Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buster, Buster, Buster

Buster Posey, right now, is the most important person in the Giants organization. Unless we have a secret plan to sign Matt Holliday, it is pretty clear that the Giants are "standing pat." There's some upside to that: Sabean can't fuck up and throw away another pitching prospect or trade Jonathan Sanchez for a mediocre has-been. And Jaysus-Mary-Joseph can we please not sign Johnny-Fookin'-Damon? We could get the same performance from Fred Lewis, could we not? For the record, I'd love to sign Matt Holliday, but the cement overshoes known as Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand most likely rule that out. I'm plugging my ears and going "nee-nee-nee-nee" over and over again thinking about the $15 million that Tim Lincecum will get in arbitration. At least that dude deserves his raise.

No, it's all about Buster. CHONE says Buster will deliver a .262/.339/.399 line in 122 games (100 hits, 50 runs, 21 2B, 9 HR, 40 BB, 73 SO). Not bad for a wet-behind-the-ears kid, eh? FanGraphs has both the Bill James and fan-vote projections for 2010, and they are more generous (.270/.331/.405 with 128 hits in 131 games, 25 2B, 11 HR; and .282/.359/.438 with 105 hits in 101 games, 22 2B, 11HR). Bill James says 43 BB and 86 SO, the fans say 41 BB and 71 SO. The fans like Buster and his stats translate to 3.0 WAR. That would be something. Only Tim Lincecum (8.2), Matt Cain (3.6), and Pablo Sandoval (5.2) contributed more than 3.0 WAR to the Giants in 2009. Juan Uribe was 2.9, just for comparison. Freddy Sanchez was a 3.2, 4.8, and 3.7 WAR player at his peak (2005-2007). Wouldn't it be swell if he could conjure up a 2010 like that?

Here's what John Sickels says about Buster (after grading him our only "A" prospect):

No-brainer. All he needs is playing time.

I think we know that. Let's hope the Giants do as well. So--now that we figure the Giants are NOT going to sign a hitter or two, Buster's 2010 performance becomes that much more important. So, what do you expect from Buster next year? Check out Brian McCann, Russell Martin, Kurt Suzuki, and Joe Mauer. Where does Buster project when matched up with these established backstops?


Ron said...

"Free-agent pitcher Jason Marquis has agreed to a two-year, $15M contract with the Washington Nationals ... .

Marquis went 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA in 33 starts for the Colorado Rockies last season. In his 10-year career, DURING WHICH EVERY TEAM HE HAS BEEN ON HAS MADE THE POSTSEASON, he is 94-83 with a 4.48 ERA."

I don't care how strong our pitching is, we still need a #5 starter. If we could pay Randy Johnson the kind of money we did last year, then why not Jason Marquis this year? He's even a .203 career hitter. A 4.04 ERA, when you play half of your games in Denver, is pretty impressive.

Zo said...

Because they want a $5 million, one year contract. Craig Counsell has been in the post season a bunch of times, too. Do you want him? Also, I stand by my earlier prediction - the Giants will sign one second tier free agent hitter in the offseason. Freddie Sanchez doesn't count because his re-signing was a given.

M.C. O'Connor said...

You're forgetting Mr. Clutch, David Eckstein.

We need hitting a LOT more than we need pitching, and we are going to spend $15 M for ONE season of Tim, which is a lot more valuable than spending $15 M on two seasons of a Livan Hernandez-type. Marquis is a decent pitcher, eats a lot of innings, gets a lot of groundballs, but he's not worth $15 M to the Giants. We have enough arms to fill that role (MadBum, anyone?), or we can pick some up for a lot less (Kevin Correia just re-signed with the Pads for $3.6 M, for example. I realize he doesn't have Marquis' Bucketful of Intagibles, but he'd do fine in the 5-spot.) The Nats need some solid, league-average arms to hold the fort until Stephen Strasburg comes of age. Note that the Yankees needed another starter, but preferred to trade a good, young player and a huge prospect for the older, costlier Javier Vazquez rather than pursue Marquis.

Adam LaRoche for 3 years, $25 M. That's a very Sabeanesque move, don't you think? Though I think a RH would be better.

But we are off-topic: what are your projections for Buster? If he does anything close to the ones I posted, I'll be thrilled, and look forward to a big "breakout" in 2010.

Zo said...

One thing that impressed me about Sickels' report is the vast number of pitchers in the system. As young pitchers with potential are always valuable, I foresee good things - assuming they are used (or traded) wisely.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Braves (supposedly) signed Troy Glaus to play 1B for $2M + incentives. That's a good gamble--he's 33, coming off surgery, can really rake when healthy, has played 3B so the transition to first should be do-able. He'd have been a nice pickup for the Giants. We need a big RH bat and we need a first baseman.

I think this means Adam LaRoche is edging ever closer to AT&T Park. Too bad he's left-handed--I think our park will hurt his power.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Rumor has it we made an offer to Mark DeRosa.

Lifetime .275/.343/.424 (.767 OPS) and 97 OPS+. We seem to want to pay for versatility--DeRosa can play LF and anywhere on the infield. Lots of lineup shuffling and position-fu next season? What, Bochy needs a hobby?

M.C. O'Connor said...

OK, I'll admit I'm addicted to MLB Trade Rumors. The latest: we want Juan Uribe back.

Uribe had a great year for us, but I don't think he will do as well again. His lifetime OBP is a Molina-esque .298 and his .329 last year was a career high. He'd be a fine super-sub, but those outs would pile up quick if he were an everyday player.

Ron said...

Happy Holidays to everyone! Let's hope that Santa brings us a new hard-hitting, high OBP Outfielder! Unless someone dazzling comes along (unlikely), I'm for another year of the Ishikawa experiment at 1B.

Merry Christmas!

barryforever said...

The Poser is the new Steve Decker.