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Name some players that weren't good in the minors, but took off once promoted?

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  • Name some players that weren't good in the minors, but took off once promoted?

    Hey, I was wondering if anyone could list off some players that weren't that good in the minors, but were promoted based on need and then took off the moment they hit the majors? It seems like it'd take quite a bit of searching to actually find the players, but maybe some of you know of some players off the top of your head.

  • #2
    I'm gonna guess they never thought Geogre Brett was going to be a player to challenge .400 or win 3 battling crowns.

    He was an OK batter in the Minors...
    Code:
                                                                                              
    Year    Age       Tm   Lg Lev Aff   G   PA   AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    1971     18 Billings PION  Rk KCR       68     258  75  8  5         5      .291      .419
    1972     19  SanJose CALL   A KCR 117  484  431 66 118 13  5 10  68 53 .274 .353 .397 .750
    1973     20    Omaha   AA AAA KCR      117     405 115 16  4         8      .284      .402
    1974     21    Omaha   AA AAA KCR  16   70   64  9  17  2  0  2  14  6 .266 .329 .391 .719
    4 Seasons                         318 1217 1158 75 325 39 14 25  82 59 .281 .316 .403 .719
    AAA (2 seasons)               AAA 133  475  469  9 132 18  4 10  14  6 .281 .291 .401 .691
    A (1 season)                    A 117  484  431 66 118 13  5 10  68 53 .274 .353 .397 .750
    Rk (1 season)                  Rk  68  258     258  75  8  5         5 .291 .291 .419 .709

    Comment


    • #3
      Roberto Clemente
      Code:
                                                                                                                       
      Year   Age       Tm Lg Lev Aff  G  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
                                                                                                                       
      1954    19 Montreal IL AAA BRO 87 155 148 27 38  5  3  2  12     1  6 17 .257 .286 .372 .657     55   0  1      0
      1 Season                       87 155 148 27 38  5  3  2  12     1  6 17 .257 .286 .372 .657     55   0  1      0

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think we can just look at stats without any context and decide on the quality of a hitter. Yes, Brett's minor league stats are pedestrian on the surface but how scouts viewed his baseball tools is also an important factor. Brett was always young for his leagues. It seems plausible that the Royals thought highly of him. In the past few years I've spent quite a bit of time reading scouting reports by baseball scouts and learning the methodology of scouting. Often scouts will rate a player highly even if his stats are mediocre especially when a player is young for his league and/or he plays in a pitching dominated league. To baseball scouts age and "tools" are the major factors in "projecting" what kind of major leaguer a young prospect will be. I suspect Brett displayed great baseball tools in the minors despite his average minor league stats. Brett reached AAA at age 20. That is very young for AAA. Brett debuted in the majors later that same year (1973). Reaching the majors at age 20 is very uncommon even today. So the Royals must have seen something in Brett to promote him to the majors at such a young age. Brett struggled in the first part of the 1974 season and sought help from Charlie Lau. Lau is credited in helping Brett become an elite major league hitter.

        A side story. In 1990 I worked during the summer in college cleaning dorm rooms. My supervisor played against George Brett many times in high school. He told me that Brett could really rake in high school and he was scouted heavily.
        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 06-08-2012, 05:48 PM.
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
          I don't think we can just look at stats without any context and decide on the quality of a hitter. Yes, Brett's minor league stats are pedestrian on the surface but how scouts viewed his baseball tools is also an important factor.
          Looking at minor league stats are further complicated by the fact that players move up and down levels quite often. And looking at fielding stats... forget about it...

          But I've been looking at other batters of Brett's ilk, and it's hard to find one who DIDN'T hit .300 in the minors at least once. I'm sure the scouts saw something in Brett, but you have to admit that it's more than fair to say he "took off" once in the majors.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mickey Lolich sure wasn't much as a minor league pitcher... his rates for H/9 and BB/9 were 8.0, and 6.8. He had an ERA of 5.10 in his first year in AAA, aged 22.

            Comment


            • #7
              how can they get to the majors if they weren't good in the minors?

              Comment


              • #8
                Tom Glavine's (pre-MLB) AA + AAA ERA was higher than his MLB ERA, despite pitching in a high-offensive environment in his MLB career in comparison. And I bet at some point in about 1988 or so, Glavine started second-guessing his choice to play baseball instead of the LA Kings.
                1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                Comment


                • #9
                  They tried to hide Clemente by playing him infrequently and other sabotage efforts check out his games played and plate appearances

                  it didnt work

                  Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                  Roberto Clemente
                  Code:
                                                                                                                                   
                  Year   Age       Tm Lg Lev Aff  G  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
                                                                                                                                   
                  1954    19 Montreal IL AAA BRO 87 155 148 27 38  5  3  2  12     1  6 17 .257 .286 .372 .657     55   0  1      0
                  1 Season                       87 155 148 27 38  5  3  2  12     1  6 17 .257 .286 .372 .657     55   0  1      0
                  1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                  2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                  3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                    I don't think we can just look at stats without any context and decide on the quality of a hitter. Yes, Brett's minor league stats are pedestrian on the surface but how scouts viewed his baseball tools is also an important factor. Brett was always young for his leagues. It seems plausible that the Royals thought highly of him. In the past few years I've spent quite a bit of time reading scouting reports by baseball scouts and learning the methodology of scouting. Often scouts will rate a player highly even if his stats are mediocre especially when a player is young for his league and/or he plays in a pitching dominated league. To baseball scouts age and "tools" are the major factors in "projecting" what kind of major leaguer a young prospect will be. I suspect Brett displayed great baseball tools in the minors despite his average minor league stats. Brett reached AAA at age 20. That is very young for AAA. Brett debuted in the majors later that same year (1973). Reaching the majors at age 20 is very uncommon even today. So the Royals must have seen something in Brett to promote him to the majors at such a young age. Brett struggled in the first part of the 1974 season and sought help from Charlie Lau. Lau is credited in helping Brett become an elite major league hitter.

                    A side story. In 1990 I worked during the summer in college cleaning dorm rooms. My supervisor played against George Brett many times in high school. He told me that Brett could really rake in high school and he was scouted heavily.

                    When Brett hit the minors at age 18, my recall from what I've read is that they really wanted to see if he could be a shortstop, and he might have even pitched his senior year in HS too, and I seem to recall reading that he was an all-state football wide receiver, so you have a shortstop/pitcher/wide receiver fresh out of highschool stepping into the minors and trying to figure out just what his baseball calling was. I also notice from the stats that his minor league power looked pretty good. He then went to the majors and from '74-'76 and they basically trained him to keep the ball out of the air. KC's turf turned grounders into hits and triples, and his home/road splits were radical in '76, as well and '77-'79 and '81. I mean his road numbers are not really all star level but that's 'cause the Royals worked on launching grounders through the turf. From '82-'93 he hit the ball in the air more and actually hit better on the road than at home. Probably his early road numbers would have been better if the Royals didn't practice to use the turf to their advantage.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                      Looking at minor league stats are further complicated by the fact that players move up and down levels quite often. And looking at fielding stats... forget about it...

                      But I've been looking at other batters of Brett's ilk, and it's hard to find one who DIDN'T hit .300 in the minors at least once. I'm sure the scouts saw something in Brett, but you have to admit that it's more than fair to say he "took off" once in the majors.


                      Again, his road numbers were not great through '79 and he may have benefitted from learning how to use the turf and his speed. When he lost some speed and gained some power he went to hitting it in the air more and proved he could hit on the road with a typical approach, but look at his '76 or '79 splits.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was also going to mention Wade Boggs who I seem to remember hit only in the low 300s, like .305, .312, etc in the minors and then suddenly in '82/'83 was going .349 and .361. He also learned how to use his ballpark. A lot of his opposite field "mis-hits" turned into green monster doubles.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Royals lit lots of doubles during their glory years. The home park was built for doubles and triples. Here is their rank in doubles from 1975-85,

                          1975-2nd
                          1976- 1st
                          1977- 1st
                          1978- 1st
                          1979- 4th
                          1980- 3rd
                          1981- 3rd
                          1982- 1st
                          1983- 6th
                          1984- 3rd
                          1985- 6th

                          Just glancing at Brett's 1978 splits he hit an incredible 31 doubles in just 67 home games. He hit 14 doubles in 61 road games.
                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow. Clemente only played ONE season in the minors before getting called up? The must have REALLY needed him.
                            Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                            Roberto Clemente
                            Code:
                                                                                                                                             
                            Year   Age       Tm Lg Lev Aff  G  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
                                                                                                                                             
                            1954    19 Montreal IL AAA BRO 87 155 148 27 38  5  3  2  12     1  6 17 .257 .286 .372 .657     55   0  1      0
                            1 Season                       87 155 148 27 38  5  3  2  12     1  6 17 .257 .286 .372 .657     55   0  1      0

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cap78 View Post
                              how can they get to the majors if they weren't good in the minors?
                              Was that a serious question or were you making a joke?

                              Comment

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