Re: Do you agree with Abraham?-J.D. Drew compared to other AL right fielders in the last four years proves he's one of the be...
posted at 6/24/2011 1:58 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Do you agree with Abraham?-J.D. Drew compared to other AL right fielders in the last four years proves he's one of the best in the game.
[QUOTE]To those who question my knowledge of baseball past and present I have factored in a variable to the formula. You see, rightfielders such as Jose Cardenal,Bobby Bonds, Ron Fairly and the rest of the class of 1972 were facing much better pitching than what J.D.Drew faces in 2011. The Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers could throw McNallly, Cueller,Palmer at you, the Tigers could send Lolich and McLain , the A's would send out Vida Blue and Catfish Hunter , Cleveland? ...you would face Sudden Sam McDowell, ChiSox would greet you with Wilbur Wood, National League? How about Juan Marichal, Fergy Jenkins, Don Gullett , Bert Blyleven , Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton....my God, the list goes on and on! If Drew were facing pitchers form 1972...he wouldn't get above the Mendoza line! (.200 BA)!!! ...and there is no way he'd be drawing as many walks. This was the era of the pitcher.....300 hitters were rare indeed back then!
Posted by ZILLAGOD[/QUOTE]Zilla that is a chicken and egg argument. Were the pitchers really better or were the hitters not as good because they did not have advanced video aids to shorten their slumps, did not train as hard in the offseason etcetra?
Part of Drew's strength is part of why people don't like him but it would play well in any era. JD Drew approaches every PA with the same approach, he will not swing at pitcher's pitches and makes the pitcher get him out in the zone. It has reflected in his high OBP during his career and fuels the argument that he should expand that zone with RISP. That plays well in any era.
Now I haven't contemplated it but if an era was filled with more quality LH pitchers than the one he played in that may have given him more trouble because he does have diminished returns versus LH.
And when you mention 2011 I think the pitching right now is as good as it has been in a long time and the number of quality LH is very high. There aren't too many teams that don't have 1-2 top of the rotation quality guys. The MLB ERA is 3.84 season to date. In 2007 it was 4.46 with only two teams having an ERA under 4. As of today 20 teams started the day with ERA's under 4.
The pitching is getting stronger, more quality young arms are not being blown up as quickly in the minors or early in their MLB careers. More guys are throwing the cutter well and it is being thrown more often.
Now none of that IMO is why Drew is scuffling. The contract was a year too long. It was the cost of doing business. Everybody evaluates the signing in a vacuum, which as fans we can do but at the time Epstein could not and should not have done. The RS had NO heir apparent in the minors. Drew was the best available OF in that FA class. A trade would have had to headline guys like Ellsbury, Buch and Pedroia. And it wasn't going to be just one of the top prospects to get a player, even one not quite as good as Drew. Papelbon and Lester weren't marketable, one had cancer one had shoulder issues.
It was what it was, they won a WS and made 2 playoff appearances after the signing. Do it again I'd say.