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The D from D Lee


Frobby

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I didn't post this last night since I knew it would get lost in all the (justified) angst about the loss. However, Derrek Lee made a couple of outstanding scoop plays last night, including a really tough one when Jeter batted with a couple of runners on. The ball took a really difficult hop, right at the angle where one switches from trying to catch with wrist above the glove to wrist below the glove. He caught it right at the belt just a couple of inches from his body, and also managed to keep his foot in contact with the base on a very close play.

Overall, I've seen about half the games we've played so far, and Lee has been terrific at handling errant throws and very fundamentally sound on fielding anything hit in his direction. He may not be as rangy as he was in his 20's, but he is the smoothest guy we've had at 1B since Raffy was in his prime.

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I didn't post this last night since I knew it would get lost in all the (justified) angst about the loss. However, Derrek Lee made a couple of outstanding scoop plays last night, including a really tough one when Jeter batted with a couple of runners on. The ball took a really difficult hop, right at the angle where one switches from trying to catch with wrist above the glove to wrist below the glove. He caught it right at the belt just a couple of inches from his body, and also managed to keep his foot in contact with the base on a very close play.

Overall, I've seen about half the games we've played so far, and Lee has been terrific at handling errant throws and very fundamentally sound on fielding anything hit in his direction. He may not be as rangy as he was in his 20's, but he is the smoothest guy we've had at 1B since Raffy was in his prime.

Excellent point, Frank. It's not just last night, either. Lee has been making a lot of very impressive scoops on defense in this young season so far. We got him for his bat, but he has been a great surprise with his glove so far.

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DLee's defense is no surprise. The guy is an outstanding defensive first baseman, and regardless of what anyone tells you, first base is a very important defensive position. Brooksie used to say that Boog powell earned him several gold gloves due to the errors he saved Brooks on scoops at first. That is true, Powell had great hands and really was a highly underrated first baseman. Having a guy like Lee at first base allows an infielder to hurry a throw knowing that Lee can handle it.

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I said this in a game thread, but being left handed, I've played 1B all through highschool and on into Softball and I'm VERY impressed with how solid he is as a target.

It's hard for me to criticize his bat when I see him make 2-3 tricky plays a game effortlessly.

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I said this in a game thread, but being left handed, I've played 1B all through highschool and on into Softball and I'm VERY impressed with how solid he is as a target.

It's hard for me to criticize his bat when I see him make 2-3 tricky plays a game effortlessly.

Kind of like Matt Wieters ............ let's hope that the home run and the doube against the Yanks on Wednesday is the beginning of an offensive breakout for him.

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I said this in a game thread, but being left handed, I've played 1B all through highschool and on into Softball and I'm VERY impressed with how solid he is as a target.

It's hard for me to criticize his bat when I see him make 2-3 tricky plays a game effortlessly.s

Kind of like Matt Wieters ............ let's hope that the home run and the double against the Yanks on Wednesday is the beginning of an offensive breakout for him.

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At lower levels of baseball, having an excellent defensive first baseman is absolutely crucial. It relaxes everybody, the infielders don't feel so much pressure to make perfect throws and have the confidence to try some crazier plays, and, I'd argue (w/out any empirical proof of course) that this results in the infielders actually playing better.

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Kind of like Matt Wieters ............ let's hope that the home run and the doube against the Yanks on Wednesday is the beginning of an offensive breakout for him.

Well.. yes... but the difference there is that in MLB, you don't rely on your catcher to be a solid producer with the bat. Anything you get offensively from that position is normally gravy.

This isn't the case at 1B. Very few teams can afford to suffer a defensive minded first basemen with little offensive contribution (not saying that Lee is that).

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I am so sick and tired of hearing Gary Thorne talking about the scooping..i hope we don't have to hear it here too.

Remember when people raved about Millar scooping the ball?

EVERY FIRST BASEMAN can do it...in like every league.

Lee is a very good defensive first baseman but let's not act like scooping the ball is some incredibly difficult thing that most first baseman can't do.

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I am so sick and tired of hearing Gary Thorne talking about the scooping..i hope we don't have to hear it here too.

Remember when people raved about Millar scooping the ball?

EVERY FIRST BASEMAN can do it...in like every league.

Lee is a very good defensive first baseman but let's not act like scooping the ball is some incredibly difficult thing that most first baseman can't do.

I'm confused with this post.

Are you saying that Lee is average because all he's been doing is scoping the ball just like anyone else?

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I am so sick and tired of hearing Gary Thorne talking about the scooping..i hope we don't have to hear it here too.

Remember when people raved about Millar scooping the ball?

EVERY FIRST BASEMAN can do it...in like every league.

Lee is a very good defensive first baseman but let's not act like scooping the ball is some incredibly difficult thing that most first baseman can't do.

I agree with this for the most part. He did have one throw (I think it was last night) where he caught an in-between hop that was pretty impressive.

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I've been pleased with his defense thus far...solid target, okay but not eminently spectacular range, and the occasional pick/scoop that's very impressive (not sure if there's been one every game, but I remember one catching my eye last night and remarking on it in the game thread...probably the one referenced here already). The quote about his job being to reduce other infielders' errors will be brought up over and over on the MASN broadcasts, but at least he's been backing it up. I'd rather complain about something bad than something good, and so far the defensive play by Lee has been good to very good. An absence of said good thing will make the praise more effusive in the presence, but I can deal with that. Hopefully the bat will follow suit soon enough.

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