I probably talk too much about Rickie Weeks, and while I really like Rickie I’m not oblivious to the fact that he’s been horrible so far (though he has gotten on base in 6 consecutive games). I understand he struggled for a chunk of last year, and I understand why some people want to go a different direction.
But man, you people who love Scooter Gennett…you’ve got some issues. Take Dave Radcliffe here.
At one point Dave says, “Gennett has proved he can hit the cover off the baseball at any level” which is just…*
This has to stop. Roy Hobbes – a fictional baseball player capable of destroying scoreboards and light towers with the power of his home runs – is capable of hitting the cover off of the ball. Scooter Gennett who sprays looping liners that land in front of sub-par defensive outfielders trying as hard as they can to stick at a tougher defensive position in the futile hope that their bat plays better in left than at 1st base or, god forbid, DH cannot hit the cover off of much of anything, and may have trouble peeling oranges without a knife.
Scooter is a grindy white guy with the grindiest whitest name in history and a certain chunk of the fan base will gravitate towards him for that reason alone, and that same chunk loves nothing so much as an empty batting average which Scooter has in spades. Fact is, Scooter is only a “prospect” in the loosest sense of the word and wouldn’t crack a top ten list for 95% of MLB teams.
He only has one tool (hit), and guys with the hit tool often top out as utility guys. I’m probably more down on him than most people, and by all accounts he’s a great makeup guy, very coach-able and has surprised at every level (meaning, played well enough to advance even though his numbers continue to go down). I just don’t think the bat ever plays at the major league level, and being limited to a sub-par defensive 2nd baseman in the first place puts him in a really tough spot.
Baseball Prospectus had this to say in their 2013 annual (which you should totally buy for more great insight like this):
“Everybody loves to root for the underdog, and Gennett’s short stature, manic energy, and aggressive approach have earned him a legion of fans. Unfortunately, the young infielder’s numbers have declined each stop of his minor league journey. Gennett has an unquestioned ability to make solid contact, but he rarely walks, has limited power and even less speed, is merely adequate at the keystone, and can’t play shortstop. His plus hit tool will only take him so far, and no amount of squinting will make him Dustin Pedroia. Gennett is still young enough to develop more power or refine his approach, but his current profile matches Aaron Miles – a similarly pint-sized infielder with good contact skills, a low walk rate, and an indifferent glove. Of course, Miles managed to earn millions over nine major-league seasons, so you never know.”
In 14 games** for the sounds this year his .386/.407/.439 slash line looks nice, especially compared to Weeks, but consider that:
- He only has 2 extra base hits (1 double, 1 triple),
- He has 0 HRs, which means he has 20 singles….
- Which gives him a BABIP of .449.***
- His OPS at Huntsville last year was just .714.
Given how the weather has wreaked havoc on the minor league teams, and given how his OPS has declined at each level, I’m not buying a start fueled by spray-singles continually falling in.
If Weeks is going to keep shitting the bed I’m fine making a move for someone else, but Gennett is a defensively challenged second-baseman with no pop and no speed****, entirely dependent on an empty batting average for value, and it’s entirely possible that at the MLB level, bad Rickie is still better than good Scooter.
*He also asserts that Rickie Weeks plays because of his contract just like Jeff Hammonds and Jeff Suppan and Bill Hall, which is just ridiculous. I mean, Yuni and Alex are playing too.
**The only thing dumber than making a panic move on Rickie after 19 games might be going all crazy for Scooter after 14 AAA games.
***His career BABIP at high A and above is around .326.
****Against minor league catchers he has swiped 39 bases and been caught 20 times. At high A and above he’s stole 25 bases and been caught 16 times (61% success).