Friday, November 27, 2009
Here in the sober light of day, I'm much more accepting of the Alex Gonzalez move. It IS only a one year deal plus an option and his defense should save the pitching staff some outs. He projects as a 5/6 UZR fielder, which is good. Not too much better than Scutaro was for the bulk of the year, but better none the less. The one thing people are failing to remind me is where — especially after a Lyle Overbay trade — the rest of the defense is coming from. With an epic trifecta of defense fail in the outfield & the legend that is EE currently slotted in a third base; we're asking a lot of Gonzalez and Aaron Hill. If sparing the arms is the plan a lot of defense work needs to be done (coughMikeCameroncough).
One little click of a button threw cold water on my Mike McCoy hopes and dreams. They were exactly dreams of McCoy, but dreams of an white knight swooping in and stealing our hearts. It didn't HAVE to be McCoy, he was just the proxy. We all like to droll over his minor league line (.310/.404/.403/.807) but a sobering click on the Major League Equivalent button on minorleaguesplits.com and you see this ugliness: .252/.328/.320/.648. Wow. Not quite the same when you de-PCL that shit.
But Mike McCoy is the unknown commodity, that which modern fans cling to with incredible ferocity. Check out the prospect porn that runs rampantly through the majors right now. We in Toronto were guilty of it just last year. Adam Lind? Cast him out. I wrote a little more than 365 days ago that, if he was available as rumoured, the Jays should move heaven and Earth to acquire Billy Butler. At the time I said "I wasn't married to the idea of Adam Lind", especially with huge stud Travis Snider ready for his closeup. Then 2009 happened. Nobody went anywhere but Adam Lind and Billy Butler raked. Now Travis Snider is the one surrounded by questions, which is a shame because the answer to those questions is right there: Billy Butler.
Like Snider, Butler was a bad body player with a can't miss bat. Like Snider, Butler crushed all minor league competition and stormed through the system. Like Snider, Butler burst on the big league scene with a promising cameo, showing patience and pop. Like Snider, Butler struggled through his first full season, raising questions about his makeup and attitude.
Butler came into 2009 with something to prove, and proof is what he offered. 51 doubles, 21 home runs, .369 wOBA. A slightly better approach, one can only assume an increase in maturity, a more robust BABIP and off he went. Good news for Travis Snider and Travis Snider fans because, well, Travis Snider is WAY better than Billy Butler.
I don't need to remind you of his minor league numbers, they're insane. Even more insane when you realize he's younger than Butler. Almost all of Snider's numbers follow Butler's progression, with one year less seasoning. This doesn't mean we should go ahead and spot Snider 50 doubles and 20 tots now, but there is hope. There is a lot of hope because there is plenty of ability.
AA and the brass are making All The Right noises now with regard to Snider's future. "He has to play his way onto this team" they say, even though he has next to nothing left to prove in the minors (especially the PCL minors.) But we can all rest assured that the precedent for a guy just like Snider to bounce back and figure it out in year three exists. He's going to be just fine.
Image apparently courtesy of Porters Tahoe.