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stillz
02-20-2004, 09:52 AM
One of my favorite things about Spring is anticipating who will have a great season. We all dream that each player will set a new standard for himself (ala Valentin in 2000 or Lee and Loaiza in '03), but who seems most primed to contribute in a big way this year. My money is on Rowand and Thomas... Both a little further removed from injury and both among the hardest working on the club. 50 SB from Willie would sure be sweet.

boog_alou
02-20-2004, 09:57 AM
I think the player most likely to "break out" is Crede. Rowand could have another decent year, but I don't think his ceiling is very high. I think Thomas had a late career peak last year. He'll have a good year, but his skills really are diminishing by this point. Olivo should improve, but I just don't think he'll ever be a particularly good hitter.

CubKilla
02-20-2004, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by stillz
50 SB from Willie would sure be sweet.

Harris has to learn how to hit ML pitching and get on base first. Crawl before you can walk.

stillz
02-20-2004, 10:01 AM
Yeah - Crede seems primed. He's such a cerebral hitter, and 20 dingers in your first full season (if you count the blown call in Baltimore) is impressive.

boog_alou
02-20-2004, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by stillz
50 SB from Willie would sure be sweet.
Originally posted by CubKilla
Harris has to learn how to hit ML pitching and get on base first. Crawl before you can walk.
He has to learn to hit, walk, or get hit by a pitch. I'm not even sure if he'll get on base 50 times.

stillz
02-20-2004, 10:08 AM
He was awesome before they called him up to sit (and lose his groove) last season.

fuzzy_patters
02-20-2004, 10:16 AM
I think Konerko will be the player to watch this season. This lineup already has enough weak hitters, and they cannot afford Konerko having another weak season. Hopefully, PK has worked hard to regain his stroke and will put up big numbers. After the season, I say we trade him while his value is high. :)

Deadguy
02-20-2004, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by boog_alou
I think Thomas had a late career peak last year. He'll have a good year, but his skills really are diminishing by this point.

Having your 9th best season is hardly a "late career" peak. Thomas performing at peak values is finishing in the top 3 in the league in OPS, and finishing in the top 10 of the MVP voting.

Thomas recovered from an injury that takes two full seasons to completely heal from. The fact that he realizes that his days are numbered, and he has financial incentives to put up big numbers, means that there is a very good chance that he could improve upon what he did last year.

He wasn't that far removed from leading the league in OPS, as he had a knack for falling into 2 or 3 week stretches where he produced nothing (just like everyone else on this team). If he can find a way to reduce those stretches, and increase the periods where he is locked in (i.e. late August), it wouldn't be that much of a shock if he could lead the league in OPS.

36 is not that old. Mike Schmidt won an MVP at that age. Paul Molitor hit .340 at 40. Harold Baines had a career year at 40. Palmeiro, Martinez, and Mcgriff all performed at peak values in their late 30s. It's really a question of motivation and work ethic, and both Greenstein and Merkin reported through second hand sources or first hand encounters that Thomas has been working hard in Las Vegas, and is ready to put up big numbers.

The same can be said for Aaron Rowand, who has worked out hard all off season, and is up to 220 lbs.

stillz
02-20-2004, 11:01 AM
Frank can't be pigeon-holed. His 2000 form (after he'd been written off) was stellar, and there's no reason to think he can't combine his restored power swing with his BBs AND his ability to smash liners to the right side. We should all realize that his upside is about as high as any slugger in the majors. He truly was the best bargain in 2003.

poorme
02-20-2004, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Deadguy
The same can be said for Aaron Rowand, who has worked out hard all off season, and is up to 220 lbs.

Where did you see that? 220 seems awfully high. Although he's listed at 6'1", he looks about 5'10 on TV...maybe it's his stance.

Deadguy
02-20-2004, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by poorme
Where did you see that? 220 seems awfully high. Although he's listed at 6'1", he looks about 5'10 on TV...maybe it's his stance.

Through this article:
http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cws/news/cws_news.jsp?ymd=20040119&content_id=629047&vkey=news_cws&fext=.jsp


These exercises, in conjunction with his typical weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises, are geared to make him more explosive and powerful. Rowand currently checks in at 217-218 pounds, with a mind-boggling eight or nine percent body fat. When Rowand adds his aggressive cardio workout in the next few weeks and starts to “lean out,” according to Soder, that body fat could fall to six percent.

Foulke You
02-20-2004, 11:31 AM
I have to go with Jon Garland as my "breakout" player this year. He has been on the cusp of turning the corner the past couple seasons. His inconsistency can be maddening at times. Garland's laid back California style is his problem and when Gandhi the Tinkerer was your manager, that didn't help things. I think Garland can benefit from having a guy like Ozzie chirping in his ear and keeping him into the game.

Plus, Manuel had ZERO confidence in Jon last year. Too frequently, he would pull the plug on him in the 6th when he was going fine and the camera would show Garland swearing and muttering under his breath as he went back to the dugout. Hopefully Ozzie will give him the benefit of the doubt and leave him in when he is going good. He seems to like young players a lot so the chances are good he'll leave him in those situations.

Garland's stuff is just too damn good to be a 10-12 win pitcher only. He is 24 years old with a few full MLB years under his belt and a new manager. I got a good feeling about him this year.

:hawk
"Roger Corman, Foulke You, and I are going to go with Jon Garland!"

boog_alou
02-20-2004, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Deadguy
Having your 9th best season is hardly a "late career" peak. Thomas performing at peak values is finishing in the top 3 in the league in OPS, and finishing in the top 10 of the MVP voting.
What I meant by "late career peak" was that he has been following the standard curve of an aging player whose skills are deteriorating. But, his curve had a late up-tick -- not as high as the very peak of his career, but definitely up there. But, my point was that the curve should continue to trend downward for him next year and for the rest of his career.

Thomas recovered from an injury that takes two full seasons to completely heal from.
Where did you get that from? Sounds like wishful thinking to me. I know he had an injury in 2002, but this "two years to completely heal" stuff is BS. He was fine in 2003; 100% healthy. I haven't heard even Frank try to make that excuse, much less anyone else in the organization. His skills are deteriorating as is typical of a player his age.

The fact that he realizes that his days are numbered, and he has financial incentives to put up big numbers, means that there is a very good chance that he could improve upon what he did last year.
Does he have a time machine? Has he found a way to reverse the aging process?

He wasn't that far removed from leading the league in OPS, as he had a knack for falling into 2 or 3 week stretches where he produced nothing (just like everyone else on this team). If he can find a way to reduce those stretches, and increase the periods where he is locked in (i.e. late August), it wouldn't be that much of a shock if he could lead the league in OPS.
You meant to put that in teal, right?

36 is not that old. Mike Schmidt won an MVP at that age. Paul Molitor hit .340 at 40. Harold Baines had a career year at 40. Palmeiro, Martinez, and Mcgriff all performed at peak values in their late 30s. It's really a question of motivation and work ethic, and both Greenstein and Merkin reported through second hand sources or first hand encounters that Thomas has been working hard in Las Vegas, and is ready to put up big numbers.
For every player in his late 30's or 40's that still excelled, I can give you a dozen that faded fast. Exceptions are exceptional, by definition. They are not the rule. Frank has already begun his slide. There is no reason to expect that the slide won't continue.

poorme
02-20-2004, 11:38 AM
power and plate discipline are the last to go and that's what he excells at. He could hit .250, 30 homers, 100 walks for quite a while.

Kittle
02-20-2004, 11:43 AM
I like Garland, Crede, and Marte to have big years.

Frank will be slightly better (.290, 40, 120).

I also predict that Jose will have a down year and Loaiza will probably not win 21 games again. 15 seems more reasonable.

Deadguy
02-20-2004, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by boog_alou
What I meant by "late career peak" was that he has been following the standard curve of an aging player whose skills are deteriorating. But, his curve had a late up-tick -- not as high as the very peak of his career, but definitely up there. But, my point was that the curve should continue to trend downward for him next year and for the rest of his career.[b]

People who said that before 2003 were proven wrong, as Thomas' OPS jumped up 120 points from 2002.


[b]you get that from? Sounds like wishful thinking to me. I know he had an injury in 2002, but this "two years to completely heal" stuff is BS. He was fine in 2003; 100% healthy. I haven't heard even Frank try to make that excuse, much less anyone else in the organization. His skills are deteriorating as is typical of a player his age.

From people who have suffered similar injuries. They basically tore Thomas' arm off and reattached it. Most people have trouble typing with that arm a year removed from surgery, let alone playing MLB. Thomas had surgery in May of 2001, and we saw Thomas put up his best month in June of 2003, after a slow start, 2 years removed from surgery.


to put that in teal, right?

No, I did not. On July 2nd of 2003, Thomas had a 1.017 OPS, and was third in the league in OPS. He proved that for half a season, that he could put up a 1.000+ OPS, which is a substantial sample size. This after coming off rough April and Mays. He declined after being moved to DH, since after July 2nd, he played only 2 games at first. The leader in the league in OPS last season was only around the lower .1000s, so I certainly would not be shocked if Thomas lead the league in OPS in 2004, unless someone like Manny and Giambi go nuts, and put up 1.100 OPS's. I just hope Guillen uses Thomas responsibly in terms of playing him at 1B, especially on the road, where he has difficulty staying loose, as a DH.

layer in his late 30's or 40's that still excelled, I can give you a dozen that faded fast. Exceptions are exceptional, by definition. They are not the rule. Frank has already begun his slide. There is no reason to expect that the slide won't continue.

Perhaps in the 50s and 60s. Times have changed, and players excelling in their mid to late 30s has become much more common place. It has already been reported that Thomas is working out like a maniac, and is ready to improve on what he did in 2003, which I definitely think he can do.

Iwritecode
02-20-2004, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by poorme
Where did you see that? 220 seems awfully high. Although he's listed at 6'1", he looks about 5'10 on TV...maybe it's his stance.

I stood right next to him at Soxfest and I'm only 5'10". I'll have to get the pictures posted on here for comparison.

Maybe it was the clothes he was wearing but he sure didn't look 220 to me.

Anyone else who was there think so?
Hangar? Steff? Mickster? Wilkes? Bueller? Bueller???

Etownsox13
02-20-2004, 11:53 AM
Garland is gonna have a big year maybe 17+ wins. Also I predict that by the end of the year Jeremy Reed is going to have an impact and will get regular time in CF, and Cliff Politte is also gonna surprise out of the bullpen

soxrme
02-20-2004, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by stillz
One of my favorite things about Spring is anticipating who will have a great season. We all dream that each player will set a new standard for himself (ala Valentin in 2000 or Lee and Loaiza in '03), but who seems most primed to contribute in a big way this year. My money is on Rowand and Thomas... Both a little further removed from injury and both among the hardest working on the club. 50 SB from Willie would sure be sweet.

I believe it will be Crede and Rowand. I like the way Crede fields and hope he really has a breakout year hitting. Rowand hopefully is fully recovered from the shoulder injury.

Mickster
02-20-2004, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
I stood right next to him at Soxfest and I'm only 5'10". I'll have to get the pictures posted on here for comparison.

Maybe it was the clothes he was wearing but he sure didn't look 220 to me.

Anyone else who was there think so?
Hangar? Steff? Mickster? Wilkes? Bueller? Bueller???

6'1" seems about right and definately 220 lbs. All gained weight seemed in the upper body. Much more solid. Hope it works for him.

MRKARNO
02-20-2004, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by soxrme
I believe it will be Crede and Rowand. I like the way Crede fields and hope he really has a breakout year hitting. Rowand hopefully is fully recovered from the shoulder injury.

For me, it's these two along with Koch, Takatsu and Garland.

Rowand is a real hard worker. He's already been down at Tuscon for a week

SoxxoS
02-20-2004, 01:11 PM
Rowand is ripped, you can tell by his traps that he is a big lifter.

Crede is going to have a big year, if you look at his past performances, he is a year on, year off type hitter. This year is his year on.

My pick for breakout player is future rookie of the year Jeremy Reed, where after hitting .375 in AAA, he will come to the majors in May and hit .320 with 15 HRs 60 RBI's, .400 OPB and steal 15 bases.

As you can tell, I have high hopes for him. :D: