Triunfel

Dave · August 4, 2008 at 8:32 am · Filed Under Mariners 

One of that I just haven’t had the time to maintain this year (thanks to my impending marriage and all) is the Future Forty, so I know the minor league coverage around here has been a bit sparse. Sorry about that.

But I still wanted to highlight Carlos Triunfel’s resurgence for those who hadn’t noticed. The much hyped 18 year old struggled badly early on in the season with performance, injuries, and a suspension for behavioral issues. Not being able to hit in High Desert was a black mark against him, and while everyone agreed that he was still talented, the frustration was beginning to build. His total lack of power didn’t help when people would question his long term value, either, as he didn’t hit his first professional home run until June.

But July and now August have brought new life to Triunfel, who is redefining the phrase on fire. After a .154/.208/.246 month of June (ugh), he hit .371/.405/.586 in July, including launching six home runs. He’d hit one in his entire career heading into July before launching six in a month.

He hasn’t slowed down in August either, going 5 for 13 with a double and a triple since the calendar flipped. And, just to put a cherry on top, he’s 15 for 17 in stolen bases since July 1st and running like crazy. Since the Cal League returned from their all-star break, Triunfel is hitting .361/.405/.563 with 16 extra base hits, 9 walks, 11 strikeouts, and 17 stolen bases in 144 at-bats.

Even after his massive problems early on, his season line is now up to .286/.334/.414. Yes, High Desert is a hitters paradise in a hitters league, and one month of sustained greatness doesn’t mean that he’s solved his consistency problems, but in case you were wondering when he was going to show the talent we’ve been talking about for a while here, well, he is now. Still just 18, he’s adding strength to his body and learning how to do more than just make contact. The addition of power to his already terrific contact rates show just why we think he can be an offensive force in the big leagues.

In a season where few things have gone right, Carlos Triunfel is blossoming as a bright spot.

Comments

59 Responses to “Triunfel”

  1. msb on August 4th, 2008 9:04 am

    were the “behavioral issues” a result of the struggling?

    thanks to my impending marriage and all

    do we need a countdown clock?

  2. Steve T on August 4th, 2008 9:30 am

    Clearly we need to trade him for Carlos Delgado right away. We have a huge hole at first base!

  3. casey on August 4th, 2008 9:32 am

    sorry tried this at the end of the last thread and will repeat here. Any updates on the M’s signing Josh Fields. Baseball America says not signed – first they pick a reliever with #1 pick because he is ready to contribute soon (unfortunately M’s aren’t ready to compete soon) and then they don’t appear to have him signed. After trading the cream from the farm to the O’s we need what all the talent we can get. Cool re Triunfel though – hadn’t been watching that.

  4. rcc on August 4th, 2008 9:33 am

    So which over the hill gritty veteran will the M’s trade Triunfel for, or will the M’s throw in a few more prospects just to make any trade even?

  5. TumwaterMike on August 4th, 2008 9:42 am

    I like your analysis on Triunfel. Can we get more on our minor leaguers? With the M’s season in the crapper I look forward to seeing how our minor league teams and players are doing.

    I really think the future is bright. If we can get a GM in here who is wise enough not to get rid of our young players we will be doing OK in a couple of years.

  6. crazyray7391 on August 4th, 2008 9:45 am

    rcc said:

    So which over the hill gritty veteran will the M’s trade Triunfel for, or will the M’s throw in a few more prospects just to make any trade even?

    I heard the White Sox have a new CF that the M’s may be looking at.

  7. cdowley on August 4th, 2008 9:47 am

    3 –

    No, Fields has not been signed yet. Supposedly the contract is “very, very close”, but I guess Fields doesn’t feel like he’s quite ready to sign just yet.

  8. gwangung on August 4th, 2008 9:48 am

    I really think the future is bright. If we can get a GM in here who is wise enough not to get rid of our young players we will be doing OK in a couple of years.

    Actually, I think a GM would have to make more substantial tweaks. The whole program of player development seems to be in need of revision How many players have the Ms really developed over the past decade? And how many of those that have been home-grown are fundamentally sound? There may be another flip side to the over-aggressive promotion of minor leaguers in that some may lack proper foundations for their game—seems to me that trying to teach plate discipline, fielding fundamentals, etc. at the major league level is the wrong place to do so.

  9. TumwaterMike on August 4th, 2008 10:09 am

    By the future being bright, I meant about 2010-2011. The really successful teams are bringing up a couple of young players every year and supplementing them with a free agent. Look at the Angels, with Kendrick, Naploi, Mathis, etc. Even the Red Sox with Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lowrie, Buchholz etc.

    I think that is the formula for winning. Nurture your young and supplement them with free agent veterans. We don’t have to push them up. Get good coaching at the lower levels of development and then reap the rewards 3 or 4 years later and have them for years to come. It seems to me the way to go.

  10. TumwaterMike on August 4th, 2008 10:10 am

    And one more thing—ESTABLISH AN IDENTITY. (other then being dumbfounded and confused).

  11. casey on August 4th, 2008 10:39 am

    Is our top 5 something like
    1. Triunfel
    2. Fields if we sign him
    3. Saunders
    4. Raben
    5. Halman

    not a lot of help here until 3 years out or so. Like how the Pirates added a bunch of other team’s top 5 guys to broaden their talent pool.

  12. Dave on August 4th, 2008 10:42 am

    Neither Fields or Raben are in the top five right now.

  13. casey on August 4th, 2008 10:48 am

    forgot Aumont!

  14. CaptainPoopy on August 4th, 2008 10:50 am

    11 –

    The way it stands LaHair is the king now!

    /sarcasm

  15. Joe C on August 4th, 2008 10:51 am

    Raben might not be in the top five – but he looked awesome when I saw him. He’ll be there soon enough.

  16. Jim Thomsen on August 4th, 2008 10:57 am

    Dave, what’s your latest take on Tui? Too tweener-ish for the bigs? Or is he still substantively developing?

  17. robbbbbb on August 4th, 2008 11:00 am

    I miss the Future Forty. More than anything else, I thought that your coverage of the Mariner minor league system was something I couldn’t find anywhere else.

    But I understand, believe me. I got just about three years ago, and I understand how your priorities can change. In a good way.

  18. Dave on August 4th, 2008 11:05 am

    I’m hoping to unveil a new Future Forty next week. Of course, I was hoping to unveil one back in April, too, so I’m not making any promises.

  19. SDRE on August 4th, 2008 11:19 am

    Since I live in the area, I had the pleasure of seeing Triunfel a few weeks back. He didn’t disappoint. The ball defiantly jumps off his bat. Botched a few balls in the field to where I also agree with many that SS won’t be is long-term position.

    Looking forward to seeing Triunfel along with Adam Moore, Greg Halman, Michael Saunders, Michael Pineda, Phillippe Aumont, Juan Ramirez, Mario Martinez and Dennis Raben in a M’s uniform in a couple of years.

    Also came away from the game impressed by Kuo Hui Lo. Any thoughts on him?

    With West Tenn making the playoffs, do you think the clock is running out on promoting Triunfel to AA?

  20. Jim Thomsen on August 4th, 2008 11:30 am

    It would be really sad if the way were blocked for Triunfel to get some AA playing time this year.

    The West Tennessee roster is weirdly loaded with old players. Who are Mark Kiger (28), Shawn Garrett (29), Ronald Prettyman (27) and Marshall Hubbard (26) to keep a good prospect down?

  21. Gomez on August 4th, 2008 11:46 am

    One observation that firsthand observers have recounted about Triunfel is that previously, he was beating the ball into the ground and running out grounders. But over the last few weeks, he’s been driving the ball into the outfield, and the improvement in his numbers has naturally followed.

    It would be really sad if the way were blocked for Triunfel to get some AA playing time this year.

    The West Tennessee roster is weirdly loaded with old players. Who are Mark Kiger (28), Shawn Garrett (29), Ronald Prettyman (27) and Marshall Hubbard (26) to keep a good prospect down?

    I don’t see a problem with letting Triunfel ride out the rest of the minor league season (which at this point is only about a month) in High Desert. Look on the bright side: After a lot of struggles over the last couple years, letting Triunfel get comfortable with newly developed skills against familiar competition for one final month isn’t a bad idea.

    As for the elders in West Tenn, they’re simply there to round out the roster, keep their respective teams competitive (for attendance’s sake) and take some pressure off the other prospects (while maybe helping them learn a thing or two when applicable). Even in the unlikely event they hang around for next season… if Triunfel’s ready to play the hot corner or any other fitting position at AA in 2009, the M’s will move veterans out of the way if need be. They are there until they don’t need to be there anymore.

  22. smb on August 4th, 2008 11:50 am

    Marriage–where the Future 40 goes to die. I hope it looks nice in a glass jar on the mantle!!

    (I kid, I kid).

    Sounds like the signed Triunfel card I keep in the center console in my car is finally starting to generate some of that vaunted mojo the organization is always talking about…

  23. marc w on August 4th, 2008 11:53 am

    Some of those West. Tenn. vets aren’t actually there anymore. Garrett’s in Tacoma and Prettyman’s in HD.
    I think it’s fine for Triunfel to stay where he is. I think the M’s aggressive promotion policies have left the impression that whenever a guy has a hot month or two, he needs to move up. If he’s working well with the hitting instructor (Eddie Menchaca), why mess with it just to get him a week or two in AA?

    Any concerns that his newfound power seems to appear only at home? He’s got a home OPS of .844 compared to a road OPS of .630. The SLG% at home is .490, versus .321 on the road. I’m really happy that he’s hitting HRs now, but given where he plays, I’d rather see him rack up tons of line drives. And, curiously, his LD% has actually dropped in July/August as compared to April-June.

  24. eponymous coward on August 4th, 2008 12:02 pm

    The M’s haven’t traded Felix, and they aren’t trading Truinfel. There’s a difference between overvaluing veterans and being clueless on replacement-level talent, and being completely clueless as to ANY sense of player value.

    The problem I see right now is that AA and AAA aren’t flush with a lot of talent, especially in the middle infield, where we desperately need some upgrades (coughYunicough), the OF desperately needs more juice (and Safeco is just a poor fit for Wlad- there really isn’t a worse organization for him to be in right now in terms of his potential value. I very much see the org giving up on him if he struggles again, and him going on to a decent career in a better park for a RHB), and there’s boulder-sized obstacles in the rotation (the Trifecta of Mediocre Overpaid Pitchers) and C (Johjima’s really execrable contract) that need to be cleared away so we can give some spots to kids.

    The problems aren’t insoluable. It’s just an open question how many of them can be fixed from our minor league system without lots of trades and creative moves, and one has to wonder how willing upper management is going to be to watch the team get dramatically rearranged. If we recall what happened with Bavasi back in late 2003 (the Raul signing, the Carlos Guillen giveaway), the GM might be taking some of their initial marching orders from Armstrong and Lincoln…

  25. JMHawkins on August 4th, 2008 12:08 pm

    The whole program of player development seems to be in need of revision How many players have the Ms really developed over the past decade?

    This seems to be a huge problem. I keep thinking of the Bill James quote about bad organizations generally failing to develop their talent.

    Lopez and Betancourt have stalled and even regressed. Reed, when we got him, was one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and it seems we’ve bungled him into a guy at the peak of his talent barely hanging onto a starting job on a terrible team. Clement and Balentien have been jerked around, as was Jones last year (and I wonder if he’d still be blossoming as a player if he’d stayed with the M’s). And what’s happened to Rob Johnson? And speaking of catchers, seems Miquel Olivo is doing okay away from the M’s organization.

    On the pitching front, Felix is awesome and still very young and all the other things Dave says, but I can’t help thinking he could be even better than he is if the M’s didn’t keep trying to screw up his pitch selection. And of course there’s Morrow out in the pen learning shaving cream pie stunts instead of developing a third or fourth pitch and moving into the rotation. Go back a ways and there’s Meche, never living up to the talent he had, even after the surgeries. Not to mention the small army of Mariner “busts” who are quietly (and cheaply) holding down the back end of various team’s rotations after we gave up on them.

    Yeah, I think a revamp is needed. Glad to hear Triunfel appears to be succeding without it.

  26. eponymous coward on August 4th, 2008 12:16 pm

    Lopez and Betancourt have stalled and even regressed.

    Don’t look now, but Lopez is an above-average hitter for his position at age 24, though he probably should be moved to 3B.

    Yuni has kind of regressed, but his ceiling was never as high as everyone thought it was, either. The “you don’t walk off the island” style Latin middle infielders tend to be finished products pretty early on in their careers, and Yuni was never going to be a good offensive player based on what we saw in the minors and early on. The part that’s upsetting is watching his defense go to hell.

  27. John in L.A. on August 4th, 2008 12:21 pm

    There’s a difference between overvaluing veterans and being clueless on replacement-level talent, and being completely clueless as to ANY sense of player value.

    Haven’t they given away enough talent to make you suspect that they are, in fact, completely clueless?

    Isn’t not trading Felix the anomaly, not the rule?

    I certainly don’t trust them not to trade Truinfel. They still start Vidro. These guys are stupefyingly incompetent.

  28. Ben on August 4th, 2008 12:36 pm

    Mods, if this is against policy or inappropriate I fully understand
    [ot, come on]

  29. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 12:36 pm

    First, for those of you starving for news on the minors, Lookout Landing does an almost daily update of the goings on all the way though the system (and I do mean all the way). Instead of haranguing Dave into neglecting his impending marriage, just head over to LL to supplement.

    Also,

    Don’t look now, but Lopez is an above-average hitter for his position at age 24, though he probably should be moved to 3B.

    No. You don’t take a poor defender and move him to a more difficult position. As far as the infield goes, 2b is the least challenging position. 3rd requires exceptional footwork, quickness, and arm strength / accuracy. Lopez would be a disaster at 3rd. He just needs to drop some pounds and work on his quickness at second to increase his range. Also, his hands need some work.

  30. scottiedawg on August 4th, 2008 12:41 pm

    Really random note. Josh Fields was the oldest pick in the top 60 picks or so (by about five months too). I guess we wanted close to the majors talent.

  31. B_Con on August 4th, 2008 12:49 pm

    Any word on Triunfel’s defense? The only info I’ve been able to find is that he’s making a ton of errors, which could mean many things (like bad hands, great range, etc.) Does Carlos project as a shortstop, or is it more likely that the outfield is where he ends up?

  32. CaptainPoopy on August 4th, 2008 12:51 pm

    I have heard that he will most likely be switched from SS. But, I don’t know if that’s because his defense or his body projects him to go some where else.

  33. BigB on August 4th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Yuni was never going to be a good offensive player based on what we saw in the minors and early on. The part that’s upsetting is watching his defense go to hell.

    Isn’t that the truth. I remember when we first called him up and he was making great defensive plays at both 2B and SS. I can’t seem to recall a deterioration of defense quite like his.

    Lopez would be a disaster at 3rd. He just needs to drop some pounds and work on his quickness at second to increase his range. Also, his hands need some work.

    Is it really that simple to turn a poor fielder into a good one? Or are we just talking serviceable. I remember a post a while back saying Lopez may be the worst defensive 2B in baseball. If he can’t improve enough at the position, where else can he go? He sure doesn’t have the bat to play 1B (well, I guess he does on this team).

  34. gwangung on August 4th, 2008 1:19 pm

    No. You don’t take a poor defender and move him to a more difficult position. As far as the infield goes, 2b is the least challenging position

    Huh? My recollection was that it was SS/2B/3B/1B. (Granted, according to position adjustments, 2B and 3B were close together, but 2B was considered harder). Footwork and agility also count at 2nd, particularly since the 2nd baseman can’t cheat in one direction and has to pivot on various plays.

  35. gwangung on August 4th, 2008 1:37 pm

    The problems aren’t insoluable. It’s just an open question how many of them can be fixed from our minor league system without lots of trades and creative moves, and one has to wonder how willing upper management is going to be to watch the team get dramatically rearranged. If we recall what happened with Bavasi back in late 2003 (the Raul signing, the Carlos Guillen giveaway), the GM might be taking some of their initial marching orders from Armstrong and Lincoln…

    By the way, does that scare you as it does me?

    While I’m all for the new GM to start nice and easy, they sure as hell shouldn’t knuckle under to HowChuck if they suggest something stupid. Or block something smart.

  36. Paul B on August 4th, 2008 1:38 pm

    3b is less challenging overall than 2b.

    wikipedia

    In general, one good technique for evaluating a defensive spectrum is to look at the overall offensive contributions of the people (looking at a large number of players) that played that position over a period of time (over a number of seasons).

    The more challenging the position, the fewer athletes that can play it, and the more difficult it is to find someone who can both field the position and hit well.

  37. Teej on August 4th, 2008 1:44 pm

    Gwangung’s right. I’m not sure if this is the one everyone agrees on, but this is Bill James’ defensive spectrum (left to right, from easiest to most difficult):

    1B, LF, RF, 3B, CF, 2B, SS, C

    If you can play second, you can play third. Whether Lopez’s bat can play at third is another question, though.

  38. smatbte51 on August 4th, 2008 2:00 pm

    Interesting. I figured as well that 3B would be harder to play than 2B. I would think being closer to the hitter and having a longer throw to 1B would be more difficult. I guess having the footwork to turn the double play and range up the middle give 2B the edge.

  39. MarinerDan on August 4th, 2008 2:02 pm

    If you can play second, you can play third.

    I’m not sure I agree with that statement — it is a little too categorical. Surely there are secondbasemen who have decent range and footwork (and thus could play third range-wise) but lack a sufficient arm to play third. Chuck Knoblauch comes to mind…

  40. Matt the Dragon on August 4th, 2008 2:10 pm

    Exactly right, MarinerDan.

    That defensive spectrum is correct in terms of talent pools and overall degree of difficulty. 2B is more demanding defensively than 3B but it does not follow that a player who can field a position to the right of that list can automatically slot into one further to the left as different positions require different “tools”.

    Does Carlos project as a shortstop, or is it more likely that the outfield is where he ends up?

    I think it’s reasonably well understood that he’ll move to the outfield. The hope is that he can hold is own in centerfield but I expect he will find his way to leftfield by the time he’s ready for the majors.

  41. smatbte51 on August 4th, 2008 2:29 pm

    [more than just kind of off-topic, completely off-topic]

  42. gwangung on August 4th, 2008 2:31 pm

    I think it’s reasonably well understood that he’ll move to the outfield. The hope is that he can hold is own in centerfield

    Oh, spoiling Mariner fans again about centerfield….

  43. Dave on August 4th, 2008 2:36 pm

    Triunfel will probably end up at second or third. He could move to the outfield, but that’s a long ways away, and not the general consensus.

    2B and 3B are pretty similar in terms of defensive importance. 2B gets a slight edge, but it’s not huge.

  44. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 2:51 pm

    Moving Triunfel to the outfield could produce disastrous results from a historical point of view.

    Who was the last big time prospect at short in the M’s system? Adam Jones. But when Yuni came up and it was decided that Yuni was the future (of plus size modeling?), Jones was shifted to the outfield. The rest is history. (DAMN YOU, BALTIMORE!!!!)

  45. subterranean on August 4th, 2008 2:54 pm

    I think its unfair to judge his performance by his error count. He is playing against other shortstops and ballplayers that have taken thousands more repetitions in drills and live games. The amount of errors does not speak to the natural ability he has, his speed or arm strength but to the general raw nature of his talent. The next two years will demonstrate whether he can turn those physical tools into real skills and if he matures defensively the way he appears to be on the offensive side I think we can expect good things. Though I would guess that defense may come more slowly.

  46. gwangung on August 4th, 2008 3:03 pm

    Triunfel will probably end up at second or third. He could move to the outfield, but that’s a long ways away, and not the general consensus.

    2B and 3B are pretty similar in terms of defensive importance. 2B gets a slight edge, but it’s not huge.

    That sounds like he’d be a plus player, then, with that bat, if he grows into his power as it seems.

  47. Teej on August 4th, 2008 3:27 pm

    Yeah, my comment that anyone who can play second can play third came out sounding too definitive. But in general, I imagine most MLB infielders can make the throw from third to first. These are the best baseball players in the world, so I don’t think we’re going to see many guys who can’t throw the ball 100 feet.

    But yes, there are exceptions like Knoblauch or Eckstein where weak or erratic arms would prevent a move.

  48. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 3:48 pm

    Couldn’t stick Kinsler at third either. Dude has jussssst a little ChuckEEEEE in him. Good thing he can positively rake.

  49. cdowley on August 4th, 2008 3:57 pm

    Moving Triunfel to the outfield could produce disastrous results from a historical point of view.

    Who was the last big time prospect at short in the M’s system? Adam Jones. But when Yuni came up and it was decided that Yuni was the future (of plus size modeling?), Jones was shifted to the outfield. The rest is history. (DAMN YOU, BALTIMORE!!!!)

    Jones probably would have been traded there either way, because the O’s were looking for their SS of the future at the time, too…

    Guess we were fated to make what currently appears to be one of the worst trades of all time, eh?

  50. marc w on August 4th, 2008 4:08 pm

    I’m into hyperbole more than anyone in the universe, but ‘worst trade of all time?’ Let’s give it a while.
    If we’re evaluating it purely on a results basis, it’s pretty bad so far, but you could argue that the Teixeira for Perez/Salty/Ramirez/Andrus is worse, and that was just a year ago.
    If you’re looking at it from an ‘at the time of the trade’ POV, it never really looked good, but it’s clearly not a ‘worst of all time’ sort of move.

  51. cdowley on August 4th, 2008 4:17 pm

    First, I didn’t say “the”, I said “one of”.

    Second, I’m not sure I would necessarily say that the Tex trade is up there on that list. Yeah, the Braves look like they gave up a lot. Yeah, they wound up missing the playoffs. However, the Braves missing the playoffs was hardly Tex’s fault. He filled a huge hole in their lineup that had been made worse by Andruw Jones’ abrupt decline, and proceeded to lead the team in virtually every offensive category after he was acquired. What killed them was the pitching staff falling apart in August.

    They certainly didn’t get what they gave for him when they traded him to the Angels, and from that perspective you *could* call the trade a failure, but from a production and results standpoint, I wouldn’t.

  52. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 4:30 pm

    Yeah I agree with cdowley. In terms of a fair comparison of trades, let’s say that the M’s trade Bedard this offseason. The Braves got one year of Teixera for 4 prospects, none of whom have really made an impact at the major league level.
    However, both Salty and Andrus are supposed to be good players at some point. Teixera performed up to expectations for the year he was in Atlanta. Their failings were not his fault.

    The Mariners, after one year of Bedard (fast forward to October), have so far given up a very solid closer, a solid MLB level player who will only continue to improve, and then the unknown quantities of Tillman/Mickololio/Butler. Tillman at least looks like he could be a good starter in the bigs.

    Bedard has not performed up to expectations. The price paid by the organization was for a Cy Young caliber performance, say top 5 in voting or something. Bedard has pitched decently when he has pitched, but he couldn’t go deep into games and has mostly been injured as well as frosty in the clubhouse/media. Who knows what the M’s could get in return for Bedard, but the shine is likely off his nickel, so to speak. If only the Rays would part with some of their absurd talent, but they wont.

  53. scottiedawg on August 4th, 2008 4:36 pm

    Don’t forget Neftali Feliz who came over in the Tex trade and is lights out at AA right now. It’s looking like he’ll add more value to Texas than Salty, Harrison, Andrus, or Beau Jones.

  54. TumwaterMike on August 4th, 2008 4:45 pm

    I probably speak for a lot of fans and say we could tolerate losing for the next 2 or 3 years if we see that the Mariners are headed in the right direction. What I don’t want to see is the Pittsburg Pirates who never seem to get the right pieces together at the same time.

  55. abender20 on August 4th, 2008 4:51 pm

    we could tolerate losing for the next 2 or 3 years if we see that the Mariners are headed in the right direction

    Absolutely. In fact, I’d RATHER see the team struggle for two years if we have definitive proof that the farm system is being built up in depth and quality thanks to a competent front office. If this team goes out in the offseason and overpays for a bunch of bandaids on the downside of their careers, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate an 80 win season.

  56. scottiedawg on August 4th, 2008 4:55 pm

    Some teams know when to cut their losses and play for the future. And some teams are able to properly value the team that they currently have. Our Mariners aren’t terribly good at either.

  57. Evan R. on August 4th, 2008 5:14 pm

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned yet, but Gomez over at Lookout Landing posts a daily “Minor League Wrap-Up” that details the progress of notable players in the M’s system, all the way down.

    I don’t mean to re-direct visitors away from USSM, but it’s one of the most appealing regular features of LL, in my opinion.

    Here’s the most recent:

    8/3 Minor League Wrap-Up

  58. John D. on August 5th, 2008 12:23 am

    Re: # 45

    I think its unfair to judge his [Triunfel's]
    defensive]performance by his error count.

    So do I. Carlos Guillen had an extremely high error count in the minors; but smart scouts discounted this, knowing that the condition of minor league fields may have had an influence on the error totals.

  59. philosofool on August 5th, 2008 4:33 pm

    My understanding of the difference between 3B and the middle infield was that a 3B usually just has to shift left or just a little right to make a play, whereas both 2B and SS have to be ready to move either way laterally to make plays. So, agility wise, 3B takes less than the middle infield. 3B also needs to be able to field the bunt, but while this requires a little speed, it’s not as demanding as the ability to make plays on hard grounders and line drives.

    The frequency with which the position has to make a play matters too. I’m pretty sure fewer plays go to 3B than the middle infield. In general, the more plays a position player has to make, the more important making plays at the position becomes.

    What a 3B does need is an arm; he has to be able to make the long throw to first accurately. Of course, so does a SS (if not quite as much.)

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