Results tagged ‘ Grant Green ’
There are three main reasons, I think, why baseball is a game so full of player-to-player comparisons.
- because its history, both recent and deep in the past, is so well documented
- because well-kept statistics make it easier to provide beyond-what-the-eye-can-see evidence that a comp is justifiable
- because juxtaposing two ballplayers (or teams or leagues or eras with or without the use of stats) helps us connect our dad’s Major Leagues to our own
Why comps are so prevalent in the talk of prospects should be obvious then: Pitting a retired or current big leaguer against a projected one allows us to connect our own Majors to the future’s.
Thanks to my many conversations with scouts and Minor League managers/coaches as I report stories for MiLB.com, I have come across — and very often asked direct questions to yield — prospects-to-players comps. Here are some I have included in stories in recent months:
- Rangers third baseman has Scott Rolen-like hands.
- Padres catcher Austin Hedges has the athleticism of a young Brad Ausmus.
- Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor plays the game as smoothly as Robinson Cano.
- White Sox infielder Carlos Sanchez has Roberto Alomar-like ability (and the talent level of Robin Ventura).
- Astros third baseman Rio Ruiz is starting the same journey Eric Chavez already took.
- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has many of the same skills Vinny Castilla once showcased.
- Astros first baseman Nate Freiman can become Mark Trumbo Lite.
And lately, here are comparisons I’ve heard in other media reports:
- The Rays’ Wil Myers is the next Dale Murphy.
- The Cardinals’ Oscar Taveras has the violent yet effective hack of Vlad Guerrero.
- The Cubs’ Jorge Soler takes BP like a right-handed Cliff Floyd.
- The Rangers’ Jurickson Profar has a Chase Utley-like lefty swing.
A Frame of Reference
Why I like employing comps in my reporting — and why, I assume, you like reading them — is that putting, say, A’s infield prospect Grant Green side by side with longtime Rangers infielder Michael Young (now the Phillies’ third baseman) gives us a sense of how good Green can become. If we’ve made a smart comp with Green and Young, we know right away how good the former can eventually become: an average defender with a plus contact rate at the plate. We now have a frame of reference.
It has been a long, strange trip through the Minor Leagues for A’s fourth-ranked — and baseball’s 98th-ranked — prospect Grant Green. In the four years since Oakland made him the 13th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, Green has moved from shortstop to center field to left field to third base and landed, finally, at second base. Oh, and he’s played in the Arizona Fall League three times. (The AFL, mind you, is supposed to be a finishing school for the game’s top prospects.) Now 25, the now-versatile infielder may have played his last game in the Minors, having acquitted himself well with the bat at the Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A levels. This spring, he will battle for a utility man spot on the defending American League West champion squad. If he is in fact moving onto the Majors for the first time and for good, here’s a gallery to remember him by. Click on any photo to begin the slideshow.
Put this on your hot stove and cook it: We are still three weeks from baseball’s Winter Meetings and already the names of Minor League prospects — not just Major League players — are being bandied about as trade bait.
This is the world we live in — a world in which national, rumor-mongering ball writers and fans are growing increasingly savvy about not only teams’ complete 25-man roster, but their 40-man and beyond. If you’re anything like them, you’re also highly aware of many of your team’s Top 20 Prospects, guys who are perhaps years from getting to the bigs.
Which explains why there are already talks about the Reds potentially moving shortstop Didi Gregorius, the D-backs maybe (but probably not) parting with pitcher Trevor Bauer, among other ideas (that’s all they really are at this point) about clubs shipping off untested twenty-somethings.
So jumping in on the speculation? Don’t mind if I do. In fact, the next piece I will be working on for MiLB.com will focus on what type of “prospect packages” Major League execs need to be presented with to end, say, the Justin Upton Era in Arizona or the Jacoby Ellsbury Era in Boston.
As much interest as there is in prospects, however, it is still the the established Major League player that is the conversation-starter. The Red Sox would call the Giants to initiate Ellsbury-for-Gary Brown talks — it’s very unlikely such a deal would come about the other way around.
With that fact in mind, I present a list of prospects who could be moved based on their respective organizations’ depth (irrespective of their rumored interest in a big-time big leaguer like, say, the Rays’ James Shields or the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera because such interest is more likely to be rumored than real). Here are guys who are potentially expendable if their teams want to trade up this offseason:
Tampa Bay Rays – Starting pitcher Chris Archer or Alex Colome – Some would have you believe that GM Andrew Friedman needs to trade Shields or fellow vet starter David Price before their price tag gets out of hand, but Shields has club-friendly options through 2014, and it will be difficult to get equal value for Price. Friedman’s shortcut: Deal Archer or Colome and still have more than enough pitching both in the bigs and the pipeline.
Oakland A’s – Infielder Grant Green – The A’s are not in the habit of trading Major League-quality hitters with zero Major League service time, but this is a unique case. GM Billy Beane and brass need a shortstop and, by their own evaluations, Green is a below-average defender there. This is why they have tried Green in center field (unsuccessful), third base (ehh) and, most recently, second base (adequate). It’s all well and good that Green could be a good utility man, but his bat is too good to not play everyday. Swapping him for a player the A’s do deem a two-way player at short (Gregorius?) would seem to make the most sense.
Seattle Mariners – Infielder Nick Franklin or Stefen Romero –The M’s have and like Dustin Ackley at second and, apparently, don’t see Franklin as a strong enough defender at shortstop. (Another prospect, Brad Miller, who will begin next season at Double-A, could be the long-term solution there.) That leaves Franklin and, to a lesser degree, Romero (who could move to third base) stuck behind Ackley. For all the talk about dealing lefty starter James Paxton, why not keep their potential super-rotation intact.
More musings: If the Rangers deal a shortstop this winter, expect it to be Class A slick fielder Luis Sardinas. … If the Braves decide they can spend to resign catcher Brian McCann past the 2013 season, that would make defensive-minded backstop Christian Bethancourt expendable. … Speaking of catchers, the Marlins could deal J.T. Realmuto given the show Rob Brantly put on this year. … If the cash-poor Mets can reach an extension agreement third baseman David Wright, Wilmer Flores could be a casualty. … What do the Nats do with Anthony Rendon, a plus defender at third base, with face-of-the-franchise Ryan Zimmerman signed through 2019. Rendon, Washington’s top pick in 2011, will likely begin ’13 at Double-A and isn’t far from Show-ready. … Even if the D-backs don’t give up on Upton, it would seem logical to include A.J. Pollock in an offseason deal. He’s not in the team’s plans the way that Adam Eaton is.