Friday, February 13, 2015

Your 2015 Giants: Why I Want the Giants to Keep Adrianza

I posted this on another site, so I thought I would put it here too.  Of course, I added a lot post-comment, as I am wont to do.  Give me enough time, I'll find something else to add.  :^)

Also, sometimes my comments end up getting removed (like for some reason, I get blocked a lot by MLBTR, and I see a lot worse comments than what I've tried to put in which subsequently got removed) and I hate when that happen.

I hate to see my work wasted like that, it is not very friendly nor is it being very honest.  Other people have other opinions, sticking your head in the sand by deleting comments is a huge cop out to me.   People invest their time in putting up a comment, if it is a phrase that is objectionable, then post the comment but modify the offending word or phrase, it is not like the whole comment is bad, generally.  That is the only post I've ever deleted, and then I reposted with the offending phrase replaced by a kid-friendly term.  Not that I'm against cussing, but kids do read sometimes and certain words I will replace.

And if it is an idea you don't agree with, explain why you don't.  Hopefully, if you are correct, people will see the truth in the matter.  And if you are being the ostrich, then hopefully the truth will come to you.

At least, that is what I hope for myself when I blog, I don't know or see all, but I do have an opinion that I will stick to until someone convinces me otherwise.  And I'm very open to change, once I see enough evidence that I am wrong.  I am just in search of the truth, I have no bias towards anything other than facts, logic, and eventually reaching the truth, good or bad.  Fiat Lux!

So back to this post, it seems like a lot of fans either didn't like Adrianza, or, amazingly, didn't like Crawford, so I decided to comment on why I want the Giants to keep Adrianza (as well as Crawford)

ogc thoughts

I still like Adrianza.  People point to his poor batting lines but neglect to account for the fact that he's very young relative to the competition in most cases.  They point to AAA being an offensive boost without pointing to AA as being tough on hitters sometimes.  People forget that SS have much lower defensive thresholds, and, more importantly, not every lineup position will have a good hitter even on good offensive teams.  

The key things, to me, to remember about Adrianza is that despite being very young against the competition, he didn't strike out that much, sometimes posting a very good contact rate, while also walking a lot, and coupling that with great defense at SS.  That suggests the potential that when he catches up in age, and perhaps fill out more on his skinny frame, he can do more with the bat and get more hits.

Hitters who can make contact, even when overmatched by the older competition, has a skill that can translate as he rises and gains more experience.  And SS has a low bar for offense, so if he can at least be replacement level, which his good contact rate and walk rate suggests that he can (a high contact hitter who can walk should be at least replacement level offensively, I would think), his defense should be enough to make him a 1-3 WAR player (I find that defense stats vary a lot), should he ever play a full season.

I agree with the thought that Adrianza just missed out on winning 2B in 2014.  Adrianza was on the brink of grabbing the 2B role when he got injured, as he was on a pretty good hot streak before being shut down by the injury.  I think that 3B could be his chance in 2015 should McGehee return to his poorer performing seasons (as suggested by his very high BABIP and lack of power last season).

At worse, I view Adrianza as next in the line of players like Blanco and Arias, hence another reason he's not traded, as the Giants like these types of players.  Both were good contact hitters (so was Stewart) who the Giants picked up to be good backup guys with good defense and OK offense off the bench.  We have seen how injuries affect players and seasons.  Crawford admitted to returning too fast in 2013, Adrianza should be at the point now that the Giants would be comfortable throwing Crawford on the DL for 15 days instead of letting him play on, and letting Ehire start most of the games (Arias will probably get in there too against tough LHP).

Crawford is Pretty Good Too

I don't know why people are so down on Crawford.  His contact rate can get really good sometimes, and when he's on a streak, he's got good power.  Plus his very good defense (if he didn't fail on the easy plays too often, I'm sure he would win a Gold Glove one day).   Plus, it is not like it is easy to find a good SS on the scrap heap or in the draft.  You find a good SS, you hang on to him until he starts declining to zero value.  It is not like every SS can be a Tulo or Jeter, you need to appreciate players like him as well as the Posey and Bumgarners.

In addition, I think Crawford's ready to break out, any time now, just like Belt.  People forget, but he was one of our offensive leaders early in 2014, it certainly wasn't Pablo, who was all out of whack (I think he was following Miggy's advice to be a superstar and get more walks).  He's been a good enough hitter, especially considering that he's had to man the hellish #8 spot mostly, where it is tough to hit.  I've been hoping he would get to bat 7th in order to see what he can do, but with Aoki there, he probably is not going to get much time there.

Adrianza is Very Valuable Off the Bench for Giants

And you never know, should Crawford go down for any reason (see Scutaro/Holliday for example), what would we do if we didn't have Adrianza in reserve?  And as much as I think Panik is a slam dunk, he's in as much danger at 2B as well, plus maybe teams figure out a weakness and he has a sophomore slump, at which point, maybe Adrianza gets his closeup chance again.  And 3B is no sure thing either with McGehee, Ehire being a switch-hitter, could steal some starts there if McGehee struggles too much at any point.

We have a lot of reasons why the Giants would want to keep Adrianza around without considering that he has the creds in the minors that he might still break out.  And the Giants like having reserves like this, like Blanco, Arias, Petit, now Vogelsong, who can come in off the bench and give a good enough performance generally, much better than most bench players.  You don't just trade that away, and potentially for nothing much.

And the Giants are very much a bird in the hand type of organization (only willing to trade when the bird in the hand isn't worth that much in their eyes;  remember, they have a Do Not Trade list).

People also forget that Ehire's still only 25 years old.  Hasn't reached his physical peak, and maybe that is all he needs to translate that good contact and walk rate into good MLB performance.  Many players don't figure it out until later, not everyone is like Cain, Lincecum, Posey, Bumgarner.   And at worse, he's a great backup.

I Still Want Brown Around

Which is what I hope for from Brown still, again, another position with low offensive threshold but where he can provide a lot of value defensively.  I view Brown as Blanco's successor, should Gregor leave in free agency, or perhaps they will be a great R/L pair off the bench, should Gregor decide that staying here is better than alternatives (though I have to assume that if anyone offers him a starting job, he's gone;  but he loves the place, the team, so we'll see).

Brown I see being in the same mode that Adrianza is in now:  he has shown enough offensively in the minors that he might still develop, but at worse, if he can be replacement level offensively, he can still add a lot of value defensively and produce 1-3 WAR, varying with the defense, on a full season basis.   Players like that are getting free agent contracts every year to fill in like that.

And I still think that he can do something with the bat.  People need to remember that he had held onto a lot of his bad mechanics until mid-last season, when he started to let the Giants coaches change him around some (being with Boras, he probably thought he got all the coaching he needed from Boras' team of experts and held onto their training).  Hopefully with an off-season working on his new mechanics, it will be old hat for him in 2015 (i.e. muscle memory, instead of learning mode) and he'll be ready to hit better.

12 comments:

  1. Before they brought up Duffy,I am also in the minority that likes Adrianza, Ehire was quietly hitting around .300 or higher in the little streak he was in prior going on the DL. I think he was going to be Crawford's backup at SS before getting injured. Both Crawford and Adrianza had the reputation for being good defensively, but yet their offense was being scrutinized. Even the great Ozzie Smith lacked the bat when he first came up, that came much later on in his career. I think a lot of people underestimate the role players ( Arias, Blanco, Perez, Adrianza, etc ) the Giants have on their bench, and don't really give them enough credit. I too want Brown to get playing time in 2015, to see what he has to offer.

    OrngBlkSF8thful

    ReplyDelete
  2. No disagreements here. The Giants have generally done very well in terms of understanding the capabilities of their players - not just pitchers. While Frandsen, Schierholtz, and Culberson have played for other teams (and Ishikawa, and Torres) - none of them have done particularly well.
    The question really is: what is Adrianza's contract status? Is he under Giants control, and for how long?
    The players above are really what others have called 4A players: great compared to you or me or even AAA players, but not quite at the MLB level.
    Adrianza thus far has clearly shown his 4A chops - we'll see if he can indeed break out beyond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Plus Lewis, Bowker, Ellison, Niekro, Buscher, Burris, Bocock.

      As noted below, we control Ehire until 2019 currently.

      Yeah, 4A is the right label, though I think Schierholtz in the right situation would do OK enough as a starter. And who knows, he might be returning home soon enough, Giants seem to go back sometimes to the same well (Vogelsong, Ishikawa).

      And yes, Adrianza still needs to prove himself. Lots of hitters show something in the minors (Schierholtz, Bowker) but for whatever reasons, could not deliver in the majors.

      Delete
  3. i forgot to add that are way too skeptical on what Sabean does or doesn't do in the offseason, it anything he addresses the needs of the team then and there, I think it's the moves he makes druing the season ( especially midseason is where Brian makes his mark. It is understandable that people are entitled to their own opinion and have their times of disbelief for the longest tenured GM. The same moves like acquiring Scutaro, Pence, Peavy midseason, and offseason moves like Hudson and Morse, bringing up Panik made a lot of fans ( even the long time ones ) very pessimistic, were also the same ones that did their part and help win a championship. So now it's Aoki and McGehee in 2015, I think the Giants will be just fine heading into 2015. Sabean will once again make the neccessary moves during the season in the event both of them don't pan out. Yeah, they lost some good bats from Sandoval and Morse, but i think Belt, Crawford, Panik, Duvall, Duffy etc are all due for a breakout year at some point.

    OrngBlkSF8thful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments I agree totally with you, too many skeptics out there. And thanks for pointing out his great moves made mid-season. People only seem to remember the ones that don't work, but nobody is perfect, and sometimes you can only get what is available on the market, and it might not be what you need, but it's the best available given what teams are willing to offer for your prospects. And anyone who has played Fantasy Baseball know that GMs out there most times want to screw you in the trade when you need something from them.

      Delete
    2. Exactly, "supply and demand". Some don't understand or forget that principle or logic can also be implied for baseball. GM's. for the most part, know what every other GM's needs are are at any given time. I've heard Sabean and other GM's say all the time, "The asking price was too high".

      Delete
  4. I think Adrianza only has barely over a year of ML service time, it says that he's arb eligible 2017 and becomes a free agent 2020.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thanks, he has the one year from 2014, plus his time in September of 2013. We should have five more years of control, so that works with what you say of arbs in 2017, control to 2019, and FA in 2020.

      He ran out of options in 2013, and thus why he was on the roster for 2014 all year. And he got MLB service time for his time on the DL as well.

      Delete
  5. I like what i saw from Aoki and McGehee when they were both playing in Milwaukee with confidence. Both of them put up some good numbers offensively, and also show that they are good defensively as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's unfortunately what happened to Brett Pill, he had plenty of promise and potential. I think his constant shuffle from Fresno to SF ( and then back to Fresno again) had a lot to do with his lack of growth at the Major League level due to not getting enough consistent playing time and/or AB's. Not having a place to put him was also another reason with Belt at 1st and Pablo at 3rd ( at the time). Pill could've have been the RH power bat that everyone else seems to be looking for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brett's problem (which is similar to Ishiakawa's) is that while he's an OK hitter, his only position was 1B where most teams want more than just an OK hitter. The bar offensively is much higher there.

      While that is carryable if a team has the DH or only a 11 man pitching staff, the Giants have neither, limiting their bench to only 5 guys, and with backup catcher, that means 4 guys. And that basically means 2 MI and 2 OF, no space for a 1B-only type of fielder.

      Frankly, I don't think he had that much promise or potential. Someone like that would have done more in AAA than he did. Promise and potential, to me, means that the guy hits near or over 1.000 OPS in the upper minors while he's young for the league. Because the pitching is that much better in the majors.

      But he definitely could have been a nice bench resources, bringing power and defense at 1B.

      Delete
    2. I always thought that Pill could have developed into a solid 270 major league hitter with 25 plus homers and 90 plus RBI. But its hard to develop someone when they do not get a consistent chance. I like Adrianza, but I also like Duffy. I was not disappointed when Panik was brought up. My thoughts when they went to the former Marlin's and Braves' second baseman was "where the heck is Panik". He did better than I thought. During the first few weeks he had some problem with his glove, but he seemed to have broken it in and was able to hold onto the ball. Like Scutaro, I thought Panik played a little better than expected. But sometimes you need guys to play over their heads. Nevertheless, Panik seemed to not give away at bats and made opposing pitchers really work. Hitters like that make everyone else in the lineup better.

      Delete

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