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View Full Version : Willie Harris is not a bad 2b


eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 10:40 AM
Look guys. Why in the world does everyone on this site and Chicago sports radio hate on Willie Harris so much? I do Not understand. Then we bring up guys to replace him that are not that much better then him. I hear Palanco and Brian Roberts names the most. And Polonco especially because he is overpaid is defintley not an ugrade in our situation. He had a whopping 7 SB's and an amasing .345 OB% to Willies lowly .343 OB%. I believe we have to give him more time. Last year was his first full year and I believe he will only get better.

Obviosly there were Better 2B's last year But Willie was about average. He will get better. And as long as he learns how to steal bases, I could live with his last year numbers all over again.

munchman33
12-17-2004, 10:41 AM
Good luck selling the masses on this.

MeanFish
12-17-2004, 10:42 AM
:threadrules:

Right on. I might be in the minority, but I happen to agree with you.

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 10:43 AM
Good luck selling the masses on this.
" A man convinced against his will, is of the same Opinion still" But it's true.

OG4LIFE
12-17-2004, 10:44 AM
you have to remember that he put up those numbers when he was put in situations set up for him to succeed... mostly against RHP...


i'm not against willie as a platoon option against right handed pitching, and as late inning pinch runner. i just dont think he's an everyday option. i would be curious to see how he would perform everyday, even against LHP, i doubt he would do as well.

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 10:46 AM
you have to remember that he put up those numbers when he was put in situations set up for him to succeed... mostly against RHP...


i'm not against willie as a platoon option against right handed pitching, and as late inning pinch runner. i just dont think he's an everyday option. i would be curious to see how he would perform everyday, even against LHP, i doubt he would do as well.
You are right, it is mostly againt right handed pitching. But it was still his first full year at this level. There is a good chance all his number from last year will improve. IMHO

Ol' No. 2
12-17-2004, 10:48 AM
Look guys. Why in the world does everyone on this site and Chicago sports radio hate on Willie Harris so much? I do Not understand. Then we bring up guys to replace him that are not that much better then him. I hear Palanco and Brian Roberts names the most. And Polonco especially because he is overpaid is defintley not an ugrade in our situation. He had a whopping 7 SB's and an amasing .345 OB% to Willies lowly .343 OB%. I believe we have to give him more time. Last year was his first full year and I believe he will only get better.

Obviosly there were Better 2B's last year But Willie was about average. He will get better. And as long as he learns how to steal bases, I could live with his last year numbers all over again.No. Anyone in a White Sox uniform stinks and will never improve and has to be immediately replaced, even if by someone worse.

Soxzilla
12-17-2004, 10:49 AM
He's a great number 9 option. People need to realize we just can't fill up our entire team with potential all stars.

Who do you think we are are? The yankees? (Hertz)

Wee Willie will be fine ... and even better if he steals a decent amount of bags ... hopefully Rock will help him out with that.

...And no, I'm not taking about crack bags Tim, I'm talking about bases!:o:

munchman33
12-17-2004, 10:52 AM
He's a great number 9 option. People need to realize we just can't fill up our entire team with potential all stars.

Who do you think we are are? The yankees? (Hertz)

Wee Willie will be fine ... and even better if he steals a decent amount of bags ... hopefully Rock will help him out with that.

...And no, I'm not taking about crack bags Tim, I'm talking about bases!:o:
More importantly, teams built up of potential all-stars tend not to win it all. You need role players, specialists, etc. One of our biggest problems was that our lineup was full of guys who can hit you 25+ bombs, but not do much else. You need balance.

hold2dibber
12-17-2004, 10:52 AM
you have to remember that he put up those numbers when he was put in situations set up for him to succeed... mostly against RHP...


i'm not against willie as a platoon option against right handed pitching, and as late inning pinch runner. i just dont think he's an everyday option. i would be curious to see how he would perform everyday, even against LHP, i doubt he would do as well.
That's why I think Miguel Cairo would be a great FA option for the Sox. Cairo would be cheap (maybe 2 years at $2.5 million/year?) and he terrorizes left-handed pitching. You then have a potent platoon at 2B, and for cheap (saving money, hopefully for more pitching (please, please, please, please)).

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 10:58 AM
That's why I think Miguel Cairo would be a great FA option for the Sox. Cairo would be cheap (maybe 2 years at $2.5 million/year?) and he terrorizes left-handed pitching. You then have a potent platoon at 2B, and for cheap (saving money, hopefully for more pitching (please, please, please, please)).
The ONLY problem i see with that is paying a guy 2.5 million to play against only lefties. He would be playing 1/4 of the time. And that 2.5 million would be used well on a good SP. (obviously the 2.5 would only be part of the $ going toward the SP)

Jurr
12-17-2004, 10:59 AM
No. Anyone in a White Sox uniform stinks and will never improve and has to be immediately replaced, even if by someone worse.I love your wisdom.
:hawk "I looove it when people talk sense."

infohawk
12-17-2004, 10:59 AM
Look guys. Why in the world does everyone on this site and Chicago sports radio hate on Willie Harris so much? I do Not understand. Then we bring up guys to replace him that are not that much better then him. I hear Palanco and Brian Roberts names the most. And Polonco especially because he is overpaid is defintley not an ugrade in our situation. He had a whopping 7 SB's and an amasing .345 OB% to Willies lowly .343 OB%. I believe we have to give him more time. Last year was his first full year and I believe he will only get better.

Obviosly there were Better 2B's last year But Willie was about average. He will get better. And as long as he learns how to steal bases, I could live with his last year numbers all over again.
I agree. While not an All-Star, Willie is far better than he is given credit for being. What prevents Willie from being a more consistent offensive threat is his struggles against left-handed pitching. Against left-handers in 2004, Willie had an average of .181 and an .OBP of .224. Willie hits righties well. Last year he hit for a .279 average and had an .OBP of .366. He is a pretty solid defensive second baseman as well. Keep in mind that he is still young (and cheap) and hasn't been in the majors for a very long time. I think last year was his first full season on a major league roster. He should only improve. Look at Aaron Rowand. Willie is the kind of guy you would hate to give up on too quickly only to see him put it all together with another team. If there are short-term concerns about Willie, I think the solution is to get him a platoon partner who hits lefties well. If Willie can figure out how to hit lefties, lookout!

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 11:01 AM
No. Anyone in a White Sox uniform stinks and will never improve and has to be immediately replaced, even if by someone worse.I mean surely you are are right. What was I thinking.

Ol' No. 2
12-17-2004, 11:02 AM
I agree. While not an All-Star, Willie is far better than he is given credit for being. What prevents Willie from being a more consistent offensive threat is his struggles against left-handed pitching. Against left-handers in 2004, Willie had an average of .181 and an .OBP of .224. Willie hits righties well. Last year he hit for a .279 average and had an .OBP of .366. He is a pretty solid defensive second baseman as well. Keep in mind that he is still young (and cheap) and hasn't been in the majors for a very long time. I think last year was his first full season on a major league roster. He should only improve. Look at Aaron Rowand. Willie is the kind of guy you would hate to give up on too quickly only to see him put it all together with another team. If there are short-term concerns about Willie, I think the solution is to get him a platoon partner who hits lefties well. If Willie can figure out how to hit lefties, lookout!How many lefties do you know that hit lefties well? There are certainly some, but generally, lefties do much worse against LHP than righties against RHP.

Soxzilla
12-17-2004, 11:02 AM
More importantly, teams built up of potential all-stars tend not to win it all. You need role players, specialists, etc. One of our biggest problems was that our lineup was full of guys who can hit you 25+ bombs, but not do much else. You need balance.
It also helps when you aren't playing station to station ball AND are have smarts ... which our team has lacked for the past several years. Looking at our projected starting lineup, we finally have a team that has some wheels, and we've cut some fat. The only two base cloggers on this team that I foresee are Paulie, Frank and Crede. Everyone else either has moderate speed or some wheels.

I guess that is where your specialist comments come into play:smile: .

As for the Cairo idea, I love it, we need another man off the bench, and he would be a cheap complement to Clement.

NonetheLoaiza
12-17-2004, 11:04 AM
I am with you on this one. I don't think anyone can rag on Willie until we see what he does over the course of a full season as a starting second baseman. If he is struggling along, we will have to explore other options. It is important, especially right now that we at least give him a chance.

stillz
12-17-2004, 11:04 AM
That's why I think Miguel Cairo would be a great FA option for the Sox. Cairo would be cheap (maybe 2 years at $2.5 million/year?) and he terrorizes left-handed pitching. You then have a potent platoon at 2B, and for cheap (saving money, hopefully for more pitching (please, please, please, please)).
Cairo's a Venezuelan too! Great platoon option.

In any case, Willie deserves another extended look. If his numbers don't improve, it's time to move on. But if he benefits from Raines and Scotty Po as much as we hope he will, he could swipe 30-40 bags. Go speedy willie - be world class!

Jurr
12-17-2004, 11:06 AM
Ol' NO.2 has it right on this one. It's about time that we allowed some of the kids on this lineup to grow up a little bit. Nobody's coming out of the gates and picking up All-Star votes unless they're Pujols (future HOF) caliber. You can't have those guys all over your lineup, so you have your role players. These guys aren't the absolutely most gifted ballplayers on your team, for whatever reason. They take time to blossom into what they are going to consistently bring you.

Willie has a good glove, terrific range, and is (from what we've heard from Ozzie) a hard worker. He needs some instruction to harness his speed, and Raines may be the guy to do that. Willie will never be a .330 hitter. .285-.300 will be a great year for him. What I did see this past year is a player that started showing better patience at the plate, had stretches where he was fantastic in the leadoff hole, and overall had a year that establishes a pattern of growth that should lead to future success.

With the work he had at the leadoff spot, a switch to the 9 hole for Willie would bring good results, IMHO. He can work a count, hopefully get on base with a lot more consistency, and will be a great role player for the Sox this season. I can't wait to see his improvement.

Soxzilla
12-17-2004, 11:06 AM
How many lefties do you know that hit lefties well? There are certainly some, but generally, lefties do much worse against LHP than righties against RHP.
Jose Valentin?:tongue:

Anyways, I realized while signing cairo would be great. I forgot we have Valdez on the bench. And he could turn out to be a great platoon option for Willie, moving Uribe to 2nd while playing SS in games against righties.

Ol' No. 2
12-17-2004, 11:10 AM
Ol' NO.2 has it right on this one. It's about time that we allowed some of the kids on this lineup to grow up a little bit. Nobody's coming out of the gates and picking up All-Star votes unless they're Pujols (future HOF) caliber. You can't have those guys all over your lineup, so you have your role players. These guys aren't the absolutely most gifted ballplayers on your team, for whatever reason. They take time to blossom into what they are going to consistently bring you.

Willie has a good glove, terrific range, and is (from what we've heard from Ozzie) a hard worker. He needs some instruction to harness his speed, and Raines may be the guy to do that. Willie will never be a .330 hitter. .285-.300 will be a great year for him. What I did see this past year is a player that started showing better patience at the plate, had stretches where he was fantastic in the leadoff hole, and overall had a year that establishes a pattern of growth that should lead to future success.

With the work he had at the leadoff spot, a switch to the 9 hole for Willie would bring good results, IMHO. He can work a count, hopefully get on base with a lot more consistency, and will be a great role player for the Sox this season. I can't wait to see his improvement.The hallmark of a young player is inconsistency. That applies to both Harris and Uribe. Normally they get more consistent as they gain experience. I'm pretty sure if you offered either of these guys in trade, there are a lot of other teams that would be glad to have them.

Jurr
12-17-2004, 11:13 AM
The hallmark of a young player is inconsistency. That applies to both Harris and Uribe. Normally they get more consistent as they gain experience. I'm pretty sure if you offered either of these guys in trade, there are a lot of other teams that would be glad to have them.
Yeah, but if KW was a good GM, he would've swooped in and grabbed Jeff Kent and Edgar Renteria. Those are the proven names we crave.

Jjav829
12-17-2004, 11:14 AM
I'm willing to give Willie another chance. The problem is we don't have a good platoon partner for lefties now since Uribe will be the everyday shortstop. This is why Keith Ginter would have been such a good addition. He could platoon at 2B against lefties, and would provide us with a guy to fill the role Graffanino held.

We need to find a good right handed utility infielder. Right now I guess Valdez would be the utility infielder. I'd like to find a Graffanino type.

voodoochile
12-17-2004, 11:14 AM
How many lefties do you know that hit lefties well? There are certainly some, but generally, lefties do much worse against LHP than righties against RHP.
How many RHP are the Sox going to face this year compared to LHP?

At least 75% of all at bats on this team this year will come against RHP. Maybe they will need to PH for Willie late in games, but for the most part he will be facing pitchers he can be successful against.

MeanFish
12-17-2004, 11:15 AM
Also, Willie needs to learn to hit LHP someday, why not this year?

Ol' No. 2
12-17-2004, 11:17 AM
How many RHP are the Sox going to face this year compared to LHP?

At least 75% of all at bats on this team this year will come against RHP. Maybe they will need to PH for Willie late in games, but for the most part he will be facing pitchers he can be successful against.Especially since with the Sox' predominantly RH lineup, teams are going to try to line up their RH starters against them whenever possible. It's just too bad that they're going to have Willie and Pods back to back, but it just makes no sense to put anyone slow in between them just to get a righty in there.

hold2dibber
12-17-2004, 11:18 AM
The ONLY problem i see with that is paying a guy 2.5 million to play against only lefties. He would be playing 1/4 of the time. And that 2.5 million would be used well on a good SP. (obviously the 2.5 would only be part of the $ going toward the SP)
After I posted, I did a little more research on Cairo and he signed with the Yankees last off season for 1 year, $900,000. So I think he could be had for less than $2.5 million/year. I bet 2 years at $1.5 million/year would do the job. And he can play 2B, SS, 3B and even LF in a pinch.

Over By There
12-17-2004, 11:18 AM
No. Anyone in a White Sox uniform stinks and will never improve and has to be immediately replaced, even if by someone worse.
Until the trade or acquisition goes through, then we paid too much.

FWIW, I'm in the pro-Willie camp.

SEALgep
12-17-2004, 11:19 AM
I think Willie plays pretty good defense over at second, and I think a lot of teams would take him as a nine hole hitter.

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 11:33 AM
After I posted, I did a little more research on Cairo and he signed with the Yankees last off season for 1 year, $900,000. So I think he could be had for less than $2.5 million/year. I bet 2 years at $1.5 million/year would do the job. And he can play 2B, SS, 3B and even LF in a pinch.
I don't mind the signing as long as it would not effect us Signing another SP. If we could have both, it would be a good pickup IMO.

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 11:36 AM
We have some Wiliie Backers. I like it. I thought I was on the wrong website for a minute there.

Dadawg_77
12-17-2004, 11:52 AM
You know what is amazing is people loving the fact S-Pod will be the leadoff hitter and not loving Willie at same time.

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 11:54 AM
You know what is amazing is people loving the fact
S-Pod will be the leadoff hitter and not loving Willie at same time.
Exactly. peronally I hope they both tear it up next year.

JRIG
12-17-2004, 11:55 AM
Check out Willie's month-by-month totals last year:

April: .254/.299/.324
May: .384/.439/.438
June: .182/.316/.197
July: .188/.333/.229
August: .288/.347/.379
September: .218/.291/.295

Outside of May and August, those are some pathetic, anemic numbers. So for 2/3 of last season, Willie Harris was just about as close to an offensive zero as you can get (without being Royce Clayton).

Willie Harris is a bad second baseman.

Lip Man 1
12-17-2004, 12:01 PM
It's clear the Sox would like Harris to take hold of the second base position and make it his own since they keep giving him chances.

It's also clear that despite being a semi- regular for the past few years he has not been able to do it (i.e. that's why you kept seeing the deals for Robbie Alomar and moving infielders around)

Harris has a lot of speed...yet can't steal bases. He is overmatched by power pitchers and can't use his best attribute, his speed, because he can't hit the baseball....especially when it's being thrown by power pitchers.

As with most Sox 'can't miss kids,' (i.e. 5th starters) how many games are you prepared to lose hoping they finally 'figure it out?' Especially with the Sox saying they are a 'contender?'

Just curious.....

Lip

cburns
12-17-2004, 12:04 PM
Yeah I just remember how Willie would go 8-8, then go 0-16...or how he didnt know whether to work the count or swing at the first pitch, then he would automatically swing at the second pitch, and be down in the count 0-2..then a weak grounder to first or second base...

Jurr
12-17-2004, 12:10 PM
I totally disagree...I think Willie Harris is WAY better than anti-lock brakes.

Ol' No. 2
12-17-2004, 12:19 PM
Check out Willie's month-by-month totals last year:

April: .254/.299/.324
May: .384/.439/.438
June: .182/.316/.197
July: .188/.333/.229
August: .288/.347/.379
September: .218/.291/.295

Outside of May and August, those are some pathetic, anemic numbers. So for 2/3 of last season, Willie Harris was just about as close to an offensive zero as you can get (without being Royce Clayton).

Willie Harris is a bad second baseman.I could just as easily say that outside of June and July they're not bad at all and his average would have been quite good. I guess I would counter by saying Willie is not so much bad but inconsistent, which is not all that unusual for young players. They'll have good stretches and bad stretches. Uribe was much the same way. At one time these guys would have gotten 1000 or even 2000 AB in the minors before being brought up. That's not happening today. Young players are learning at the major league level. With experience they normally become more consistent, and that's what I'm expecting from both of these guys.

34 Inch Stick
12-17-2004, 12:20 PM
I like him in a platoon situation. If you want an inexpensive platoon system with speed, I believe Junior Spivey hits very well against lefties and poorly against righties.

Mohoney
12-17-2004, 12:21 PM
It's just too bad that they're going to have Willie and Pods back to backIn a perfect world, yes. A righty to split them up would be ideal.

But if Podsednik puts up 2003 numbers, or even something in between 2003 and 2004 numbers, I would be more than willing to look past the fact that they both bat lefty. For 2 guys with that kind of ability on the basepaths (3 if Rowand bats 2nd) to be posting .350+ OBPs hitting back-to-back (or back-to-back-to-back, if I have my way and Rowand bats #2), it could really force pitchers to throw mistake fastballs at a much higher rate in an attempt to slow that running game down.

Enter Frank Thomas in the #3 hole, when he gets healthy. The RBI chances will go through the roof.

Think of what that does to a pitcher's mindset.

JRIG
12-17-2004, 12:27 PM
I could just as easily say that outside of June and July they're not bad at all and his average would have been quite good. I guess I would counter by saying Willie is not so much bad but inconsistent, which is not all that unusual for young players. They'll have good stretches and bad stretches. Uribe was much the same way. At one time these guys would have gotten 1000 or even 2000 AB in the minors before being brought up. That's not happening today.
OBPs of less than .300 are very bad. Willie had one in both April and September. So outside of June, July, April, September, I guess he was fine.

By the way, Willie had more than 1300 at bats in the minors.

Mohoney
12-17-2004, 12:53 PM
OBPs of less than .300 are very bad. Willie had one in both April and September. So outside of June, July, April, September, I guess he was fine.

By the way, Willie had more than 1300 at bats in the minors.
Very valid point suggesting a tendency toward long slumps, and very valid point suggesting that over 2,000 professional at-bats can be enough to make a fair judgement on a guy's ability at the plate.

Basically, the thing in my mind that merits giving Willie a chance to be our everyday 2B is the fact that he has shown improvement at the major league level, while Crede has actually digressed.

If we give Crede another chance and pass on Willie, I think we're making a huge mistake. I say give them both a full season in 2005 to show what they can and can't do.

Dadawg_77
12-17-2004, 01:19 PM
Check out Willie's month-by-month totals last year:

April: .254/.299/.324
May: .384/.439/.438
June: .182/.316/.197
July: .188/.333/.229
August: .288/.347/.379
September: .218/.291/.295

Outside of May and August, those are some pathetic, anemic numbers. So for 2/3 of last season, Willie Harris was just about as close to an offensive zero as you can get (without being Royce Clayton).

Willie Harris is a bad second baseman.
There is one postive in those number above. The % walks make up his OBP is pretty good even in his down months. If it wasn't he would be looking like Uribe without the peak. So if Willie can raise that average, he should produce at a fine clip for a no power guy.

cornball
12-17-2004, 01:57 PM
Not a big Willie fan, nothing against him. He doesn't excel in any one facet of the game. His biggest asset is his speed, yet he doesn't hit well enough to get on base and does not use it well when he does.

If you could enlighten me to what make Willie so special, I would be willing to listen.

eshunn2001
12-17-2004, 02:22 PM
Not a big Willie fan, nothing against him. He doesn't excel in any one facet of the game. His biggest asset is his speed, yet he doesn't hit well enough to get on base and does not use it well when he does.

If you could enlighten me to what make Willie so special, I would be willing to listen.Nobody said he was special, Just adequate. People trowing around Palanco like he is some kind of savior (at 2B) and ripping on Willie is Retarded. Willie was a rookie last year. He hit .262 and had an OBP of .343. Not bad at all for a rookie forced into a leadoff spot. Polanco .345 is not that much better. And for 4.5 million less Harris is a much better solution. As you saw even when his Average Dropped he was still getting on base. He is a young player inconsistancy is expected. There is no reason to think he will not be more consistant this year than last, And probably be better Next season compared to this upcoming season.

maurice
12-17-2004, 02:26 PM
Why in the world does everyone on this site and Chicago sports radio hate on Willie Harris so much?
Lack of perspective. After years of Ray Durham, many Sox fans assume that a MLB 2B should be able hit for average and power. That's simply not the case. Very few 2Bs hit for average and power, and most of them are not able to defend their position.

IMHO, given an opportunity, Harris will be no worse than an average MLB starting 2B with good D, adequate OBP, and no power. He's already a good platoon player / #9 hitter.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-17-2004, 02:45 PM
Lack of perspective. After years of Ray Durham, many Sox fans assume that a MLB 2B should be able hit for average and power. That's simply not the case. Very few 2Bs hit for average and power, and most of them are not able to defend their position.

IMHO, given an opportunity, Harris will be no worse than an average MLB starting 2B with good D, adequate OBP, and no power. He's already a good platoon player / #9 hitter. Definitely generous. The question is whether it's generous to a fault?
:o:

If Willie Harris is only good enough to bat #9 everyday, we had better find a defensive catcher who can at least hit well enough to bat #8. I'm not even going to mention our thirdbasemen's lack of production...

This is how a sinkhole gets started.

maurice
12-17-2004, 03:05 PM
Excellent point. There's nothing wrong with having a defensive specialist in your lineup (usually a MIF or C), but there're at least five players in the Sox lineup who are candidates to post an OPS under 800.
:o:

TheBull19
12-18-2004, 08:28 AM
It's also clear that despite being a semi- regular for the past few years he has not been able to do it (i.e. that's why you kept seeing the deals for Robbie Alomar and moving infielders around)

LipWhat? Last year was the 1st time Harris had more than 163 ABs . The year before, he only played 71 innings at 2b. Do you even watch the sox?

Lip Man 1
12-18-2004, 11:38 AM
Bull:

How many games did Harris also play in the outfield the past two years?

Yes I watch the Sox...regarding Harris I see pitchers blowing the ball by him, I see him not making contact, I see his inability to steal bases and I see him usually not able to drop down a bunt.

All perfect ingrediants for a lead off hitter eh?

Lip

TheBull19
12-18-2004, 12:14 PM
Bull:

How many games did Harris also play in the outfield the past two years?

Yes I watch the Sox...regarding Harris I see pitchers blowing the ball by him, I see him not making contact, I see his inability to steal bases and I see him usually not able to drop down a bunt.

All perfect ingrediants for a lead off hitter eh?

Lip
I'm not arguing the merits of Harris, my point was a guy who never had more than 163 at-bats in a season could not be considered a "semi-regular for the past few seasons." He was a semi-regular last year only.