Jonathan Papelbon voted 8th most likely rookie to contribute in 2006, Crisp voted 3rd most likely to have a breakout season, Lowell 8th most likely to have the biggest comeback.
In his second full pro season -- and second as a starter -- Papelbon shot right up to Fenway Park and was a major contributor to the Red Sox bullpen down the stretch. The organization wants him to start, to see him as a 700-out-a-year horse, and at 25, he is ready to step in and do it now. The Red Sox love his bring-it-on makeup, but one Boston official warns, "The worst thing would be to start comparing him to Roger Clemens. No one else in modern baseball history is as good as Clemens. Why should we ask a rookie to try?"
"He has gone to the right place -- big crowds, pressure," says one NL GM. "He will love the attention, and as one of the best fastball hitters in the game, he will prosper in front of Manny and Ortiz." Here's his career track over the last three years: 15-24-42 doubles, 3-15-16 homers, .655-.730-.810 OPS.
Question: is there anything that really justifies this comment:
8. Matt Murton, OF, Cubs: The Red Sox could not have won the 2004 World Series without including him in the Nomar Garciaparra trade, but they wish they had him back. Murton jumped from Double-A, had a .907 OPS and showed the Cubs that not only can he hit, but he can run and has makeup that's off the charts.
I've never understood why Murton was necessary in the Garciaparra deal. Beyond the talent discrepency in that deal, wasn't Theo quoted somewhere saying that we could have gotten Cabrera for Garciaparra straight up, but we included Murton in order to get Mientkiewicz included in the deal? If so, I don't see how Mientkiewicz was necessary to win the 2004 World Series. The only memorable thing I remember him doing in the 2004 season was stealing the game ball in Game 4 of the World Series. Am I forgetting some key defensive play along the way?
Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and I'm not trying to blast Theo for a minor mistake in a deal that ultimately brought us a World Series championship. But in retrospect, it's hard to say that the inclusion of Murton helped our franchise. Murton would be a nice player to have right now and half of a season of Mientkiewicz wasn't much of a return for him.
Edited by satyadaimoku, 12 February 2006 - 09:35 PM.