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Givens and Kolodny Moved


chazsongs

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Have to say, if true, I'm glad the positional days are done for Givens. That just wasn't an experiment that was likely to bear fruit. Hopefully he develops into a useful power arm in the pen...

If bullpen arm is all he can be as a pitcher, I'm inclined to see what he can do as a SS first. I'm not as concerned about "wasting time", because if he fails and he goes back to pitching, it doesn't have to take that long to make that transition. So long as you're only expecting them to relieve, lots of guys have made that transition at older ages.

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I guess an extreme example to support your stance is that Sergio Santos was drafted as a SS in 2002 out of high school. He was a full time SS thru the 2008 season. Converted to reliever in 2009 and started this year with the White Sox. He looks really good too.

Rafael Bentencourt was drafted as a SS for the Red Sox.. He converted to a reliever.

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I understand your opinion on Givens, but calling a highly righted HS shortstop being used as a professional SS an experiment seems a little strong. His positional days have barely started. You certainly have strong feelings on Givens. Do you feel he's not an infielder at all? Is his bat that weak? IIRC, you don't believe he sticks at SS defensively. What about 2B?

Who has highly rated him? I'm honestly asking, because he certainly wasn't considered one of the top SS in last year's draft by anyone who I spoke to (obviously, that isn't supposed to carry huge weight, but I did speak to a number of folks). Almost everyone, myself included, thought his best shot was as a relief arm. He is unrefined in almost every aspect of his positional game. So, yeah, it's an experiment. Now, perhaps those raw tools are strong enough to mold into a great player, but his bat, footwork and arm action all have a fair amount of room to go, and he's playing the most position in the field (that isn't behind the plate). 2B I think you will still run into range issues -- big waste of plus to plus-plus arm strength. The bat will have to come along regardless.

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Baseball America has him rated as the Orioles #9 prospect as a SS. This quote from their 2009 Prospects Handbook. "Eventually most scouts thought he would end up as reliever on the mound and saw him more as a shortstop as did the Orioles, who signed him for $800,000 as the 54th overall pick."

As for the part I bolded from your comments. Isn't that the whole idea? How many of these HS players are finished products?

Well, of course HS players aren't finished products. If you can't see nuance in developmental curves, I don't know what to tell you.

I don't think you're reading that BA quote correctly, but that's fine. Reads to me as "high school relief arm is a sketchy proposition, so give him every chance to learn SS and use RP as a fall back." Look, you and I have had this back-and-forth. Facts: He was clocked in spring training with home-to-first times of 4.4 and higher; he relied on good hands at the HS level and will need to show better footwork and set-ups as a pro, because the balls are hit harder; he slings the ball and doesn't have an understanding of the different angles at the position yet (I would bet he is still struggling with his accuracy, as that isn't anything pure instruction will fix -- he will need reps and time); his build says "some power" and his swing says "linedrives", and his weight shift says "I hope this isn't off-speed".

Again, I want him to do well. I want to be wrong. But I don't think it's useful to anyone to pretend he's anything more than a raw product in the field and at the plate. Ultimately, I don't think it will be that dissimilar from molding Avery, and Givens has a much harder position to learn and far less speed to help him grab the infield hits. He throws in the mid-90s on the mound with some feel for a slider. That is the path of least resistance.

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Fine. You ask me questions. I answer them. Seems like you never like the back and forth. The wording in the BA piece is confusing but I think the part "as did the Orioles" kind of confirms the meaning to be that most scouts saw him as a shortstop as did the Orioles. As we all know, the path of least resistance isn't always the right path.

BTW, isn't he also raw as a reliever? He has a feel for a slider? That means it needs a lot of work, doesn't it?

Slider was better in the summer but not as consistent in the spring. Saucered too often, which can happen with his very low-3/4, borderline side-armed slot. He sits mid-90s, and you'll see college arms with no secondaries picked fairly high purely on arm strength. At least Givens has flashed some breaking stuff in the past. Having a feel doesn't necessarily mean it needs a lot of work -- it's more positive. It means there is an understanding of how to throw the pitch effectively. The time/work it takes to put into that pitch is case-specific.

I don't mind the back and forth, but we've had this one a bunch. I say what I don't like and you tell me that there are experts and professionals who disagree with me. I just don't think the back-and-forth ever leads anywhere with regards to Givens. That's fine; I don't expect to convince you all the time, nor do I expect you to convince me. I think this is just an area where we disagree.

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Have to say, if true, I'm glad the positional days are done for Givens. That just wasn't an experiment that was likely to bear fruit. Hopefully he develops into a useful power arm in the pen...

If this is true, wouldn't it be a waste to take these toolsy high school guys so early in every draft? Especially if we didn't have above average development in our system? I haven't seen any real evidence, especially with positional players, of the Orioles being able to develop at an above average level. Maybe guys like Avery and Hoes will prove me wrong, we'll see.

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No problem. Maybe some other members of the board learn a little something from these discussions. Perhaps, even you and I do.

BTW, and this is an honest question, how slow is 4.4 considered for a RH hitter? What's average?

Oh, I'm all for learning -- you take me to school often enough. ;)

4.4 is considered below average by most for a RHH. Around 4.3 would be average. Since times to first can vary a fair amount, it's good to get a number of readings to get a sense for true out-of-the-box speed.

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If this is true, wouldn't it be a waste to take these toolsy high school guys so early in every draft? Especially if we didn't have above average development in our system? I haven't seen any real evidence, especially with positional players, of the Orioles being able to develop at an above average level. Maybe guys like Avery and Hoes will prove me wrong, we'll see.

Hoes isn't the same as an Avery or Givens, in my opinion. His approach and swing are much more refined. He is learning a new position, so I guess there's something to be said there. But that happens often with HSers, who tend to be shoehorned into a position of need with their teams.

And, yeah, I would have thought Givens was a better fit for someone in the third round.

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I guess an extreme example to support your stance is that Sergio Santos was drafted as a SS in 2002 out of high school. He was a full time SS thru the 2008 season. Converted to reliever in 2009 and started this year with the White Sox. He looks really good too.

Yes, I think that if Givens failed as a position player, we would all love to see Givens convert as quickly as Santos and as well in the long run as Troy Percival. Anything less will make him a complete bust :D;)

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Well, of course HS players aren't finished products. If you can't see nuance in developmental curves, I don't know what to tell you.

I don't think you're reading that BA quote correctly, but that's fine. Reads to me as "high school relief arm is a sketchy proposition, so give him every chance to learn SS and use RP as a fall back." Look, you and I have had this back-and-forth. Facts: He was clocked in spring training with home-to-first times of 4.4 and higher; he relied on good hands at the HS level and will need to show better footwork and set-ups as a pro, because the balls are hit harder; he slings the ball and doesn't have an understanding of the different angles at the position yet (I would bet he is still struggling with his accuracy, as that isn't anything pure instruction will fix -- he will need reps and time); his build says "some power" and his swing says "linedrives", and his weight shift says "I hope this isn't off-speed".

Again, I want him to do well. I want to be wrong. But I don't think it's useful to anyone to pretend he's anything more than a raw product in the field and at the plate. Ultimately, I don't think it will be that dissimilar from molding Avery, and Givens has a much harder position to learn and far less speed to help him grab the infield hits. He throws in the mid-90s on the mound with some feel for a slider. That is the path of least resistance.

Maybe I'm being mislead by the context, but are you using this time to imply a lack of speed and it's influence on his range at SS? IMO, first-base times are a different animal than overall speed. Out-of-the-box times are influenced by how well they come out of their swing. If I want to gauge how quick/explosive a player is, I'd much prefer a 60-yard time. There's also something to be said about first-step quickness when talking about an infielder's range. Tony said, "Defensively Givens has decent first step quickness and works well around the bag..."

Obviously, Givens has a lot of rough edges to smooth out, but I'm willing to give him a chance.

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Maybe I'm being mislead by the context, but are you using this time to imply a lack of speed and it's influence on his range at SS? IMO, first-base times are a different animal than overall speed. Out-of-the-box times are influenced by how well they come out of their swing. If I want to gauge how quick/explosive a player is, I'd much prefer a 60-yard time. There's also something to be said about first-step quickness when talking about an infielder's range. Tony said, "Defensively Givens has decent first step quickness and works well around the bag..."

Obviously, Givens has a lot of rough edges to smooth out, but I'm willing to give him a chance.

No, I'm not connecting the two. Separate issues. Also, first step quickness is great, but can be negated pretty quickly by uncertain actions. He's coordinated, so I'd expect him to do very well around the bag.

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No, I'm not connecting the two. Separate issues. Also, first step quickness is great, but can be negated pretty quickly by uncertain actions. He's coordinated, so I'd expect him to do very well around the bag.

If he's athletic & coordinated, I expect his actions & footwork to improve through repetition. Same with getting his arm slot under control to improve his throwing accuracy. I don't have high expectations for him, but I'd like to see what he can bring to the table. I think he's already received a vote of confidence by the O's sending him to Delmarva instead of a short-season league. Now it's up to Givens to stay there.

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If he's athletic & coordinated, I expect his actions & footwork to improve through repetition. Same with getting his arm slot under control to improve his throwing accuracy. I don't have high expectations for him, but I'd like to see what he can bring to the table. I think he's already received a vote of confidence by the O's sending him to Delmarva instead of a short-season league. Now it's up to Givens to stay there.

Well, that isn't really how it works. You can't necessarily take a gymnast and turn him into a shortstop. But you could probably teach him the pivots around the bag. Teaching him the intricacies of reads, throws from different angles and understanding when he plant, when you throw on the run, when you have time to circle and when you have to backhand, etc. is a lot more complicated.

Regarding the bolded, high-bonus signs get votes of confidence to justify the signing all the time. By being drafted and signing in the second round, Givens is assured to get every opportunity to develop into a productive player.

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