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2009 Prospect Duds: Dayan Viciedo

Viciedo’s .692 OPS versus right-handed pitchers is cause for concern, as are the scouting reports that focused more and more on his lack of conditioning, which no doubt hindered him at the plate, as well as in the field. He showed worse range than Oakland’s Brett Wallace, widely considered to be a first baseman playing third base (especially based on his range). Unfortunately for Viciedo, he has yet to display enough power to be an asset at first base, and he lacks the mobility for even left field. The Cuban also performed poorly in a small sample size as the designated hitter in double-A, which could be a result of his focus issues.

Defense at 2B/3B

When a player moves to 2B from 3B, or vice versa, their defensive performance remains relatively stable. There’s just no data to support the idea that second base is a premium defensive position and third base is not. While there are different skills necessary to succeed at each position (arm strength being more important at 3rd, range more important at second), the pool of players who can succeed at one is mostly made up of the same pool of players that can succeed at the other. This is because the population of both positions is made up almost exclusively of players who were deemed inadequate for shortstop. At one time, second baseman and third baseman were both called the same thing - bad defensive shortstops. From there, they were separated into 2B and 3B pools, but the evidence suggests that the crop of players who end up at 3B are better overall players than their 2B brethren. Why? I have a few theories, and we’ll get into those tomorrow.

Crede Goes Nuts

by Dave Cameron - June 8, 2008 Joe Crede is (insert your own hypberole here). Since last Wednesday, he’s had the following games: June 4th, vs KC: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, .326 WPA June 6th, vs MIN: 4 for 4, 2 HR, .194 WPA June 7th, vs MIN: 2 for 4, 2 HR, .120 WPA June 8th, vs Min: 2 for 4, 1 2B, .018 WPA He’s reached base 12 times in 17 trips to the plate (.705 OBP) and has seven extra base hits (1.800 SLG) since Wednesday. Five days ago, he was slugging .465, but after this stretch, he’s raised that mark 100 points. In four games. In June. All winter, the White Sox did what they could to trade Crede. With Josh Fields around, Crede coming off a disastrous 2007 season, and heading into his free agent season, he didn’t seem to fit in Chicago’s plans, but they couldn’t find anyone willing to give much up for Crede, so they kept him around. That’s turned out to be a season saving decision, as he and Carlos Quentin have saved the White Sox offense amid struggles from Nick Swisher, Paul Konerko, and Jim Thome. Ozzie Guillen might not be very happy with his offense’s consistency, but Joe Crede certainly isn’t going to be the reason the hitting coach gets fired.

Steal Of The Winter

by Dave Cameron - May 26, 2008 The Diamondbacks have one of the best outfields in baseball, with Eric Byrnes, Chris Young, and Justin Upton providing both offense and defense for the team that looks like the National League’s best. In order to make room for Upton, however, they shipped off Carlos Quentin, and he’s quickly making them regret that decision. After another huge night, where he was the White Sox offense against John Lackey, Quentin continues to solidify his position as the best hitter in the American League so far in 2008. His .301/.415/.608 line gives him the league’s highest WPA/LI, and his 14 home runs also lead the junior circuit while matching his career total coming into the ‘08 season. When you can double your career home run total in 166 at-bats, you’ve either had an amazing year or a pretty lousy career to that point, or more probably, both. ...

Contreras 2.0

by Dave Cameron - May 23, 2008 There’s a good chance that Jose Contreras is currently 64 years old. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his grandchildren were throwing 94 and learning a split finger. If you need some ammunition for baseball related comedy, you can’t go wrong with making fun of Jose Contreras’ age. But, however old he is (and his listed age of 37 seems about as likely as 16), we should notice that he is reinventing himself to extend his career. ...

The Enigma Formerly Known As Gavin Floyd

I can remember Gavin Floyd’s first start like it was yesterday. Never before had I been able to experience firsthand the sort of hype that surrounded him that night. The Phillies were in third place, playing the dreadful-at-the-time Mets, and had vastly underachieved all year long. When the hot prospect threw an absolutely ridiculous curveball to the befuddled Cliff Floyd, striking him out to end the first inning, it’s safe to say I was not alone in thinking this kid could be the answer. Unfortunately, he was not the answer. Even though the Phillies went on a 20-8 run to close out the season, Floyd would frustrate fans with spurts of brilliance masked by the inability to harness his "stuff." A change of scenery was deemed necessary and Floyd soon found himself a member of the Chicago White Sox. ... His FIP of 5.07 results in the second highest discrepancy between FIP and ERA; only Fausto Carmona’s ERA has been luckier than Floyd’s. Instead of focusing on why he will not sustain this current level of performance, I would much rather look at what has contributed to these numbers. ...

Fan Graphs: The Enigma Formerly Known As Gavin Floyd

FanGraphs takes a look at how Gavin's getting it done in '08

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