Who plays right field for the Sox in 2023?

Who plays right field for the Sox in 2023?

  • Verdugo, current configuration (Pham re-ups with Sox)

    Votes: 16 11.0%
  • Verdugo, acquiring a different left fielder (explain who)

    Votes: 4 2.8%
  • Refsnyder

    Votes: 10 6.9%
  • Refsnyder platoon (with Cordero or Duran)

    Votes: 10 6.9%
  • Wilyer Abreu

    Votes: 2 1.4%
  • Judge

    Votes: 23 15.9%
  • Nimmo

    Votes: 15 10.3%
  • Third-tier FA right-fielder, Verdugo stays in LF (Duvall, Gallo, Haniger, Pederson, Pollock, et al.)

    Votes: 29 20.0%
  • Trade candidate (Garcia, Grisham, Kepler, Santander, Yastrzemski, et al.)

    Votes: 30 20.7%
  • Other (explain)

    Votes: 6 4.1%

  • Total voters
    145

AB in DC

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And what's his MLB line again? Franchy's been worth -1 WAR to Boston in his two years here, why are we still talking about him winning a starting position anywhere?
Because pretty much everybody sucks in their first year or so in the majors. It's way too early to rule him out as a major leaguer. His negative WAR this year is mostly because of his defense at 1B where he doesn't belong. He had a 92 wRC+.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Because pretty much everybody sucks in their first year or so in the majors. It's way too early to rule him out as a major leaguer. His negative WAR this year is mostly because of his defense at 1B where he doesn't belong. He had a 92 wRC+.
Franchy has accrued over four years of MLB service time. I think we're beyond the "everybody sucks in their first year or so" excuse with him. A 92 wRC+ is still below average. If he can't produce enough offense to zero out the defensive deficiencies in his WAR calculation, he's simply not a viable big leaguer let alone a starter for a team with the Red Sox' resources.
 

Ganthem

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Some guys just are AAAA players. Dalbec, Franchy… I do suspect it’s the fate of Binelas and Kavadas also. These types may have an extended chance on a non contending team and put together a good season but it’s likely an outlier
I think Dalbec is going to have a career as a lefty hitter. Given that Casas struggled against lefties in the minors, it would not be surprising if at least part of that career was in Boston.
 

Alex Cole's Rec Specs

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Personally, I'd be pulling for A.J. Pollock if for no other reason than he's from Connecticut.
One thing to keep in mind about Pollock is that he has a 2023 player option worth $10 million, with the option for a $5 million buyout instead. However, that player option increases based on plate appearances; right now it's at $13 million, and perhaps $14 million if he can squeeze out another 40 plate appearances in the final week of the season. He also gets $1.5 million if he's traded.

(source: Cot's)

Unless he thinks he's going to get more than $8 or $9 million guaranteed as a free agent on top of his $5 million buyout, he might just stick around in Chicago, making him an interesting trade candidate. His stat line was uninspiring this year (94 wRC+), but I could get behind Pollock in LF or as a DH/4th OF if the White Sox included a late inning arm or prospect along with him.
 

chawson

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I like the Kepler idea, although I'd have to think the Twins are aware of the effect of the shift on him and would either want too give him another shot and/or raise his price a bit.
The other issue would be handedness ... what with Devers, Verdugo, Casas and McGuire already potential starters in the lineup.
I agree, the Twins are a smart FO and this wouldn't be lost on them. My sense is that they may be motivated to move Kepler based on salary, and the opportunity cost of keeping Larnach and Wallner in limbo another year.

As for the handedness issue, I'm curious how they approach that. Bloom was quoted here after the deadline, talking about Valdez and Abreu:

“Both guys being left-handed hitters add to our picture,” Bloom said, “and recognizing that they’re in the minor leagues now we think both these guys have a chance to really help us and over time make our roster more talented, deeper, more complete.”

Totally innocuous line, but because it's the Red Sox and Fenway, which tends to reward right-handed hitters more than (certain) lefties, it's an interesting thing to say when you don't have to.

Surprised Cordero only listed as a platoon possibility. I wouldn't be hugely surprised if he wins the job outright.
I'm down for another year of Franchy time, and it's possible he's the best defensive right fielder on the team right now. But they did seem averse to letting him hit against lefties, even when he was bopping.

Franchy has accrued over four years of MLB service time. I think we're beyond the "everybody sucks in their first year or so" excuse with him. A 92 wRC+ is still below average. If he can't produce enough offense to zero out the defensive deficiencies in his WAR calculation, he's simply not a viable big leaguer let alone a starter for a team with the Red Sox' resources.
Service time is an odd way to look at player development, though. Franchy's had 726 plate appearances at the major-league level, spread out over a bunch of weird-ass years with rapidly fluctuating restrictions on how much we're going to let pitchers cheat.

Franchy's going to keep getting chances as long as he hits the ball as hard as he does. The Dodgers just struck gold with a guy like this in Trayce Thompson, a 31-year old with similar power and plate discipline in his ninth organization. He's making it work over there with a 37 percent K rate.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Service time is an odd way to look at player development, though. Franchy's had 726 plate appearances at the major-league level, spread out over a bunch of weird-ass years with rapidly fluctuating restrictions on how much we're going to let pitchers cheat.

Franchy's going to keep getting chances as long as he hits the ball as hard as he does. The Dodgers just struck gold with a guy like this in Trayce Thompson, a 31-year old with similar power and plate discipline in his ninth organization. He's making it work over there with a 37 percent K rate.
Trayce is hitting .155 in September. He may well be “gold” or he may be what eight other teams, including the LAD, have passed on already. 50% K rate this month, too.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Service time is an odd way to look at player development, though. Franchy's had 726 plate appearances at the major-league level, spread out over a bunch of weird-ass years with rapidly fluctuating restrictions on how much we're going to let pitchers cheat.

Franchy's going to keep getting chances as long as he hits the ball as hard as he does. The Dodgers just struck gold with a guy like this in Trayce Thompson, a 31-year old with similar power and plate discipline in his ninth organization. He's making it work over there with a 37 percent K rate.
My point in mentioning service time is that Franchy is no green rookie struggling to make adjustments. The "weird-ass years" stuff comes off as excuse-making to me when plenty of other players have managed to adjust and blossom despite the "rapidly fluctuating restrictions on how much we're going to let pitchers cheat". He's going to be 29 next season and he's out of minor league options. The clock's about to strike midnight and he's about to enter Wily Mo Pena territory. Let a Pittsburgh or a Cincinnati or a Colorado give him his next opportunity to raise hopes and ultimately disappoint.
 

chawson

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Trayce is hitting .155 in September. He may well be “gold” or he may be what eight other teams, including the LAD, have passed on already. 50% K rate this month, too.
And Mookie hit .193 in June.

Thompson's got a .154 BABIP this month (and I'm not seeing his September K rate that high). He also has five home runs, which would tie Casas for the most on our team. But I don't care a lot about batting average, especially over short durations. In general, the fans' perception of the value of batting average hasn't caught up much to reality. In 1994, the league-wide average was .270. This year it's .243.

My point in mentioning service time is that Franchy is no green rookie struggling to make adjustments. The "weird-ass years" stuff comes off as excuse-making to me when plenty of other players have managed to adjust and blossom despite the "rapidly fluctuating restrictions on how much we're going to let pitchers cheat". He's going to be 29 next season and he's out of minor league options. The clock's about to strike midnight and he's about to enter Wily Mo Pena territory. Let a Pittsburgh or a Cincinnati or a Colorado give him his next opportunity to raise hopes and ultimately disappoint.
He's entering his age-28 season and yes he does have an option remaining.

I know Franchy is polarizing and I'm not banging the drum for him in this thread. However I agree with @AB in DC that there's still reason for optimism. Reasonable people can disagree with that optimism. The average MLB right fielder put up a .312 wOBA this year. Franchy's final line is .304. Through July 1, it was .328. (His July collapse was indeed brutal.) He's also been shifted in 72 percent of his PAs, and that won't happen next year.

Not saying you specifically, but it seems sometimes like the average fan's tolerance for batters striking out is lower than it was 20 years ago, when the rate was two-thirds what it is today.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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He's entering his age-28 season and yes he does have an option remaining.

I know Franchy is polarizing and I'm not banging the drum for him in this thread. However I agree with @AB in DC that there's still reason for optimism. Reasonable people can disagree with that optimism. The average MLB right fielder put up a .312 wOBA this year. Franchy's final line is .304. Through July 1, it was .328. (His July collapse was indeed brutal.) He's also been shifted in 72 percent of his PAs, and that won't happen next year.

Not saying you specifically, but it seems sometimes like the average fan's tolerance for batters striking out is lower than it was 20 years ago, when the rate was two-thirds what it is today.
No, he does not have any options left as his third and final option year was spent this season. Hence the Wily Mo Pena comparison. Any further development/improvement he needs he's going to have to do at the big league level if he stays with the Sox, and I don't see that happening. Considering he was placed on the 60-day IL, I can see them DFAing him at the end of the season rather than potentially dropping someone else in order to add him back for the winter.
 

chawson

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No, he does not have any options left as his third and final option year was spent this season. Hence the Wily Mo Pena comparison. Any further development/improvement he needs he's going to have to do at the big league level if he stays with the Sox, and I don't see that happening. Considering he was placed on the 60-day IL, I can see them DFAing him at the end of the season rather than potentially dropping someone else in order to add him back for the winter.
Where are you seeing that? According to Fangraphs and Sox Prospects, Cordero has not yet burned his 2022 option.

https://www.soxprospects.com/options.htm
 

Lose Remerswaal

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And Mookie hit .193 in June.

Thompson's got a .154 BABIP this month (and I'm not seeing his September K rate that high). He also has five home runs, which would tie Casas for the most on our team. But I don't care a lot about batting average, especially over short durations. In general, the fans' perception of the value of batting average hasn't caught up much to reality. In 1994, the league-wide average was .270. This year it's .243.
Sure, but Mookie is Mookie and has a track record to rely on
Trayce is Trayce, and has a track record, too. 58 AB, 29K per Baseball Reference. If you do it the RIGHT way, like I didn't, the number is lower. 42%.

55967

Are you believing Refsnyder's numbers this year are indicative of his true expectations?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Cesar Crespo

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Franchy's going to keep getting chances as long as he hits the ball as hard as he does. The Dodgers just struck gold with a guy like this in Trayce Thompson, a 31-year old with similar power and plate discipline in his ninth organization. He's making it work over there with a 37 percent K rate.
You sure do love your small sample sizes. I remember when Mike Carp was here and everyone wanted to started him after his decent 220 PA. That would have been a disaster.

Why do people fall in love with players who aren't young that have good 150-200 PA stretches? Cordero is that too.

At what point would you give up on Franchy? He's put up 726 PA over multiple seasons in small chunks because he has never been good enough to stay on a team for large chunks. Yet somehow that's an excuse for him.

What is the fascination with this guy? Is it all exit velocity? I see Izzy Alcantara, Morgan Burkhardt, Roberto Petagine. Julio Zuleta. Ryan Lavarnway.
 

lexrageorge

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Gallo just put up a 0.645 OPS and is entering his decline years. Fans expecting him to be an upgrade should be prepared for disappointment.
 

mikcou

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You sure do love your small sample sizes. I remember when Mike Carp was here and everyone wanted to started him after his decent 220 PA. That would have been a disaster.

Why do people fall in love with players who aren't young that have good 150-200 PA stretches? Cordero is that too.

At what point would you give up on Franchy? He's put up 726 PA over multiple seasons in small chunks because he has never been good enough to stay on a team for large chunks. Yet somehow that's an excuse for him.

What is the fascination with this guy? Is it all exit velocity? I see Izzy Alcantara, Morgan Burkhardt, Roberto Petagine. Julio Zuleta. Ryan Lavarnway.
I assume its that plus he's reasonably athletic for a big guy. Basically a modern version of Wily Mo Pena who has even less in game skill. Nothing wrong with keeping him on the 40 man and giving him one last chance next year in spring training (also nothing wrong with cutting him now).

They dont owe him anything and certainly shouldnt be committed to giving him another sustained opportunity. As you mention he's had five or six years of chances with three different organizations and has never been able to provide a positive impact in any of them. Not surprising for a guy who doesnt have a ton of defensive skill, strikes out 33% of the time and can't consistently use his raw power in game.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Time to flex that financial advantage: trade for Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff and take back Christian Yelich as part of the deal (moving Verdugo to RF).

Burnes and Woodruff are both arbitration eligible through the 2024 season. Burnes is turning 28 and Woodruff is turning 30. Yelich is turning 31 this offseason and is signed through his age 36 season at $22 million per year (with a bunch of deferred money).

Burnes and Woodruff are both REALLY good. Yelich had a bad 2020 after a spectacular 2018 and 2019. He's been good this year but is overpaid while his underlying offensive numbers look pretty good (89% exit velocity, 91% hard hit, 77% xwOBA). Defensively, he appears to struggle on jumps and coming in on the ball, which might make Fenway a good LF for hiding his flaws.

Burnes is already complaining that Milwaukee hasn't made any effort to extend him, and I'm guessing that front office wants to move Yelich. They might even want Verdugo as part of the deal. Could the Sox pull this off while protecting their top prospects?
 

chawson

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You sure do love your small sample sizes. I remember when Mike Carp was here and everyone wanted to started him after his decent 220 PA. That would have been a disaster.
Gimme a break, man. There was a small army here this spring clamoring for Ryan Fitzgerald in right field based on his good few dozen spring PAs, you among them.

And I didn't say the Sox should start Cordero in '23. I said they’ll probably make a trade, and specified exactly who and why.

Why do people fall in love with players who aren't young that have good 150-200 PA stretches? Cordero is that too.
What is this nonsense? Baseball is a dynamic sport. Some of the ways that players can be good at it is constant, and others are fluid. But beyond that, I can't imagine having loved this sport the last 35 years without rooting for interesting marginal players. I remember once as a young child pleading with my parents to let me pleeeease watch the Sox game, after they had grounded me for acting up at a county fair, and the argument I used was that I absolutely needed to see how high Randy Kutcher's batting average had risen because he'd been on a modest hot streak.

There wasn't much rational basis for liking Randy Kutcher at age 7. There's plenty for liking Cordero.

At what point would you give up on Franchy? He's put up 726 PA over multiple seasons in small chunks because he has never been good enough to stay on a team for large chunks. Yet somehow that's an excuse for him.
Are you deliberately overlooking his injury history?

2017, age 22 season in AAA: .326/.369/603, 146 wRC+
3/28/18: 10-day IL, left abductor strain
5/28/18: 10-day IL, right forearm strain
6/21/18: transferred to 60-day IL, right forearm strain
4/8/19: 10-day IL, right elbow strain
5/31/19: rehab assignment to AAA
6/17/19: transferred to 60-day IL, right elbow strain
Feb 2020: global pandemic
7/16/20: traded to Kansas City
8/9/20: 10-day IL, right wrist sprain
8/10/20: transferred to 60-day IL, broken right hamate bone
2/10/21: traded to Boston
2/22/21: 10-day IL, COVID

What is the fascination with this guy? Is it all exit velocity? I see Izzy Alcantara, Morgan Burkhardt, Roberto Petagine. Julio Zuleta. Ryan Lavarnway.
What, no Sam Horn?

These seem more like the answers trivia questions than especially good comparisons for Cordero as a hitter. Lavarnway was a lumbering catching prospect who didn't especially have issues making contact. Alcantara was a head case. Petagine was a low-power, high-OBP first baseman. Does Franchy Cordero really remind you of Julio Zuleta? Like, as a hitter? Are you just naming some guys?

Also, are you not into exit velocity? Not saying it's everything, but it seems like its correlation with major-league success is common knowledge. How am I supposed to take you seriously as a prospects guy if you're going to rib other posters for valuing guys who hit the ball hard?

Cordero's appeal is no great secret. He's got incredible, effortless power, including to the opposite field. He's also a roughly average outfield defender and an elite athlete and baserunner. Their marketability aside, the total package is not a ton dissimilar from Bo Jackson (another guy with a >30% K rate). But for more contemporary examples, the upside is Teoscar Hernandez, Adolis Garcia, Carlos Pena, Pedro Alvarez and even Hunter Renfroe. Byron Buxton had a .230/.285/.387 line in his first 1075 major-league PAs, with a 6.5 BB% and 31.7 K%.

The strikeouts are there, but Franchy's plate discipline is good -- the best on the team before Casas came up. The bet is whether he can make another pitch recognition/mechanics tweak, and it seemed like he had before the collapse in July. A two-month stretch with a .366 expected wOBA, a 51.4 HardHit% and a 26% K rate followed by a one-month stretch of a .202 expected wOBA, a 22.2 HardHit% and a 44% K rate suggests that something mechanical happened. It's no slam dunk Cordero put it all together, but the path certainly gets easier next year when more of his 100 MPH one-hoppers to second base will find their way through. I'd rather use the roster spot on someone with upside like him than a Tyler Naquin, Robbie Grossman, Corey Dickerson, Leury Garcia type in their early thirties.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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What is this nonsense? Baseball is a dynamic sport. Some of the ways that players can be good at it is constant, and others are fluid. But beyond that, I can't imagine having loved this sport the last 35 years without rooting for interesting marginal players. I remember once as a young child pleading with my parents to let me pleeeease watch the Sox game, after they had grounded me for acting up at a county fair, and the argument I used was that I absolutely needed to see how high Randy Kutcher's batting average had risen because he'd been on a modest hot streak.


Are you deliberately overlooking his injury history?

2017, age 22 season in AAA: .326/.369/603, 146 wRC+
3/28/18: 10-day IL, left abductor strain
5/28/18: 10-day IL, right forearm strain
6/21/18: transferred to 60-day IL, right forearm strain
4/8/19: 10-day IL, right elbow strain
5/31/19: rehab assignment to AAA
6/17/19: transferred to 60-day IL, right elbow strain
Feb 2020: global pandemic
7/16/20: traded to Kansas City
8/9/20: 10-day IL, right wrist sprain
8/10/20: transferred to 60-day IL, broken right hamate bone
2/10/21: traded to Boston
2/22/21: 10-day IL, COVID
Fitzgerald is not a Prospect
Trayce is not a Prospect
Franchy is not a prospect

Franchy (and Trayce) are guys with talent that shows every few years but never consistently enough to expect to be anything more than roster filler. And Franchy also seems to have an unfortunate skill of getting hurt, which you document well.

This has nothing to do with rooting for marginal players. It is great fun to root for marginal players. But confusing Marginal Players with guys you keep putting on the roster is a good way to direct yourself to repetitive non-competitiveness. Check out the Rockies writeup in @cannonball 1729 ’s Eliminator thread.
 

chawson

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Time to flex that financial advantage: trade for Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff and take back Christian Yelich as part of the deal (moving Verdugo to RF).

Burnes and Woodruff are both arbitration eligible through the 2024 season. Burnes is turning 28 and Woodruff is turning 30. Yelich is turning 31 this offseason and is signed through his age 36 season at $22 million per year (with a bunch of deferred money).

Burnes and Woodruff are both REALLY good. Yelich had a bad 2020 after a spectacular 2018 and 2019. He's been good this year but is overpaid while his underlying offensive numbers look pretty good (89% exit velocity, 91% hard hit, 77% xwOBA). Defensively, he appears to struggle on jumps and coming in on the ball, which might make Fenway a good LF for hiding his flaws.

Burnes is already complaining that Milwaukee hasn't made any effort to extend him, and I'm guessing that front office wants to move Yelich. They might even want Verdugo as part of the deal. Could the Sox pull this off while protecting their top prospects?
This kind of thing is interesting to me. I hadn't heard that Burnes was complaining about that.

Yelich has great plate discipline and remains one of the best left-handed hitters in baseball at going the other way, for which Fenway would reward him. On the other hand, there are some strong suspicions based on player accounts that the Brewers were heavily stealing signs during Yelich's best years. He had a 1.201(!) OPS at Miller Park in 2019, which dipped to a .730 OPS in 2021.

His contract (6/162.5 million in guaranteed money) is pretty scary and his defense has really slipped, but it still might be worth it to get (and extend) Burnes.
 

chawson

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Fitzgerald is not a Prospect
Trayce is not a Prospect
Franchy is not a prospect

Franchy (and Trayce) are guys with talent that shows every few years but never consistently enough to expect to be anything more than roster filler. And Franchy also seems to have an unfortunate skill of getting hurt, which you document well.

This has nothing to do with rooting for marginal players. It is great fun to root for marginal players. But confusing Marginal Players with guys you keep putting on the roster is a good way to direct yourself to repetitive non-competitiveness. Check out the Rockies writeup in @cannonball 1729 ’s Eliminator thread.
I didn't say any of those guys are prospects. Franchy was something of a prospect before those lost injury seasons, and it's not especially rare for post-prospect/late-bloomer types with loud tools to put it together in their late twenties, especially after several seasons of freak injury or something as disruptive as a pandemic.

Do you think having Cordero on the roster is consigning us to "repetitive non-competitiveness"? The 2018 team gave 700 plate appearances to Eduardo Nuñez (78 wRC+) and Blake Swihart (64 wRC+). The 2013 team gave 500 to Will Middlebrooks (82 wRC+) and JBJ (68 wRC+).
 

Lose Remerswaal

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It is a bad idea if he is pencilled in in lieu of better alternatives on a weak team like we are currently seeing. If you have 7-8 productive hitters you can afford a Nunez or a Middlebrooks. And especially a JBJ who provides +++ defense.

and you were touting Trayce as a Franchy equivalent and a reason to throw him out there again, based on a VERY small hot streak.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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This kind of thing is interesting to me. I hadn't heard that Burnes was complaining about that.

Yelich has great plate discipline and remains one of the best left-handed hitters in baseball at going the other way, for which Fenway would reward him. On the other hand, there are some strong suspicions based on player accounts that the Brewers were heavily stealing signs during Yelich's best years. He had a 1.201(!) OPS at Miller Park in 2019, which dipped to a .730 OPS in 2021.

His contract (6/162.5 million in guaranteed money) is pretty scary and his defense has really slipped, but it still might be worth it to get (and extend) Burnes.
I could get behind something like this. Yellich is a good bet to rebound and I could see Verdugo plus Crawford making this a n even deal with full contracts exchanged
 

chawson

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It is a bad idea if he is pencilled in in lieu of better alternatives on a weak team like we are currently seeing. If you have 7-8 productive hitters you can afford a Nunez or a Middlebrooks. And especially a JBJ who provides +++ defense.

and you were touting Trayce as a Franchy equivalent and a reason to throw him out there again, based on a VERY small hot streak.
I was touting Trayce -- along with Adolis Garcia, Hunter Renfroe, Jorge Soler, Teoscar Hernandez, Byron Buxton and others -- as examples of high-strikeout, high-EV hitters of varying caliber to put it together in their late twenties and/or after roughly a full season's worth of PAs. Some of them become role players, others become regulars (or fulfill their top prospect status, in Buxton's case).

This is partly a philosophical question about team construction. It's very difficult for large market teams like the Red Sox and Yankees to break players in at the major-league level, whether they be prospects or role players with untapped potential. The Yankees have been successful at this the last half decade or so (Voit, Hicks, Urshela, Gregorius, Treviño) and had the right idea on a few others (Cooper, Choi). The Dodgers have been tremendous at it, making valuable players out of waiver grabs and other also-rans (Muncy, Turner, Taylor, Trayce Thompson, et al.). The Rays are good at it too (Wendle, Yandy Diaz, Forsythe, Margot, Cron, Choi again).

The Sox have had a difficult time of this, at least since DD took over. I suspect it's partly because of the media coverage and fan pushback. We simply can't abide watching "some AAAA player" occupy space on our roster! So the only real examples we've had in this category are a couple of nice 10th man seasons from Brock Holt, Renfroe's 2021 and a few league-average years from Mitch Moreland.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I could get behind something like this. Yellich is a good bet to rebound and I could see Verdugo plus Crawford making this a n even deal with full contracts exchanged
BTV nixes this trade. Not because the Red Sox aren't giving up enough, but because the Brewers aren't. They've got Yelich at -121 and Burnes at +94 for a total of -27. Dugie is +11 and Crawford +1., for a total of +12.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Gimme a break, man. There was a small army here this spring clamoring for Ryan Fitzgerald in right field based on his good few dozen spring PAs, you among them.

And I didn't say the Sox should start Cordero in '23. I said they’ll probably make a trade, and specified exactly who and why.



What is this nonsense? Baseball is a dynamic sport. Some of the ways that players can be good at it is constant, and others are fluid. But beyond that, I can't imagine having loved this sport the last 35 years without rooting for interesting marginal players. I remember once as a young child pleading with my parents to let me pleeeease watch the Sox game, after they had grounded me for acting up at a county fair, and the argument I used was that I absolutely needed to see how high Randy Kutcher's batting average had risen because he'd been on a modest hot streak.

There wasn't much rational basis for liking Randy Kutcher at age 7. There's plenty for liking Cordero.



Are you deliberately overlooking his injury history?

2017, age 22 season in AAA: .326/.369/603, 146 wRC+
3/28/18: 10-day IL, left abductor strain
5/28/18: 10-day IL, right forearm strain
6/21/18: transferred to 60-day IL, right forearm strain
4/8/19: 10-day IL, right elbow strain
5/31/19: rehab assignment to AAA
6/17/19: transferred to 60-day IL, right elbow strain
Feb 2020: global pandemic
7/16/20: traded to Kansas City
8/9/20: 10-day IL, right wrist sprain
8/10/20: transferred to 60-day IL, broken right hamate bone
2/10/21: traded to Boston
2/22/21: 10-day IL, COVID



What, no Sam Horn?

These seem more like the answers trivia questions than especially good comparisons for Cordero as a hitter. Lavarnway was a lumbering catching prospect who didn't especially have issues making contact. Alcantara was a head case. Petagine was a low-power, high-OBP first baseman. Does Franchy Cordero really remind you of Julio Zuleta? Like, as a hitter? Are you just naming some guys?

Also, are you not into exit velocity? Not saying it's everything, but it seems like its correlation with major-league success is common knowledge. How am I supposed to take you seriously as a prospects guy if you're going to rib other posters for valuing guys who hit the ball hard?

Cordero's appeal is no great secret. He's got incredible, effortless power, including to the opposite field. He's also a roughly average outfield defender and an elite athlete and baserunner. Their marketability aside, the total package is not a ton dissimilar from Bo Jackson (another guy with a >30% K rate). But for more contemporary examples, the upside is Teoscar Hernandez, Adolis Garcia, Carlos Pena, Pedro Alvarez and even Hunter Renfroe. Byron Buxton had a .230/.285/.387 line in his first 1075 major-league PAs, with a 6.5 BB% and 31.7 K%.

The strikeouts are there, but Franchy's plate discipline is good -- the best on the team before Casas came up. The bet is whether he can make another pitch recognition/mechanics tweak, and it seemed like he had before the collapse in July. A two-month stretch with a .366 expected wOBA, a 51.4 HardHit% and a 26% K rate followed by a one-month stretch of a .202 expected wOBA, a 22.2 HardHit% and a 44% K rate suggests that something mechanical happened. It's no slam dunk Cordero put it all together, but the path certainly gets easier next year when more of his 100 MPH one-hoppers to second base will find their way through. I'd rather use the roster spot on someone with upside like him than a Tyler Naquin, Robbie Grossman, Corey Dickerson, Leury Garcia type in their early thirties.
I said they could give him a cup of coffee. You are talking about having Cordero on the starting 26. I'm glad you think the two are the same. "Give a guy a shot" Fitz has had 0 chances. Cordero has had a billion. We know what he is. Some people just wont accept it.

Does Billy Ashley strike you as a better comp? Cordero was also never a top 100 prospect. He was a fringy prospect like all the other guys I named. The guy is AAAA fodder. He's done nothing at the Major league level. Time to let him go. If they want him to be the power bat in AAA, fine.
 
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AB in DC

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Since I started this mini-thread, let me say that I wouldn't put myself firmly in the "put Cordero on the starting 26" camp. But i am in the camp of "Maybe the Sox would be better off putting the money toward Bogaerts, Devers, a DH, and some SPs" and letting Cordero/Refsnyder/Duran duke it our during spring training. And if we get to that point, I think Cordero would be the favorite, though probably not much more than even money odds..
 

mikcou

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I was touting Trayce -- along with Adolis Garcia, Hunter Renfroe, Jorge Soler, Teoscar Hernandez, Byron Buxton and others -- as examples of high-strikeout, high-EV hitters of varying caliber to put it together in their late twenties and/or after roughly a full season's worth of PAs. Some of them become role players, others become regulars (or fulfill their top prospect status, in Buxton's case).

This is partly a philosophical question about team construction. It's very difficult for large market teams like the Red Sox and Yankees to break players in at the major-league level, whether they be prospects or role players with untapped potential. The Yankees have been successful at this the last half decade or so (Voit, Hicks, Urshela, Gregorius, Treviño) and had the right idea on a few others (Cooper, Choi). The Dodgers have been tremendous at it, making valuable players out of waiver grabs and other also-rans (Muncy, Turner, Taylor, Trayce Thompson, et al.). The Rays are good at it too (Wendle, Yandy Diaz, Forsythe, Margot, Cron, Choi again).

The Sox have had a difficult time of this, at least since DD took over. I suspect it's partly because of the media coverage and fan pushback. We simply can't abide watching "some AAAA player" occupy space on our roster! So the only real examples we've had in this category are a couple of nice 10th man seasons from Brock Holt, Renfroe's 2021 and a few league-average years from Mitch Moreland.
How many of those guys have attempts over six seasons with three different teams? Byron Buxton was a good player almost immediately even if just for his defense; Hunter Renfroe was a productive player by his second season (and this board seems to have a constant narrative that he somehow had a shocking season in Boston - it was pretty comparable to most of his SD career); Jorge Soler has generally been pretty bad; Adolis Garcia had below 50 MLB PAs before his good seasons started. Teoscar Hernandez has definitely improved but he was a clearly above replacement level roster player immediately when given playing time. Franchy has effecitvely been a replacement level player over a pretty significant sample in different environments.

Its not impossible that Franchy ends up a decent player, but the number of guys who have been given as many opportunities at the major level and failed as much as he has and have become good are rarities (and maybe Trayce is one of those or maybe its just a hot streak for a guy who will go right back to struggling).
 

Cesar Crespo

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How many of those guys have attempts over six seasons with three different teams? Byron Buxton was a good player almost immediately even if just for his defense; Hunter Renfroe was a productive player by his second season (and this board seems to have a constant narrative that he somehow had a shocking season in Boston - it was pretty comparable to most of his SD career); Jorge Soler has generally been pretty bad; Adolis Garcia had below 50 MLB PAs before his good seasons started. Teoscar Hernandez has definitely improved but he was a clearly above replacement level roster player immediately when given playing time. Franchy has effecitvely been a replacement level player over a pretty significant sample in different environments.

Its not impossible that Franchy ends up a decent player, but the number of guys who have been given as many opportunities at the major level and failed as much as he has and have become good are rarities (and maybe Trayce is one of those or maybe its just a hot streak for a guy who will go right back to struggling).
I agree about Renfroe but there were a few people who were shocked he was available in the first place. His one off year was 2020 in a sample size of 139 PA. Prior to that, he had a career 108 OPS+ in 1450 PA. He was going into his age 29 season and still had a few years of control. He already had success.

As you noted, Adolis Garcia hit straight out of the gate. Still a late bloomer, though.

Soler can hit ok, but he's given it all back defensively. Doesn't hit well enough to be a full time DH, either.

Teoscar Hernandez, good right out of the gate.

Byron Buxton, factoring in his entire game, good out of the gate too.

Outside of Garcia, all of these players established themselves as MLB by age 25.

Trayce Thompson, I can see as a comp to Cordero. But it's also only 221 PA. I'm not convinced a player striking out in 36.7% of his PA is going to continue to have success. And even if they do, it will have wild variations from year to year.

Also, how is Trayce any different than Rob Refsnyder? Other than if I had disposable income, I'd bet large chunks of it on Rob being better going forward. This team also identified the same Hunter Renfroe last year.

On a side note, plate discipline is weird and not necessarily a good thing. Maybe Cordero's was the best before Casas but ok? How are we defining plate discipline? What is it worth?

Google defines it (their bold, not mine):
In other words, plate discipline is about swinging at pitches that you can handle and taking pitches that you can't. If you swing at pitches way off the plate or take pitches in your wheelhouse, you're not maximizing your offensive potential, and you generally want to do

If I went up to the plate and didn't swing at anything because I know I'm not going to hit the ball... I have elite plate discipline.

Someone mentioned Casas having the best plate discipline (or strike zone command) since Youkilis. I said Pedroia. With that said, Casas's strike zone command is far more similar to Kevin Youkilis than Pedroia.

Pedroia walked 9.2% of the time and struck out 9.7% of the time. Youkilis struck out 18.7% of the time and walked 12.2%. Does Youkilis have the better plate discipline or does he just have to be more selective because there's less he can handle? It's a serious question. "Plate discipline" is so generic. The original Vlad was a free swinger but he was still disciplined. He could just hit anything thrown in the vicinity. He had a 10.1% K% and 8.1% BB%.

I guess it's a way of saying plate discipline doesn't really do much good if you can't make contact. And if you're a player like the original Vlad, you get labeled a free swinger because your wheelhouse is any pitch. Was Vlad not maximizing his potential? That's a scary thought.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Re: Renfroe, he hit 161/263/299 in the second half of ‘19 (205 PA), followed it up with 156/252/393 in 156 PA’s in 20, so by the time the Sox signed him
It had been a pretty miserable calendar year of performance. Then he hit 167/235/250 in his first month with the Sox.
 

chawson

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How many of those guys have attempts over six seasons with three different teams? Byron Buxton was a good player almost immediately even if just for his defense; Hunter Renfroe was a productive player by his second season (and this board seems to have a constant narrative that he somehow had a shocking season in Boston - it was pretty comparable to most of his SD career); Jorge Soler has generally been pretty bad; Adolis Garcia had below 50 MLB PAs before his good seasons started. Teoscar Hernandez has definitely improved but he was a clearly above replacement level roster player immediately when given playing time. Franchy has effecitvely been a replacement level player over a pretty significant sample in different environments.

Its not impossible that Franchy ends up a decent player, but the number of guys who have been given as many opportunities at the major level and failed as much as he has and have become good are rarities (and maybe Trayce is one of those or maybe its just a hot streak for a guy who will go right back to struggling).
Did you see the injury history in post #72? Here it is seen another way.

age 22, 2017 - .326/.369/.603 line in AAA
age 23, 2018 - 185 PAs (154 in San Diego)
age 24, 2019 - 85 PAs (20 in San Diego)
age 25, 2020 - 42 PAs (all in Kansas City)
age 26, 2021 - 471 PAs (136 in Boston)
age 27, 2022 - 411 PAs (275 in Boston)

That’s a lot of missed development time.

One thing about those 200 or so MLB at-bats from 2018-20 is that they were pretty good! He put up a .325 wOBA, belying an even more promising expected wOBA of .373. (This kind of “unluckiness” is typical of left-handed hitters who get shifted on.)

Let’s look at it this way: Josh Bell put up a 143 wRC+ as a 23-year-old in AAA in 2016, the ninth-highest mark in that league. Joc Pederson put up a 164 wRC+ line (with a 27% K rate) as a 22-year-old in 2014. Franchy Cordero put up a 146 wRC+ line as a 22-year-old in 2017, the fifth-highest mark in the league, then had three years more or less completely derailed by hand, wrist, and elbow injuries and the pandemic.

Again, not saying the guy’s a lock. But it strains credulity to say that he’s already had plenty of chances when you compare his injury history against his would-be development curve.
 
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mikcou

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Did you see the injury history in post #72? Here it is seen another way.

age 22, 2017 - .326/.369/.603 line in AAA
age 23, 2018 - 185 PAs (154 in San Diego)
age 24, 2019 - 85 PAs (20 in San Diego)
age 25, 2020 - 42 PAs (all in Kansas City)
age 26, 2021 - 471 PAs (136 in Boston)
age 27, 2022 - 411 PAs (275 in Boston)

One thing about those 200 or so MLB at-bats from 2018-20 is that they were pretty good! He put up a .325 wOBA, belying an even more promising expected wOBA of .373. (This kind of “unluckiness” is typical of left-handed hitters who get shifted on.)

Let’s look at it this way: Josh Bell put up a 143 wRC+ as a 23-year-old in AAA in 2016, the ninth-highest mark in that league. Joc Pederson put up a 164 wRC+ line (with a 27% K rate) as a 22-year-old in 2014. Franchy Cordero put up a 146 wRC+ line as a 22-year-old in 2017, the fifth-highest mark in the league, then had three years more or less completely derailed by hand, wrist, and elbow injuries and the pandemic.

Again, not saying the guy’s a lock. But it strains credulity to say that he’s already had plenty of chances when you compare his injury history against his would-be development curve.
He didnt get hurt this year and got an opportunity... and he was still bad at 27. He didnt have an injury in 2021 and... was even worse than he was in 2022 - there might be people on this site who would have been more competitive than Franchy was at the plate in 2021. The pandemic isnt an injury - its something that every single player went through. I'm sympathetic to guys that were in the low minors that year, but Franchy was 25 and had already had two years of some major league experience. How many years constitute plenty of chances to you?

I have no idea what his AAA line from 2017 means - no one is saying he cant hit AAA pitching - he clearly can. At some point he just is what he is (or excuses are just like assholes - everyone's got them and they all shit).
 

mikcou

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I agree about Renfroe but there were a few people who were shocked he was available in the first place. His one off year was 2020 in a sample size of 139 PA. Prior to that, he had a career 108 OPS+ in 1450 PA. He was going into his age 29 season and still had a few years of control. He already had success.

As you noted, Adolis Garcia hit straight out of the gate. Still a late bloomer, though.

Soler can hit ok, but he's given it all back defensively. Doesn't hit well enough to be a full time DH, either.

Teoscar Hernandez, good right out of the gate.

Byron Buxton, factoring in his entire game, good out of the gate too.

Outside of Garcia, all of these players established themselves as MLB by age 25.

Trayce Thompson, I can see as a comp to Cordero. But it's also only 221 PA. I'm not convinced a player striking out in 36.7% of his PA is going to continue to have success. And even if they do, it will have wild variations from year to year.

Also, how is Trayce any different than Rob Refsnyder? Other than if I had disposable income, I'd bet large chunks of it on Rob being better going forward. This team also identified the same Hunter Renfroe last year.

On a side note, plate discipline is weird and not necessarily a good thing. Maybe Cordero's was the best before Casas but ok? How are we defining plate discipline? What is it worth?

Google defines it (their bold, not mine):


If I went up to the plate and didn't swing at anything because I know I'm not going to hit the ball... I have elite plate discipline.

Someone mentioned Casas having the best plate discipline (or strike zone command) since Youkilis. I said Pedroia. With that said, Casas's strike zone command is far more similar to Kevin Youkilis than Pedroia.

Pedroia walked 9.2% of the time and struck out 9.7% of the time. Youkilis struck out 18.7% of the time and walked 12.2%. Does Youkilis have the better plate discipline or does he just have to be more selective because there's less he can handle? It's a serious question. "Plate discipline" is so generic. The original Vlad was a free swinger but he was still disciplined. He could just hit anything thrown in the vicinity. He had a 10.1% K% and 8.1% BB%.

I guess it's a way of saying plate discipline doesn't really do much good if you can't make contact. And if you're a player like the original Vlad, you get labeled a free swinger because your wheelhouse is any pitch. Was Vlad not maximizing his potential? That's a scary thought.
Yeah, we agree. There are guys who for whatever reason dont get an opportunity until later in their 20s for whatever reason. There are guys who come up in their early 20s and might struggle for a bit. Its hard to find guys who come up in their early 20s and are replacement level for 5-6 years and then become something else.

Also agree that BB% is not determinative of plate discipline - its indicative/correlated, but not conclusive. Vlad shouldn't be taking pitches he knows he can pound because it might be a bit out of the zone.
 

chawson

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I am honestly confused. Are you saying his injury history is a plus?
No. I’m saying that his injuries basically wiped out his age 23-25 seasons, which in turn delayed his development time.

I think that’s a better, more accurate way of describing the time between his excellent AAA season as a 22-year-old and his Red Sox tenure than framing it like he’s failed every opportunity over six seasons with three different teams, as some posters have said.
 

mikcou

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No. I’m saying that his injuries basically wiped out his age 23-25 seasons, which in turn delayed his development time.

I think that’s a better, more accurate way of describing the time between his excellent AAA season as a 22-year-old and his Red Sox tenure than framing it like he’s failed every opportunity over six seasons with three different teams, as some posters have said.
That was a good argument for taking a flier in the 2020/21 offseason when he was 25 and had a significant injury history. Now he's going to be 28 next year and theyve given him 400 PAs at the major league level over two seasons in years where hes had no injuries and hes still been bad. He's very heavy on the experience and late on the aging curve to expect some significant improvement.

There's not harm in having him show in spring training and earn a roster spot, but a solid to above average OF is a big need on the roster, they shouldnt be depending on a 27 year old who is pretty unlikely to ever be that. I'd be surprised if he could beat our Refsnyder who at the very least appears to be competent in the OF.
 

chawson

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That was a good argument for taking a flier in the 2020/21 offseason when he was 25 and had a significant injury history. Now he's going to be 28 next year and theyve given him 400 PAs at the major league level over two seasons in years where hes had no injuries and hes still been bad. He's very heavy on the experience and late on the aging curve to expect some significant improvement.

There's not harm in having him show in spring training and earn a roster spot, but a solid to above average OF is a big need on the roster, they shouldnt be depending on a 27 year old who is pretty unlikely to ever be that. I'd be surprised if he could beat our Refsnyder who at the very least appears to be competent in the OF.
No, he was out with COVID coming into 2021 and missed almost all of spring training. Then this year, pretty much no one had a spring training. Cordero raked, went to AAA and raked, learned a new position more or less on the fly in late April, came up to Boston and put up a solid 109 wRC+ for two months (with advanced metrics showing much better than that.)

Then he completely fell apart over two atrocious weeks against Tampa and New York (a span of 12 games from July 4 until the ASB), striking out 25 times in 41 PAs, and everyone who hadn’t liked him since the Beni trade felt validated that they were right about him all along. He was sent down, fixed whatever mechanics were clearly off, raked again, came back up and put up a 162 wRC+ over 12 games, got hurt and went on the 60-day IL.
 

mikcou

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No, he was out with COVID coming into 2021 and missed almost all of spring training. Then this year, pretty much no one had a spring training. Cordero raked, went to AAA and raked, learned a new position more or less on the fly in late April, came up to Boston and put up a solid 109 wRC+ for two months (with advanced metrics showing much better than that.)

Then he completely fell apart over two atrocious weeks against Tampa and New York (a span of 12 games from July 4 until the ASB), striking out 25 times in 41 PAs, and everyone who hadn’t liked him since the Beni trade felt validated that they were right about him all along. He was sent down, fixed whatever mechanics were clearly off, raked again, came back up and put up a 162 wRC+ over 12 games, got hurt and went on the 60-day IL.
He got COVID in February and that made him bad for the entire season? If it was about missing spring training, then he should have started doing better in May. He didnt.

His 2022 injury didnt make him bad in his 275 PA sample. It may have stopped it from being a bit of a bigger sample, but guys who are sub replacement dont typically get 500 PAs to continue to suck.

I've spilled enough on Franchy - feel free to continue on without me. As for a solution to RF for 2023, go get Nimmo who has the toolset (athletic CF who has a bit fringe range to be truly good in CF) that tends to play in Fenway's RF. He's also an ideal guy to have to play for the next years as a bridge/hedge to the OFs in the system who are a still a few years away (Rafaela/Bleis).
 

chawson

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He got COVID in February and that made him bad for the entire season? If it was about missing spring training, then he should have started doing better in May. He didnt.
Wrong again. He started getting good again in early May.

Cordero had a .363 expected wOBA from May 6, when he started playing roughly every day, until May 23 when he was demoted. It's a small sample size, but he was a different hitter over this stretch, leading the team in Barrels/Quality Contact per PA (per Statcast), fixing his ground ball rate and trimming down the strikeouts to 28.9%. You'd be forgiven for missing it though, because the Boston media was howling for his demotion.

To summarize: his 2021 began by getting COVID, which limited his spring training PAs to 17. Then he struggled badly in sporadic play over 64 PAs from April 3 to May 5, with a high K rate (40.1%) and high ground ball rate (54.5%), which penalizes him because he's a lefty hitting into the shift. After a short spring, this kind of struggle makes sense. Then from May 6-23, he had a nice stretch where he led the team in hard hits per PA, trimmed the Ks (28.9%) and fixed his launch angle (37.5 GB%). Then he was demoted. When he came up later in late July, he had a mostly bad 34 PA stretch until he was demoted again September 6.

His 2022 injury didnt make him bad in his 275 PA sample. It may have stopped it from being a bit of a bigger sample, but guys who are sub replacement dont typically get 500 PAs to continue to suck.
Correct, because for the majority of his 275 PA sample in 2022 (April 29 through July 1), he was quite good at the plate, with a 109 wRC+, .328 wOBA, and .367 expected wOBA. Then he was decent (and fortunate, finally) again from August 21 to his injury on September 6, with a 162 wRC+, .404 wOBA and a .297 expected wOBA.

I've spilled enough on Franchy - feel free to continue on without me. As for a solution to RF for 2023, go get Nimmo who has the toolset (athletic CF who has a bit fringe range to be truly good in CF) that tends to play in Fenway's RF. He's also an ideal guy to have to play for the next years as a bridge/hedge to the OFs in the system who are a still a few years away (Rafaela/Bleis).
Ahh yes, by all means let's get another Andrew Benintendi in here, this time at 10-20x the salary and without any ability to hit the ball in the air to left field.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Wrong again. He started getting good again in early May.

Cordero had a .363 expected wOBA from May 6, when he started playing roughly every day, until May 23 when he was demoted. It's a small sample size, but he was a different hitter over this stretch, leading the team in Barrels/Quality Contact per PA (per Statcast), fixing his ground ball rate and trimming down the strikeouts to 28.9%. You'd be forgiven for missing it though, because the Boston media was howling for his demotion.

To summarize: his 2021 began by getting COVID, which limited his spring training PAs to 17. Then he struggled badly in sporadic play over 64 PAs from April 3 to May 5, with a high K rate (40.1%) and high ground ball rate (54.5%), which penalizes him because he's a lefty hitting into the shift. After a short spring, this kind of struggle makes sense. Then from May 6-23, he had a nice stretch where he led the team in hard hits per PA, trimmed the Ks (28.9%) and fixed his launch angle (37.5 GB%). Then he was demoted. When he came up later in late July, he had a mostly bad 34 PA stretch until he was demoted again September 6.



Correct, because for the majority of his 275 PA sample in 2022 (April 29 through July 1), he was quite good at the plate, with a 109 wRC+, .328 wOBA, .367 expected wOBA. Then he was decent (and fortunate, finally) again from August 21 to his injury on September 6, with a 162 wRC+, .404 wOBA and a .297 expected wOBA.



Ahh yes, by all means let's get another Andrew Benintendi in here, this time at 10-20x the salary and without any ability to hit the ball in the air to left field.
So he’s more likely to be injured than to have an extended period of good production! Got it.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Seriously, how many excuses can you come up with for the guy? Is he a relative? Just ignore his results, he's awesome.
 

Rovin Romine

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Seriously, how many excuses can you come up with for the guy? Is he a relative? Just ignore his results, he's awesome.
Not many people have actually wondered what a love child of Peter Gammons and EV would look like, but here, I think, we have a good indication:

Their marketability aside, the total package is not a ton dissimilar from Bo Jackson (another guy with a >30% K rate). But for more contemporary examples, the upside is Teoscar Hernandez, Adolis Garcia, Carlos Pena, Pedro Alvarez and even Hunter Renfroe. Byron Buxton had a .230/.285/.387 line in his first 1075 major-league PAs, with a 6.5 BB% and 31.7 K%.

The strikeouts are there, but Franchy's plate discipline is good -- the best on the team before Casas came up. The bet is whether he can make another pitch recognition/mechanics tweak, and it seemed like he had before the collapse in July. A two-month stretch with a .366 expected wOBA, a 51.4 HardHit% and a 26% K rate followed by a one-month stretch of a .202 expected wOBA, a 22.2 HardHit% and a 44% K rate suggests that something mechanical happened.
 

chawson

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Also, don't be mislead by what he actually did: 275 PAs with a slash line of .219/.300/.397 (for a .697 OPS) is xChawesome for xChawreasons.
Nevermind, I shouldn’t have bothered. Let’s just ignore as much information as possible and evaluate players by batting average and vibe, y’know, like we used to.