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View Full Version : What do you guys think has made alexei such a better short stop?


ghostface36
07-21-2010, 12:36 AM
he has been playing tremendous D this year, what do you guys attribute this to? i know omar is a big part but i wonder where the rest came from?
also this dude has the strongest arm ive seen in person when they were throwing during warmups, its ridiculous
thoughts?

mzh
07-21-2010, 12:48 AM
Two words. Or one picture, if you like.
http://www.mouthpiecesports.com/media/video/thumb/thumb_wide_OmarVizquel_MPS.mov.jpg
Omar. Vizquel.

He always had the talent. Until this year, however, he was one of the worst mental players I have ever seen.

BadBobbyJenks
07-21-2010, 12:52 AM
I heard Ozzie basically broke it down to Alexei like this in Spring Training: You are never going to win the home run crown, you are never going to lead the league in ribbies and you are never going win a batting title, but you can become the best defensive short stop in the game.

I can't find an article about this though.

Wow how was Alexei's play only number 10 on Sportscenter?

BleacherBandit
07-21-2010, 12:56 AM
Has anyone else noticed that the ball makes that characteristic Vizquel lazy arc as it hurtles towards the first-baseman from Alexei's hand?

Evidence!

doublem23
07-21-2010, 12:57 AM
He always had the talent. Until this year, however, he was one of the worst mental players I have ever seen.

Yeah, since Omar took over everyday at third, I can't recall Alexei having one of his patented daydreams in the field or being way the hell out of position.

I think people really underestimate the leap he made coming from the Cuban League to the Majors. I know it's just baseball at heart, but the talent level from there to here is out of this world. One wrong step and you're toast. I'm sure it helps having one of the best defensive SS ever right next to you. Plus, Omar's throwing leather all over 3B, too, right now. Can't hurt to know your left side is covered.

CWSpalehoseCWS
07-21-2010, 12:59 AM
The talent has always been there, but Vizquel has really helped him this year.

kufram
07-21-2010, 01:10 AM
Omar...... and Ozzie and KW for sticking with him.

voodoochile
07-21-2010, 01:14 AM
I'll give some credit to Omar, but I also think experience, comfort and maturity are playing a major role. He's also found a comfort zone at the plate which really seemed to kick in when he was bumped to second in the order for a while, but now is carrying over to when he is mostly batting 8th. Of course some of that could also be that he's getting more protection with Beckham finally starting to hit.

Honestly, I'm not all that surprised. I figured he'd eventually put it together and when he did, I expected him to develop into one of the best defensive shortstops in the game and a solid bat too boot.

You know aside from Omar he's also got one of the best defensive SS in Sox history as his manager and a defensive wiz as his infield instructor in Cora. Plenty of experience to teach him and help him figure out the intricacies of being a major league SS...

oeo
07-21-2010, 01:17 AM
I thought he started looking better as early as last September.

People were too quick to judge him, they don't exactly play great baseball in Cuba. Just watch the WBC, they're terrible with fundamentals. They also seem to have the focus of a bunch of 5-year-olds. There was still a lot of learning Alexei needed to do.

I think Omar may have helped, but Ozzie would tell you he saw this coming last year, he said it himself: Alexei was the third best SS in the American League behind Aybar and Andrus.

A lot of people owe apologies to the organization saying Beckham should have taken over at SS. A lot of those apologies should go to Ozzie even though it was an organizational decision, people ignored that.

hawkjt
07-21-2010, 01:50 AM
He always had the talent,just blew some easy plays due to lack of concentration. Now, he has really settled in. He has a second baseman who has settled in...and is also good. He has Omar at third for many games...he seems to be finally relaxing and enjoying the game again..maybe having Viciedo,a fellow Cuban, around also helps.

I love our defense up the middle now with Alex,Alexei,Gordo,our pitching staff,and AJ....it has never been much better than that group.

ghostface36
07-21-2010, 03:03 AM
i see we all agree omar is a big influence on this
his range is what seems to br the biggest difference

harwar
07-21-2010, 05:54 AM
Omar has been working and talking with Alexei since spring .. we saw flashes of this when Ramirez played next to Orlando Cabrera but it has been taken to a new level this time and i believe it will stick .. i can't remember seeing Alexei so happy and relaxed out there .. he was always so uptight and rarely smiled on the field .. watching Omar smile like a proud papa last night after Alexei made yet another great play, made me smile also .. i love great defense more than anything i think ..

LITTLE NELL
07-21-2010, 07:10 AM
He might not win a batting title but if he ever got comfortable in the cold weather in April and early May he probably would hit .300 for a whole season.

Rdy2PlayBall
07-21-2010, 09:38 AM
His always has tremendous talent, and I think he is just now finding his comfort zone back at SS. I was planning on it happening eventually, but I think Omar is the main reason Alexei instantly became a better SS than he was even at 2B (which was also pretty freaking good). I am REALLY happy he his offense is picking up, but I am even happier he's playing D like Ozzie and pretty much everyone else thought he could. His play yesterday only got a #5 gem on ESPN, but the play to me looks like one of the hardest plays anyone could make. Everyone makes diving catches sometime... how many shortstops can flick a ball from left field and get someone out like that? But again, I think this emergence is all on Omar.

Dibbs
07-21-2010, 09:46 AM
Omar Vizquel has made him better. Specifically, I think having Omar playing next to him on the field at 3rd base is the main reason.

hi im skot
07-21-2010, 09:52 AM
I swear I heard someone (Rongey or Cowley, or maybe even Stone) mention something about Omer Munoz playing a big role in Ramirez's defense. Apparently he was really laying into Ramirez when he got lazy or lost concentration in the field.

I, unfortunately, cannot find the article or quote, so maybe I made it up. I've been hard on Ramirez because it's obvious he has all the talent in the world, but he seems to lack baseball smarts. I think that perception comes from the fact that he got pretty good at losing concentration while in the field.

Whatever the reason for his improvement, Ramirez has and will be a crucial piece for the Sox.

dickallen15
07-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Yeah, since Omar took over everyday at third, I can't recall Alexei having one of his patented daydreams in the field or being way the hell out of position.

I think people really underestimate the leap he made coming from the Cuban League to the Majors. I know it's just baseball at heart, but the talent level from there to here is out of this world. One wrong step and you're toast. I'm sure it helps having one of the best defensive SS ever right next to you. Plus, Omar's throwing leather all over 3B, too, right now. Can't hurt to know your left side is covered.

I think its all been since Vizquel has been playing. His head was still far in the clouds when Omar was riding pine, and then suddenly when Omar started playing, the defense we would see in flashes became commonplace and the lazy throws have become way more infrequent.

Hopefully he can stay this way when Omar ultimately isn't playing 3B every day. I could see where mentally he has a lot more on his plate in the field with Teahen and Viciedo playing 3B.

doublem23
07-21-2010, 10:14 AM
I think its all been since Vizquel has been playing. His head was still far in the clouds when Omar was riding pine, and then suddenly when Omar started playing, the defense we would see in flashes became commonplace and the lazy throws have become way more infrequent.

Hopefully he can stay this way when Omar ultimately isn't playing 3B every day. I could see where mentally he has a lot more on his plate in the field with Teahen and Viciedo playing 3B.

Yeah, at the start of this year when he was playing next to Teahen he was still mentally checking out of games in the 3rd inning.

Rockabilly
07-21-2010, 10:15 AM
I wish Omar was 23 instead of 43.

Red Barchetta
07-21-2010, 12:14 PM
Obviously Vizquel, however I thinking Beckham moving to 2B has also helped. Heck, improved defense all around, especially up the middle with Rios in CF helps them all relax!

JermaineDye05
07-21-2010, 12:20 PM
According to Bernstein, Alexei is ranked as the best fielding shortstop in baseball with a UZR/150 (?) of 15.4, whatever that means. Nice job, Alexei.

According to fangraphs, link (http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2010&month=0), he is.

doublem23
07-21-2010, 12:30 PM
According to Bernstein, Alexei is ranked as the best fielding shortstop in baseball with a UZR/150 (?) of 15.4, whatever that means. Nice job, Alexei.

UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) supposedly mesaures how many "runs" a player is worth defensively, but it is a counting stat (like home runs) not an average (like ERA); a player with an UZR of 10 is not automatically better defensively than a player with an UZR of 5, if the 1st player played 162 G at a position and the 2nd played 40, for instance.

UZR/150 turns each player's UZR into a ratio, based on a 150 games (why they didn't choose 162, I don't know). It makes for easier sorting.

ghostface36
07-21-2010, 05:03 PM
wow thats great to hear that alexei is the best defensive shortstop in the L

Ranger
07-21-2010, 07:37 PM
I thought he started looking better as early as last September.

People were too quick to judge him, they don't exactly play great baseball in Cuba. Just watch the WBC, they're terrible with fundamentals. They also seem to have the focus of a bunch of 5-year-olds. There was still a lot of learning Alexei needed to do.

I think Omar may have helped, but Ozzie would tell you he saw this coming last year, he said it himself: Alexei was the third best SS in the American League behind Aybar and Andrus.

A lot of people owe apologies to the organization saying Beckham should have taken over at SS. A lot of those apologies should go to Ozzie even though it was an organizational decision, people ignored that.

What he said.

ghostface36
07-21-2010, 09:12 PM
A lot of people owe apologies to the organization saying Beckham should have taken over at SS.
wow people actually thought this? granted beckham could play SS and do good easily, but alexei has all the gold glove style talent he just has to stay consistent which he has been doing so far this year

ghostface36
07-21-2010, 09:18 PM
holy crap did everyone else see that play?
wow alexei is throwing the leather

voodoochile
07-21-2010, 09:24 PM
holy crap did everyone else see that play?
wow alexei is throwing the leather

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=121976