Pineda Trade Sets Team Up To Do More

Dave · January 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

As you’ve heard by now, the Mariners made a bit of a blockbuster trade today, shipping Michael Pineda and Jose Campos – generally regarded as the team’s fifth best prospect, but one with a ton of upside – to the New York Yankees for DH/sorta catcher Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi, a lower upside guy who ranked as NYY’s seventh best prospect a year ago (but spent too much time in the Majors last year to retain prospect status). He’s probably a back-end starter or a reliever, but he’s basically Major League ready.

In swapping Pineda for Montero, the team has decided to move strength for weakness. The organization has a lot of talent on the mound and not much talent at the plate, so the appeal of this kind of deal is fairly obvious. I argued that the M’s should make exactly this type of trade over the summer, and then shipping Pineda off was part of my off-season plan back in November. While he’s a talented guy, he’s not an irreplaceable talent, and the risks associated with building around young pitching are substantial and well chronicled.

In Montero, the Mariners get a player who is a bit of a safer proposition. His bat has been beloved by scouts since signing for nearly $2 million as a 16-year-old, and he’s hit fairly well at most levels of the minors despite being very young relative to the competition. Scouts who really love his bat have projected him as a Miguel Cabrera type of hitter, and even if that might be a bit optimistic, guys like this generally turn out to be at least good Major League hitters. There are certainly fewer injury risks with Montero than with Pineda (or any young pitcher), and even assuming Pineda stays healthy, pitchers can just veer off course and regress significantly, so the organization has absolved itself of some of the variance that the roster had previously.

That said, those are mostly just arguments for trading pitching for hitting in general, and don’t deal with Pineda and Montero quite as specifically. So, we’ll start with Montero, since he’s the piece coming to Seattle.

One of the primary reasons he’s been ranked as an elite prospect is that he’s been a catcher in the minor leagues. Premium offense is extremely hard to find at the catcher position, and Montero has been projected as that rare combination of a guy who can generate runs while holding down the catching position. However, his defense behind the plate is poor at best, and it’s no coincidence that the Yankees only let him catch a total of 22 innings during his September call-up. Their coaching staff simply wasn’t comfortable having him behind the plate, and so they used him as a DH when they wanted to get his bat in the line-up.

There are scouts who think that, with more hard work, he could turn into an adequate Major League catcher. I talked to a Yankees official last year who put it this way – “He’s better than Piazza was.” But, many others think the defensive issues are so significant that he just needs to be moved off of the position. In fact, I’d say that’s probably the majority opinion among baseball executives I’ve talked to about Montero. Most people see more value in just giving up on forcing him to catch and letting the bat develop as a 1B/DH instead – not only would his defensive limitations be hidden, but there’s a mountain of evidence that shows that hitters perform significantly better when they move out from behind the plate. The physical toll of catching is harsh, and not many players can endure the beating they take over the long term.

So, for the M’s purposes, I think they should view him as a DH. They gave up Pineda to get a good young hitter, and the best way to maximize Montero’s value at the plate is to let him simply do that full time. Of course, a DH prospect is not quite as sexy as a catching prospect, which is one of the reasons that I’ve never been quite as big a fan of Montero as most. To me, the bar for bat-only players to be true stars is very, very high, and Montero’s contact issues at Triple-A – even at a young age – suggest to me that he might end up being a good hitter rather than a great hitter.

Over the last year or so, I’ve compared him multiple times to a guy like Carlos Lee – an aggressive power hitter who is a quality offensive player, but due to his lack of defensive value, topped out as around a +3 win player. Personally, I see this as something closer to the likely development path for Montero. A lot of people I respect think I’m undervaluing just how good his offense can be, but I’m just not comfortable projecting him as a Cabrera-level hitter. And if he’s a DH, he’ll need to be something close to that to justify the prospect rankings that have been placed upon.

So, if I’m not as high on Montero as others and the team had to add in one of their better pitching prospects in order to seal the deal, then it sounds like this is a deal I’m not overly fond of, right?

Well, I’d say it depends. I don’t love that the organization had to put Campos in this deal, on top of giving up Pineda, to get Montero, especially when we see the prices other teams have been paying for pitchers this winter. To me, this haul is less than what the Padres got for Mat Latos, a similar pitcher with one fewer year of team control, and not that much better than what the A’s got for Gio Gonzalez, a vastly inferior pitcher who was super-two eligible and about to start making real money. If I was just going to judge this trade from a standalone perspective, I’d probably be against it.

But, this move can’t be judged in isolation. This trade was made in the context of the current off-season, and there might not be a better time in recent history to be shopping for a free agent starting pitcher than right now.

Over at FanGraphs today, I wrote up the potential steal that some team will get by signing Roy Oswalt to the one year, $8 million contract he’s seeking. Over the last few months, I’ve written extensively about how Edwin Jackson is probably going to be underpaid due to a negative reputation that doesn’t line up with his actual performances over the last three years. Both of them are likely +3 win pitchers for 2012 – and Jackson could be for well beyond to boot – and would replace almost all of the value the team would have expected to receive from Pineda next year.

The Mariners could very easily now jump into the bidding for Jackson and sign him to a deal for something in the 4/50 range, using the money that they would have otherwise been spending on a “big bat” like Prince Fielder, and have essentially acquired Montero without a significant drop-off in the rotation. Or, if they’d rather keep their options open for next winter – when Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, and Anibal Sanchez are scheduled to hit free agency – they could offer Oswalt his one year deal in a nice pitcher’s park, let him rebuild his value, potentially trade him for a prospect at the deadline, and then throw big money at one of the free agent starters who will be available in 12 months. Or, if Hultzen and Paxton develop quickly and you’re comfortable with the rotation behind Felix, throw a bunch of money at Josh Hamilton.

There are a lot of options available for teams looking for pitchers who have money to spend. Good options. There are not a lot of options available for teams looking for hitters – there’s basically Prince Fielder and then a lot of lesser players. And, if you believe the reports, the M’s may not have had a realistic chance at landing Fielder given their geographic location, so that may have been a non-starter even if they had offered up a budget-busting contract.

Essentially, what it comes down to is a question of whether the Mariners are better off with Michael Pineda and whatever offensive improvement they could have gotten at LF/DH, or are they better off with Montero filling the DH role and shopping for a pitcher to replace Pineda? Given the availability of quality pitchers at depressed salaries right now and the dearth of quality hitters on the market, I think they very well may be better off with Montero and the pitcher to be named later.

If this was the last move the organization made this winter, I probably wouldn’t be very happy with it. I probably would have rather made the deal with Cincinnati that fetched Alonso, Grandal, Volquez, and Boxberger. There are reasons to not love this deal on its own, including the inclusion of Campos, who is a long ways from the Majors but could turn out to be a piece the team really regrets giving up.

However, it puts the organization in the position to put a better overall roster on the field than they could have otherwise. If this deal lets the team sign Jackson or Oswalt, and they have enough money left over to add depth in the outfield and at third base, then the M’s will be in a better position for 2012 and beyond than they would have by retaining Pineda.

The M’s can’t be done. There’s more work to do, and they created a hole in the rotation to patch one on the offense. But that hole is easier to fix, and with a little bit of work, the M’s could actually put a quality product on the field next year. And that’s worth being excited about.


138 Responses to “Pineda Trade Sets Team Up To Do More”

  1. Leog on January 14th, 2012 10:37 am

    Like the deal, trading surplus for a weakness. Would like the overall picture a lot more if JZ had not traded Fister.

  2. Westside guy on January 14th, 2012 10:39 am

    I figured it out – the whole Montero as DH+catcher thing, PLUS our left field problems.

    It’s so obvious. Zduriencik plans on bringing back Ibañez to play left field! After all, Raul was the team’s emergency catcher when he was on the roster… 😛

    (Yes, if you can’t tell – my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek)

  3. sexymarinersfan on January 14th, 2012 10:39 am

    With the Houston Astros pubicly saying that “they would be willing to eat half of Carlos Lee’s salary”, we he make sense to go and get in a trade? Maybe for say, Mike Carp? I know he’s a not a lefty hitter. Or does Dave Cameron’s Will Venable idea sound more realistically plausible?

    While I do like the trade for Montero, I’m not in love with it. I really hate the fact that we traded Campos. That really stings! However, Noesi could be part of a trade packaged around Carp or Olivo for another bat that might fight around 3B or the OF.

    I think this opens up a TON of different ave’s that we could go down now compared to where we were before this trade. Michael, you were awesome to watch in a Mariners uniform man! I look forward to seeing you have a long and great career and just at least think about us when you become a free agent(yeah right, hah ahaaa…).

    Montero is gonna be a beast. I don’t care that he’s mostly profiled as a DH, just get his stick in the middle of this lineup ASAP!!!!! This offense has needed a NITRO BOOST INFUSION for 2 years now, and it just got one in a big WAY!! I can’t wait to get my first Montero jersey. I wonder what his number is gonna be, it can’t really be 63 can it? “7” maybe? Let Roger work with him. Obviously the M’s think they can salvage him at catcher. That’s a good thing.

    The book is still out on Noesi. I think his numbers will improve due to pitching at Safeco obviously and that it’ll be his 2nd time go around. Might be a useful arm in the pen. You can never have too many good arms, and Jack is picking’em up left and right right now!

    Good job Z. Way to man up and get this deal done. That took some balls. Good bye Mr. Pineda. You will be missed. AND HELLO JESUS MONTERO!!! EVERYONE LOVES A HOME RUN HITTER!!

  4. casey on January 14th, 2012 10:43 am

    didn’t Carp hit .275 with 12 homers in half a season and is 25 and Lee hit .275 with 18 homers in a full season and is 35. Both are bad in the field …not sure where the upgrade is.

  5. JoshJones on January 14th, 2012 10:48 am

    This signing should change the AB’s picture quite a bit.

    Starters (AB’s)
    C Jesus Montero 400
    1B Justin Smoak 600
    2B Dustin Ackley 600
    SS Brendan Ryan 500
    3B Kyle Seager 600
    LF Casper Wells 400
    CF Franklin Gutierrez 500
    RF Ichiro Suzuki 600
    DH Mike Carp 400
    Bench (ABS)
    C John Jaso 300
    C Miguel Olivo 0 (that’s right ZERO)
    IF Chone Figgins 200
    IF Munenori Kawasaki 200
    OF Trayvon Robinson 200

    (5500 total AB’s)

    I altered Daves AB distibution from a few weeks ago by taking away Olivos 300ABs, 100ABs away from Carp and Figgins, and put Montero in at 400ABs.

    Something’s gotta give. Unless we don’t plan to let Olivo hit.

    1. Trade Olivo and $1M to the Red Sox for a PTBNL. Saves us $2.75M and gives us enough AB’s to spread around.

  6. Valenica on January 14th, 2012 11:43 am

    Sounds like Montero is playing C for us. I’m sure Z’s team did their due-diligence, and liked his defense enough to make the trade.

    Keep in mind Montero’s bat was so good, even with the defensive questions he was placing Top 5 prospect year after year. If there’s any bat in the minors with M-Cab level potential, it’s Montero.

    Personally this is better than the Latos trade IMO. Sure it’s not as much upside, but instead we got basically a sure thing, and the best bat in the minors for the last 2-3 years outside of Harper.

  7. Westside guy on January 14th, 2012 11:47 am

    I altered Daves AB distibution from a few weeks ago by taking away Olivos 300ABs, 100ABs away from Carp and Figgins, and put Montero in at 400ABs.

    If Olivo is on the roster opening day – and I expect that’s likely – I can see no reason we should expect Montero to be our starting catcher. Wedge loves Olivo.

  8. orin44 on January 14th, 2012 11:56 am

    This trade really gets me excited to think about the team in 2013. Along with Jesus Montero, Ackley, Smoak and Carp. You’ll have Nick Franklin at the helm at short stop, maybe even have him at second with Ackley moving into center field. You also have Francisco Martinez at least at AAA getting more MLB ready and Johermyn Chavez should be ready to take over at right field. The rotation will have Hernandez, Hultzen, Paxton, Rameriz and Beavan. If Montero can play catcher and DH on his off days, this trade looks a lot better. I really hope that’s the case and we do move Olivo to a team that needs catching help. Also, if Seattle does add another veteran starter, like Edwin Jackson or Joe Saunders, to the roster, we could move him at the trade deadline for some more prospects considering that pitcher will increase his value pitching at Safeco. I would love to see Seattle make a move for a veteran who can play third base this season along side Kyle Seager, maybe someone like Wilson Betemit. Looking at the Yankee’s roster, it’s too bad we didn’t pry Eduarado Nunez from them. He would have made a great platoon partner with Saeger and he can also play short stop and second. All that being said, can’t wait to this team grow together!

  9. Johnny Slick on January 14th, 2012 11:57 am

    I think that a likely scenario is that the team carries Olivo, Jaso, and Montero out of spring training, gives Montero say a day or two a week behind the plate, and sees if he can play the position in a similar manner to what they did with Jeff Clement. I also think Montero plays a lot of C in ST and if he shows he can definitively play the position, there’s a good, solid chance that Olivo gets cut just so that Wedge has no choice but to use Montero in that role.

    I have to agree that at least as far as the numbers go, Montero looks a *lot* better as a fielder than Rob Johnson. Granted, that’s not a lot to overcome.

  10. MrZDevotee on January 14th, 2012 12:10 pm

    M’s have started:

    Rob Johnson
    Adam Moore
    Miguel Olivo
    Jamie Burke
    Chris Gimenez

    He wasn’t the Yankees top choice to be a catcher BECAUSE… they already have MLB catchers! They did however NEVER move him out of that position, so they saw it as his natural position.

    All said, I think Montero will be just fine behind the plate in Seattle, thank you. At least long enough to decide otherwise.

  11. cbrody on January 14th, 2012 12:16 pm

    I love the trade. We know that the M’s have plenty of pitching in the farm system. This improves the anorexic offense and is a fair trade for both teams. Yes, Campos has a lot of potential, but it’s just that, at this point. Everett may be close in distance to Seattle, but the ‘Sox are far from the Mariners in terms of talent. Noesi is a potential WHIP & K/9 guy. At the end, they traded for offense, which is a plus. Now, hopefully Nick Franklin will progress and be here in 2013.

  12. dingla on January 14th, 2012 12:36 pm

    Personally for me, after clearly seeing Cy Young talent in Pineda this is going to take some time to get over. We shall see…

  13. Seattle-Kurt on January 14th, 2012 1:09 pm

    Pineda was very good, great at times, but let’s not anoint him anything more than that. I like this trade, for no other reason than Z is doing more than most of the other Mariner GMs has done…he’s looking at what this team needs and having the balls to take action. We’ll miss Pineda, but the Ms have the talent to replace him. Montero is a big bat and they desperately needed to make a move like this to get the offense needed to someday come close to the pitching. Besides, the off-season isn’t over and if Jack has shown anything, it’s a propensity to surprise us with outside the box thinking. Let’s let the off-season play out and then judge it.

  14. JoshJones on January 14th, 2012 1:45 pm

    I’d love to see a post about Mark Reynolds. He’s a very intriguing option for the M’s at 3rd base. I realize a lot of people think we have that in Alex Liddi but Reynolds has proven he can bash MLB pitching. He strikes out A LOT and his defense isn’t amazing but he’s 28 and under contract for $7.8M in 2012. Career .238AVG/.331OBP/.483SLG/.814OPS
    35HR/75BB AVG over the past 4 seasons

    By throwing some combo of Seager/Liddi/B+ prospect we might be able to pry him away. Perhaps extending the deal to include Figgins. Several intriguing options.

  15. lalo on January 14th, 2012 2:27 pm

    Worth noting that Jesus Montero was ranked third in the baseball america top prospects list last year, the last Mariner prospect ranked that high was Felix Hernandez (#2 behind Joe Mauer in 2005), before Felix: Alex Rodríguez was ranked #1 in 1995, the #2 that year was Chipper Jones…

    Good company for Jesus Montero, Felix and A-Rod…

  16. ivan on January 14th, 2012 2:59 pm

    “This trade really gets me excited to think about the team in 2013. Along with Jesus Montero, Ackley, Smoak and Carp. You’ll have Nick Franklin at the helm at short stop, maybe even have him at second with Ackley moving into center field. ”

    Let’s not get carried away here, please. Let’s see Franklin play even a full season at AA before he plays a full season at AAA. Let’s see if he’s better than Carlos Triunfel before we hand him Ryan’s job, OK?

    I don’t know if some people appreciate what we have in Ryan. I watched Omar play SS here and for his whole career, and defensively, Ryan is as good or better than Omar ever was. Hands, range, arm, Ryan has it all. Only Alex was a better defensive SS in a Mariner uniform than Ryan has been, in my strictly subjective opinion, and not by much.

    Strictly on defense, Ryan is a championship-level shortstop, just as Mark Belanger — a far worse hitter than Ryan — was, and I wouldn’t be so glib about replacing him. It is unlikely that any shortstop presently in this organization can match Ryan’s defensive ability. I wish we still had Beltre here to play alongside him. Getting him was one of Zduriencik’s very best deals.

  17. Liam on January 14th, 2012 3:37 pm

    Dave posted last week about Mark Reynolds:

  18. orin44 on January 14th, 2012 4:08 pm

    Let’s not get carried away here, please. Let’s see Franklin play even a full season at AA before he plays a full season at AAA. Let’s see if he’s better than Carlos Triunfel before we hand him Ryan’s job, OK?

    – All Franklin has done is mash coming out of high school into the minors. He had to overcome getting hit in the face with a bat than food poisoning last year, but before that he was doing really well. Some scouts don’t know if he’ll project well defensively or not at short, but he’ll make the majors because he can hit. Carlos Truinfel has been up and down throughout his minor league career. Sure, Ryan is great defensively, which is fine, but the M’s anemic offense needs guys who can hit and defend. If Gutierrez can rebound along with Ichiro, it won’t be so bad having Ryan in the offense. My excitement for the future is a positive, because I’ve never seen this many touted young players in M’s farm system. Also, Ryan is good, but he’s no “Little O” don’t compare the two, as Omar is a future Hall of Famer. And, AROD was no wizard with the glove.

  19. ivan on January 14th, 2012 4:31 pm

    “Also, Ryan is good, but he’s no “Little O” don’t compare the two, as Omar is a future Hall of Famer.”

    His defense is every bit as good or better than Omar’s was. That’s all I was saying. Omar hit better by far and away than Ryan did, and had a much longer career. There’s no comparison as an all-around player, and I never said there was.

    “And, AROD was no wizard with the glove.”

    You can’t be serious.

  20. KevinPmoorE on January 14th, 2012 4:32 pm

    I am flat out CONVINCED that Nolan Ryan coming out publicly and saying he started talks with Fielder is a CLEAR sign the Mariners are the front runners and Boras is just trying to squeeze out a few more $$$…I think we got Prince.

  21. orin44 on January 14th, 2012 6:18 pm

    AROD was never the top defensive short stop, serviceable with a strong arm, yes. He was by no stretch of imagination better than Omar or Brendan Ryan definsively like you first posted. He never had the range of the other two, and is now playing third base for a reason. He would have been moved to third even if he was playing without Jeter, who never should have won his last gold glove in 2010. But go ahead and support the biggest duschebag in the history of the game. I’m just stoked about the direction of this team and the promise of it’s young players. Go M’s!!!

  22. rth1986 on January 14th, 2012 6:43 pm

    The Mariners need to give Montero every opportunity to be a catcher. There is no reason not to give him at least 70 games there in 2012. Trade Olivo for a reliever.

    From a WAR standpoint, the positional difference between catcher and DH is almost 30 runs. Can Montero’s defense be 30 runs bad?? I doubt it. Even if he’s a -20 run defensive catcher, he’s still more valuable there than at DH. Sure, there are concerns about keeping him healthy behind the plate and if it would detract from his offensive production. It’s definitely worth a shot, though. The Mariners have nothing to lose by trying him there in 2012.

  23. ivan on January 14th, 2012 9:14 pm

    “But go ahead and support the biggest duschebag in the history of the game. I’m just stoked about the direction of this team and the promise of it’s young players. Go M’s!!!”

    You need to learn some history, son, and some spelling. The greatest douchebags in the history of the game were the eight Chicago White Sox who took money from gamblers to dump the 1919 World Series. And Alex Rodriguez, whether you like him or not, is the best player to ever wear a Mariners uniform, and the only shortstop in history who could ever seriously be compared with Honus Wagner.

  24. PouxBear on January 14th, 2012 9:32 pm

    …the best player to ever wear a Mariners uniform…

    Ken Griffey Jr. says hi

  25. dingla on January 15th, 2012 12:19 am

    Oh hi Ken Griffey Jr.

  26. ivan on January 15th, 2012 5:09 am

    Alex was a shortstop, the most demanding position on the field. Case closed.

  27. mazamas1 on January 15th, 2012 7:57 am

    Dave, this type of analysis is what makes you the MVB (Most Valuable Blogger) for the M’s

  28. stevemotivateir on January 15th, 2012 12:45 pm

    “Alex was a shortstop, the most demanding position on the field. Case closed.”

    I hope you don’t practice law.

  29. Mariners35 on January 15th, 2012 3:04 pm

    The best player to ever wear an M’s uniform was Edgar. Junior was much closer to ARod on the dbag scale. Edgar was productive AND professional.

  30. Westside guy on January 15th, 2012 4:46 pm

    Defensively, Alex was not at the same elite level as Griffey was.

    If you’re going to make absolute judgements simply based on position played (versus how well they played them), then David Bell was amazing too – 4x as valuable as any of these guys because he could cover any of the infield positions.

    Bottom line is – we were extremely fortunate that we got to watch Griffey, A-Rod, and Edgar play on our team in the 1990s. Whatever Griffey’s and Alex’s personal foibles were, they gave us everything they had on the diamond.

  31. pogicory1 on January 15th, 2012 7:12 pm

    I would love to see the Mariners make a trade for one of Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano. Both teams are looking to get rid of their players while at the same time eating a portion of their salary. Lee in particular would be a great fit.

    His defensive metrics; while bad, are on par with that of Carp.

    Lee’s last three years (UZR): +18.1, -20.7, -12.7
    Carp’s last two years (UZR): +4.9, -18.0

    In addition, Lee was worth 3.2 Wins Above Replacement last year to Carp’s .5 WAR. While he is no gem defensively, he would be a welcomed bat to an anemic offense.

  32. pogicory1 on January 15th, 2012 7:34 pm

    Soriano, while he has struggled with his contact rates and takes almost 0 walks, his defense could be considered a tad above league average (12.6 UZR Career Avg. in the outfield). An average offensive outfielder with some pop could help this team next year. The best thing about him is that he won’t cost the Mariners much in terms of talent and will take up very little of what budget we have to spend.

  33. bookbook on January 15th, 2012 10:49 pm

    I’m way out of my depth here, but my recollection of advanced analyses is that Griffey was average to below-average on defense at his peak, whereas A-Rod was above average. Add in the greater positional value at SS, better baserunning and comparable bat, (+ greater durability) and A-Rod strides ahead. (A-Rod’s bat is “ahead” right now, but he’s contractually locked in for 6 years of declining.) They’re both first ballot HOFers on the merits, whereas Omar will have the privilege of attending their induction ceremonies.

    One interesting note from Baseball-Reference: Griffey’s OPS+ as a Mariner outpaced A-Rod’s (144-137). A-Rod had his offensive peak in Texas (OPS+ 155), whereas Griffey really wasn’t Griffey outside of Seattle other than one year and parts of a couple others.

  34. formerstarQB16 on January 16th, 2012 10:07 am

    There is absolutely no way Griffey was “average to below-average defensively at his peak”. First off, there is no way enough data was collected to compare him against his peers. Secondly… forget the statistics (yes I know that’s sacrilege). There is no way you could watch the plays he was making and consider him anything less than one of the best defensive outfielders to ever play the game, let alone amongst his peers at the time. To this day, no one can climb the wall the way Jr. did. If his body wouldn’t have broken down, he would’ve been considered one of the top 5 players to ever play the game.

  35. gwangung on January 16th, 2012 12:43 pm

    There is no way you could watch the plays he was making and consider him anything less than one of the best defensive outfielders to ever play the game, let alone amongst his peers at the time

    Really? I recall a lot of people did indeed saying that. He could be taking poor jumps, be positioned poorly or misjudge balls quite poorly. Being able to climb the wall is not a measure of fielding ability.

  36. formerstarQB16 on January 16th, 2012 2:36 pm

    Actually being able to climb the wall is a measure of fielding ability… just not the only one.

    This is an impossible argument to win, but I think you’re crazy for not thinking he was a GREAT defensive Center Fielder. The guy won a Golden Glove every single year of the 1990’s (and yes I know the inherent bias of the award).

    Some people just take an opposing argument for the sake of argument.

    I’ll give you an out on this…

    Are you talking about Griffey’s defense while a Red or during his prime?

  37. bookbook on January 16th, 2012 10:12 pm

    “One of the best kept secrets in baseball is that Ken Griffey Jr. was never as good as people thought he was. He made spectacular catches that better center fielders made look easy.” Scott Barzilla at Bleacher Report.

    I confess I didn’t find the statistics that support this statement, but it was stated by the stats community fairly frequently back in the day (Not that he was bad, just that he was more decent than great on defense). He won his Gold Gloves with his bat and some highlight reel plays.

    Also, to be fair Mr. Barzilla ranks Griffey #6 all-time at CF, taking both offense and defense into account. Which ain’t half-bad.

  38. formerstarQB16 on January 17th, 2012 9:21 am

    Now I’m going to be rude.

    1) You quote the Bleacher Report???? Really???

    2) Can you find one reference anywhere on the entirety of the internet that shows any statistician saying that he wasn’t that great defensively… AND backed that up with numbers?

    3) There were many articles and posts, including ones by Dave that point out how bad Griffey was post 2000… not pre.

    4) LOOK AT HIS FIELDING STATS ON FANGRAPHS! In his prime, he was comparable to Kenny Lofton, Andrew Jones, and Devon White.

    Why in the h@!! do people speak from a point of knowledge, when they have none?

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