Re: Let's talk WMB....
posted at 5/8/2014 6:04 PM EDT
In response to moonslav59's comment:
Right, I get it. But, young ballplayers grow in different dimensions at different times. I am pointing to a trend since his recall last year. I do not think this trend signifies that he has surely become a decent on-base guy, but I think it is worth considering. If you are going to break out OBP numbers for minors, for playoffs, for major league experience, why would you not consider OBP post-recall? The whole point of his demotion last year was for him to go down and work specifically on the elements of his swing that were so easily exploited, and his pitch recognition. So, seems logical to me to analize if there was an improvement upon returning. Lo and behold, there was. I am not saying i am sold on his growth, but the facts are indeed the facts.
Small sample size. That's why I didn't bring up post-recall.
The only reason i brought up the small sample playoff numbers was because someone said he was over .350 in the playoffs. He was at .250.
OBP is the hardest thing to 'grow" once out of the minors. It's not impossible, and I have not given up on Middy.
And Moon, I agree with you. Last year he was poor in the field. But, seriously, this year, 2014, do you really think he has played a poor third base?
Yes. Poor to me is bottom 10 out of the 30 3Bmen in MLB. He has not botched many plays, but he does not make many plays that are not routine
He is ranked 21st out of 24 in UZR/150 this year, and my own personal observations concur with the numbers. I have watched every single play (sometimes more than once) of every single game this year and for many years beforehand. I don't ever recall reading any glowing reports of his defense when he was a prospect. He looked okay in 2012. He has looked worse than 2012 since then, so I don't see the improvement people keep talking about. Maybe he looks slightly better than 2013, but since he still looks worse than 2012, I choose not to call him a player that is showing improvement.
Well, we shall see. I guess I can't argue UZR ratings, though they have never necessarily alignedwith my own personal observations. But quantitative analysis is important, if inevitable flawed with defemse. So, cool, his UZR/150 is low. I will take that into consideration along with the fact that I am watching him make some fantastic plays and botching less than his, yes, miserable 2013.
And, yes, OBP is hard to grow once you are out of the minors. But that is sort of my point. He went BACK to the minors specifically to grow the aspects of his offense that generate higher OBP. And, since his return to the majors, his OBP has grown. Coincidence? Or, cause and effect? Yes, I agree the sample size is far too short to draw any conclusions and I get the skepticism. But the trend is the trend and suggests a narrative that goes: was a mess, went back to Pawtucket to put in work, work resulted in better plate discipline.
We shall see. If my hunch that we should stick with young Will because he is going to be a vital cog by midseason is wrong, I will recognize the errors in my faulty analysis. But, WMB is going to be a solid two-way guy. Not the all-star slugger some wild-eyed folks were wishing on a star for. But solid. This year.