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Moneyball!!!

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Old
08-01-2004, 01:19 PM
  #1
ATG
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Moneyball!!!

I decided to pick up this book some time ago and finally finished it during my vacation.It was an interesting read and I have to say that the Billy Beane story was great but as I look at the players the A's drafted and the players that were ridiculed in the book you can see many mistakes were made.

1)Jeremy Bonderman-Grady Fuson got fired after picking a "high school"pitcher with a first round pick going totally against Billy Beane's philosophy.But look how it turned out,Bonderman though not a star has been in the majors for a while now with the Tigers so clearly Grady was right when he believed that Bonderman would be in the majors.

2)Jeremy Brown and Nick Swisher-Though Beane can't be faulted for Nick Swisher's failure to crack the majors yet,his drafting of Jeremy Brown so high was clearly a mistake.The scouts tried to convince him not to draft Brown but Billy would have nothing of it and now look what happened.Prince Feilder was presumed to Fat but he is now one of the top prospects in the game.Scott Kazmir and B.J Upton two top prospects drafted out of high school and the teams that drafted them were also ridiculed for drafting high school kids so early but look at them now.

3)Kevin Youkilis-The greek God of walks as they proclaimed him in the book was a player Billy Beane tried to acquire several times from the Red Sox.Even when Beane was set on joining the Red Sox as GM his assistant Paul DePodesta(now the GM of the Dodgers)asked for Youkilis as compensation for Billy joining the Red Sox.That deal fell through and Youkilis though a decent call up doesn't seem to be anything special


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08-01-2004, 01:24 PM
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The Biggest reason the A's are a success?, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder.

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08-01-2004, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
The Biggest reason the A's are a success?, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder.
That's true they even mentioned that the scouts wanted to take Ben sheets instead of Zito which based on this season would not have been bad but Zito is a Cy young winner

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08-01-2004, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
I decided to pick up this book some time ago and finally finished it during my vacation.It was an interesting read and I have to say that the Billy Beane story was great but as I look at the players the A's drafted and the players that were ridiculed in the book you can see many mistakes were made.

1)Jeremy Bonderman-Grady Fuson got fired after picking a "high school"pitcher with a first round pick going totally against Billy Beane's philosophy.But look how it turned out,Bonderman though not a star has been in the majors for a while now with the Tigers so clearly Grady was right when he believed that Bonderman would be in the majors.

Scott Kazmir and B.J Upton two top prospects drafted out of high school and the teams that drafted them were also ridiculed for drafting high schools so early but look at them now.
Bonderman is a decent arm, but Beane at least managed to trade him into other pieces. Pena + Bonderman for Weaver. Weaver for Lilly and 2 prospects. 2 prospects for Erubiel Durazo. Lilly for Kielty.

Kazmir's contract demands lowered his draft position more than him being a high school pitcher. And looking at him now, didn't the Mets just trade him for a guy who might be a #3 at best on a good staff?

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08-01-2004, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
The Biggest reason the A's are a success?, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder.
Take Zito out of there. Its pretty much Hudson and Mulder.

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08-01-2004, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand
Take Zito out of there. Its pretty much Hudson and Mulder.
Harden and Redman are decent too.

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08-01-2004, 05:54 PM
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If this team spent any money they could be a dynasty. they should have beat the yankees in both 2000 and 2001 and should have beat the red sox last season.

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08-01-2004, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodeur
Kazmir's contract demands lowered his draft position more than him being a high school pitcher. And looking at him now, didn't the Mets just trade him for a guy who might be a #3 at best on a good staff?
He was the Mets best prospect. I don't really get the Zambrano deal though. However, if they resign Benson their starting pitching is STACKED for next season. I guess they feel Zambrano is primed for a breakout, which is certainly possible considering he'll now be around Leiter, Glavine, Trachsel, and they have a very good pitching coach.

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08-01-2004, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of Steinbrenner
If this team spent any money they could be a dynasty. they should have beat the yankees in both 2000 and 2001 and should have beat the red sox last season.
You can't spend what you don't have.

Players they have lost to FA over the last couple of years:
Giambi
Damon
Isringhausen
Foulke
Durham
Guillen

Edit: Forgot Tejada

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08-02-2004, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironchef Chris Wok
Isringhausen
Foulke
In the book, they mention that they feel that the closer spot is somewhat overrated. So they weren't too distraught in losing Isringhausen, and weren't too hesistant in dealing Koch. Obviously the Arthur Rhodes experiment didn't work out, but in general I think the position can be overrated.

Nowadays, Billy Beane thinks the book paints a somewhat skewed picture into what they do at the draft table. Ie, from reading it, you get the sense like they just pick based off of stats on a computer.

Also I remembered this about the "Moneyball Draft". They were under tight financial restraints, so they couldn't afford to pay out the regular signing bonuses to certain players in certain draft slots. Ie, a guy like Jeremy Brown agreed to sign for a $200K bonus, which is significantly less than what other players get taken that high. So it's more or less the outside the box thinking like........do you take a player who has a 15% chance of making the major leagues, and spend 1 million to sign him, or do you take another player with a 10% chance, spend 200K, and save the extra cash to improve your major league squad?

The only guy in the 2002 first round that's made any sort of impact is Khalil Greene, and the A's had him in their top 5 of that draft. It's a bit too early to judge, but there really haven't been a ton of impact players coming out of the first two rounds thus far.

Regarding Youkilis, the guy gets on base, currently OBP is at .394. Statistically, he's looking very similar to Sean Burroughs, who is a decent .300 hitter who probably won't top 15 HR per year at this rate.

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08-02-2004, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
I decided to pick up this book some time ago and finally finished it during my vacation.It was an interesting read and I have to say that the Billy Beane story was great but as I look at the players the A's drafted and the players that were ridiculed in the book you can see many mistakes were made.
Thanks for reading the book with a closed mind.

1)Jeremy Bonderman-Grady Fuson got fired after picking a "high school"pitcher with a first round pick going totally against Billy Beane's philosophy.But look how it turned out,Bonderman though not a star has been in the majors for a while now with the Tigers so clearly Grady was right when he believed that Bonderman would be in the majors.

You're missing the point. The chances of Bonderman succeeding were very low, because it has been proven that high school pitchers have the highest failure rate. Bonderman is the exception, not the rule. Meanwhile #3 pick Christopher Grueler put up a 5.60 ERA last year in A ball, #5 pick Clinton Everts has a 3.94 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in A ball, and on and on.

2)Jeremy Brown and Nick Swisher-Though Beane can't be faulted for Nick Swisher's failure to crack the majors yet,his drafting of Jeremy Brown so high was clearly a mistake.The scouts tried to convince him not to draft Brown but Billy would have nothing of it and now look what happened.Prince Feilder was presumed to Fat but he is now one of the top prospects in the game.Scott Kazmir and B.J Upton two top prospects drafted out of high school and the teams that drafted them were also ridiculed for drafting high school kids so early but look at them now.

They were drafted two years ago! You do realize that only two first rounders from that year have advanced to the majors, one of them just doing so last night, right? Baseball draft picks take 3-5 years to make it to the majors, but since they haven't made it to the majors or AAA ball after one and a half seasons (neither has wonderboy Kazmir BTW), they're mistakes. Oh, Mark Teahen was in the Beltran deal, so obviously he was a valued prospect. Brown and Swisher blew away A ball last year, as other players drafted higher have struggled at that level. And Prince Fielder IS fat.

3)Kevin Youkilis-The greek God of walks as they proclaimed him in the book was a player Billy Beane tried to acquire several times from the Red Sox.Even when Beane was set on joining the Red Sox as GM his assistant Paul DePodesta(now the GM of the Dodgers)asked for Youkilis as compensation for Billy joining the Red Sox.That deal fell through and Youkilis though a decent call up doesn't seem to be anything special

.290 BA, .394 OBP, .844 OPS, 20 RBI in 43 games is pretty good. Certainly not what you make him out to be. You read the book, but you didn't really read it.

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08-02-2004, 11:38 AM
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I'm not a big fan of moneyball, though the Pirates use it.

Actually, that's probably why I'm not a fan of it.

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08-02-2004, 01:17 PM
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Nice analysis Dr. Love.

Kinda fun to know that Beane picked Barry Zito over Ben Sheets, both are great pitchers, so it's not like Oakland flubbed the pick by any means. Just fun to know how actual draft table conversations go. In 1997, the Flames' draft table was split between Sergei Samsonov and Nick Boynton, but once the Islanders passed up on Daniel Tkaczuk, they had a consensus on who to pick.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/dr...raft_index.jsp

Aside from a couple of the top picks, the only major leaguer I still see is Khalil Greene. So it's a bit soon to judge whether or not they made astute picks. But as Billy Beane noted in the book, teams for some reason are really happy to nab 2 major leaguers with their 50 picks. And Beane has already spun Mark Teahen into Octavio Dotel.

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08-02-2004, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodeur
Aside from a couple of the top picks, the only major leaguer I still see is Khalil Greene.
BJ Upton will be making his debut tonight. So I was wrong initially (I thought he did it last night), there has only been one player from that draft in the majors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodeur
So it's a bit soon to judge whether or not they made astute picks. But as Billy Beane noted in the book, teams for some reason are really happy to nab 2 major leaguers with their 50 picks. And Beane has already spun Mark Teahen into Octavio Dotel.
Yup. And as Dan DePodesta said at time, it can't be any worse than the way everyone else does it.

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08-02-2004, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Love



Yup. And as Dan DePodesta said at time, it can't be any worse than the way everyone else does it.
Dan?you mean Paul DePodesta right

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08-02-2004, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Love
Thanks for reading the book with a closed mind.

1)Jeremy Bonderman-Grady Fuson got fired after picking a "high school"pitcher with a first round pick going totally against Billy Beane's philosophy.But look how it turned out,Bonderman though not a star has been in the majors for a while now with the Tigers so clearly Grady was right when he believed that Bonderman would be in the majors.

You're missing the point. The chances of Bonderman succeeding were very low, because it has been proven that high school pitchers have the highest failure rate. Bonderman is the exception, not the rule. Meanwhile #3 pick Christopher Grueler put up a 5.60 ERA last year in A ball, #5 pick Clinton Everts has a 3.94 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in A ball, and on and on.

2)Jeremy Brown and Nick Swisher-Though Beane can't be faulted for Nick Swisher's failure to crack the majors yet,his drafting of Jeremy Brown so high was clearly a mistake.The scouts tried to convince him not to draft Brown but Billy would have nothing of it and now look what happened.Prince Feilder was presumed to Fat but he is now one of the top prospects in the game.Scott Kazmir and B.J Upton two top prospects drafted out of high school and the teams that drafted them were also ridiculed for drafting high school kids so early but look at them now.

They were drafted two years ago! You do realize that only two first rounders from that year have advanced to the majors, one of them just doing so last night, right? Baseball draft picks take 3-5 years to make it to the majors, but since they haven't made it to the majors or AAA ball after one and a half seasons (neither has wonderboy Kazmir BTW), they're mistakes. Oh, Mark Teahen was in the Beltran deal, so obviously he was a valued prospect. Brown and Swisher blew away A ball last year, as other players drafted higher have struggled at that level. And Prince Fielder IS fat.

3)Kevin Youkilis-The greek God of walks as they proclaimed him in the book was a player Billy Beane tried to acquire several times from the Red Sox.Even when Beane was set on joining the Red Sox as GM his assistant Paul DePodesta(now the GM of the Dodgers)asked for Youkilis as compensation for Billy joining the Red Sox.That deal fell through and Youkilis though a decent call up doesn't seem to be anything special

.290 BA, .394 OBP, .844 OPS, 20 RBI in 43 games is pretty good. Certainly not what you make him out to be. You read the book, but you didn't really read it.
Let's face facts here:Bonderman is a major league pitcher not a great one but he is one.

Brown is not among the A's top ten prospects and Swisher who Billy would have took with the first pick in the draft is no where near being a star player.

Youkilis is good but he got way to much hype he looks like a utility player at best

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08-02-2004, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
Dan?you mean Paul DePodesta right
Bah! I always think it's Paul, but that I'm wrong and it's Dan, when it's Paul and I was right in the first place. Every freaking time too.

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08-02-2004, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
Let's face facts here:Bonderman is a major league pitcher not a great one but he is one.
So what? It doesn't prove that Beane was wrong because one guy made it. What if two picks earlier the Braves had taken him instead and the A's had taken Macay McBride, Alan Horne, Justin Pope, or Noah Lowery; the pick before and the HS pitchers taken immediately after? You wouldn't have a point.

Quote:
Brown is not among the A's top ten prospects and Swisher who Billy would have took with the first pick in the draft is no where near being a star player.

Youkilis is good but he got way to much hype he looks like a utility player at best
According to who? Scouts who think the traditional way, the way that Beane is trying to avoid?

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08-02-2004, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander the Great
Let's face facts here:Bonderman is a major league pitcher not a great one but he is one.

Brown is not among the A's top ten prospects and Swisher who Billy would have took with the first pick in the draft is no where near being a star player.

Youkilis is good but he got way to much hype he looks like a utility player at best
I don't think the A's ever said they found some foolproof way to draft players. If anything, Moneyball was describing some outside the box thinking. Swisher is not worse than most of the guys taken after him. The only other first rounder that has a name I remember is Cole Hamels (and Greg Miller at the top of the 2nd). At this point, can you say without a doubt "The A's should have selected somebody else instead of Swisher" ?

Brown was a financial decision. I think the book stressed that Brown happened to fit the type of patient batter they liked, plus he'd agree to sign for 200K up front. The book noted that for the most part, none of these players would ever live up to their potential. And the A's are a cash strapped franchise, so Beane and his braintrust decided to draft off the board and save cash to spend on the major league team.

Like I said earlier, would you rather spend 200K on a guy that's probably not going to make it, or a million on a guy that's probably not gonna make it? Here are some older drafts where we can actually label 'busts'. The common theme is that past the top 10, the chances of landing a good major leaguer isn't all that great.

1998: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/1998draft.shtml
1997: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/1997draft.shtml
1996: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/1996draft.shtml
1995: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/1995draft.shtml

And look at the 2nd round in 1999: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/bas...99/06/02/rd_2/

Realistically there is one All-Star caliber player in Carl Crawford. John Lackey won a World Series, but hasn't exactly become a reliable front line starter. And despite anything FOTS might say, Brandon Phillips is still struggling to become a major leaguer, and Ben Broussard is a decent but unspectactular bat.

Oakland's stance was basically that they didn't have a lot of money to spend on the draft.......so they wanted to try some new ways of evaluating players and in turn see if they could designate some lower ranked players (like Brown) and get them to agree to smaller signing bonuses. Plus as we've seen in just the recent years of the draft, the chances are slim of being able to draft a guy that becomes an impact MLB player past the top 10-15 picks.

Seems strange, but we're not the ones pinching the pennies. A team like Oakland has to worry about whether or not a guy is expecting a million plus to just sign.

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08-02-2004, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodeur
I don't think the A's ever said they found some foolproof way to draft players.
Exactly. Beane and DePodesta don't claim to have *the* way of drafting. They just feel that they have a better way of drafting. As Michael Lewis put it, they don't claim to know everything, they claim to be card counters at a casino.

Quote:
If anything, Moneyball was describing some outside the box thinking. Swisher is not worse than most of the guys taken after him. The only other first rounder that has a name I remember is Cole Hamels (and Greg Miller at the top of the 2nd). At this point, can you say without a doubt "The A's should have selected somebody else instead of Swisher" ?
Also remember that other teams were interested in Swisher as well. He was going to be taken by IIRC the White Sox, and there were a number of other teams interested as well. Swisher was the one guy that on Beane's first round board and other team's first round boards.

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08-02-2004, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Love
Exactly. Beane and DePodesta don't claim to have *the* way of drafting. They just feel that they have a better way of drafting. As Michael Lewis put it, they don't claim to know everything, they claim to be card counters at a casino.
That's a good reference. Beane/DePodesta were more or less analyzing past drafts and noting certain probabilities that seemed to be constant in high school pitchers, high school position players, and college players.

If I recall correctly, Beane was targetting Swisher and pitcher Joe Blanton with their first two picks. He was afraid Swisher would be taken ahead of him, and that the White Sox (who were picking after the A's made their first pick) were after Blanton.

The book just comments how the traditional way of scouting isn't very efficient, I remember a line that went something like "A scout can be easily fooled by catching a player on the right day".

Drafting was just one part of the book. I think there should be a greater emphasis on how they evaluate major league proven talent. Ie, how they have remained successful with guys Giambi, Tejada, and Damon leaving.

Every GMs gonna have his good moves and his bad ones. If Beane had a perfect draft strategy, every team would be doing it. At this point, certain teams are copying.

The first round of the MLB draft is becoming dictated by salary demands as opposed to tangible ability. The Padres went the cheap route with local SS Matt Bush, admitting that based on talent, he was not their #1 rated player. Jered Weaver was supposed to go #1, and then fell to #12 to Anaheim. Then there are donks like Matt Harrington who gets drafted in the first round, turns down 4 million, re-enters the draft, gets picked in the second round, turns down 1 million, re-enters the draft, gets picked in like the eighth round, doesn't sign....blows out his arm, and is now working at Best Buy.

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08-02-2004, 09:12 PM
  #22
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The MLB draft is no longer a draft. It's an auction.

Basically, whatever team ponies up the cash, gets to draft whatever player they want.

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08-02-2004, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironchef Chris Wok
The MLB draft is no longer a draft. It's an auction.

Basically, whatever team ponies up the cash, gets to draft whatever player they want.
The top of the draft is like that. The rest of the draft is a crapshoot like any other draft. MLB draft is strange in comparison to the NHL, NBA, and NFL in that you can't trade picks.

And even if you manage to find a gem in the 14th round, the guy might very well re-enter the draft and be a 1st rounder the next year. Mark Prior was an original Yankee draft pick, wouldn't that have been scary if they had been able to sign him. Barry Zito was a Rangers' pick if I'm not mistaken. The Padres drafted Todd Helton and Troy Glaus, only to see them re-enter.

The Giants practically gave the Royals their first round pick in the 2004 draft as compensation for signing Michael Tucker. I forget the exact reason, but if Tucker/SF had waited to sign a few more days, the Giants would have owed KC nothing, but Sabean hates having to deal with 1st round picks. I don't think you'd see it in any other sport where a GM would give up 1st round picks on purpose.

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09-05-2004, 02:26 PM
  #24
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Swisher made his ML debut today and hit a homer. That's probably more than 50% of players picked in the late teens in any draft will ever do at the major league level.

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09-06-2004, 09:53 AM
  #25
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Swisher is a great prospect. Similar to Youkilis in that he walks a ton, but he will hit for far more power.
His BA may never be great, but his OBP will be and that's just as good.

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