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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Bartlett’

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to go watch my hometown Twins play the Houston Astros. With a match up of Brian Moehler and Scott Baker, I expected an easy win for the Twinkies. However, that was not the case as they lost 6-5.

What surprised me is that Brendan Harris led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer, and Delmon Young, yes that Delmon Young who can’t hit the broadside of the Metrodome, hit a homer in the second.

Whatever happened to Young’s potential? Scouts raved about him before the ’08 season, but since then everyone is claiming he’s a bust? Seriously, the Twins seem to have gotten fleeced this time in the trade for Young and Harris for Garza and Bartlett. About time that the Twins tasted their own medicine. However, I don’t think one can make an accurate claim quite yet that the Twins got the short end of the trade. Give it another year or so. For example, most thought the Twins got the shaft when they traded AJ Pierzynski to the Giants for Boof Bonser, Joe Nathan, and Francisco Liriano. Well, after a few years, we all know who got the better end of that deal.

Needless to say, trade evaluation is difficult to objectively accomplish until several years after the trade (think the Michael Vick conundrum in 2001 where the Chargers traded down to number 5 and got LaDainian Tomlinson and the Falcons chose Vick number 1). I would venture to say that the Chargers got the better end of that trade, especially since they drafted Drew Brees with their second round pick that they got for trading down.

See, it isn’t until emotions are removed that one can see what side of the trade is better after the seasons have been played. However, this Young+Harris+Pridie for Garza+Bartlett seems to be quite onesided, but let us have history make the correct call in several years.

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imagesWith spring training a little over a month away, and pitchers reporting in two weeks, the regular season is just around the corner.  Those rusty shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, hammies, groins and legs will soon enough turn into a trip to the big leagues or another season down on the farm.  Each spring promising youngsters get a shot at making the big league in exhibition games, veterans earn their respect, and players on their last legs attempt to prove that they still have the right “stuff.”

What is often over looked by the gigantic free agent signings are prospects that have been developing and maturing in the minors.  The draft, team development of players, and the Rule 5 draft are ignored because of this “WIN right now at all cost” mentality (Think of the Yankees).  Interestingly, if you look at the Philadelphia Phillies roster five (C. Ruiz, R. Howard, C. Utley, J. Rollins, P. Burrell) of their eight position starters were drafted by Philadelphia, and four (C. Hamels, K. Kendricks, B. Myers, A. Eaton), of their six (they traded for Joe Blanton) starters were also drafted by the Phillies.

Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, and Hamels were the core of that 2008 World Championship team.  That is building from within.  The [Devil] Rays, contrary to popular belief, were not as built from within (though trading their prospect helped them receive key parts [i.e. Delmon Young for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett]).  Only four of their starting eight was drafted by the Rays (E. Longoria, BJ Upton, C. Crawford, J. Gomes), and two of their five main starters (J. Shields and A. Sonnanstine) were drafted by the Rays.  Now this isn’t awful, but just not as many as the Phillies.
*Just for comparison sakes, the Yankees did have 8 players on their everyday roster that they drafted.

Though, the draft is not an exact science (only 16 of the 43 top pick in the draft have been all stars, two have never play a game in the big leagues, and only two have been Rookie of the Year), building a team through the draft is essential to having a winning team.  Trading picks away for the present only creates problems for the future.  Building from within has always proven to lead to great results.

The most interesting thing to notice about the two World Series teams is their mlb_vwt3_swpayroll ($43,820,598 [Rays] to $98,269,881 [Phillies]).  That is more than double.  Granted, the Phillies spent heavy in the off-season and trades, while the Rays decided that they would be a bit more frugal.  The huge signings by the Yankees may look like brilliant ideas today, but does not guarantee a playoff birth, let alone a winning record (the top three payrolls did not even make the playoffs).

Obviously, drafting doesn’t equate a title run, or a title.  Nevertheless, the Rays and Phillies made to WS without a $100 million cap, and the Brewers made the playoffs within that same category.  The free spending owners, and the high rolling sports agents may be rich, but as they say “A ring is more important than all the records in the world!”

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Ever looked at your team and thought you had a good day… that is until you continued scrolling down and saw your pitching? In my Yahoo league (my only league) I see my entire batting stats before I see any of my pitching. Well to my surprisingly over confidence in Ian Snell, my whole day was ruined. My batting was solid at 9/34, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, and 2BB. Nothing to write home about, but definitely could be worse (that and my team was struggling in hitting homers and driving in runs until about a month ago). So when I remembered that I had Snell start against the Southsiders, I hoped for an average day. Knowing that he has pitched awful this year, but has shown recent improvement I didn’t want to miss out on any possibilities of another Snell of old performance (and by old I mean last years potential he showed). Enough ranting, as my heartburn has subsided as I remove Snell from his next scheduled start.

Ian Snell- Who was in his bandwagon to start the year (you know you are out there, start shamelessly raising your hand (me)). I figured he would have turned his season around after having a good game against the D’Backs, and then against Washington. Oops, big mistake! How could I think that he could pitch well against the struggling South-Siders (5-5 Win-Loss in the last ten and their 6 game win streak against KC and MIN did not prove much in my books)? I guess I was wrong. I am starting to think that he is a bust for this year. Tonight he walked 6, allowed 9 hits and 7 runs all in 4 innings of work. That takes talent to perform so poorly. Keep him on your bench if you still have faith in his potential for striking people out (next start is against Toronto, who he should sit anyway), but until he proves himself against top teams, he might be worth dropping in almost all format.

Hiroki Kuroda- Is having a MRI on his pitching shoulder following his worst performance of the season. This could be bad news for owners everywhere (and I held on to him after his CG SHO, and his next best start). If you sold him, great job. If not, you’re SOL.

Michael Bourn- Don’t look now, but he is nine for his last 20. They have all been singles, but he has scored only four times, which is more a product of his team (though 4 of the 10 times he is on base in this streak he has scored which is still good). The best part though is that he has stolen 3 bases. Although not stealing as many bases as he was in the beginning of the seasons, he is now back to at least getting on base to have a chance for those steals.

Ty Wigginton- Last year his best months were June and July, and so far this June he is pretty shaky. Look for a bit of a rebound and the best part is his multiple position eligibility that he has.

Robinson Cano- As most dedicated fantasy players know he is a Post-All-star beast. Look to buy low, and reap the benefits in the second half. I know I did and am looking forward to his +.182 second-half slugging that he has(.906 slugging post compared to .724 pre-all-star break).
Jason Bartlett- Stole his 15th base last night and went 2/4 to boot. He now has a mini hit streak going on of four games (7/13 in that span, with two runs, four RBIs, and four stolen bases). His slugging and OPS is off by a hundred points from last year, and he had a July swoon with a massive August. However, he is on pace to pass his 23 steals from last year.

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