Results tagged ‘ Mike Stanton ’

Responding to the responses

Hey there everyone —

I just wanted to take a few minutes and get to some of the great comments people left over the past few days on various posts.

First and foremost, thanks for the kind words of support. They are truly appreciated. For the record, though, I am not the one who does the weekly roundup of Minors promotions. That is done extremely well by my colleague Ben Hill. Be sure to check his blog out at Ben’s Biz Blog. It’s a good read, I promise.

There were some interesting comments about Mike Stanton left by a couple of people. mike_stanton.JPGBothvoiced concerns about Stanton’s strikeout rate. There seems to be a worry about Stanton being a power-only guy, a guy who can’t hit for average at all, but is all-or-nothing. Yes, he strikes out quite a bit, though his K rate did go down a touch in 2009. But I think people are getting too worried about his inability to hit. Not that batting average is a great barometer, but he did hit .293 in 2008 and was hitting .294 in Jupiter before he got promoted to Double-A as a teenager. Are you really going to use that to judge whether he can hit, the fact that he hit .231 in the Southern League at age 19? I wouldn’t.

Take a look at some other indexes before you decide he can’t hit. How about the fact that his line-drive rate was almost identical between Class A Advanced Jupiter (18.4 pct) and Double-A Jacksonville (18.7). According to Fangraphs.com, Stanton had isolated power numbers that really set him apart: .318 in 2008, .283 in Jupiter and even his .224 while he “struggled” in Double-A was not bad. ISO, in a nutshell, measures a player’s ability to hit for extra bases.

I, for one, think he’s going to hit for enough average. That being said, I don’t really care what his average is if he’s making enough contact to tap into that power and he’s hitting 40+ homers and well over 100 RBIs annually. I’ll give you an example of another player, now in the big leagues, and how he performed in the minors:

First-full season: .280 AVG, 145 K
Second full season: .304 AVG, 151 K
Third full season: .291, 166 K

Yes, the average is a touch higher than what Stanton has done, but not by that much, considering all the variables that go into batting average. And there were great concerns about this hitter’s ability to make enough contact at the big-league level to get to his prodigous power. There was so much worry that he got stuck for a bit in the Minors before finally getting a shot.

By now, you may have guessed that the player in question is Ryan Howard, who’s gone on to win the Rookie of the Year, an MVP Award (he’s finished in the top 5 three times) and been chosen to go to the All-Star Game twice. Not bad for a guy who can’t hit.

Now, add in the fact that Stanton can flat out play the outfield, can run, has a strong arm, the whole nine yards, and you can see why people think he’s so special. Maybe he’s not as advanced right now as Jason Heyward. Maybe he won’t ever hit for that kind of average. I’m saying it’s not going to matter.

And don’t get me wrong. I like Logan Morrison a lot (one commenter was making a comparison of their stat lines in Jacksonville together), but keep in mind he’s two years older than Stanton. Trust me, Logan doesn’t need to hit the weight room more than he does already — he’s plenty strong enough and has great bat speed. He might be the better pure hitter. But i we’re looking at everything, from tools to upside, it’s no real contest. Both will be big leaguers — and both could be in Florida together in the near future — but it’s Stanton who has the more exciting ceiling.

Got some good stuff to talk about in the coming days. Later today or tonight (I hope), I’m going to preview some exciting books/guides on prospects that can be found all over the place. If you know of some, email me info and I’ll try to give them a plug.

I’ve got some 2010 Draft stuff to catch up on. That will probably come on Tuesday, with an update on a great Under Armour/Baseball Factory showcase from a couple weeks back to Bryce Harper’s first game to an early look at a top 20 draft prospects. So stay tuned.

AFL over the weekend

Greetings all. Lots to talk about.

Let’s start with our continued efforts to provide AFL interactivity online. First, in the blogosphere, head over and say hello to Jeff Lyman, the Braves reliever who just posted for the first time. You guys have done a great job in leaving comments for the Giants’ Steven Edlefsen, so do the same for Jeff, will you?

And on Twitter, we’ve had a veritable explosion. Rather than just point out the new ones, here’s a complete list of all the AFLers who are “tweeting” from Arizona:

Richie Lentz, Red Sox — @RLentzAFL
CJ Retherford, White Sox — @CJRetherfordAFL
Jonathan Gaston, Astros — @JGastonAFL
Scot Drucker, Tigers — @Utbaseball30
Garrett Parcell, Marlins — @GParcellAFL
Hank Conger, Angels — @HCongerAFL
Trayvon Robinson, Dodgers — @TRobinsonAFL
Joseph Dunigan, Mariners — @JDuniganAFL
Drew Storen, Nationals — @drewstoren

Drew’s also blogging, so if 140 characters isn’t enough for you, check out his thoughts over on Notes from NatsTown.

Rather than go back and hand out Stars of the Day for Friday and Saturday, I figured I’d look at the first week of AFL action and nominate some candidates for Player and the Pitcher of the Week. Feel free to vote for your own in comments. The AFL might be doing an official version of that later today, but here are my own thoughts:

Player of the Week Nominees

Brandon Laird, Yankees: Starting off 10-for-16 isn’t too shabby. That’s a .625 batting average and he’s got a 1.500 OPS. He went 9-for-11 in his first two games and though he had just one hit in his third game, it was a homer and his 3 RBIs in that game give him 7 in the early going.

Mike Stanton, Marlins: Sure, he strikes out a bit (6 in 4 games), but he’s also hitting .533 (8-for-15) during his four-game hitting streak. He hit a monster homer on Oct. 17 and expect more of that before the AFL is over. He’s got three steals to boot.

Chris Heisey, Reds: Heisey’s following up a 20-20 season with a hot start in Arizona. The outfielder is also off to an 8-for-15 start. His 15 total bases tie him for the league lead (two doubles, a triple and a homer).

Andrew Lambo, Dodgers: He’s tied with Heisey with 15 total bases, having gone 8-for-17 in four games. He’s got five RBIs and two steals as well.

Casper Wells, Tigers: In three games, Wells has gone 7-for-13 with a 1.533 OPS and 6 RBIs. Three of his seven hits have been for extra bases.

Russ Mitchell, Dodgers: He’s tied for the league lead with his 8 RBIs and he’s got 2 homers as well. His 1.667 OPS tops all AFL hitters.

Clearly, there are plenty of hitting candidates for the week. But what about the pitchers?

Pitcher of the Week Nominees

Chia-Jen Lo, Astros: He’s been close to perfect in his two outings thus far. In four total innings, he’s yielded just one hit and one hit batter while walking none and striking out six. The 6 K’s lead the AFL.

Donnie Veal, Pirates:
It was just one outing, but it was perfect. The lefty went two innings in his stint and struck out three, giving up no hits and more importantly for him, no walks.

Dustin Richardson, Red Sox:  He’s made two appearances thus far and over 3 1/3 IP, has allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out five.

Sergio Santos, White Sox:  Like Lo, he’s gone four innings without allowing a run. He has yielded five hits, but hasn’t walked anyone and has struck out four. Plus, it’s a cool story since Santos played in the Fall League a few years back as a shortstop.

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals:
I’m checking the fine print, but I think I’m contractually obligated to mention him every time I talk about pitching in the AFL this fall. Besides, now I can include him in my Tags. In his “pro debut” of sorts, Strasburg went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two. He goes again on Thursday in Peoria, so you can check out the Pitch FX on Gameday to see just how his stuff is playing.

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