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Youth Phenoms

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  • #46
    Originally posted by marklaker View Post
    Purely anecdotal. There are plenty of kids who reach an early physical maturity yet continue to refine their skills to reach greater heights. Let’s not get carried away and start creating absolutes by focusing on the exceptional cases.
    Agreed. Size, speed, strength, motor - all can be developed by all kids. The degree to which they do is dependent on the kid's willingness to sacrifice and work along with how they are treated by puberty.

    The kids that I've personally seen go off the most physically were bigger, softer kids that all of a sudden are born again hard. Especially these days. Kids are penalized going through youth sports for being big and strong. Some of them get a little chip on their shoulder and when HS comes around coach isn't the parent of that 85 pound 12 y/o teammate. They see the kid in a new light. They'd like to throw the kid in the weight room, lock the door behind them, and let's see if we may have a future beast here.
    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by shake-n-bake View Post
      Sounds like he's filling the scapegoat role vacated by Terry Francona. 2011 was the best season of his career - .338 / 27 / 119 / .957 OPS (silly good), led MLB in hits, #2 in AVG., played in 159 games. In the days where players are notorious for having big contract years and laying an egg for their new team that gives them a monster contract......I'd say Boston should be in love with this guy.

      Maybe you've got him confused with Carl Crawford?
      1. AGonz had an abnormally high BABIP last year (even for him .380; .322 career).

      Looking at AGonz stats, his BB% is way down. His out of zone swing % is up, as is his out of zone contact %. His HR per FB% is also down. If I was looking at it and guessing at what's going on, I'd say he's expanding his zone trying to do too much ... likely because of the injuries to Ells and Crawford, and Pedroia struggling and Youk too.

      IMO, it's not the pressure of the city, media, fans, etc. If he's succumbing to pressure, it's likely the pressure of feeling like he's the "big dog" and he has to do more, now that everyone else is doing less ... and he's stepping outside of what has made his successful in the past.

      2. Is anyone noticing that Dustin Pedroia is having a down year too?

      I never buy into the "can't handle the pressure of ... NYY/BOS" stuff, because it's always the conclusion AFTER the fact ... and IMO it's almost never accurate. It's what writers like Skip Bayless say, "The other team wanted it more." Really? How do you know that? What does that mean?

      I don;t think many people understand "small sample" ... especially GM's that give guys big contracts due to great performance over small sample (Hey Look, It's Gary Matthews Jr).

      Adam Dunn was a metronome of consistency in regards to HR and BB. He was traded to the CWS and had one of the worst years any hitter has ever had. Clearly he can't handle the pressure of the Windy City or the South Side ... oh wait, he's back to performing at his career rates this year.

      The whole "pressure" stuff is bunk, in general.

      I always like the Reggie Jackson quote, "I didn't come to NY to be a star; I brought my star with me."
      Last edited by CircleChange11; 07-05-2012, 02:19 PM.

      Comment


      • #48
        Wow, the guy hits 0.338 last year with 27 home runs and 117 RBIs, gets off to a slow start this year (still at 0.275) and the Red Sox fans are ready to trade him? If you would like to trade him to my Dodgers, happy to take him off your hands.
        The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

        Comment


        • #49
          Congrats to Papi, 400 dingers. He's having a season. That division is about as good as I've ever seen one division in baseball.
          There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by JJA View Post
            Wow, the guy hits 0.338 last year with 27 home runs and 117 RBIs, gets off to a slow start this year (still at 0.275) and the Red Sox fans are ready to trade him? If you would like to trade him to my Dodgers, happy to take him off your hands.
            Last years numbers were about 20 homers and 80 rbi's at the all-star break. He was in single digits in RBI's in September. This year he's shown very little power. He leads MLB in runners left on base.** The man is a small town choke. He can't handle the pressure of the bright lights and people caring whether the team wins or loses. We don't want to hear it was God's will he didn't hit in the clutch in a pennant race. He actually said it.

            ** Aside from the total number of LOB's he's driven in only 25% of the runners on base when he's been at bat.
            Last edited by tg643; 07-05-2012, 03:28 PM.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by tg643 View Post
              Last years numbers were about 20 homers and 80 rbi's at the all-star break. He was in single digits in RBI's in September. This year he's shown very little power. He leads MLB in runners left on base.** The man is a small town choke. He can't handle the pressure of the bright lights and people caring whether the team wins or loses. We don't want to hear it was God's will he didn't hit in the clutch in a pennant race. He actually said it.

              ** Aside from the total number of LOB's he's driven in only 25% of the runners on base when he's been at bat.
              wOBA is the single best metric for MLB hitters.

              Gonzalez: .315
              Pedroia: .317

              Now, we can look at small samples, or we can conclude that Middlebrooks, Nava, and Ross are actually better hitters than the 2 perennial all-Stars.

              I recall serious discussions regarding breaking up the Miami Heat if they lost game 6 to Boston. Wow, how discussions change.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                Last years numbers were about 20 homers and 80 rbi's at the all-star break. He was in single digits in RBI's in September. This year he's shown very little power. He leads MLB in runners left on base.** The man is a small town choke. He can't handle the pressure of the bright lights and people caring whether the team wins or loses. We don't want to hear it was God's will he didn't hit in the clutch in a pennant race. He actually said it.

                ** Aside from the total number of LOB's he's driven in only 25% of the runners on base when he's been at bat.
                He certainly was hot the first half last year. I'm not sure why he'd even say that unless it was to shoulder blame and deflect it away from teammates. He was 16th in all of MLB in average post All Star break. He hit over .300 in September. Far from "choke" performance. Guy helped the ball club down the stretch last year....980+ OPS in September - among the best in MLB. I don't think either he, or Francona, or the beer and chicken are to blame for last season's (call it what you will). It's baseball. Last year was historic....just not for the BoSox. That half hour or so when Baltimore did what it did and Longoria hooks one around the foul pole in extras --- and even before that when the Rays got the tying runs --- that all could have gone the other way and just as easily you could be talking about how Adrian Gonzales got jobbed by not winning the MVP award last year.

                Sure he's off to a non-superstar start this year, but through June is hardly a protracted slump in baseball terms. All in all his time there has been very productive.
                There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by shake-n-bake View Post
                  He certainly was hot the first half last year. I'm not sure why he'd even say that unless it was to shoulder blame and deflect it away from teammates. He was 16th in all of MLB in average post All Star break. He hit over .300 in September. Far from "choke" performance. Guy helped the ball club down the stretch last year....980+ OPS in September - among the best in MLB. I don't think either he, or Francona, or the beer and chicken are to blame for last season's (call it what you will). It's baseball. Last year was historic....just not for the BoSox. That half hour or so when Baltimore did what it did and Longoria hooks one around the foul pole in extras --- and even before that when the Rays got the tying runs --- that all could have gone the other way and just as easily you could be talking about how Adrian Gonzales got jobbed by not winning the MVP award last year.

                  Sure he's off to a non-superstar start this year, but through June is hardly a protracted slump in baseball terms. All in all his time there has been very productive.
                  Aside from not driving in runs the fans don't like his indifferent attitude. He's being compared to JD Drew. That's when you know it's time for him to start looking around corners for tar and feathers. And if Crawford doesn't perform when he returns it will be worse. He stunk last yeari n his first attempt to play under the bright lights. Big deal the Rays contended. No one cared. No pressure. Also, he waited until February to have surgery he could have had in November.

                  Cubs fans think Epstein is the Messiah and will bring them a championship. In Boston we know he left five minutes ahead of the posse. His big name trades and free agent signings for the most part have been abysmal. He was good at picking up the loose ends and building the farm system. His judgement on big contract players is awful.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                    Aside from not driving in runs the fans don't like his indifferent attitude. He's being compared to JD Drew.
                    That's possible. I know that personality type doesn't play well in MLB, either with fans or the front office. Baseball fans/people are looking for the guy that will slit their grandmother's throat to win. Some guys aren't wired like that ... and it occasionally gets them a "reputation", whether it be fair or not.

                    Cubs fans think Epstein is the Messiah and will bring them a championship. In Boston we know he left five minutes ahead of the posse. His big name trades and free agent signings for the most part have been abysmal. He was good at picking up the loose ends and building the farm system. His judgement on big contract players is awful.
                    That's been my opinion on Epstein as well. BOS surged ahead by building from within (for the most part) with Youk, Laser Show, Ells, etc. But the free agent signing, Dice-K, Lackey, Crawford, etc have shown a weakness. In TB, much of Crawford's value was his defense and SB (he's a low walk speedster, which is about as anti-sabermetric as it gets). His defensive value is drastically reduced by playing in front of the monster ... and BOS isn't really a SB type team.

                    IMO, it's too early to call it on AGonz. He's a lefty that walks a lot and hits for pop with an "oppo" swing, which should play well in Fenway. It's basically lefties paradise, where you can pull it down the short line, or punch it off the monster. By looking at his BB rates and outside of zone swing/contact %, I'd say he was "trying too hard", rather than not trying hard enough ... but I don;t know him or what goes on in the dugout.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Too bad. I agree that his game should be well suited to Fenway. I like the Red Sox, or maybe I'm such a Yankee hater. Big fan of Ellsbury though - Oregon State product. Led them to back to back national championships. Think about that for a second. Back to back national championships for a baseball school from Corvallis, Oregon. Are you kidding me? They do have some coaching there. Pat Casey could be governor, so long as Mike Reilly didn't run against him. As much as it'd kill me to send my kid there, I respect the coaching immensely and would be happy to give them my kid for a few years.
                      There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Without Theo Epstein there might not have been a 2004 or a 2008 for you guys...

                        Good Theo Moves:
                        - David Ortiz, best move, EVER.
                        - Terry Fancona
                        - Kevin Millar
                        - Curt Schilling
                        - Josh Beckett
                        - Mike Lowell
                        - Letting Pedro Martinez walk
                        - Trading away Nomar Garciaparra
                        - Orlando Cabrera
                        - Doug Mientkiewicz
                        - Bill Mueller
                        - Hideki Okajima
                        - Mike Timlin
                        - Keith Foulke
                        - Dave Roberts
                        - Coco Crisp
                        - Jason Bay
                        - Victor Martinez
                        - Adrian Beltre
                        - Alfredo Aceves

                        I don't know yet Theo moves:
                        - Daisuke Matsuzaka
                        - Carl Crawford
                        - Adrian Gonzalez

                        Bad Theo moves:
                        - Not resigning Jason Bay
                        - Julio Lugo
                        - Matt Clement
                        - John Lackey
                        - J.D. Drew
                        - Edgar Renteria
                        - Mike Cameron
                        - Ramiro Mendoza
                        - David Murphy and two minor leaguers to Texas for Eric Gagne
                        - Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez for Jeff Suppan
                        - Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena
                        I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Duplicate post...
                          I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                            Cubs fans think Epstein is the Messiah and will bring them a championship. In Boston we know he left five minutes ahead of the posse. His big name trades and free agent signings for the most part have been abysmal. He was good at picking up the loose ends and building the farm system. His judgement on big contract players is awful.
                            Since I am a diehard Cub fan and was born that way ...... Epstein is not the messiah. He's the anti-Jim Hendry. There's a big difference. What he brings to the table is organizational improvement in the form of consistency of communication/teaching/philosophy throughout the organization from the lowest level affiliated team through AAA right on up to Wrigley. Fans want a team that is in the hunt for the playoffs year in and year out. They've not had that for many decades. Hendry's teams were completely hit or miss, he let a mediocre at best pitcher threaten Steve Stone (broadcaster) and Hendry sided with the player IIRC, long-term and expensive contracts well above what the market was going to pay for some players (Soriano, etc.) and he traded away lots of farm system talent and younger players who have stayed up in MLB for other teams.
                            Last edited by The Uncoach; 07-06-2012, 10:04 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                              Without Theo Epstein there might not have been a 2004 or a 2008 for you guys...


                              Oh, let's face it 04 BOS was 1 loss away from being one of the biggest disappointing Red Sox teams in recent memory.

                              Seriously, if they get swept by NYY in that series, then we're probably talking about them the same way we'd be talking about the Miami Heat had they lost G6 and the series to the Celtics.

                              They won 8 straight games and the title. Great story, though.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                                Without Theo Epstein there might not have been a 2004 or a 2008 for you guys...

                                Good Theo Moves:
                                - David Ortiz, best move, EVER.
                                - Terry Fancona
                                - Kevin Millar
                                - Curt Schilling
                                - Josh Beckett
                                - Mike Lowell
                                - Letting Pedro Martinez walk
                                - Trading away Nomar Garciaparra
                                - Orlando Cabrera
                                - Doug Mientkiewicz
                                - Bill Mueller
                                - Hideki Okajima
                                - Mike Timlin
                                - Keith Foulke
                                - Dave Roberts
                                - Coco Crisp
                                - Jason Bay
                                - Victor Martinez
                                - Adrian Beltre
                                - Alfredo Aceves

                                I don't know yet Theo moves:
                                - Daisuke Matsuzaka
                                - Carl Crawford
                                - Adrian Gonzalez

                                Bad Theo moves:
                                - Not resigning Jason Bay
                                - Julio Lugo
                                - Matt Clement
                                - John Lackey
                                - J.D. Drew
                                - Edgar Renteria
                                - Mike Cameron
                                - Ramiro Mendoza
                                - David Murphy and two minor leaguers to Texas for Eric Gagne
                                - Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez for Jeff Suppan
                                - Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena
                                Theo did a good job of addding some pieces. He also didn't have full control at that time. Lucchino had a lot of power. It's why Epstein left for a year. But the guy has no ability to evaluate and had out big money for free agents.

                                Comment

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