PDA

View Full Version : Second Base Option


benjamin
12-20-2004, 10:15 PM
Was looking at some stats on players around the league that I think might be easy for the Sox to acquire because they either won't command a ton in a trade or would be cheap free agents, and I noticed this guy:

Second baseman, not arbitration eligible yet, so VERY cheap salary.

Above average defensively: ranked 6th in the Majors in total chances per 9.0 innings at 2B and had a .990 fielding percentage.

He batted .280 with a .366 OBP vs. righthanded pitchers last year, and could probably be the fastest guy on our team.

He only stole 19 bases last year, and hasn't bunted enough to take advantage of his speed, but he is still young and now that we've got the Rock coaching at first base I think that if given a chance we could really develop him into a decent #2 hitter that can get on base, move Pods along with the bunt, etc.

And you know the best part?

He's already on the team.

He may not be anywhere near making an all-star team, but a .366 OBP vs. Righties when he clearly had a down year makes me believe that Willie could be capable of a lot more if given the opportunity to continue to develop.

broker3d
12-20-2004, 10:17 PM
point well taken.

soltrain21
12-20-2004, 10:18 PM
Willie needs so start slapping the ball a lot more, he hits the ball in the air too much.

OurBitchinMinny
12-20-2004, 10:20 PM
you failed to mention his atrocious track record against lefties and his poor situational hitting. But I hope he turns it around because it looks like he is going to be the second baseman

chisox06
12-20-2004, 10:21 PM
Was looking at some stats on players around the league that I think might be easy for the Sox to acquire because they either won't command a ton in a trade or would be cheap free agents, and I noticed this guy:

Second baseman, not arbitration eligible yet, so VERY cheap salary.

Above average defensively: ranked 6th in the Majors in total chances per 9.0 innings at 2B and had a .990 fielding percentage.

He batted .280 with a .366 OBP vs. righthanded pitchers last year, and could probably be the fastest guy on our team.

He only stole 19 bases last year, and hasn't bunted enough to take advantage of his speed, but he is still young and now that we've got the Rock coaching at first base I think that if given a chance we could really develop him into a decent #2 hitter that can get on base, move Pods along with the bunt, etc.

And you know the best part?

He's already on the team.

He may not be anywhere near making an all-star team, but a .366 OBP vs. Righties when he clearly had a down year makes me believe that Willie could be capable of a lot more if given the opportunity to continue to develop.
Yea I'll go with it, you make a good point. Willie is still very young, he is a sold defender but still needs to work on things from the offensive side. I willing to give him another year.

Shingotime!!
12-20-2004, 10:23 PM
Was looking at some stats on players around the league that I think might be easy for the Sox to acquire because they either won't command a ton in a trade or would be cheap free agents, and I noticed this guy:

Second baseman, not arbitration eligible yet, so VERY cheap salary.

Above average defensively: ranked 6th in the Majors in total chances per 9.0 innings at 2B and had a .990 fielding percentage.

He batted .280 with a .366 OBP vs. righthanded pitchers last year, and could probably be the fastest guy on our team.

He only stole 19 bases last year, and hasn't bunted enough to take advantage of his speed, but he is still young and now that we've got the Rock coaching at first base I think that if given a chance we could really develop him into a decent #2 hitter that can get on base, move Pods along with the bunt, etc.

And you know the best part?

He's already on the team.

He may not be anywhere near making an all-star team, but a .366 OBP vs. Righties when he clearly had a down year makes me believe that Willie could be capable of a lot more if given the opportunity to continue to develop.


Ha Ha, i just got that.

hose
12-20-2004, 10:27 PM
Sign Eckstein and bat him second.

Trade Willie for whatever they can get.

DickAllen72
12-20-2004, 10:27 PM
Was looking at some stats on players around the league that I think might be easy for the Sox to acquire because they either won't command a ton in a trade or would be cheap free agents, and I noticed this guy:

Second baseman, not arbitration eligible yet, so VERY cheap salary.

Above average defensively: ranked 6th in the Majors in total chances per 9.0 innings at 2B and had a .990 fielding percentage.

He batted .280 with a .366 OBP vs. righthanded pitchers last year, and could probably be the fastest guy on our team.

He only stole 19 bases last year, and hasn't bunted enough to take advantage of his speed, but he is still young and now that we've got the Rock coaching at first base I think that if given a chance we could really develop him into a decent #2 hitter that can get on base, move Pods along with the bunt, etc.

And you know the best part?

He's already on the team.

He may not be anywhere near making an all-star team, but a .366 OBP vs. Righties when he clearly had a down year makes me believe that Willie could be capable of a lot more if given the opportunity to continue to develop.


Great post. Willie is still very young, and is already a very good defensive 2B. He should be able to learn a lot about base stealing watching Podsednik. The only thing that worries me is his hitting against LHP. But Willie has the potential to be a stud.

batmanZoSo
12-20-2004, 10:45 PM
you failed to mention his atrocious track record against lefties and his poor situational hitting. But I hope he turns it around because it looks like he is going to be the second baseman
Inability to bunt, bonehead field errors and, yes, poor situational hitting.

benjamin
12-20-2004, 10:45 PM
you failed to mention his atrocious track record against lefties and his poor situational hitting. But I hope he turns it around because it looks like he is going to be the second baseman
I hear you. I'm not trying to portray him as an All-Star, but by the same token, if used properly Willie can be a good value to our offense at a very inexpensive price.

Situational hitting is part of the reason that Rock Raines was brought in to coach first base, etc. While Walk is a hell of a hitting coach, Rock is a far more similar style of player to Willie than Walk was. Maybe he can teach Willie a few of the finer points to being a speedster/bunter.

For comparison's sake:

Luis Castillo: $5.33 million salary
Batting stats vs. righties in 2004: .285 BA/.374 OBP/.314 SLG with 16 SB

Willie Harris: $0.32 million salary
Batting stats vs. righties in 2004: .279/.366/.335 with 19 SB

At this point we might as well take a relatively inexpensive gamble that Willie can continue to improve.

infohawk
12-20-2004, 11:03 PM
Sign Eckstein and bat him second.

Trade Willie for whatever they can get.2004 Stats:

AVG .OBP
Willie .262 .343
Eckstein .276 .339

These two had somewhat similar offensive seasons last year. Eckstein wouldn't be a significant enough upgrade over Willie to justify his salary, which is somewhere north of two million dollars per year. Everyone needs to remember that last year was Willie's first full year in the majors. There is actually a stronger case to be made against keeping Crede than there is against keeping Willie. Willie hits righties very well. He just needs to improve his success rate against left-handed pitching and he will become a very solid player. Give him a chance.

benjamin
12-20-2004, 11:05 PM
One thing further:

I personally think that what hurt Willie the most last season in terms of his offensive development was the unexpected offensive exploits of Juan Uribe. (Because Willie, along with Aaron Rowand, lost playing time when Ozzie found ways to get Uribe more ABs)

On June 1 Willie was batting .352 with a .406 OBP vs. righties, and .318 with a .372 OBP overall.

Also by June 1, Willie had already begun to play CF more frequently after having played exclusively at 2B all through spring training and most of the first two months of the regular season.

While he may have had experience playing the position in the past, I can't help but notice his .204 batting average as an OF vs. his .273 batting average as a 2B this past season.

I would like to submit the theory that his moving back to CF on a semi-regular basis coinciding with a truly abysmal stretch at the plate was not merely a coincidence. (Willie batted .182 in June and .188 in July before rebounding to hit .288 in August)

Like I said before, at his salary there is no reason not to take a decent gamble on him holding his own at 2B in 2005 while turning our attention to more pressing issues: like acquiring another starting pitcher.

wdelaney72
12-20-2004, 11:46 PM
Inability to bunt, bonehead field errors and, yes, poor situational hitting.
Let's not forget the inability to steal a base even though he possesses incredible speed.

"The next time I see you hit one in the air, you owe me 20 pushups."

Chisox003
12-21-2004, 12:05 AM
Sign Eckstein and bat him second.

Trade Willie for whatever they can get.
Couldnt agree more

OzzieBall2004
12-21-2004, 12:18 AM
Very good post. It raises an interesting debate, and frankly, the numbers don't lie. He's not bad, but he's not good, and it's downright frustrating that he doesn't utilize his speed and steal more often.

All in all, I'm willing to give him another chance, and the same goes for a handful of guys on the team. Namely....

Crede who needs to fix his swing

Borchard who needs to find his swing, or get a new one for that matter

Garland who needs to put together 6-7 strong innings and be more consistent

It's truly going to be a telling year, and a make or break year for a handful of guys.

MisterB
12-21-2004, 12:51 AM
A few comments on this thread.

1. Too many flyballs - among all major leaguers with at least as many PA's as Willie, Harris ranks 18th in Groundball/Flyball ratio. In other words, only 17 major leaguers with comparable playing time were more likely to hit a groundball than Harris.

2 - Can't steal a base - No one has adequately explained how many stolen bases are necessary for Harris to be considered 'able to steal a base'. Please keep in mind that only 3 players in the AL had as many as 30 SB.

3 - David Eckstein - His overall numbers the last 2 years have been very similar to Harris's '04 numbers. (With the notable exception of L/R splits). And in relation to points 1 & 2 above, Harris is a better groundball hitter and over the last 2 years has 1 less SB in about half the playing time.

For less money than Eckstein, we could get a RH platoon partner for Harris and wind up with more offense overall.

CWSGuy406
12-21-2004, 12:55 AM
Let's not forget the inability to steal a base even though he possesses incredible speed.

"The next time I see you hit one in the air, you owe me 20 pushups."
So what?

Stealing bases doesn't mean that much... Especially if you get caught a lot. I'll take a high OBP, .350 or so ANY day over a guy with 90+ stolen bases, unless that guy had a similar OBP.

If Harris can steal us 20 bases, that's great. He has better range than just about any secondbaseman and in the lead, and he hits right handed pitchers very well. If Eckstein came fairly cheap, I'd definitely sign Eck, platoon him with Harris at second, and go from there.

gosox41
12-21-2004, 09:10 AM
Let's not forget the inability to steal a base even though he possesses incredible speed.

"The next time I see you hit one in the air, you owe me 20 pushups."
It would be nice if Willie were a better bunter.



Bob

Mohoney
12-21-2004, 09:21 AM
There is actually a stronger case to be made against keeping Crede than there is against keeping Willie.
So we sign Eck, and have Willie and Crede compete in Spring Training for the last starting job.

If Willie starts stealing bases, and Crede shows no signs of life whatsoever, then we go with Uribe at 3B, Eck at SS, and Willie at 2B with Crede playing twice a week at the most until he's traded.

If Crede has the better Spring, and Willie still can't steal bases, then we put Eck at 2B, Uribe at SS, and Crede at 3B with Willie being the guy that plays twice a week.

Ol' No. 2
12-21-2004, 10:14 AM
It would be nice if Willie were a better bunter.



BobIt would be nice if they all were. Face it. Very few players come out of the minors being good bunters. Nearly all of them learn it at the major league level. If they learn it at all.

Mickster
12-21-2004, 10:15 AM
It would be nice if they all were. Face it. Very few players come out of the minors being good bunters. Nearly all of them learn it at the major league level. If they learn it at all.
Think how sad that sounds... :(:

Ol' No. 2
12-21-2004, 10:36 AM
Think how sad that sounds... :(:It sure does. But the reality is that minor league players have one objective - to make it to the show. And no one gets on a major league roster for his bunting ability.

gosox41
12-21-2004, 11:48 AM
It would be nice if they all were. Face it. Very few players come out of the minors being good bunters. Nearly all of them learn it at the major league level. If they learn it at all.
True. With WIllie's speed he can be a dangerous lead off hitter of he:

1. Became a really great bunter as his OBP would jump
2. Be more aggressive stealing bases


Bob

Ol' No. 2
12-21-2004, 12:04 PM
True. With WIllie's speed he can be a dangerous lead off hitter of he:

1. Became a really great bunter as his OBP would jump
2. Be more aggressive stealing bases


BobI like the addition of Raines as a coach. Hopefully, he can get Willie to reach his potential. Maybe Podsednik can be a positive influence, too.