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View Full Version : What to do with Wee Willie?


chisox06
03-07-2005, 12:39 AM
Their have been a few different threads on just what we should do with Willie Harris. So, naturally I thought a poll would be a good idea. What do you all think?

SoxPostSeason
03-07-2005, 07:03 AM
I voted to keep him as a utility, lk a pinch runner. He can come in handy when we have thomas on first in the bottom of the tenth with no outs.

whitesoxwilkes
03-07-2005, 08:11 AM
I voted for utility as well. Speed off the bench...but I want him as a pinch RUNNER, not a pinch HITTER.

tlebar318
03-07-2005, 09:34 AM
I would like to keep him on the team as long as he can accept his role and not be a detriment by having a bad attitude if he does not get to start....

veeter
03-07-2005, 09:50 AM
I am in Willie's corner. I think he is an excellent defensive player both in the outfield and at second. I also don't simply dismiss the idea of him playing SOME shortstop. He's very polished in the field so I think he could do it. I also think he's received a most undeserved rough ride about his hitting. Let the guy develop. His .262 avg. was made out like it was .162. I remember when Paul O'Neil couldn't hit a lefty to save his life and I think he turned out o.k. Add in the fact he is fast and he should be important to this team. He's not Robbie Alomar in his prime but he's better than advertised IMO.

I want Mags back
03-07-2005, 10:15 AM
I voted for utility as well. Speed off the bench...but I want him as a pinch RUNNER, not a pinch HITTER.

Pinch Bunter

jabrch
03-07-2005, 10:29 AM
Keep him on the bench - but keep your ears open for people who need to acquire a 2B. Someone may need a guy like Willie. He'd be particularly valuable to an NL team cuz he can play CF or 2B. He's left handed and really might not be a TERRIBLE hitter. There are worse with starting jobs. I just think that as the season goes, someone will need a guy like Harris and we might be able to get a decent prospect for him.

DaleJRFan
03-07-2005, 10:30 AM
Pinch Bunter

Where are the teal poice when you need them...

DaleJRFan
03-07-2005, 10:32 AM
Keep him on the bench - but keep your ears open for people who need to acquire a 2B. Someone may need a guy like Willie. He'd be particularly valuable to an NL team cuz he can play CF or 2B. He's left handed and really might not be a TERRIBLE hitter. There are worse with starting jobs. I just think that as the season goes, someone will need a guy like Harris and we might be able to get a decent prospect for him.

Milwaukee needs a lead-off hitter. Maybe we can get a decent lefthanded arm for the bullpen in return (Cotts to AAA as a starter)? I like Willie, though. I hope he stays here in Chicago.

SweetHereafter
03-07-2005, 11:10 AM
I have no problem whatsoever with Willie giving some competition to Iguchi at 2b, Uribe at SS and Crede at 3b - with Uribe switching over, natch.

Willie's major weakness is he doesn't hit lefties and doesn't hit for power. With his speed (he does need more confidence in himself, but that may be fixable, esp. with Podsednik and Raines) and top-of-the-order spot, his Slug % is FAR less important than his OBP. Now, Willie was a near-400 OBP guy last year before Ozzie unceremoniously started benching him in favor of Jose, who tanked himself about a month later. Willie still finished with a respectab;e 366 OBP against righties. He's done ok against lefties throughout his mL career, but with Crede, Uribe and Iguchi, Sox don't really need Willie's bat with a southpaw on the mound.

What are my expectations? High:

380 OBP against rhp
25 SB in 32 att (plus the usual extra bases that are not SB)
Good defense at 2B, and average defense at SS (Counsell/Eckstein mold)

At a very low salary, I'll take that in a heart-beat. And if Willie shows no signs of progress in the next couple of months, cut him loose, no harm done.

Sad
03-07-2005, 11:14 AM
:tealpolice:

cuff 'em & stuff 'em!

34 Inch Stick
03-07-2005, 11:18 AM
Iguichi must prove himself as an MLB player before anything is done with Willie. In the meantime, Willie would be best advised to learn as many positions as he possibly can. A player with his speed can stay stick in MLB for a long time.

SweetHereafter
03-07-2005, 11:23 AM
Iguichi must prove himself as an MLB player before anything is done with Willie. In the meantime, Willie would be best advised to learn as many positions as he possibly can. A player with his speed can stay stick in MLB for a long time.

He can play 2B, CF, LF, SS with varying success. That's plenty.

Shortening/leveling out his swing....getting better jumps off 1st.....laying down a fundamentally flawless bunt....studying opposition in the film room for a change.... THAT's where most of his efforts should be concentrated this sprig IMO.

champagne030
03-07-2005, 11:35 AM
Their have been a few different threads on just what we should do with Willie Harris. So, naturally I thought a poll would be a good idea. What do you all think?

i voted #2, for a lack of a better option. there's not room on the 25 man roster for a 2b/cf reserve. he is herb washington (w/o the stolen base potential).....seriously, the only spot open for him is utility IF and i don't think he can play SS (on a useful basis).....maybe b/w him and borchard we can get a legit utility....i view that position more important to us than most....someone who could play 2-3 days/week and sitting crede and gooch for a day and letting u-boat (no harm meant to the vets out there) sit now and then......

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 11:52 AM
You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. We don't need a utility outfielder and Willie can't back up Uribe at short. His basestealing is atrocious and his situational hitting is non existent. Who needs a platoon pinch hitter who can't hit?
:?:

Willie was damned lucky not to get cut from the team back in July, 2003 after KW traded for Roberto Alomar, instead D'angelo Jimenez getting sent to Cincinnati. Otherwise Willie isn't even playing organized baseball today. He has already lived a charmed life with two different organizations (the Sox and Baltimore) coming within a whisker of giving up on him.

25th-man-on-the-roster type ballplayers like Willie Harris come a dime a dozen. Let's find somebody who meets our needs (utility SS/2B) and move on. Hoping and dreaming Willie will bring us anything more than a bag of baseballs in trade is simply not based in any kind of reality.

SweetHereafter
03-07-2005, 12:45 PM
We don't need a utility outfielder

He is not a utility outfielder exclusively (2b-ss-lf-cf), nor are Sox loaded with OF players. Timo and Borchard are dogs. Everett is a DH and Gload a 1B. Spidale/Anderson/Owenes are not ready.

and Willie can't back up Uribe at short

He's got the excellent range, hands, quick release and accuracy to be a decent-if-unspectacular SS. Uribe is the starter at SS, but if he tanks against rhp the way he did in Colorado, it's nice to know that Willie can back him up against righties. Just give him a few weeks to get used to the position.

His basestealing is atrocious

Another myth. As raw as Willie is, and as uncomfortable as he looked with his reads in the 2nd half of last season, Willie is still 39-for-48 in stolen bases at the majors. There is no reason why he can't marginally improve on that.

Also, blazing speed is more than just stolen bases as you know - going from 1st to 3rd, beating out FO, taggin' up on shallow FB, advancing on pitches in the dirt, scoring from 1st on doubles, etc. Willie acquited himself admirably in that respect even when he had trouble steals.

and his situational hitting is non existent.


Willie is no less or more "clutch" than any other. With sufficient sample size, you'll see that in time.


Again, his perfomance against southpaws has been unacceptable on the ML level (as opposed to the minors where he did ok) and so any talk of him as a ML regular will have to be postponed until he proves us otherwise. But I tihnk it's a mistake to dismiss Wiliie as "talentless" just yet. Give him two months as a super-utility man and only then cut your losses.

pssondacubs
03-07-2005, 01:12 PM
He lacks the confidence to play in the bigs. He needs a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't need to be afraid to fail. IE: base stealing. If he doesn't have it yet, he most likely won't. He reminds me of a couple other Sox players who actually were supposed to be tops at their position, Garland and Crede. Neither have done much except dissappoint. How much time do these guys need? I voted to dump him.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 01:27 PM
He is not a utility outfielder exclusively (2b-ss-lf-cf), nor are Sox loaded with OF players. Timo and Borchard are dogs. Everett is a DH and Gload a 1B. Spidale/Anderson/Owenes are not ready.



He's got the excellent range, hands, quick release and accuracy to be a decent-if-unspectacular SS. Uribe is the starter at SS, but if he tanks against rhp the way he did in Colorado, it's nice to know that Willie can back him up against righties. Just give him a few weeks to get used to the position.



Another myth. As raw as Willie is, and as uncomfortable as he looked with his reads in the 2nd half of last season, Willie is still 39-for-48 in stolen bases at the majors. There is no reason why he can't marginally improve on that.

Also, blazing speed is more than just stolen bases as you know - going from 1st to 3rd, beating out FO, taggin' up on shallow FB, advancing on pitches in the dirt, scoring from 1st on doubles, etc. Willie acquited himself admirably in that respect even when he had trouble steals.



Willie is no less or more "clutch" than any other. With sufficient sample size, you'll see that in time.


Again, his perfomance against southpaws has been unacceptable on the ML level (as opposed to the minors where he did ok) and so any talk of him as a ML regular will have to be postponed until he proves us otherwise. But I tihnk it's a mistake to dismiss Wiliie as "talentless" just yet. Give him two months as a super-utility man and only then cut your losses.

Wow! I want some of whatever you're smoking.
:cool:

:bong:

Ol' No. 2
03-07-2005, 02:09 PM
You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. We don't need a utility outfielder and Willie can't back up Uribe at short. His basestealing is atrocious and his situational hitting is non existent. Who needs a platoon pinch hitter who can't hit?
:?:

Willie was damned lucky not to get cut from the team back in July, 2003 after KW traded for Roberto Alomar, instead D'angelo Jimenez getting sent to Cincinnati. Otherwise Willie isn't even playing organized baseball today. He has already lived a charmed life with two different organizations (the Sox and Baltimore) coming within a whisker of giving up on him.

25th-man-on-the-roster type ballplayers like Willie Harris come a dime a dozen. Let's find somebody who meets our needs (utility SS/2B) and move on. Hoping and dreaming Willie will bring us anything more than a bag of baseballs in trade is simply not based in any kind of reality.Most of these deficiencies are things that can be learned. He can learn to be a better base stealer. He can learn to be a better situational hitter. He was actually pretty effective against RHP, but he can learn to get better against LHP. I'm less optimistic he can be a servicable backup at SS, but I guess we're going to find out in spring training, so there's no point it debating it. Besides, Uribe looks to be able to play 160 games, so it's not that critical.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 02:11 PM
Most of these deficiencies are things that can be learned.

Let him learn elsewhere... like Joliet. This is major league baseball, not a developmental league. We need somebody to spell Uribe at short RIGHT NOW.

Gimme a break...

Ol' No. 2
03-07-2005, 02:15 PM
Let him learn elsewhere... like Joliet. This is major league baseball, not a developmental league. We need somebody to spell Uribe at short RIGHT NOW.

Gimme a break...Easy to say, but the reality is very few players arrive in the bigs that are major-league ready. Players are rushed along more than they used to be. If they had a really good candidate for the utility IF spot, it would be different, but he's competing against Valdez and Ozuna. It wouldn't be much of a stretch for Willie to be better than either of them.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 02:20 PM
Easy to say, but the reality is very few players arrive in the bigs that are major-league ready. Players are rushed along more than they used to be. If they had a really good candidate for the utility IF spot, it would be different, but he's competing against Valdez and Ozuna. It wouldn't be much of a stretch for Willie to be better than either of them.

Forget "stretching" for a 25th man! They're worthless!

There will be better options than Willie Harris for our 25th man among the final ballplayers cut by other teams in a mere 3 weeks.

Take it to the bank. Willie Harris won't spend May Day with the Chicago White Sox.

Quit whining about his fate.

SweetHereafter
03-07-2005, 02:35 PM
Wow! I want some of whatever you're smoking.
:cool:

:bong:








It's like, whoa, you certainly told me....


:rolleyes:

Ol' No. 2
03-07-2005, 02:37 PM
Forget "stretching" for a 25th man! They're worthless!

There will be better options than Willie Harris for our 25th man among the final ballplayers cut by other teams in a mere 3 weeks.

Take it to the bank. Willie Harris won't spend May Day with the Chicago White Sox.

Quit whining about his fate.I haven't looked at the other teams' rosters to know who's on the bubble and who else might be looking for a utility IF. Obviously, if someone better becomes available at a reasonable price, they should grab him. But at the same time they need to plan for what to do if there isn't someone available or if there's so much competition for what is available that the price goes sky-high. Let Willie get some time at SS to show what he can do. Let him play to see if his hitting and baserunning improve. What's the downside? If nothing else he might improve his trade value.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 02:46 PM
It's like, whoa, you certainly told me....


I opined that Willie was worth a bag of baseballs. If we're lucky we'll get 2 bags, white.

Daver thought I was nuts. He said 1 bag and a broken fungo bat.

Daver is a smart man.
:cool:

chisox06
03-07-2005, 02:51 PM
Most of these deficiencies are things that can be learned. He can learn to be a better base stealer. He can learn to be a better situational hitter. He was actually pretty effective against RHP, but he can learn to get better against LHP. I'm less optimistic he can be a servicable backup at SS, but I guess we're going to find out in spring training, so there's no point it debating it. Besides, Uribe looks to be able to play 160 games, so it's not that critical.

I certainly agree with that, but I also agree with PHG that the majors are a place to execute not learn. If a guy like Willie with that fantastic speed still has to learn how to steal bases (among the others), he shouldnt be in the majors. He should be learning in the minors or with another franchise.
SMO

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 02:52 PM
I haven't looked at the other teams' rosters to know who's on the bubble and who else might be looking for a utility IF. Obviously, if someone better becomes available at a reasonable price, they should grab him. But at the same time they need to plan for what to do if there isn't someone available or if there's so much competition for what is available that the price goes sky-high. Let Willie get some time at SS to show what he can do. Let him play to see if his hitting and baserunning improve. What's the downside? If nothing else he might improve his trade value.

Willie will get a chance to stick, not unlike when Jimenez auditioned at third base in 2003. He failed and got put on the waiver wire.

Sure, Willie might stick with the Sox simply because Valdez is not a major league talent. But I bet the Sox find exactly what they need/want before May Day, maybe even before Opening Day. 25th men come really cheap, and you can pretty much pick whatever type of ballplayer you want and still pay hardly more than the league minimum.

It's all good...
:cool:

SweetHereafter
03-07-2005, 05:30 PM
I opined that Willie was worth a bag of baseballs. If we're lucky we'll get 2 bags, white.

Daver thought I was nuts. He said 1 bag and a broken fungo bat.

Daver is a smart man.
:cool:


fair enough.

let me ask you:

Do you even allow for the possibility that you're, well, wrong when it comes to Willie's talent/ability/future?

Daver
03-07-2005, 05:42 PM
fair enough.

let me ask you:

Do you even allow for the possibility that you're, well, wrong when it comes to Willie's talent/ability/future?

Well, I don't.

He's an average second baseman, a below average center fielder, has diffuculty hitting MLB pitching, and doesn't have the eye to draw walks.

How much upside can you get out of that?

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 05:49 PM
Well, I don't.

He's an average second baseman, a below average center fielder, has diffuculty hitting MLB pitching, and doesn't have the eye to draw walks.

How much upside can you get out of that?

I'm guessing Wee Willie has as much chance of converting to shortstop as Jimenez had of converting to third base. Beyond that, he's waiver wire material... just like Jimenez.
:cool:

SweetHereafter
03-07-2005, 06:02 PM
Well, I don't.

He's an average second baseman, a below average center fielder, has diffuculty hitting MLB pitching, and doesn't have the eye to draw walks.

How much upside can you get out of that?

For one, I disagree with the premises.

I don't see how Willie Harris can be termed an "average" defensive 2B - excellent range; catches everything hit at him; doesn't have a strong arm but compensates for it by ridding of the ball quickly and almost never missing his target. Furthermore, since almost all young infielders struggle with their defense in their first few seasons, it's reasonable to expect Willie to further improve on his D.

Willie's walk rate against rhp was higher than Ray Durham's in his 1st full year - and in fact, as a regular last year, rhp OBP was hovering around .400. He is inexplicably awful against southpaws, but I never envisioned him as a starter anyway, so...

I say give him until early-mid May.

Daver
03-07-2005, 06:24 PM
For one, I disagree with the premises.

I don't see how Willie Harris can be termed an "average" defensive 2B - excellent range; catches everything hit at him; doesn't have a strong arm but compensates for it by ridding of the ball quickly and almost never missing his target. Furthermore, since almost all young infielders struggle with their defense in their first few seasons, it's reasonable to expect Willie to further improve on his D.

Willie's walk rate against rhp was higher than Ray Durham's in his 1st full year - and in fact, as a regular last year, rhp OBP was hovering around .400. He is inexplicably awful against southpaws, but I never envisioned him as a starter anyway, so...

I say give him until early-mid May.

Your defininition of excellent is far different from mine, I like to keep my definitions with the bounds of reality.

basilesox
03-07-2005, 06:40 PM
I'm guessing Wee Willie has as much chance of converting to shortstop as Jimenez had of converting to third base. Beyond that, he's waiver wire material... just like Jimenez.
:cool:


Speaking of Jimenez......I think he was dumped partly because of his attitude which could be Harris's undoing in Chicago. When Iguchi was signed he cried to the newspapers and I am sure Williams wasn't pleased.

I would have given him alot more respect if he would have just stated that he was still confident he would start and that he would give it his all. He just seemed to imply that he had already been "replaced" by someone without a single at bat in the majors.

With that kind of attitude.........I don't see him improving much or being around here very long. I still voted to hang on to him for now until we have someone better for the 25th spot. You never know........there could be an idiot GM out there that sees his speed and sends us a low level prospect pitcher.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-07-2005, 08:18 PM
Speaking of Jimenez......I think he was dumped partly because of his attitude which could be Harris's undoing in Chicago. When Iguchi was signed he cried to the newspapers and I am sure Williams wasn't pleased.

That was our old pal "Tailgunner Joe" Cowley. He's notorious for poking and prodding weak-minded ballplayers into giving him the quotes he needs to crucify them in print. Harris is just his latest victim. Cowley did a hatchet job on Carlos Lee this past winter and he has built an entire career around laying waste to Frank Thomas.

I honestly feel sorry for Harris because Cowley simply used the moment (immediately after the Iguchi signing) to get Harris to say a bunch of **** out of frustration. It makes good copy... ethics be damned.

Ol' No. 2
03-08-2005, 09:00 AM
That was our old pal "Tailgunner Joe" Cowley. He's notorious for poking and prodding weak-minded ballplayers into giving him the quotes he needs to crucify them in print. Harris is just his latest victim. Cowley did a hatchet job on Carlos Lee this past winter and he has built an entire career around laying waste to Frank Thomas.

I honestly feel sorry for Harris because Cowley simply used the moment (immediately after the Iguchi signing) to get Harris to say a bunch of **** out of frustration. It makes good copy... ethics be damned.Would you want a player that WASN'T unhappy about being replaced? I can pretty much guarantee you that every major league player would rather be playing every day for a last place team than sitting on the bench with a winner. Even aside from his being set up by Cowley, I don't have a problem with Harris or any other player wanting to be traded in that situation.

SweetHereafter
03-08-2005, 10:18 AM
Your defininition of excellent is far different from mine, I like to keep my definitions with the bounds of reality.


Now that we've gotten over the "Willie is an awful basestealer" and "Willie doesn't walk" myths (which is not to say that I am happy with his running or his walk rate - no, he definately needs to continue to improve in both areas if he wants to start in the bigs).....it's time to clear something up when it comes to his "average" range: now that Pokey Reese is older, banged up and has switched over to SS, which 2b covers more ground, both infield and outfield, than Willie Harris?

But hey don't take my word for it. Here's what a "scout" from Stat, Inc had to say about Willie range: "Harris is a gifted athlete who has terrific range at second base, especially covering ground to his left and toward the foul line on popups".

SweetHereafter
03-08-2005, 10:33 AM
Speaking of Jimenez......I think he was dumped partly because of his attitude which could be Harris's undoing in Chicago. When Iguchi was signed he cried to the newspapers and I am sure Williams wasn't pleased.

.

Jimenez...now there's a clubhouse cancer extraordinaire - as opposed to Willie who may make a fool out of himself at times, but is ultimately a decent and hard-working guy.

Anyway, Jimenez also had a pretty good eye, but unlike Willie, he really couldn't run bases, didn't have much range at 2nd, made mind-bogglingly stupid decisions, and at times flat-out quit on his team. Since he was about to hit arbitration years, Sox had about enough of him.

Willie deserved one last look, IMO.

Daver
03-08-2005, 05:02 PM
Now that we've gotten over the "Willie is an awful basestealer" and "Willie doesn't walk" myths (which is not to say that I am happy with his running or his walk rate - no, he definately needs to continue to improve in both areas if he wants to start in the bigs).....it's time to clear something up when it comes to his "average" range: now that Pokey Reese is older, banged up and has switched over to SS, which 2b covers more ground, both infield and outfield, than Willie Harris?

But hey don't take my word for it. Here's what a "scout" from Stat, Inc had to say about Willie range: "Harris is a gifted athlete who has terrific range at second base, especially covering ground to his left and toward the foul line on popups".


Speed does not equal range.

I trust anything STATS Inc. has to say about as far as I can drop kick a Rhino.

santo=dorf
03-08-2005, 05:12 PM
I trust anything STATS Inc. has to say about as far as I can drop kick a Rhino.

Why? And for that matter, why should anyone take your word on Willie? :?:

Daver
03-08-2005, 05:37 PM
Why? And for that matter, why should anyone take your word on Willie? :?:

Judging talent based purely on stats is like reading one book of a trilogy and trying to have an intelligent opinion on the complete work, with only a third of the knowledge.

I'm not asking anyone to take my word on Willie, I am simply offering my opinion. I thought it was allowed to do that with quoting a baseball publication to back my opinion, have the rules around here changed?

MeanFish
03-08-2005, 05:38 PM
Honestly, I'm in the "Trade Willie" camp. It's not because I don't like Willie, or even because I don't think he can cut it. I think he CAN cut it at this level but he's going to need an opportunity to prove it, which is something I don't feel we're equipped to give. If we trade him, it can't be for a guy like Wes Helms. We don't need Wes Helms.

santo=dorf
03-08-2005, 05:49 PM
Judging talent based purely on stats is like reading one book of a trilogy and trying to have an intelligent opinion on the complete work, with only a third of the knowledge.
You're assuming that the scout from Stats Inc. is only use stats to evaluate Willie. I'm not big into these sabr stats either, but I don't know which stats the scout would use to say "Harris is a gifted athlete who has terrific range at second base, especially covering ground to his left and toward the foul line on popups."
I'm not asking anyone to take my word on Willie, I am simply offering my opinion. I thought it was allowed to do that with quoting a baseball publication to back my opinion, have the rules around here changed?

No you're not, but comments like "Your defininition of excellent is far different from mine, I like to keep my definitions with the bounds of reality" seem like you are trying to say "I'm right, you're not."

Where exactly in my post did I say, or even hint at, that you might be breaking any rules about posting? :?:

SweetHereafter
03-08-2005, 06:32 PM
For the record, here's how I would rate other Sox players' def. range:

Rowand (CF) - average
Podsednik (LF) - slightly above average
Everett - below average
Dye - average
Uribe (SS) - slightly above average
Crede - slightly above average
Gload (OF) - below average
Konerko - below average
Thomas - below average
Borchard (RF) - slightly above average when healthy
Timo (CF) - average
Harris - above average
Burke (LF) - below average
Iguchi - ???
Lee - average
Magglio - slightly above average when healthy
Valentin - average



YMMV