Quick Hits: Royals, Heyward, Diamondbacks

On this date 25 years ago Andre Dawson signed a one-year, $650K contract with the Cubs. Owners were colluding against players at the time, and Dawson had even offered the Cubs a blank check earlier that winter. Dawson would go on to win the 1987 NL MVP, though the Cubs finished last in the NL East that year. Here are today's links…


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58 Comments on "Quick Hits: Royals, Heyward, Diamondbacks"


3 years 5 months ago

Why do the DBacks need a catcher?

3 years 5 months ago

If they can’t sign Montero to an extension, I’ve heard (don’t have any personal knowledge) that there’s nobody in the system capable of taking over the everyday job next year.

3 years 5 months ago

This is true. While Konrad Schmidt is their highest catching prospect, he’s no better than a backup and should not start any time soon.

BrettLawrieBiggestFan
3 years 5 months ago

So who do we need/want from the Diamondbacks?

3 years 5 months ago

Well, if it was D’Arnaud you’d have to imagine it would be Skaggs or Bauer the Jays would ask for in return, otherwise they’d just move on.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

A d’Arnaud for Bauer straight up swap I kind of like as a baseball fan, but I don’t see the Blue Jays liking that deal, and the Diamondbacks even less.

Arencibia+, and maybe even another +, I can envision being in the realm of possibility next off-season if Aaron Cibia can maintain his power while improving his OBP somewhat dramatically, and his defense very dramatically.

FriedCalamari
3 years 5 months ago

Wouldn’t that make Arencibia an all-star catcher then?

3 years 5 months ago

I think the Dbacks would trade multiple prospects for Arencibia. Probably Pollock/Eaton and like Brewer/Corbin/Holmberg. I don’t think they will trade Bauer/Skaggs for anything other than a whole load of prospects.

3 years 5 months ago

Don’t see why the Jays would trade Arencibia for a package of lower prospects, if D’Arnaud actually does push him out.  They’d either want top end guys or big league talent.

Vin23
3 years 5 months ago

According to My research and WGN telecasts, Dawson’s fill in the amount contract was accepted and a salary of $500,000 was written in, not $650,000. Edit: there was a $250,000 bonus if he made the all-star team (which he did) that brought the value of the contract to $750,000

Lanidrac
3 years 5 months ago

Heyward has always been overrated. Even in his rookie year, he was a disappointment compared to his pre-season buzz and only barely deserved the Rookie of the Year award over Jaime Garcia.

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

Heyward was not a dissapointment as a rookie. A 20yr old kid with an OPS of .850. and furthermore he was 2nd in ROY voting to Posey.

Lanidrac
3 years 5 months ago

People were expecting him to hit over .300 with around 25 HRs and an OPS of around .900.

3 years 5 months ago

 Um…Jason Heyward posted a .393 OBP with a .456 SLG as a 20 year old rookie.  That’s incredible.

3 years 5 months ago

You’re right. Any 20 year old can hit .277/.393/.456… derp. 

3 years 5 months ago

Age 19 .264/.329/.420  16 HR 16 SB
Age 20 .277/.393/.465  18 HR 11 SB

One player is Ken Griffey Jr., the other is Jason Heyward. Figure out which.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

And Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs once.

My point is comparing two players on one season’s performance is a waste of time.

3 years 5 months ago

Look at Heyward’s entire career before that season as well then, as my point was there is no genuine way to say Heyward was pure hype and not meritorious of a 2nd place finish for ROY (Griffey Jr. finished 3rd his rookie year btw)

And when you’re talking about ROY, by definition you’re only able to use that season, so not much I can do about that.

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

Comparing any current player to Brady Anderson’s one incredibly juiced season is a waste of time.

Comparing 2 very young and talented rookie seasons is actually a very good concept. Very few players make it to the bigs being 20 or younger, not to mention put up numbers like those!

Colin Christopher
3 years 5 months ago

Is comparing two players on one season’s performance as much of a waste of time as judging one player on one season’s performance?

rainyperez
3 years 5 months ago

I agree the hype machine for him was too great. 

$3866193
3 years 5 months ago

 lol wat.

Heyward’s rookie year was great.  His 91 BB were the third-most by a rookie since 1960. Heyward’s 5.1 WAR bested Posey’s 4.0 and Garcia’s 3.1.  His OBP was nearly .40 higher than any other rookie with 100+ games played.  He led rookies in OBP, BB%, and was in the top 5 of most all categories.

If that’s a disappointment, what were the expectations?  2001 Bonds?  Heyward has a lot of work to do to get back to his 2010 form, let alone progress beyond it.  But the raw talent was there. 

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

Raw talent and upside have never been doubted, IMO. My only fear is his health…

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

 The shoulder worries me a bit, his reputation as a ‘health risk’ is a little overblown imo. He is a massive guy and he’s gonna have aches and pains, but what sidelined him in 2010 was a complete fluke injury sliding headfirst and all but crushing his thumb.

I don’t expect an MVP-caliber season out of him this year, but I do think he can get back to at least his 2010 form assuming his shoulder is fully healed.

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

He needs to slide feet first. Too big of a man to throwing himself headfirst into the bag….

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

 Yeah, I admire how hard he plays……but two DL stints in your first two seasons, it’s probably best to cut that out. Doesn’t give you much of an advantage anyway….

Lanidrac
3 years 5 months ago

I said compared to his pre-season buzz.  He deserved his spot in the RotY voting, but the way everyone has talked about him, you’d think he’d already have a .300+, 30 HR+, 100+ RBI, .900+ OPS in his career, and he’s yet to get anywhere near those numbers.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

He was a 5-win player when most players his age are in AA, and despite being miserable at the plate due to a bum shoulder, he still managed almost two and a half wins in 128 games last season.

His projections coming into the 2010 season were somewhere around .250, .330, .420. with around 14 HR. He responded with a .277, .393, .456 line with 18 HR. Just because there were reports of him hitting moonshots in spring training doesn’t mean he’s going to crank 40 bombs as a 20-year-old, don’t buy into hype so much. He was voted as a starter in the All-Star game, finished a close 2nd in the ROY voting, and managed to get a few MVP votes. He exceeded expectations and was arguably the best all-around player on a playoff team….

inleylandwetrust
3 years 5 months ago

Ugh

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Posey got ROTY, not Heyward

3 years 5 months ago

“…also the development of prospects Adam Eaton…”

Well there’s a phrase I didn’t expect to see ever again.

NYBravosFan10
3 years 5 months ago

Heyward was a classic case of a sophomore slump. I could be wrong about this but before he got clobbered and broke his ankle (it was his own fault but that’s another discussion) Posey wasn’t exactly looking like his 2010 form either. Better than Heyward, but not quite what was expected. Sophomore slumps happen. Let’s just hope Freeman and Kimbrel don’t go through that :/

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

Heyward’s shoulder was a big contributor to his down season, from everything I read. I expect a bounce back season from him. I also am not too worried about Kimbrel or Freeman. Closers usually struggle in the beginning and then get better. Lets hope the same for Kimbrel. Freeman’s rookie season didnt come with much hype, nor did his 2nd place ROY finish. I dont expect big strides or regressions out of him.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

I had him regressing a bit coming into the 2011 season, but it’s pretty clear that his shoulder had a ton to do with his terrible year at the plate. Through April and March he was hitting .263, .354, .525 with 7 HR(11 XBH). Felt his shoulder pop, then put up a putrid .098, .229, .122 line in May before finally hitting the DL. Given the Braves lack of offensive output and Heyward’s upside, he was kind of rushed back into the lineup and just never got it going. Changed his mechanics at the plate because of the shoulder and it was literally the first time he’s ever struggled on a baseball field. Nice to see him with a more lean frame coming into ST and his swing looks like it did in 2010.

Let’s just hope he cuts out those headfirst slides….

NYBravosFan10
3 years 5 months ago

absolutely. I HATE head-first slides. Granted legs first can result in leg/ankle/foot injuries as well as spiking other players but that can all be avoided with proper execution. Head first, your momentum can carry your fingers right into the bag at high speed and turn them into bone salad. The metacarpals (finger bones) are much weaker than people think. Plus, there’s a little something above the neck that could very well get knocked around resulting in anything in the range of dust in your eyes (anyone with contacts knows how awful that is) to a concussion. Point is, slide feet first.

Lastings
3 years 5 months ago

 Freeman is the better hitter than Heyward. He goes to the opposite field naturally, and that helps prevent long term slumps as opposed to pull hitters…

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

Freeman had plenty of slumps last year. Heyward, in 2010, used the opposite field quite a bit. Freeman was obviously better at the plate last season, but if Heyward stays healthy I expect to see him outproduce Freeman by a pretty decent margin.

3 years 5 months ago

I’ve been banging this drum for a few years: an NL team should give Bobby Wilson a shot. He’s been severely underutilized by the Angels for obvious reasons. I believe he has more offensive and defensive ability than he’s been able to show, he just doesn’t get enough playing time.

At worst, you’re gonna get a pretty solid defensive catcher. He looked pretty smooth out there today.

3 years 5 months ago

 I’d give them Lavarway for Tyler Skaggs!!! HAHA

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

That Howard guy needs to be sent back down….

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

Once again…In a conversation regarding rookie performance vs hype, using Jr’s age 19 season vs HEYWARD’s age 20 is a very good comparison. But obviously this comparison is over your head as well.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

It must be over my head, because obviously once someone mentions Griffey, everything is in absolutes. For the record too, I’m also a believer that his second season was tarnished because of injuries.

@twitter-374184076:disqus  hey man, feel free to put more words in my mouth if you want. Nom nom nom.

Lanidrac
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not just talking about Heyward’s Rookie season.  Somehow, people expect Heyward to breakout as a superstar this year, and his stats over his first two years don’t support such an argument.

As for his rookie year, in the pre-season, he was basically expected to have the best rookie year since Pujols and Ichiro.  His numbers were great for a rookie, but he still fell well below expectations, and he only made in onto the All-Star team because of his hype.

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

No mention of absolutes in this thread, only COMPARING two players rookie season in reference to production vs hype.

Clayton Wilson
3 years 5 months ago

Putting words in your mouth? What? I simply made a joke about you getting Heyward’s name wrong twice in the same post…..

I’m kind of with you on this, actually…

AVL_BRAVE
3 years 5 months ago

How often do you hear of a player being comparable to Jr as a rookie? Point being…I am pretty sure Heyward met expectations. Being present for his 3 run HR, in his first ever ML swing will sway my opinion though!

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

Not so sure they meant for this season with Montero under control this year.

Shoppach is only signed this year and other than Lavarnway.. Expo has looked like a AAAA player thus far, Butler an organizational guy. Vazquez, while a legit prospect, has yet to play above A ball and wihart hasnt yet seen the diamond..

Now.. Once again had they not made that wacky deal for the always hurt bedard?? They would have still had Fed-X, who just might end up STARTING for the LAD.. THAT was a legit catcher they could have used as a trade chip, but he was wasted on a ….. type move….

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Salty and Shoppach aren’t likely to go anywhere, but beyond that they sox have Lavarnway, Exposito, Butler, and Vazquez, plus Swihart and Weems who were both drafted last year.  Vazquez, Swihart, and Weems are all guys who are at least 2-3 years away. 

Lavarnway could be a fit as he is more than ready offensively and with another year before they will need him they could work on his defense just like the Sox are planning to, but if he doesn’t pan out defensively they don’t have the DH spot to fall back on with him. 

Exposito is above average defensively, and kind of the typical catcher offensively (above average power but poor plate discipline), so he could be a fit but would be nothing special.

Butler is a guy I really like though, and I’m kind of surprised he never gets mentioned.  He is a very good defensive catcher with decent power and good plate plate discipline (overall an above average offensive catcher).  He hasn’t spent as much time in AA-AAA as you would like from someone his age (because Lavarnway has always been in front of him and they have wanted both to get time as a starting catcher – not a backup role), but could easily handle a backup role this year (or spend it in AAA getting consistent reps) and take over as a starter next year.

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Fedex was likely slated for a backup (or AAAA) role in Boston as he was good defensively (although he had issues with his throwing at times and struggles calling games) and had some pretty serious holes offensively.  He had trouble both with breaking pitches and with high fastballs, and he had more doubles power than home run power (his swing is flat so he doesn’t lift balls enough to hit HRs).  Butler is actually a much better catching prospect than Fedex was – he is actually a better defensive catcher than Fedex (just as good with his footwork and blocking balls, but also more consistent with throwing and is an excellent game caller); he also has better plate discipline and average or slightly better power (and gets more loft on balls so will hit more home runs than Fedex).

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

I was under the impression that Fed-Ex was the defensive gem of the Sox system with the cannon arm.. Butler was (is) the undrafted FA who has been bouncing around the system since they drafted him, A-AA-AAA etc… Back and forth, whenever someone gets hurt.

I knew Fed-X had issues with the bat and as recall, only had the 1 decent year with the bat, but figured he would be good enough as a decent backup, or better than a Kevin Cash type since was under the impression his glove and arm wre top notch.. That was wrong then?

Edit.. Meant Butler was not drafted, but signed as a UDFA after the draft.. Apologies…

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

No, that’s not exactly wrong about Fedex’s defense.  He is very good with the physical aspects of catching; he is very good at blocking balls, has good hands and good footwork, and a strong arm, but he goes through stretches where he loses the feel for the ball and will make bad throws; he still isn’t good at the game calling part of catching though, which (along with relatively poor offense) is the reason he likely projects as a backup catcher.

Butler did go undrafted, but the Sox signed him after watching him play in the Cape League (he was a cape league all-star after not being drafted).  He has made himself a prospect with a lot of hard work.  He is every bit as good defensively as Fedex, plus an excellent game caller; and he also projects as above average offensively.  I’d post a link to a story about him (he’s actually got a really good story, similar to Nava’s story), but I don’t think SoxProspects is one of the sites we are allowed to link to here.  But you can go to his player page on SoxProspects and click on the link “Dan Butler has made himself a prospect” under his scouting report.  It’s from April of last year so it’s a little dated, but it’s still good.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah.. Have tried to link to soxprospects before and it gets flagged also.. Shame for us Sox fans, but thanks :-) Nice read and remember now reading that fabulous article on Butler after seeing it again from long ago.

vtadave
3 years 5 months ago

As a Dodgers fan, I appreciate the great insight on Fed-ex’s defense.  I hope to see him when I’m in Arizona later this week.

I’m afraid you may be right on his being a long-term backup and I still fail to see why Trayvon Robinson was dealt for a backup catcher.

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Sure, and he really does have the tools to be a very good defensive catcher.  If he gets a better handle on calling games he could really be a decent overall starting catcher, but at 24 (25 in August) it’s hard to say that he still has time to learn it.

I honestly think that when all is said and done Fife will be the real ‘catch’ of that trade for the Dodgers.  I could honestly see Fife having a similar career to Justin Masterson; his fastball is a sinking 2-seamer (he doesn’t really even throw a 4-seamer), and he also throws a change, a curve, and a slider (all sinking pitches) and is an extreme ground ball pitcher.

Overall, both Federowicz and Fife have a very high probability of being major league players (even if it ends up being as a backup catcher and a reliever), so the Dodgers really got two cheap, controllable, major league players; the only question is how good major leaguers they are, but there is quite a lot of value in cheap controllable major leaguers of any caliber.  I could see, when all is said and done, Federowicz being a major league backup and Fife being a #4-5 starter, possibly even by the end of this season.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

I think Fife ended up in Seattle Maine and Fields went to Boston.. Chiang also ended up in Seattle..

Now i didn’t go look it up or anything..

I do agree.. Fife and Wilson I always liked more than Weiand from that trio…

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Nope Fedex, Fife, and Juan Rodriguez (power fastball but nothing else to speak of) all went to LAD, and Chiang and Trayvon Robinson went to Seattle.

EDIT: but yeah, I always liked Fife and Wilson at least as well as Weiland, and I think I actually liked Fife the best out of the three.

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

Then the LAD really did make out well on that deal and Seattle somehow might have come up short… Interesting…

Agreed.. Fife + Fed-X was a decent haul for the LAD.. They might have themselves a decent middle reliever in another year or 2 and a backup catcher.. Not too bad.

MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Well, I think Seattle got the best prospect of the whole group in Robinson, and Chiang’s value was at the highest point it had ever been when they got him, So I don’t think Seattle did terrible either.  Overall I don’t think anyone did really well, or really poorly; I think it was a pretty good baseball move for each team.

I’m really interested to see how Chiang does in the future.  I was never a believer in him continuing his success, but I know people think he will, so we’ll see how he turns out for Seattle.