Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our rookies

Marc Hulet does a round-up of the 2010 rookie crop and TWO GIANTS make the list. We all know Stephen Strasburg in Washington and Jason Heyward in Atlanta are "A-list" prospects, but our very own Buster Posey is sandwiched between them in the article:

Buster Posey, C, San Francisco
2009 Peak Level: The Majors
2010 Roadblock: Management and Bengie Molina

The Giants club saved Molina from a chilly free agent market, but who is going to save general manager Brian Sabean from himself? The club's man-crush on veterans is once again showing its ugly face, as the MLB-ready Posey is in danger of A) beginning the year in the minors, or B) seeing his development stunted by playing multiple positions. Yes, the kid is athletic enough to play a number of positions, but he hasn't been catching all that long so he needs to keep polishing his act behind the dish. Long-term, his value is at its highest by wearing the tools of ignorance.

I really hate the idea of using Posey anywhere but catcher. I really hate the idea that Bengie Molina is the starter and not the backup. I really hate--although I'm resigned to--the idea of Buster starting the season in AAA. Teams don't give $4.5 M to catchers to sit on the bench.

The other rookie, of course, is Madison Bumgarner:

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco
2009 Peak Level: The Majors
2010 Roadblock: Todd Wellemeyer

There has been a lot said about Bumgarner's drop in velocity in '09 but velo, although important, is not the end-all-and-be-all for a pitcher's success. With that said, the lefty could probably use a little more seasoning in the minors if you consider the fact that his FIP has risen (3.56 FIP in double-A, compared to his ERA of 1.93), while his K/BB has dropped (to 2.30 BB/K), with each promotion. Bumgarner still has the ceiling of a No.2 starter for me, but he's just 20 years old. However, the fact that Wellemeyer is the other option for the fifth spot worries me.

Bumgarner is only 20 and I have no issue with him getting some more minor-league seasoning. Then again, I think I'd rather have 20 starts from him than from Todd Wellmeyer. I'm not worried about the 5-slot. I'm worried about Matt Cain's BABIP and LOB% if you really want to know. I don't worry about Aubrey Huff, Mark DeRosa, Freddy Sanchez, and Edgar Renteria. We KNOW what we are getting with those guys. I worry about Jonathan Sanchez being able to throw 180 innings (he never has). In other words, I worry about our team strength being at its best all year long. The team weaknesses are what they are, and we are sticking with them, by gum.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to pitching. Let's see, Tim will be great. That's all that I think I know. Matt Cain may have gotten really lucky last year or may have discovered the secret to working around men on base, working with an ehhish K/BB ratio, and maintaining an ERA less than 3. Zito may actually prove himself this year or not. The exciting part stems from the lower portion of the rotation. Will Dirty reach his potential? Will Maddy show us something special (perhaps reminiscent of another young pitcher from yesteryear)? Will he maintain his 1.80 ERA and 3.33 K/BB ratio? That would be something. I'd even be glad with half of what I'm asking for; a 0.90 ERA would be fine for me is what I'm saying.