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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:27 am 
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Didn't Lambo have a stint at first base in the minors? I was thinking he would move there so we could have a Marte/McCutchen/Polanco OF. Provided Lambo is legit and hits in the MLB and everything, he could be the answer to first base.

Why sign a guy when you have one with 30+ HR potential already?


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:03 am 
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Leway512 wrote:
Didn't Lambo have a stint at first base in the minors? I was thinking he would move there so we could have a Marte/McCutchen/Polanco OF. Provided Lambo is legit and hits in the MLB and everything, he could be the answer to first base.

Why sign a guy when you have one with 30+ HR potential already?


We know nothing about Lambo or Polanco yet. They both could fail in the majors. We will see a little Lambo now and Polanco potentially the 2nd half of next year or later. A guy like this would then allow you to trade maybe a Lambo for something else you need, a SS or another SP.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:31 pm 
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We know nothing about a Cuban first baseman in the majors either...


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:47 pm 
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You just wish he weren't 26. 27 next year means he must start in the majors, since you're already signing him into his likely decline years and he wouldn't be age appropriate for AAA. And, as a 1B, it means the bat must play immediately because he won't give defensive or baserunning value in the meantime (like Cespedes).

I would think the Pirates would just trust the scouts on this. Baseball America tweeted that the industry is pretty split on if he'll hit enough to translate the raw power to game power. Cuban baseball to MLB is a big jump. You would think if the Pirates fell in the faction that believes in the bat that they'd throw their hat in the ring.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:15 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
You just wish he weren't 26. 27 next year means he must start in the majors, since you're already signing him into his likely decline years and he wouldn't be age appropriate for AAA. And, as a 1B, it means the bat must play immediately because he won't give defensive or baserunning value in the meantime (like Cespedes).

I would think the Pirates would just trust the scouts on this. Baseball America tweeted that the industry is pretty split on if he'll hit enough to translate the raw power to game power. Cuban baseball to MLB is a big jump. You would think if the Pirates fell in the faction that believes in the bat that they'd throw their hat in the ring.


Not only did Abreu crush the ball in the World Baseball Classic against MLB pitchers, he also has Cespedes and Puig as contemporaries. The comparisons are clear and his hit/power tools are consistently rated high, including 70/70 according to the scouts with which Jim Bowden spoke.

Signing Abreu to a 6-year deal gets him through age 32, which is not old for a first baseman of his build. You simply cannot sign a player with his experience, hitting ability, and power level for less then he would cost. The Pirates are starved for right-handed power, and he's exactly the kind of risk a team like the Pirates should take. It's the same risk that Oakland took with Cespedes.

Who else is waiting to play first base for the Pirates in 2014 and beyond?


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:38 pm 
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With Jones not being on the team next season and we have a big need for 1st basemen i ssay go for it


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Yeah I don't really care what they do, just relaying what Baseball America said. He doesn't have the age and/or ancillary value that Soler, Puig, or Cespedes had so it'll come down to where the Pirates land on the "bat belief" spectrum. And with 30 being the age of decline for guys, you have to know you'll get value right out of the gate with the bat.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:36 pm 
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The Pirates lack a quality first baseman. The Pirates lack right-handed power. The Pirates lack players with a very high "hit" tool.

This guy fits all three criteria and comes with some, but not a lot, of risk. Like Beane with Cespedes, this is the kind of risk a team like the Pirates should take given that the big-time free agent first basemen will forever be out of their price range.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Actually, 1B would probably be the easiest hole to fill. The standards are WAY down (our platoon is above league average...seriously) and they don't command nearly as much as a RF/CF or SS.

Plus I think Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols have permanently terrified teams from getting into big deals because they have a really limited shelf life and tend to decline faster than most.

I don't really think it's fair to put him and Cespedes in the same category, Cespedes plays a MUCH more difficult position as a guy with legitimate CF capabilities. That was significantly lower risk for the money.

Again, this is a 2 tool player with one tool completely dependent on the other. There's nothing to fall back on with him. It might be worth it, it might not. Depends on what the scouts think. Badler just tweeted out that any Cabrera/Pujols comparisons aren't coming from anybody in the industry so I don't know that he's necessarily a sure fire elite bat.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:31 pm 
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bradf wrote:
From what I have read about him, I agree. Some said he was not a great athlete ("I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player."-John Kruk) and compared him to Ryan Howard as if that were a bad thing; others said he may be the best hitter on the planet.

Comparing him to Howard is a bad thing when you take into account that Abreu is already 26 and the term "7 year contract" is being tossed around.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:33 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
rellimie wrote:
SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
I was hoping they'd make some sort of offer when I read about the guy. 6 years/$70 mil is quite a bit, though. But I guess that's the going rate.


that would be a great deal for a quality 1st baseman...assuming he is as advertised.


You can't get a great hitter who also hits for power at that price on the free agent market. These are the kinds of risks the GM of a team like the Pirates should take.

True, assuming that he's a great hitter who hits for power, which nobody really knows at this point.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:35 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
Leway512 wrote:
Didn't Lambo have a stint at first base in the minors? I was thinking he would move there so we could have a Marte/McCutchen/Polanco OF. Provided Lambo is legit and hits in the MLB and everything, he could be the answer to first base.

Why sign a guy when you have one with 30+ HR potential already?


We know nothing about Lambo or Polanco yet. They both could fail in the majors. We will see a little Lambo now and Polanco potentially the 2nd half of next year or later. A guy like this would then allow you to trade maybe a Lambo for something else you need, a SS or another SP.

We know more about Lambo and Polanco than we do about Abreu.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:37 pm 
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FWIW, here's an article from Ben Badler, who is pretty much the go-to guy for International stuff. It's his specialty on BA. Not to denigrate sbnation or rantsports, but they're similar to bleacherreport....written by amateurs who might not have all sides of the story. He certainly doesn't sound bad....but he certainly doesn't sound like a can't-miss either. I think it really comes down to how the Pirates feel about the bat, there's no reason for Badler to fabricate a "split" among teams:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/cuban-star-jose-abreu-leaves-cuba/

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Last edited by StarlingArcher on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:38 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates lack a quality first baseman. The Pirates lack right-handed power. The Pirates lack players with a very high "hit" tool.

This guy fits all three criteria and comes with some, but not a lot, of risk. Like Beane with Cespedes, this is the kind of risk a team like the Pirates should take given that the big-time free agent first basemen will forever be out of their price range.

The Pirates have a right handed first baseman who is currently slugging .554 against lefties. What they need is a replacement for Jones, not Sanchez.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:32 am 
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How bout a Dominican right fielder? Anyone know where we can get one? We could combine two threads. This one and the juicer thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:37 pm 
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The Rotten One wrote:
How bout a Dominican right fielder? Anyone know where we can get one? We could combine two threads. This one and the juicer thread.


Interestingly, both Jose Abreu and a certain Dominican RF in our farm system were mentioned in Keith Law's chat today (I know, he's a douche, but he's not prone to sensationalism and actually puts out decent thoughts...unlike Jim Bowden. So I read him, it's decent substance once you get past the form):

Tim (StL)

Bowden said his discussions with scouts about Jose Abreu gave him 70 hit/70 power tool - what's your take?

Klaw (2:15 PM)

That's saying he'll be a .320ish hitter with 30+ bombs. I don't think I have ever had a scout hang those grades on any player to me.


On our Dominican OF:

Jack (DC)

ETA for Gregory Polanco in Pittsburgh? What do see as his ceiling?THANKS

Klaw (2:51 PM)

I'd rather give him the next six weeks in RF than Lambo, actually. Could come up this year in some kind of reserve role. Has to be up by next year's ASB.


And a bonus mention on Meadows, who is neither Dominican nor a likely RF, but is enjoying a lot of success in the GCL:

Justin (Rochester, NY)

Keith, what is your opinion on Austin Meadows going forward? Seems lately the Pirates have done a solid job in developing prospects, so do you see Meadows ceiling as a 60 OF?

Klaw (3:02 PM)

Yes, if not a higher ceiling. Big fan of him and that pick at 9.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:31 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates lack a quality first baseman. The Pirates lack right-handed power. The Pirates lack players with a very high "hit" tool.

This guy fits all three criteria and comes with some, but not a lot, of risk. Like Beane with Cespedes, this is the kind of risk a team like the Pirates should take given that the big-time free agent first basemen will forever be out of their price range.

The Pirates have a right handed first baseman who is currently slugging .554 against lefties. What they need is a replacement for Jones, not Sanchez.


You don't need to have a platoon, my friend. Abreu is a righty hitter who can mash against all pitchers. The Pirates don't have a right-handed hitter like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:32 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Actually, 1B would probably be the easiest hole to fill.


Really? Tell me who you'd plug in to 1B in 2014 to give the Pirates league-average or better production...


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:34 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
FWIW, here's an article from Ben Badler, who is pretty much the go-to guy for International stuff. It's his specialty on BA. Not to denigrate sbnation or rantsports, but they're similar to bleacherreport....written by amateurs who might not have all sides of the story. He certainly doesn't sound bad....but he certainly doesn't sound like a can't-miss either. I think it really comes down to how the Pirates feel about the bat, there's no reason for Badler to fabricate a "split" among teams:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/cuban-star-jose-abreu-leaves-cuba/


Reading that article makes me want the Pirates to sign him. At worst, they're saying he'll hit 30+ home runs per year in the majors. At worst. At best, he'll hit 35+ home runs and flirt with .300.

Nobody is "can't-miss." But after seeing what Puig and Cespedes can do with the bat -- and this guy was BETTER than those two in the Cuban league -- I'd be willing to roll the dice with him. Especially on this Pirates team, which lacks a true right-handed power bat capable against both RHP and LHP.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuban First Baseman?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:43 pm 
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I mean, that's great but what we want has no bearing on what they do. I think it's safe to say that if they don't kick the tires, they're one of the teams who don't believe in the bat. I'm not saying what they should or shouldn't do, just that there's clearly a sizable group of teams who think that, otherwise it wouldn't have been mentioned.

If they believe in the bat, go for it. If not, don't. There's way more risk on him than the others.

And we're getting above league average production this year. The standards are pretty much nada at 1B anymore, we could plug in plenty of guys and be fine. The Rays signed James Loney and he's somehow managed to be one of the best in baseball.

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