Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Tale Of Two Outfielders

Let's play a little game with two outfielders. Just for the sake of argument, we'll use some completely random initials like RC and BW.
Triple-A
RC BW
Batting Average .343 .318
On-Base % .428 .360
Slugging Average .620 .378
Home Runs 17 3
BB/Game .52 .26
R/Game .76 .63

Single-A
RC BW
Batting Average .294 .297
On-Base % .397 .344
Slugging Average .518 .357
Home Runs 42 2
BB/Game .56 .27
R/Game .65 .62

National League
RC BW
Batting Average .266 .175
On-Base % .335 .250
Slugging Average .423 .325
Home Runs 10 1
BB/Game .24 .04
R/Game .36 .32

Source: RC Career Stats; BW Career Stats


Let's say that we also know that RC is a pretty good defensive centerfielder, and that in the minors Baseball America had voted him as the organization's top defensive outfielder. Let's say that anonymous sources were talking to the media about BW, saying that he's probably not capable of playing center in the majors defensively.

Let's say that certain people, say JB for the sake of argument, recently raved about RC's swing, and how quick his hands were. Does that change anything?

Who would you want on your team?

How about one more set of stats?
            RC     BW
Batting .200 .311
On-Base .323 .368
Slugging .273 .344
SB 1 7

--Spring Stats--

Sticking with your decision? Do these 55 ABs by RC or 61 ABs by BW mean more than the ones they've put up in every other season? (BW has 2965 professional ABs; RC has 2257)

If you're the Washington Nationals, they do. Brandon Watson is heading north, and Ryan Church begins the season in New Orleans.

Others can rip the hell out of the decision and the decision-makers. (Federal Baseball has a perfectly amusing example)

But as I was trying to think about why a team would do something this stupid, especially in light of the whispering campaign against Brandon Watson that started this very morning, I started to wonder if it was Frank's call.

Frank has praised Brandon for his effort this spring, and has compared him positively vis a vis Endy Chavez, last spring's CF speedster project. Might Bowden have let Frank make the ultimate call? Hopefully one of the beat writers will fill us in a little more tonight and in the morning.

I suppose that it's good that the team is showing that they're serious with the level of dedication, but I don't understand how it makes sense that Church gets lopped off for having some hits not fall in, and Pedro Astacio/Ramon Ortiz survive the axe despite letting hits fall in everywhere. I suppose that that's the difference between having a multi-million dollar guaranteed deal, and being under the clubs control.

Sucks to be Ryan Church. And sucks to be the National's offense. It's certainly worse off tonight than it was this morning.

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