wildcard. And there is the possibility that Lackey simply pitches so poorly he must be removed from the rotation. In my opinion, all of these things plus the normal always-there risk of pitcher arm trouble make SP depth the biggest hole right now. A team can afford to have a lousy bottom half of a bullpen, but it's a lot harder to succeed with a lousy half of a starting rotation.
   74. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3864312)
I agree with your general point but there's a lot of negative "ifs" in that layout. My thing is that of the problems this team needs to address right field and the bullpen are a better use of their available resources than the rotation likely will be. Hey, if they can get Randy Wolf (for example off the top of my head) on the cheap, by all means do it. The problem is that a very very cursory survey of the market suggests that the Sox are looking at the Paul Byrd types and I'd hate to give up something useful for a guy who is not likely to be an upgrade over Aceves or Miller.
   75. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3864314)
I agree with your general point but there's a lot of negative "ifs" in that layout. My thing is that of the problems this team needs to address right field and the bullpen are a better use of their available resources than the rotation likely will be. Hey, if they can get Randy Wolf (for example off the top of my head) on the cheap, by all means do it. The problem is that a very very cursory survey of the market suggests that the Sox are looking at the Paul Byrd types and I'd hate to give up something useful for a guy who is not likely to be an upgrade over Aceves or Miller.
   76. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3864323)
NN - We've also got Millwood. He has been pretty good in Pawtucket. I doubt he's worse than whoever is 2011's Paul Byrd. Actually, I think he is 2011's Paul Byrd.
A lot of this is going to be definitional, but I think you're being too harsh on the Sox system. Sickels had the Sox with 11 prospects graded B- or better going into the season and it looks to me like they've got even more now. Middlebrooks, Brentz, Jacobs, Coyle, Hassan, Bogaerts, Head, Wilson, Navarro, and Weiland were all C+ or ungraded heading into the season, and all have taken big steps forward.
I should start by saying I don't think we disagree particularly much, and it all depends on where you place the grading line. But I'm going to focus on the stuff I disagree with.

-"11 B- or higher" is a generous summary of Sickels. There were 4 B prospects and 7 B- prospects, with no one above a B. If I used larger buckets and dumped the B- guys into the C bucket, that'd basically be the same system. As we said, it's definitional.

-I think "big steps forward" is a very generous take as well. Middlebrooks has turned a few doubles into homers, but he's the same basic hitter with way too many Ks, Brentz was a college hitter beating up Sally league pitchers who is now struggling in Salem, Wilson is repeating AA. Jacobs and Coyle are striking out way too much. Weiland is walking way too many. Head has taken a big step forward, and he might be our real breakout prospect. If Bogaerts can keep it up - so far it's just 50 PA - he could join Head. Hassan and Chiang have taken steps forward, but they were a long way back before.

Basically, I was thinking that a "B" prospect is someone that can legitimately headline a deadline deal for a good MLB player. An "A" prospect can get you a superstar, and a "C" prospect is filler to build out either of those trades. I think the vast majority of the guys listed there are filler, not headliners.

EDIT: Certainly, if the Mets would take a Middlebrooks+ package for Beltran, I'd do that in a second. I just don't think they would.
   77. Nasty Nate Posted: June 28, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3864330)
I did forget about Millwood.

But back to Doubront, why does he pitch so few innings per start?
   78. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3864346)
But back to Doubront, why does he pitch so few innings per start?
He spent April stretching back into starting shape after beginning the season in the bullpen. Then he got hurt in May and was eased back into action at the start of June with two clearly pitch-limited appearances. His last four starts just look like a guy with a normal minor league pitch count who hasn't been very efficient.

5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K
5 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K
5 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 K
6 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K
   79. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3864404)
The Sox have an incredible wealth of C prospects, so if maybe we could offer a grab bag with some collection of Middlebrooks, Coyle, Navarro, Workman, Brentz, Hassan, Chiang, Wilson, Hazelbaker, Lavarnway, Jacobs, or Weiland. (Vitek and Tejeda could go on this C-prospect list now, too.) I don't know which of those guys the Red Sox are higher or lower on, and which of those guys have more or less trade value, but hopefully there is enough volume of guys like that that some trades could be worked out.


How do you toss Lavarnway in a bucket with all of these guys? In fact I just read an article about him yesterday where Sickels said he'd rate Lavarnway a "B-minimum, maybe B" if he were rating him today. Well technically he said that in replying to the comments, but you get the idea.
   80. Pingu Posted: June 28, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3864429)
I'd think that Iglesias and Ranaudo would be off the table. Iglesias being overmatched in AAA at his age should in no way be seen as an indictment of his potential, especially given his defensive upside, and the same should go for Raunado's stuff.


When are people going to stop saying this? (not picking on you, I'm actually asking)

Yes, he's young for his levels. But when does it become more likely that we've got Rey Ordonez, and not Omar Vizquel here?
   81. OCD SS Posted: June 28, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3864432)
When he's had more than half a season of PA's against age appropriate competition?
   82. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3864442)
The problem with Iglesias is that it's not a particularly gradual drop from Vizquel to replacement level. I don't know quite how you'd quantify it but I think a guy who hits like Iglesias is projected stops being useful with even a minor decline from that level, almost regardless of his glove. If he's Adam Everett instead of Vizquel he's going to have about a 2-3 year window at best in the bigs as a starter.

What I think I'm trying to say is that a player like Iglesias is either an All Star or replacement level, I don't think there is a lot of in between.
   83. Pingu Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3864449)
Thinking more about Beltran, when was the last position player the Red Sox traded for at the deadline with an expiring contract? The Nomar deal? I'd be more inclined to believe the Red Sox would trade for a RF if there was someone available whow was also signed for next season. It might have been nice to see if Kalish could be a starter next year, now that option is gone. I dont think the org yet believes Reddick is that guy (lets not forget how awful he was very recently).

In RF, they've got at least a decent chance that Drew rebounds and hits at a respectable if not above-leaugue-average clip from here out. They've also got a team that is leading the league in RS/G.

If anything, they'll be in the market for pitching.
   84. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#3864453)
How do you toss Lavarnway in a bucket with all of these guys?
My understanding is that his catching is still very much a work in progress. If he's not a catcher, then he's somewhere between Jeff Bailey and Josh Willingham, more likely Bailey than Willingham. Even SoxProspects says Lavarnway "projects as DH/bat off the bench at the major league level."

If there weren't significant doubt that Lavarnway could catch, he would have been in the Red Sox top ten prospects last year, easily. The fact that he's been rated so lightly points to his defensive deficiencies. Did Sickels say that Lavarnway had made major strides on defense? That's the only thing that I think could justify a B grade - that'd be great news.
   85. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#3864466)
If there weren't significant doubt that Lavarnway could catch, he would have been in the Red Sox top ten prospects last year, easily. The fact that he's been rated so lightly points to his defensive deficiencies. Did Sickels say that Lavarnway had made major strides on defense? That's the only thing that I think could justify a B grade - that'd be great news.


Read the linked article. He's throwing out runners at a good rate, and his passed balls are way down. I don't know that he's improved enough to catch in MLB, but I don't think a Jeff Bailey comparison is really fair. Bailey was already playing positions other than catcher by the time he was in High A ball, and in his age 23 season had a .885 OPS at AA playing mostly first base.

But defense aside, I think you have to bump him up a bit for jumping to AAA and not missing a beat, and even hitting better. Obviously he's on a hot streak, but it's still a good sign, since the early knock on him offensively was slow bat speed that wouldn't translate as he advanced to higher levels.
   86. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#3864472)
Ah, I missed the link. It's certainly better news than worse, but I'm not getting the same impression you did. The numbers Sickels gives are a tiny sample, and all Hazen said was boilerplate. Lavarnway's still only caught 33 of 67 games this year. I'd like to see the Red Sox commit to Lavarnway as a catcher before I commit to him as a prospect.

If Lavarnway now projects to major league catching skills, he's a really great prospect. It looks like people are saying that he's improved (from a really low level) and in a year or two he might project to have major league catching skills.
   87. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3864480)
Thinking more about Beltran, when was the last position player the Red Sox traded for at the deadline with an expiring contract?


Cliff Floyd is the name that came to mind as I read this. The Nomar deal was expiring contract for expiring contract, Floyd is the last "rental" I can think of as a position player.

I'd like to see the Red Sox commit to Lavarnway as a catcher before I commit to him as a prospect.


Part of Lavarnway's lack of catching time has been a function of timing. He was drafted with Federowicz (clearly the superior defender by all accounts) and every step of the way they've had to share catching duties. I'm not saying Lavarnway is a great defender but I think had the Sox not drafted Federowicz he would have had a lot more playing time behind the plate. I think the fact that the Sox have never asked him to play a position other than catcher (besides DH) suggests they ARE committed to him behind the plate.
   88. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3864497)
Part of Lavarnway's lack of catching time has been a function of timing. He was drafted with Federowicz (clearly the superior defender by all accounts) and every step of the way they've had to share catching duties. I'm not saying Lavarnway is a great defender but I think had the Sox not drafted Federowicz he would have had a lot more playing time behind the plate. I think the fact that the Sox have never asked him to play a position other than catcher (besides DH) suggests they ARE committed to him behind the plate.


This.


On another note, Jenks and Morales are being activated today with Atchison and Hottovy heading back to Pawtucket, so that could be a nice bullpen upgrade if both are truly healthy.
   89. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#3864499)
Ah, I missed the link. It's certainly better news than worse, but I'm not getting the same impression you did.


The strongest thing he said was probably in the comments, where he said in response to a question about how he'd rank Lavarnway if he was doing his prospect list today:

B- minimum, maybe B. I like him a lot.

I don’t know where he’d rank among catchers off the top of my head. I’d have to look a bunch of guys, but he would be there somewhere if he does get a Grade B
   90. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3864507)
Cliff Floyd is the name that came to mind as I read this. The Nomar deal was expiring contract for expiring contract, Floyd is the last "rental" I can think of as a position player.


Was Tony Graffanino a deadline deal? That sort of felt like a waiver pickup. He certainly wasn't the impact player that Floyd was, but looking at his numbers, he was better than I remembered. Some scout earned his stripes on that one.

But yeah, it's not something the Sox seem to do much, preferring to pick up random odds n ends on waiver deals. I'm sure they'd do it for the right guy at the right price, though.
   91. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3864509)
Tonight's lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis (R) 3B
5. Darnell McDonald (R) LF
6. Jason Varitek (S) C
7. Mike Cameron (R) RF
8. Marco Scutaro (R) SS
9. Josh Beckett (R) P

Still both McDonald and Cameron in the lineup. Yuck.
   92. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3864522)
It's still just 49 PA for McDonald. He looks like a bad case of Voros' Law. I know that teddy said he hates McDonald's defense, and certainly if McDonald isn't a competent corner OF then he shouldn't be out there, but I think McDonald's glove is just fine in a corner, and so it's absolutely the right call to keep running McDonald out there against lefties.

I can see the case that Cameron's washed up, given his injuries last year. I don't see it with McDonald, especially since the sample is so teensy and his AAA numbers are good.
   93. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#3864530)
Yeah, I wouldn't hate to see Reddick against a guy like Lee. Lee's not the kind of guy who carves up lefties (anymore than he does righties at least) and with the number of strikes he throws I'd like my chances of Reddick to go 3 for 4 while seeing 6 pitches.
   94. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3864533)
Nice call on Graffanino, Sox dealt Chip Ambres for him. I can't think of him without thinking of his Game Two error against he White Sox or the whiner line call the next day that was just "GraffaniNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" It was a much needed chuckle that afternoon.
   95. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#3864545)
I can see the argument for giving McDonald some more ABs since he's had a limited shot and he's a lot of balls well but right at defenders, but he probably shouldn't be batting 5th.

His reads on defense this year have looked better to my eyes than they did last season. If he was still playing defense like he did last year he'd probably not deserve any more shots, but to my eyes he looks pretty good on defense this season.

It seems like Cameron might get DFAed when Crawford comes back (possibly as soon as this weekend in Houston). He'd probably have to show something tonight or on Thursday to keep a spot on this roster.
   96. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#3864553)
If you're committed to the eight guys that are in that lineup, there really is not a good "batting fifth" option. Varitek or maybe Scutaro I suppose but at that point you're kind of...bleh.
   97. Dan Posted: June 28, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#3864560)
I guess that's true. Having Lowrie right now to bat 5th against lefties during the IL games sure would've been nice. I can't see how Youkilis gets anything to hit, other that the fact that Lee is allergic to throwing balls so there should be plenty of pitches in the strike zone.
   98. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: June 28, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3864648)
Basically, I was thinking that a "B" prospect is someone that can legitimately headline a deadline deal for a good MLB player. An "A" prospect can get you a superstar, and a "C" prospect is filler to build out either of those trades.
I don't think the recent history of deadline deals bears this out. The Oswalt deal was headlined by Anthony Gose. The Victor Martinez deal was headlined by Masterson. The first Cliff Lee deadline deal was headlined by I guess Carlos Carrasco (though the second was quite a bit better). Matt Holliday was traded for Brett Wallace. Superstars all, and other than Smoak, they didn't bring back anything better than a B prospect.
I think "big steps forward" is a very generous take as well. Middlebrooks has turned a few doubles into homers, but he's the same basic hitter with way too many Ks
I think you're too low on Middlebrooks. There'a huge difference between a 770 OPS in high A and 812 in AA. Doing it in A ball at 21 makes you interesting; doing it in AA at 22 makes you a future regular. The Ks are relatively high, but 25% isn't a fatal flaw; he's been able to hit just fine with it so far. This goes for Jacobs and Coyle too -- when did everyone start freaking out about above-average k rates for toolsy prospects who are hitting well at age appropriate levels? Combined with a plus glove at third, and I think you're looking at a B/B+ prospect.

As nice a bounceback season as Beltran has had, he's essentially been worth his salary -- about $9M so far for 2.4 WAR. He also comes with significant injury risk. I'd be very surprised if he brought back a package better than Middlebrooks+.
   99. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: June 28, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#3864711)
"Big steps forward" was a little optimistic for some of those guys, but I don't think it's controversial to say Middlebrooks, Brentz, Jacobs, Coyle, Hassan, Bogaerts, Head, Wilson, Navarro, and Weiland are all more valuable now than they were before the season.
   100. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 28, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#3864722)
There'a huge difference between a 770 OPS in high A and 812 in AA. Doing it in A ball at 21 makes you interesting; doing it in AA at 22 makes you a future regular.
I don't think that's true. I went back and looked at the Eastern League from 1995-2003 for players who put up an OPS 775-875 at age 22.

2003: David Espinosa, Nate McLouth
2002: Coco Crisp, Prentice Redman
2001: Michael Restovich, Tony Alvarez
2000: Ty Wigginton, Nick Leach
1999: Craig Wilson, Donny Leon, Nate Rolison
1998: Scott Hunter, Marco Scutaro, Jerry Hairston
1997: Chris Ashby, Rudy Gomez, David Lamb
1996: Jermaine Johnson
1995: Pat Bryant, Todd Walker

The regulars there are McLouth, Crisp, Wigginton, Wilson, Scutaro, Hairston, and Walker - 7 out of 20, and no stars in the bunch. I don't think it's all that impressive to put up merely good numbers at a reasonably young age.

On strikeouts, the problem is a combination of (a) that the player is probably rocking an unsustainable BABIP (Middlebrooks .360, Jacobs .420) or (b) that players tend to strike out a lot more in the majors if they strike out a lot in the minors. I have Middlebrooks' MLE at 252/287/366, so he's quite a long way still from being a major leaguer.
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