The Red Sox have a decision looming regarding Danny Santana. The infielder/outfielder has an opt-out clause in his contract that will allow him to become a free agent if he’s not promoted to the Majors by April 30th, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI. Santana didn’t sign with Boston until early March, and a foot infection slowed his ramp-up further.
The switch-hitting utility fielder certainly fits the mold of the present-day Red Sox as a guy who can play all over the diamond. The 30-year-old has spent the most time up the middle at short and center, but he has appeared everywhere on the diamond except pitcher and catcher. He’d be right at home on a roster that also includes “supersubs” Enrique Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez. Bradford suggests Santana could replace scuffling outfielder Franchy Cordero if the Red Sox decide to make a move. Cordero – one of the pieces acquired in the Andrew Benintendi trade – has hit just .200/.265/.244 in his first 49 plate appearances with a whopping 46.9 percent strikeout rate, and he does have two options remaining. Here’s the latest from elsewhere around the game…
- Madison Bumgarner and Zac Gallen put on a show today. In a doubleheader against the Braves, the pair of Diamondbacks’ hurlers kept the Braves to one hit, zero runs, two walks, and 13 strikeouts in 14 combined scoreless innings. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes that it was the fewest hits ever by a team in a doubleheader, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Bumgarner, who had an 8.68 ERA entering the game, tossed an unofficial no-hitter in game two. Because it was only a seven-inning affair, the MLB rule books states that Bumgarner’s effort doesn’t count officially as a no-hitter, but rather as a “notable achievement.” That could change soon, as MLB and Elias will look at the issue and decide if a rule change is necessary, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
- Juan Soto will be eligible to come off the injured list as early as Friday, and he’s begun hitting off a tee to prepare, per Mark Zuckerman and Al Galdi on the Nats Chat Podcast. Unfortunately, that doesn’t address the issue. Soto’s shoulder was bothering him most when he was throwing, so he’ll have to cross that hurdle before returning, they note.
As bad as Cordero’s offense has been, his fielding is even worse.
He’s been EXACTLY as advertised in other words
that trade was so bad…. as soon as it happened it was awful…. th absolute best cordero can be is a down season for benintendi…. 2020 was weird and he was hurt…. there is no way it wasnt a horrible trade…
“There’s no way it wasnt a horrible trade”
Are you seriously saying Benentendi with 2 yrs of control, and lack of production (.440 OPS in 2020), making 6mil, had a lot of trade value??? Go back to pre-trade posts and see if people were expecting some big upside minor leaguer. It was Cordero or a bag of used balls. Red Sox wanted to reduce payroll and didn’t see a future in him. Sorry they didn’t get Trout for you.
Your also forgetting the three PTBNL. I’m expecting the Mets to provide someone Bloom likes he just didn’t want to use a 40 man spot for.
…. there is no way it wasnt a horrible trade…
It is way too early to predict a winner, but since the RS are winning the trade right now, then by definition, it can indeed be a good trade. When both players have stunk, the team that gets the payroll relief AND the prospect(s), has to be ahead.
Gallen is LEET
Are you 12?
no but i do feel quite vindicated
Fever Pitch Guy
FYI the previous record for fewest hits allowed in a DH was by the Red Sox in Cleveland when Clemens and Matt Young combined for a 2-hitter on April 12, 1992. What is most notable about that DH is that Young pitched an 8-inning CG and didn’t give up a hit, but he lost 2-1. And BTW that effort was NOT ruled an official no-hitter. According to the rules committee, you have to pitch a CG of at least 9 innings and not give up a hit for it to be considered a no-hitter. So based on the existing rules, Bum should NOT be credited with a no-no.
And see this here is why I can’t stand these ridiculous rule changes. We have been deprived of potentially two history-making efforts, a potential no-hitter and a potential fewest hits allowed in a DH.
What is the point of shortening DH games to 7 innings anyway? Do they really think there’s less of a chance of players getting Covid if they play two fewer innings? MLB is messing with the recordbooks, something that has always been very important to longtime baseball fans.
Stupid rule especially when they play split doubleheaders which means players stay together longer and some are in confined areas. Did the Six actually charge the same for seats when they had that split doubleheader against the White Sox and played only seven?
My guess is that it has more to do with the expectation that more DH’s will need to be played due to COVID related cancellations.
I know some people are speculating it will stay this way but I have not seen any official statements that suggest it.
it’s socrazy because I was at that DH when I was a young boy and we were so mad because we missed nolan ryan by 1 day…. and I’ll never forget that he threw an 8 inning no hitter and lost … also got my first ball at a game during BP
the news rules are an absolute slap.in the face to the game
Agreed. MLB is married to gambling and fantasy. They no longer care about true fans unless there’s a way to attach a dollar sign. The Sox light blue and yellow colors are a prime example. They and the league hide behind the history of the Boston Marathon and then charge huge prices for related merchandise.
Santana agreed to extend his opt out until May, so he can continue rehabbing.
Thanks for that update… ibwas wondering if that might happen… as a Sox fan glad it did. If he’s healthy and can hit anywhere near the level he did 2 years ago… I’d definitely like to see him get a shot on roster! having said that, sending Cordero down probably makes the most sense because he has options… otherwise I wouldn’t want to actually designate him for assignment or lose him to waivers just yet. I realize he’s been bad thus far… but I’m not ready to give up on him completely yet… he’s just too talented (raw skill that is anyways) to not see if he can somehow put the pieces together with some adjustments.
How can bum be anything but unofficial with the hundreds of near no no’s that were broken up in the 8th and 9th?
Because it is not his fault baseball decided to implement 7 inning games for DH. In my opinion it should be considered a no hitter – you can just make an additional designation that it was a 7 inning no hitter.
Yes i agree it should be a no no. Mlb changed the rules this year there for he pitched a no hitter for a complete game
its a different animal. why are we counting it like its a real no hitter? and even if its not a no hitter officially, that doesn’t stop fans from considering it as such. dont we usually consider Armondo Gallaraga’s game as more then a 1-hitter at the least and most of us a perfect game?
Disagree. If records are to have teeth, they need to have consistent stats. Sad to think last years’ leaders are considered batting, HR and ERA champs.
Fever Pitch Guy
Matt Young pitched an 8-inning complete game and didn’t give up any hits. He did not get credit for a no-hiiter.
Felix Hernandez would have about 40-45 more Wins if his games ended in the 7th!
It was not an exhibition game. If the no hitter does not count then a win or loss does not count for either team. The same should hold true for any other stats such as hits, strike outs, walks etc..
Since those all count then the no hitter should count as well.
hits and ROE in many cases are judgement calls. that doesn’t mean the play didnt happen.
No-hitters are overrated anyway. I am much bigger fan of the the no-walker. Complete game shutout with no walks. Way more impressive than a no-hitter.
I’m a connoisseur of the immaculate inning myself
Then you might be a fan of my work. An immaculate game in my debut. In the World Series no less. I also went yard.
Bearded Texas Hulk
Cordero is the odd man out of course.
Man I love the pitching around the league this year but chick’s dig homers.
After these last 4 games in Fenway Seattle Mariner fans LOVE Cordero!
If the 7-inning double-header is going to remain, literally just categorize achievements like No Hitters and Perfect games as such.
I mean it’s still within the confines of the game. Does the win or loss not count bc it was only 7 innings? No so stop with the ‘well other no hitters are broke up in the 8th or 9th”.
The whole strategy is as if the 7th is the 9th. Do Saves not count? As I said above, categorize it with a qualifier that it’s a 7-inning No Hitter.
The 7 inning doubleheader is the precursor to 7 inning games. MLB is so broken that it’s comical…..
All teams have problems with bullpen depth. While all teams have 5 or 6 man starting rotations, not a one has 5 legitimate starting pitchers. Therefore, one would think hitters would be lighting up the scoreboard. Yet with this as a backdrop, more and more acceptable veteran position players are hitting under .200. The average BA is .248 and dropping. More than 1/4 of batters reaching base now do it via walks. ML is looking like 9-10 year-old little league.
The working of counts and endless foul balls have turned MLB into a sport that is impossible to sit through unless one is toggling via a media device between 2 and 3 games at the same time. It’s now a sport to watch highlights and gamble on……or go to the (amusement) park, eat gourmet food, and play with the machine’s in the concourses.
The solution would be to limit the number of foul balls that can be hit. To force batters to put the ball in play. But MLB always takes the wrong actions, which is why we are where we are. So 7 inning games will be the norm. And within 5 years they’ll all take over 3 hours to play…..and there will be even less balls put in play, more walks, and evermore TJ surgeries.
All they need to do is actually follow through on their threat of not allowing pitchers to use foreign substances on the baseball. It’s a joke that they’re not inspecting pitchers uniforms, gloves and caps. Instead they’re “taking baseballs back to analyze” or “using statcast to see if pitchers have unusually high spin during their outings!”
Remove the foreign substances then you’d see more balls put into play- off speed pitches would have less spin, tilt, drop etc.
Personally I like a couple of MLB’s modifications to the game- the runner starting on 2nd in extras and the 3 batter rule for RP’s are two really good improvements imo.
Personally I think the parks should do away the 7th inn stretch, the “old ball game”… song and the national anthem you’d get the length of a baseball game back down to what it was in the 90’s – about the 2:50-55 mark. Much More manageable.
I’m sure you were just being tongue in cheek or flippant- but I just don’t see the MLBPA agreeing to 7 inn games.
exactly. its exactly that. call it like it is.
Fever Pitch Guy
Really poor analogy, as starters need to pitch only 5 innings to get credit for the win.
I like the bring Danny Santana up send Cordero down idea. Makes sense.
I don’t know if Santana is going to be the answer! Hunter Renfroe is hitting about .170. Bobby Dalbec has been striking out a ton and the home runs have disappeared. Without minor league games we don’t know how Santana, Michael Chavis and Jarren Duran are doing. One thing for sure, these games are important, and Chaim and company need to rotate in the hot hands, and give the guys who are scuffling a chance to work on their swings in Worcester.
Actually Dalbec’s strikeout rate is down to 35% with his power it’s almost acceptable. I was saying before with Dalbec he isn’t going to hit home runs at the historic pace forever and that he needs to drop his k rate. His K rate is dropping and he is still hitting the ball hard. If he continues to do that he will get his share of home runs. I am encouraged by his dropping K rate.
Bruin1012 – I agree Dalbec’s a keeper!! Now we should move him to 3B, move JD into LF for Frenchy and move Santana to 1B with Devers as DH. JD’s defense would be a step down from Frenchy but the step up with Dalbec at 3B would more than off-set the difference. That way, Santana becomes a place holder until Casas arrives and Devers can focus strictly at hitting, (his one skill) Long-term they can’t keep on a path with both Devers and JD because there should only be ONE DH. Also, with inter-league play and JD being red hot, he’s going to have to play outfield in those series so why not make the normal line-up with him in left and every third day give him a break and let him DH. Devers at 3B one out of three games is still a huge improvement over now.
On Dalbec, I think he is a work in process. It’s kind of a reach, but I’d like to think of him as the sum of two seasons. Less HRs & Ks than his rookie year, but more Ks than his current season. All in, his 162-game projection is 32 HRs, with a 238/60 K/W An obscene 3 true outcome scenario, but if he were a 3B at minimum wage, I’d be more than happy.
Past that, JD has to start in LF in the inter-league, as that is the least distasteful alignment.
IRT Cordero, I’m not bagging on him, but he needs a season of AAA, If that is not enough, I’d be slightly concerned about Arroyo and bring up either Santana or Chavis to have someone to play 2B and/or PH.
Tip of the cap to our starters today. Not a single bullpen arm needed. Nice to see Bum look good again.
Another possible record in the Atlanta DH, has any team played a DH and had more errors than hits in both games?
Also, I had given the Braves a C for the off-season, noting that it was really a C-. But Mr. Melancon and Mr. O’Day called me to tell me downgrade that to a straight D.
Cant wait to see the sox start calling up guys like Duran and Downs
I’d like to see Chavis get a longer look. He might or might not be a keeper. And we have Kike for 2 years, so there is no hurry on Duran.
That said, the last time I was this happy with our farm was around 2012, and the time before that might be 2007. And while the jury is still out on a couple of them, Houck, Duran, Downs, Verdugo, Dalbec, Casas & Devers is a lot of young talent. Not like a SD or LAD farm, but considering we have a $200M budget, I think things are looking good.
Bad Joey. When I said Chavis, I meant Arroyo. I’m not convinced either way, but I think Arroyo has shown enough that he should get a chance to win the job.
It’s going to be at least June before Duran is called up and that is if he hits AAA pitching. If he shows that he can then I expect Duran to be called up June or July. I really don’t expect Downs to be called up this year unless he just hits the cover off the ball and forces his way up. Downs will start at AA I believe so if we see him it will probably be a September call up when the rosters expand.
Bruin1012 – The same constraints are on Duran as Houck. The stupid 22% rule. When Boston is comfortable his total days will put him in the bottom 78% both Houck and Duran should be in the majors. That could be about the time Sale comes back so if the team can hang in there until then that’s three big adds all at one time.
Downs needs to prove he can hit AA pitchers better than he hit ROK, A and Hi A pitchers. If he can’t there is no road to the majors, just a guy with a hard hit rate and walks but can’t make consistent contact. There is no place in the majors for a guy with that skill set unless he can play CF like JBJ..
Duran needs to show he can hit in AAA I think he will but this doesn’t have anything to do with any rule. He needs to prove he can do it same Downs. They both will I am pretty sure of it.
I’d bet the house on Duran but wouldn’t touch the same bet on Downs. Duran has been excellent at every level and Downs has been average at best considering he is a first round draft pick albeit supplemental choice. Downs’ minor league numbers don’t justify his prospect rating whereas Duran should be much higher rated than Downs based on the numbers. But he didn’t come from LA in a bogus deal where values were propped up by Friedman to avoid the public from screaming COLLUSION. I get the whole “we get five controllable years” argument but in the end ONLY contributions at the MLB level count. Potential has to be demonstrated in the majors for value to have come from the deal.
60 games into the trade the Dodgers have a ring and Boston has the fourth pick in the draft. Huge win for LA and a huge loss for Boston. If the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs this year and the Dodgers make the playoffs or god forbid win a second ring it’s another huge win for the Dodgers and a huge loss for the Red Sox. The time value of money concept means wins now are better than wins later and in the Mookie deal wins were thrown away for the hope of wins in the future but the value of the future players will never total as much as Mookie in any single year. Thus, the Red Sox got the short end of the stick into perpetuity. Just like in the Babe Ruth deal.
KD you do realize that Duran was terrible at AA. His swing change was after that season when Boston convinced him to take advantage of his power and move away from his slashing style of hitting. I am going to go more on what I saw in spring training because if you look at his AA numbers then there is absolutely nothing there. He was terrible there. If you look at what he did in the lower levels he simply slashed the ball on the ground he never had under a .400 babip his average was completely speed aided and was going to drop the higher up the ladder he went. He was, rightly before the swing change, not really a prospect of note. He is now hitting the ball with authority and I believe what I saw in spring training and think he has taken himself from a high average slash and burn guy who had really no future at the big league level to a legit prospect.
Downs is the exact opposite he has hit for damage everywhere he has hit and watching him in spring training I can tell you why. He hits the ball in the air with authority and backspin. I have absolutely no doubt he hits in the big leagues he is still very young but he hits the ball hard. The Mookie trade is over and yes the Red Sox ownership has to live with going that route. I’m telling you though Bloom did very well Verdugo is a budding star and Downs will be a very solid regular if not star himself. Bloom did well on the return it almost seems to me like you are rooting for the guys that came back in the Mookie trade to fail. They won’t but that’s what it seems like to me. Duran has turned himself into a prospect not because of the fact that he hit well in the lower minor leagues that doesn’t mean anything especially the way he did it with his speed. He got the bat knocked out of his hands in AA before the swing change. Downs never had that happen to him. You need to take a little closer look at Duran and you will see why, before the swing change, no one believed in Duran. He is now a legit prospect but the guys who evaluate prospects rightfully want to see it in games first that his new found swing will amount to more loud contact then he will fly up the prospect boards it’s just the way it is.
Bruin1012 – The data really doesn’t support your beliefs. I put together a big data analysis and then deleted it because I didn’t feel like you cared that the data showed Downs to be sub par and Duran to be fast tracker.
So let me just poke a few holes in your comments. First, Duran played three years of college ball at Long Beach State and was VERY successful Then he got placed at the A level and was VERY successful. When he got to AA where he was initially over-matched like many players but with a long history of success it is far more likely he will make his adjustments and climb back to his success level at the other levels of baseball.
Second, Downs has been a huge disappointment at each level of his progress since he was in ROK ball and couldn’t hit. If it were not for 12 games against very, very weak pitching in his AA debut in September of 2019 there would be absolutely no positives to say about Downs. Those 12 games gave Friedman the opportunity to pump up his status and SELL him to his protege There is NO substantial documentation that Downs is anything better than mediocre. Duran succeeded at every level until he got to AA and briefly stumbled. Assuming he reacts like most successful baseball players, he learns from his advancement and has a second shot at AA that is successful. Downs is trending in the other direction. His ONLY success was at AA for 12 games. When he returns it’s likely he will revert back to comparable performances to his previous several years where he was mediocre. Thus, Duran is trending UP and Downs appropriately is trending DOWN..
The whole “he got the bat knocked out of his hands in AA” is a gross exaggeration and since he played college ball and faced pitchers comparable to AA pitchers from both a velocity and off-speed movement perspective the idea that several years later he couldn’t catch up with pitching he hit 5 years earlier is absurd. You are spinning a story here. The guy hit .250 which is comparable to multiple years of Downs’ minor league career but it is 50 points lower than what we are used to seeing from Duran. That alone spells out which one is better.
Duran can flat out hit and Downs can’t. Downs’ only value is his walk rate. Yes a good eye is a valuable complimentary skill but hitting is the primary skill and he doesn’t have MLB level hitting skills, Duran does. Try to remember, if you want to give credit to the Red Sox for his stance change then also give them credit for the bat stance he used in the lower levels. His successful college career speaks to similar issues to Houck. Houck was outstanding in college and the Red Sox pitching coaches changed things and he was unsuccessful and then new coaches changed his wind-up into something far more similar to his college wind-up. End result is success. Duran too will follow the same path as Houck. Maybe, like Houck, he finally got some decent coaches and he’ll perform at his NORMAL level again which is a .300 hitter with a .375 OBP and lots of SBs. Not all hitters have to be power hitters. Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs are great examples.
Also, your story seems biased because you seem to have issues with Duran and like Downs because he came from the Dodgers. Just an FYI…. Verdugo was never going to start in the LAD outfield, Downs was never going to supplant Seager or Lux and Wong was so far down the depth chart he didn’t show up on most summaries. We got scrubs for a single MVP like season of Betts when the going rate should have been a premiere prospect. Horrendous trade.
Another FYI you need to understand how GMs manipulate player value to aid in their trading. Much like the games played by Washington in trading Pivetta to Philly, Downs was prematurely promoted to help sell the Mookie Deal. Pivetta got the same treatment before he was packaged to Philly. To save face, the receiving GM places the acquired player at the wrong level for his skill. Downs really never proved he should have been promoted to AA so he should have started in Hi-A where he last struggled. They used the 12 game success after his failure at Hi A to sell Boston a bill of goods. A Hi-A prospect that was struggling was sold as a AA prospect that was thriving, after all Friedman convinced the rating service to rank him in the top 50 despite only 12 decent games in the minors. That’s how GMs manipulate trades!! In many industries that would be fraud but in baseball it’s gamesmanship. Pivetta wouldn’t have failed in Philly had he been placed where he should have been when the deal happened but once again he was placed at the level he was traded at as if it was appropriate. He failed and eventually the Red Sox got lucky because the GM needed to erase a mistake. At some point, Downs will be a mistake Bloom will need to erase. Or knowing Bloom, he’ll promote him to the majors watch him struggle and put on the IL with an injury to save face.
Duran has always been a legit prospect while Downs has been named a legit prospect without actually earning it. Time will tell. I’m obviously not going to change your mind but again all you have to do is look at the numbers. They don’t lie. Downs is under-achieving for a first round pick and Duran has performed well in college and A ball but stumbled in his first attempt at AA ball. Even players like Betts and Trout have stumbled but the second chance at a level always brings success. Just like a minor league player who gets to the pros and struggles and learns how to make adjustments. Duran will be that player. Downs will be unfulfilled potential that was tossed in a bogus trade.
Focusing on loud contact is a perfect example of what’s wrong with your evaluation. It lacks baseball knowledge. It reeks of sabremetric brain washing. I’ll always take a guy who hits .300 over a guy who hits the ball harder or louder but doesn’t hit it often enough to hit above .250. See both people have an equal opportunity to walk since that is a separate skill set from hand eye coordination so the higher average will ALWAYS lead to a higher OBP if walk rates are even. Duran makes contact and Downs doesn’t, bottom line difference between a star prospect and an over-rated prospect.
I really wish you looked at the right numbers KD there is a reason why Duran was never really a high level prospect so let’s take a closer look. Duran must make a ton more contact since he has hit for high averages in the low minors well nope both Downs and Duran have nearly the same strikeout rate. Well surely Duran must hit the ball on a line much harder well nope as a matter fact Duran is a heavy ground ball hitter. Up until this point he has hit the ball on the ground 50% of the time. Conversely Downs hits it in the air nearly 50% of the time. Down hits more doubles and Home runs he simply does more damage and that just fact and indisputable. What does Duran have that Downs doesn’t have its blazing speed that allows him to hit at a comical well over .400 babip. This will work in the lower minors but when he got to the upper minors all those slashes to the left side were no longer getting through his babip dropped more then a 100 points and it was only going to get worse as he went into more advanced competition. He simply wasn’t a legit prospect and people who do that for a living knew that.
When we look at Downs he strikes out at nearly the same amount as Duran and yet hits it in the air. Duran has 8 Home Runs in the minors Downs has 43. Duran has 38 doubles and Downs has 61. The only thing Duran does better then Downs is he has blazing speed that put a lot of pressure on low level players and he got a lot of singles because of it. These are just the facts. This is why Downs who hits the ball much harder and in the air and on a line much more often was a better prospect then Duran go ahead and look it up it’s easy to see just go to fangraphs and you will be educated. You see Kevin it’s not as simple as looking at a guys average and saying that guy is better especially in the low minors. The Red Sox have another guy in the low minors that slashes and burns named Jimenez and the reason he isn’t a highly prospect despite hitting for a very high average is the same as Duran he will be exposed in the high minors.
With all that said Duran seems to if known this and made the determination that he has to hit the ball in the air and changed his swing. Duran is going to be legit prospect not because he hit for a high average in the low minors but because he has made the adjustment to use his god given power in his body. This will make him a legit prospect he realizes he isn’t going to make it as a slash and burn guy guy in the big leagues. Those are 4th outfielder types who play great defense. No he will jettison up the prospect boards because of what he is becoming he is punishing the baseball now and that might make him a star someday. Stop looking simply at batting averages in the minors it tells you very little.
Oh and Verdugo was absolutely going to be the Dodgers right fielder if the Dodgers didn’t trade for Betts. The Dodgers were willing to trade Verdugo because the Dodgers got Betts simple as that. If the trade never happened Verdugo would of started for the Dodgers in right in 2020. The one thing you did get correct is that Downs was blocked by Lux and Segear that is correct still doesn’t diminish the potential of Downs. Yes Wong was very far down the depth chart with the Dodgers and he is basically the throw in. This still doesn’t diminish the fact that Downs is an excellent prospect who strikes out actually less then Duran and to this point has just been better except for the fact that Duran has blazing speed which allowed him to get a lot of singles against inferior competition. So your biggest argument is actually a fallacy Duran doesn’t make contact at a higher rate then Downs period end of story.
Bruin1012 – Your arguments are all about modern metric beliefs not real baseball player beliefs. I thought you played? How can you possibly believe the crap you are spewing about a guy isn’t good because his BABIP is high so he’s just lucky. Total horseshit. They would have claimed Gwynn was lucky and Boggs was lucky and Ted Williams was lucky because they hit the ball where people weren’t . Ichiro was the ultimate slap hitter, did he suck or should I say was he lucky? No. He was an outstanding hitter who placed the ball where player’s were not.
This is exactly why so many of the modern measurements are totally worthless. Luck is the reason he hits between players? Luck if he hits the ball at 90 mph instead of 100 and gets on base?. If you have played the game you should be smacking yourself on the side of the head and asking yourself if you drank Kool-Aid or went to a hypnotist to believe this horse crap. The reason people make the HOF is performance and hitting the ball where they aren’t playing is part of the performance.
Lets dismiss all the crap about what you think a guy does when he’s a contact hitter because what you described above tells me you don’t understand the concept. First, a guy who hits 50 points higher than another player can’t be pigeon-holed into a category like modern metrics tries to do. He may be hitting the ball all over the ball park, he might be hitting the ball on the ground and beating it out like Ricky Henderson and Vince Coleman, he might be simply hitting up the middle if the other team isn’t shifting. The bottom line is he’s getting on base 3 out of 10 times. as opposed to 2.5 out of 10 times. If both players play in the majors and bat 600 times Duran gets 180 hits and Downs gets 150 hits. That’s a big difference from just hitting skills. Now take that same guy and have him steal twice as many bases than the other guy and you can see why people should like Duran.
So consider the positions that both player play. Historically, Duran has been a prototypical center fielder. He’s fast, with an excellent glove. Would he make a good 3B? No. He has the defensive skills of an outfielder and his speed enhances his chances for center field. Where do center fielders hit when they are exceptionally fast but not physically large like Trout or Robert? In the old days they led off or hit second if they could bunt. Today, they typically hit 9th. Why? Because when they are on base they force the lead-off hitter to get more fastballs. They also steal bases frequently so are in scoring position more often than players with comparable batting averages but much less speed. What type of value does that provide the Red Sox? Is it needed? The obvious answer is YES. Picture JBJ then think about 50 more hits a year and double his stolen bases. YES the Red Sox need him. Does that provide value to Boston? Yes. Does it impact his prospect rating? No because he’s lucky when he gets on base, he doesn’t hit the ball at a high enough velocity and he hits the ball on the ground and as of today the metrics gang says that’s bad. So no, this guy isn’t special according to modern metrics. That’s exactly why I hate the modern metrics and believe their evaluation is completely bogus.
Now for the great Jeter Downs. A guy who never excelled except for 12 games. This guy has great bat speed, he hits the right percentage of balls in the air, his exit velocity is far superior to that slug Duran and he comes from the Dodgers and Friedman so he must be spectacular despite his failings in the lower minors. Failings? It’s all relative. If you pick a guy in the first round, expectations for his performance should be created. In that respect, yes major failings. Did he do badly in the low minors? No. Did he do well? No. He simply played average which for a first round pick is below expectations. Are all the goofy metrics you bring up about his modern metric skills correct? Sure, I’ll take your word for it. Do I care? Not at all. The kid can’t consistently get hits. Yes, he’s above average at walking but I don’t want that phrase as my moniker. “I was a great walker”? Seriously? Is he unlucky since he seems to hit the ball to where players are? NOPE. He’s just not good.
Haven’t you ever played on a team where you had a Stanton like player who was bigger and stronger and couldn’t get a hit for the life of him? That’s Downs. He checks all the boxes at the baseball metrics version of the annual football combine but will that guarantee success? NOPE.
Do I think batting average is a better leading indicator for a player than hard hit rate? YEP. Is Duran not a highly rated prospect because of his skills? NOPE Is Duran yet another farm system member who will provide excellent value at the major league level despite being under-rated by idiot ranking systems? YEP just like Mookie, Devers, Houck, Dalbec and so many others.
Will Downs be another prospect ranking BUST like Henry Owens, Anderson Espinoza and Blake Swihart? Or like other misses in the last decade such as Manny Banuelos, Mark Appel, Bubba Starling, Kevin Maitlan or Tyler Kolek? People don’t realize these experts have batting averages comparable or below average baseball players. Yep a 25 percent chance of a top prospect becoming a star is probably giving the rating systems too much credit. It’s probably closer to 5%.
So you can have Downs and his current lofty status and I’ll take the common man Duran and his excellent skills. We’ll see in a few years which one ends up being a bigger impact in the majors (assuming Downs makes the majors while he’s still with the Red Sox).
I wish I could let this go but I just can’t. let me start by saying that I really like Jarren Duran I think he is there best prospect at this point just not for the reasons that you think.
First its like you don’t even know anything about the guy. he isn’t a great fielder he is converted 2nd baseman and he is new to center.. He has tremendous speed and is capable of making up for poor reads and late jumps but Boston really wants him to work on it in the minors. The next thing that you have to know this isn’t a little guy he is built like and has the athletic skills of Kirk Gibson. I’m sure you remember him I sure do built like a tank extremely athletic well that’s what Duran is built like and similar athleticism. There is absolutely no reason for him not to hit the ball with authority heck he was barely a .300 hitter in college at Long Beach State. He realized that he needed to tap into that god given athleticism and decided to change his swing to utilize more of that power and that is why I am so excited about him at this point. If he thought he could reach the majors with his punch and judy style he wouldn’t of changed his swing.
the guys you used Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Rickey Henderson, Ted Williams are a joke these guys are elite bat to ball guys they strike out less then 10% of the time. If you want someone in todays game look at Nick Madrigal he has truly elite bat to ball skills and will make an excellent leadoff or number 9 hitter that has no power. The problem with Duran in that role he doesn’t have elite bat to ball skills. I challenge you to find one guy that has very little power yet still strikes out over 20% of the time. I don’t even know if you can but I challenge you to find one guy I don’t think you can and that is why Duran was not high end prospect like Madrigal was he does not have elite bat to ball skills. Please prove me wrong find someone.
That is the reason that Duran was not looked at as an elite prospect not because evaluators had him all wrong. His swing change now has the chance to make him a very top level prospect but people just want to see how he does in games. He could rocket up the charts if his power is legitimate. 30 years ago I was all about averages but even then there were always players that the ball sounded different when they hit it the ball just had more carry when they hit it it was just different. If you played you know what I’m talking about I just think analytics are something that needs to be looked at another tool in the box if you will.
After 25 games the Sox are averaging 5 runs per game without the benefit of a legitimate leadoff hitter. Bat Arroyo second. Hernandez is not the answer. It would be a worthwhile move to put Andrew Verdugo in the lead of spot to inject his offense into the start of every game. Move Hernandez down to the 8 slot. Move Bobby D. up two slots, to the 7 hole. He is beginning to warm up as is his bat.