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vs. ROYALS, 8/02


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Just now, schittenden said:

Phantom umpiring randomly strikes again. 

I was watching the ump in person and had zero indication he had awarded first base until their guy slowly eventually started walking toward first, like 30 seconds after being hit. Bizarre.

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I was present for a Sunday game like 5 years ago, Vargas vs Guthrie. Vargas gave up 1 run over 7 innings. His windup 5 years later looks faster, less powerful, less complicated but his velo is almost certainly down. 

And I’m watching him pitch against the New Jeremy.

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    • First.. most is not accurate as it relates to those who questioned Gunnar sticking at SS. There were concerns but it was hardly a consensus. Secondly, the questions on Gunnar as a SS were not about his skill/talent as a defender. The two main concerns were whether he could be more consistent to occupy the most premier infield position for you and if he would outgrow SS. There weren't questions around his arm, his ability to make plays in the hole, his mechanics fielding a groundball, etc. etc. so that statement above is quite misleading.  Gunnar may outgrow SS. At 22 he's 6'4ish and probably every bit of 215 lbs, if not bigger. As he matures physically he very well could add 15 lbs of muscle without the extended effort that would be required of someone like EBJ to add the same amount. But just as you point that JH's incentive to improve as a SS is the payday, Gunnar has that same incentive and he's already night and day better as a defender than JH and was two years ago at the same age as JH. 
    • Exactly right. Like all young players, I’m sure he has some things to “clean up” but he the question mark about his defense isn’t range or hands or anything like that..it’s his arm.  He needs to improve the arm strength and get the velo on the throws up.    I personally don’t think he would be the #1 prospect if people doubted he could be a ML SS. 
    • Defense doesn't peak at age 19.  Also, who is reporting that he needs to improve "significantly" on defense? He wouldn't be the #1 overall prospect if that was the case. 
    • Juan Pierre is another name that I keep thinking of as far as light hitting speedster CF's making solid WAR contribution without much power. 17 WAR, .295/.343/.704
    • Show me the national people who believe he will never be a long term answer at SS.  
    • It might be. It’s always possible. Defense is largely about effort in many ways. You have to work at it and want to work at it.  If he doesn’t do that, this is who he will be. If he does work at it, he will get better. Im sure he understands that the arm is currently lacking. Im sure his father can see it and it’s something they worked on and will continue to work on. He has the foundation outside of that to be really good, according to basically everyone. His incentive is that the payday will be larger long term as a SS than a second baseman.  So, it’s up to him on whether he wants to get better or not. A few years ago, most didn’t believe Gunnar could be a SS. Those people were proven to be incorrect in short time. I’m guessing that Gunnar worked hard at it and wanted to become better.    My personal assumption about Holliday is that he will want to work hard to get better. That may be a wrong assumption but it is my belief.
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