Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part III
posted at 7/17/2011 3:10 AM EDT
We might still make a deal for a SS before the playoffs begin but not a lot is available. It's unlikely we are going to see much improvement there. Hopefully Lowrie comes back soon. Neither solution is optimal but I wouldn't bet on Navarro.
Lavarnway probably doesn't have a career as good as Fisk, of course, but so far his minor league numbers blow Fisk away. Who knows, maybe he's better than Fisk? Maybe he is a very special player we are just now discovering. Maybe he's a very bright guy who could always hit but now has taken it to another level as he has figured it all out. I wouldn't bet on that happening but you know, it is possible.
Moon, you and I both appear to have studied philosophy in college. To me, that type of mind is very analytical. The type of person would potentially strive for excellence at another level than the average guy. Of course it's tough to make this sort of generalization but think back to setting around the table with your fellow existentialism students. There is something different about a person who willingly takes such a course. A course like metaphysics. A guy who wants to read Leibnitz and Soren Kierkegaard. Such a person is striving to understand the meaning of it all to the best of their ability. I've read interviews with Lavarnway and he is a true seeker. He became a philosophy major by choice. This is a very unusual young man. He absolutely is a person striving for excellence, fully aware of his fleeting existence on this planet.
I'm betting that Lavarnway goes beyond what others expect of him given his God given physical tools. It appears to be a wild guess but I've had this perspective with him for well over a year now, and if anything, he has surpassed even my expectations. I had a major argument on the soxprospects forum about this last year. Many said that his "makeup" as a proven academic achiever had no bearing, or very little bearing. That he would never make it defensively. That he was not a top prospect as a result. The general consensus was that him going to Yale had little relevance to his potential for success going forward. Of course they might well be right but I sensed that he was a very unusual matrix of abilities and that he would continue to improve at a fast rate. And that as a catcher, he had time to develop further.
If Lavarnway didn't make it in mlb level by the time he was 26, it would not be that unusual. Now he is topping Jesus Montero's offensive numbers in AAA ball. I know Montero is much younger but it may be that Lavarnway even eclipses Montero at some point. He is trending up, while Montero is trending down. Lavarnway may still be getting better while Montero may have plateaued in large part.
To me, if a guy has X level of achievement at a certain level, for example in A ball, then things like his track record of success outside of baseball are relevant if all other things are equal. The guy who has succeeded only in baseball who performs at X level in A ball, should not be compared to the guy who performs at an X baseball level in A ball, but has also excelled in other areas. Both players are going to improve generally in minor league baseball over time but one is generally going to improve at a significantly faster rate. Intelligence is not an all encompassing, dominant factor in baseball but it is a factor nonetheless. Hitting is patience, intelligence, insight, control of ones emotions, the ability to overcome obstacles, etc... as well as physical aptitude. Makeup is an undervalued attribute.
If a relief pitcher has a 90 mph fastball there is probably only so far they can go but the guy who went to Yale is going to be much more likely to succeed with that 90 mph fastball than the guy who achieved little else with his life beyond baseball. I've projected Lavarnway as a top prospect for almost 2 years now and he just keeps getting better and better.