The run on credible infielders arrived this week, and the White Sox watched it from the sidelines. The following players found new homes over the last few days:
- Marcus Semien, Blue Jays (one year, $18M)
- Tommy La Stella, Giants (three years, ~$19M)
- Andrelton Simmons, Twins (one year, $10.5M)
- Jurickson Profar, Padres (three years, $21M)
- César Hernández, Cleveland (one year, $5M)
OK, Hernandez is returning to his old home, where he posted a .355 OBP as part of the Cleveland Nine’s top-heavy lineup, led the league in doubles and won the Gold Glove. He’ll have a new double play partner after the Francisco Lindor trade, probably in the form of a former Met infielder who came over to Cleveland for Lindor (Amed Rosario or Andrés Giménez).
Hernandez’s combination of slightly above-average offense and the league’s best defense at second base put him on pace for a 5 WAR season. That would’ve been a career high, besting a couple of 3 WAR seasons he contributed to the Phillies several years ago. Perhaps he had a hot 60 games, and the other 100 offered regression to knock him down, but he makes the Tribe a bit tougher, as the White Sox saw last year (.364/.462/.545 against).
Hernández seems a bit underappeciated, but at least he has a home. Kolten Wong is still out there. He’s won Gold Gloves at second base the last two seasons, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a .356 OBP over the last four seasons. But after a down year, the Cardinals declined the $12.5 million option they held for Wong’s 2021 season, and Hernández’s contract confirms they probably had his market value correct.
(Whereas Brad Hand, whose $10 million option was declined by Cleveland after he went unclaimed, ended up signing with the Nationals for $10.5 million. That was weird.)
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Both players have my attention, but not because the White Sox necessary need one of them. If all goes according to plan, the White Sox are a terrible place for a utility infielder to sign, because plate appearances would be few and far between all the way around the horn. It’d be nice if the Sox had a better insurance plan against injury than the oft-injured Leury García, but it’s not a crisis.
It’s more because I’ve been watching Nick Madrigal garner honors from MLB Pipeline and Baseball America as baseball’s best second base prospect, while Keith Law left Madrigal off his top-100 list entirely for the second straight year, and trying to figure out how to bride that divide. Assuming Madrigal tones down the rookie-year adrenaline and slows down the game both in the field and on the basepaths, his combination of defense and baserunning should put him in the company of Hernandez and Wong.
The question is how much he can differentiate himself with the hit tool. That’s not new to the discussion of Madrigal, but the high supply of players with the other skills provides some context for whether it would be difficult to replace him.
In the Offseason Plan Project, I’d seen Madrigal traded away as a headliner in nearly a dozen plans, with one of the aforementioned free agents from the middle infield pool selected in his place. The trades made sense in terms of individual value. I just wondered, if such a replacement option was there for the White Sox, why wouldn’t another team just sign a Hernandez, Wong or La Stella instead of dealing a quality player for Madrigal?
“Because Madrigal’s hitting talent is insane,” that’s the counterargument. And indeed, Madrigal hit .340 over his first 29 MLB games, with a 6.4 percent strikeout rate that only La Stella (5.4 percent) beat over a comparable amount of plate appearances. What’s crazier is that strikeout rate seems likely to fall with another season’s worth of reps. Most rookies would be laughed at if they called 3,000 hits “very reachable” after just 29 games. When Madrigal says it, it’s amusingly audacious or audaciously amusing, but it’s well within his playing and personality profiles to put himself on that limb.
On the other side, his walk rate (3.4 percent) and ISO (.029) stood out for the wrong reason. The former was the seventh-lowest in the AL, the latter was the worst, and the latter explains why the former might be harder to raise than it seems. Neither mattered that much in terms of Madrigal contributing with his contact, but that lack of power means he needs every bit of that batting average to stand out. Despite a 60-point head start on batting average, he ended up in the same neighborhood as a few other guys we’re discussing here.
(OK, I worked the numbers a bit by including Wong’s 2019, rather than his down 2020 — .265/.350/.326, 92 wRC+ — because he’s been alternating above-average seasons with mildly disappointing ones the last four years. Maybe he’s due for a rebound in 2021.)
All of these players can help a team. It’s just more a matter of whether Madrigal will need to hit .340 to maintain such company, or whether he’ll develop the secondary skills around the hit tool to bolster it. Keep the walk rate and ISO as is, and the production dips pretty hard. WhereIsRobin pointed out in his Shop Talk post that it’s hard to have average production without an average ISO, and here’s what his production would look like with the same patience and power accompanying batting averages that are still above the league’s bar.
I wouldn’t expect Madrigal’s power to continue to flatline. With increased reps should come a sense of which pitches he can drive, and the increased threat of damage would naturally result in a few more walks. The issue is that he’s well behind his peers in terms of exit velocity…
- Hernandez, 89.1 mph
- La Stella, 88 mph
- Wong, 85.8 mph
- MADRIGAL, 84 mph
… so even mild gains might not offset a 30- or 40-point drop in batting average. Then again, Madrigal’s profile is so extreme that more .340s could be in store. He’s playing his game in an era that’s not designed for him, but like Jimi Hendrix stringing a right-handed guitar upside down so he could play it lefty, sometimes the results can break the system in a mindblowing way.
The projections are all trying to wrestle him into a more conventional slash line, where he can hit at a clip that starts with a “2” and still approach league average offensively. Most players become some semblance of normal, but it’s hard to separate Madrigal’s small sample from his small frame, small power and small strikeout rate. It gives him a small margin for error, which is why guys like Law have never been enamored with him. If it breaks right, he could break the algorithms for years. The hope is that he can clear a .300 average with room to spare while adding a little more of everything, if only to distinguish a fourth-overall pick from the kind of talent that is readily available for reasonable prices.
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Two tangential items:
No. 1: The Oakland A’s made an attempt at retaining Semien on a contract structure similar to the one the White Sox arranged for Liam Hendriks, but it came off as far more insulting:
When Semien reached agreement on a one-year, $18 million contract on Tuesday, it was not with the A’s, but the Toronto Blue Jays. The A’s declined to make him a formal offer, instead floating a concept that had little chance of enticing Semien, sources said — a one-year, $12.5 million deal with $10 million deferred in 10 one-year installments of $1 million each.
No. 2: Adam Wainwright is returning to the Cardinals at the going rate for a credible starter on a one-year deal ($8 million).
No. 3: Joc Pederson is signing with the Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal. If you want to monitor the way an alternative to Adam Eaton might’ve performed in Chicago, you’ll just have to look on the other side of town. (Update: Especially since Pederson is guaranteed less.)
(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)
That they couldn’t beat this deal is embarrassing.
If Pederson is only getting $7M, then Rosario should be similar. Come on Jerry, go get him now!!
Rosario was my guy for right-field. I can only presume that Sox management decided that since the Twins didn’t think Rosairo could handle right defensively, they’d look elsewhere. It looks like Eddie’s head for Cleveland on a one year deal for about $8MM. Personally, I would have gone with Rosairo over Eaton but it’s hard to see payroll concerns as the motive behind the Sox choice.
The motive is usually that their professional scouting sucks.
I said it when they signed Eaton that they misplayed the market.
If you were going to sign Eaton regardless, fine. But by signing him two months ago they overpaid by a few million. Given the way this team operates with finite resources (which has been confirmed in recent days), that’s the difference between rolling with Zack Collins as your backup catcher and signing Casalli or Suzuki to do so.
Doubly bad signing. Not just on baseball terms but also on business terms.
While this is a topic, I’ll also just spell it out: this is where Hahn’s performance can be evaluated on its own merits.
We can (and should) criticize Jerry for cutting opening day payroll year over year and not spending to the extent that this team can. But after he hands down the budget number, it’s all on Hahn to make that go as far as he can.
Is Lynn, Eaton, and Hendriks the most efficient and effective way to stretch ~$30M? The Lynn deal is probably the best upgrade you could get for that money, even accounting for the guy you gave up. Hendriks is projected to be more than twice as valuable as Hand, at a similar 2021 salary (granted, that’s why he’s guaranteed money in 2022-24 as well).
But the Eaton deal is just a head-scratcher in every way. If you are going to go searching in the bargain bin, there are equally credible names to be had at multiple positions of need and at lower prices.
As Buehrlesque said below, the Eaton signing wasn’t necessarily a dumpster dive. However bad you may think the signing was, it was a baseball move. Rick identified someone who would fit the bill as a right-fielder to platoon with Engel. Is an Eaton/Engel platoon in right better than having Joc play there full-time? Part of the reason given for Joc signing with the Cubs, was a chance to play every day. I doubt that Rick could promise him that. So Rick determined that Eaton was his guy to fill the left-handed part of a right field platoon. That may blow up in his face, but if Eaton is healthy, they could get pretty good production out of right field this year. Now go sign Rosario or Cruz, Flowers and a 5th starter. Finish the job, Rick/Jerry.
That doesn’t forgive Hahn for paying more for Eaton that Pederson. IF Pederson is worth $7M than Eaton is worth <$7M especially if he is just a platoon guy.
Even if Eaton is the “right” guy, he came at the wrong price.
I agree with you. Like I said, it was a baseball move. I’m not saying it was the right move. Hahn struck early to get the guy he thought would provide the best platoon option with Engel. He could have waited until now and probably still gotten Eaton for $5M or less.
They can’t force people to sign. They offered Joc $10 million and he rejected it. We all love to bash the Sox for being cheap, but instead of gambling and waiting if the market would dip a couple of million, they were aggressive and signed Eaton for less than they offered Joc.
Which was still a horrendous misreading of the market, especially if they were operating on a budget while simultanously targeting the top closer available.
Your last paragraph tends to confirm what I said in my earlier post. The Sox seem to value the experience and skill set that Eaton brings to the team. If I recall correctly, the rumor was that Eaton had a comparable offer from another team on the table when the Sox signed him. I don’t think Hahn views the Eaton signing as shopping “in the bargain bin”; it seems that Eaton was their guy for right-field in 2021 and they ponied up what it took to get him. If Eaton stays healthy and returns to his 2019 form, he does fit the mold of the kind of player that TLR has used effectively in the (distant) past.
I don’t see how it becomes an “embarrassing” issue of not beating the Cubs offer. Hahn and Co. certainly know Pederson. They engaged in fairly public trade talk for him over the past two seasons. That they opted for the double Adam platoon over signing Pederson as a free agent strikes me as a baseball decision. Rightly or wrongly, the Sox view a platoon of Engel and Eaton as providing a better chance to win than having Pederson as the primary right-fielder. There may be ample reason to question the judgement involved but I don’t see how it’s a question of “cheapness”.
Completely agree. The Sox – for whatever reasons – wanted Eaton (and Engel to platoon) above other options based on the overall makeup of this team. I don’t particularly like it, but tough to argue that they feel like this puts a winning team on the field in their opinion
This has nothing to do with Eaton and everything to do with the gaping hole that is currently at DH.
Given who he signed with, Pederson, I suspect, wouldn’t have joined a team that saw him primarily as a DH and likely a part-time one at that. With Brantley opting to stay with Houston, I don’t see a free agent option that fits the Sox need for DH better than does rotating through in house players (Eloy, Abreu, Grandal, Collins, Mercedes, Vaughn). Cruz would be an interesting pick-up, but he clearly wants two years guaranteed and the Twins should be motivated to pay him way above his market valve to keep a player who has been the driving force in their winning the division the past two years.
He wouldn’t have been the primary DH if he had signed here. Him not wanting to DH would not have been an impediment. Not sure why I’m responding though, I’m sure you’ll come up with another excuse for them.
I agree. Why spend excessive money on someone like Cruz for this year when they have plenty of internal options. Let’s see what Collins, Mercedes, Vaughn can do before spending the money…
Here is my thought: they don’t have the prospect depth to fix anything serious midseason so it’s better to go in with Cruz (or whoever) and then you have prospects to fill other holes or supplant Cruz if he goes EE.
My second thought is Collins and Mercedes suck so they shouldn’t be counted on for anything if the goal is to win.
Good Point on why they should sign a DH, but I still wouldn’t pour a boatload of money into the position.
Because all of those internal options either suck, are completely unproven or both and they’re going into a season in which they’re presumably trying to win the world series.
Sox fans: “World Series 2021!”
Also Sox fans: “Zack Collins and Yermin Mercedes = plenty of DH options!”
Just absolutely infuriating. The Sox could have had the same 2021 payroll by signing Quintana, Schwarber and Pederson instead of Eaton and Hendriks. And they would have saved $37m in guaranteed money in future seasons!
It’s gonna be even worse when Colome signs for like $4m and the Sox could literally have addressed all the holes in their roster by just spending slightly more money in 2021 and spending it less stupidly.
I’d rather have Hendriks than Colome no matter what the cost. Colome’s SO rate has been on a steady decline and there’s reason to believe that the decline could continue and he becomes a less effective closer. Smart move to not resign him.
Also…you’re assuming that Q, Schwarber and Pederson would be performing better that Eaton and Hendriks. I don’t see that happening.
Of course not, none of them are closers.
Huh? My assertion has nothing to do with them being closers.
I’m aware of that. And I will bet you that, postseason notwithstanding, the combination of Q, Schwarber, and Pederson provide twice the value of Eaton and Hendriks in 2021.
I’m not a gambler, but I think you should take it, @NorthSideHitman. You would have won it easily in each of the last two years!
Exactly my point!
To be fair, there’s a fair chance Trooper is right that the trio will outperform the duo. But I think it’ll be close, and if Vaughn can somehow show up this year he’d make the duo worth preferring to the trio.
How is “value”/”production” being compared? If it’s by actual WAR in 2021, there is a very good chance that the trio will outperform, especially if Schwarber and Pederson are allowed to be everyday players for the Nats and Cubs.
But that doesn’t really answer the question of whether the White Sox hypothetical signing of Q/Schwarb/Joc would have resulted in more value/production than their actual signing of Eaton/Hendriks.
This is me guessing that Hendriks will be no better than he’s been while Eaton will not last the season.
That’s hell of an assumption that every player would pick the Sox for the exact deal they got elsewhere. Wheeler last year and Joc this year prove that you can’t just sign anyone you want like a video game. The interest has to be mutual.
Joc misread his own market and paid the price for it. The White Sox jumped early on the market after he passed and wound up not getting the player they originally targeted at a lesser price as a result.
This is exactly why I’ve always argued a portion of the budget should be for time machine research
This isn’t exactly hindsight; I literally asked in a PO Sox recently if the White Sox had jumped the gun signing Eaton.
Omg. Joc cheaper than Eaton. And to the Cubs. I feel like I’m going to cry. I’ve said this now, like, 3-4 times. About a baseball team. In an offseason.
Now looking like Pederson’s deal will come with a mutual option for a 2nd year and a buyout. Could end up looking a lot like Schwarber’s deal, which ended up being $10M guaranteed when counting the $3M buyout for 2022. Still not a ton of money, but probably not cheaper than Eaton.
The way MLBTR is talking about it, 7 mil is the total guarantee (including the buyout):
Thanks. Maybe that’s what it will be. I’m probably including my shock that he would sign for so little into how I read the news that there would be a mutual option/buyout. Probably best to wait for more definitive reporting about the contract before saying anything else.
I was thinking he would sign for something like this and MY plan would have been to sign him to a 1 year with an option deal. Then, play both Eaton and Pederson in RF/DH.
That way, the White Sox could see which of them they would prefer to bring back in 2022 as their RFer. You know that they’re gonna have this hole again next year while they’re hoping that one of Cespedes, Adolfo, Rutherford or Gonzalez steps up to take over in 2023.
I’m a little surprised Pederson didn’t get $10 million, and I’m more surprised he didn’t sign with the Giants.
I’m starting to suspect the Sox genuinely believe starting the 2021 season with Eaton at RF, Vaughn at DH, López as fifth starter, and Collins as backup catcher is a good idea regardless of budget. This franchise does not value depth.
Which also eats up trade depth as Vaughn is the one that could get something midseason. Still have a hard time believing the org would plan to roll with Vaughn at DH, given not only his lack of experience but the potential negatives of expecting a rookie to adapt to DH’ing most of the time.
Depth has always been a foreign concept to the White Sox organization. It’s always been do almost enough and cross your fingers and hope to get lucky.
Then, when it fails, blame it on someone getting injured and another guy not playing up to expectations. Otherwise, we would have been right there.
Except when they had 2 all star catchers on the team
Imagine if they’d actually signed another major free agent pitcher (Ryu?) to capitalize on that happy occurrence.
You know what’s strange? I am surprisingly at peace with the Eaton signing. I don’t like it, or him, but it’s not bothering me as much anymore. When you really look at the scope of RF free agents — actual RFs — there’s just not a lot else out there. Pederson, the main comparable, came cheaper than expected, but it looks like playing everyday was a big factor for him. Do you want him in there everyday, even against lefties? I’d say an Eaton-Engel platoon is better on both offense and defense than Joc.
Sure Springer would have been nice. But aside from him? I’m not seeing any FAs who would’ve been better. JBJ is a CF. Rosario, Schwarber, Brantley and Ozuna are all not suitable for RF. The Sox have whiffed, so far, on bringing someone like that in for DH. But for RF, there just aren’t any FAs that work.
Again, don’t get me wrong, this is an incomplete team with an inadequate offseason so far. And pursuing a trade would have opened some doors for other real RFs (Guys like Nimmo or Conforto come to mind). But, in a vacuum, Adam Eaton is about the best you could do from free agency here.
Now, for the love of God, go round out this roster with a SP and a DH!
Are you commending the White Sox on paying a guy more to play less?
I thought $7M was high for Eaton at the time too. But first, who knows what the market was like? And second, who cares if Eaton got an extra $2M or so? I know there’s always handwringing about the Sox overspending around the margins, and I often agree with that, but in this case, it’s not prohibiting any other moves that Sox haven’t already ruled out because of their own bizarre constraints.
I care because that $2M could have gone to a back-up catcher
There’s no guarantee that signing a backup catcher will be better than Collins. I have no problem giving Collins his shot. If he doesn’t pan out, then they can pursue another backup.
Teams aren’t usually crazy about juggling catchers in season given the need for a strong relationship with the pitchers. It’s not exactly plug and play like other positions.
There is no guarantees on any move.
Collins has been given shots and he sucks
Anyone can suck after only 120 PAs. Give the man a chance, I say!
When? Mid season, when they’ll have to trade an actual player for one?
No. I’d like to see Collins get his chance to contribute for a full season.
This is crazy. He’s been nothing but terrible on both sides of the plate, but yes, let’s totally let 2021 be his chance to “contribute” for a full season. Then, if he’s a drain on a team aspiring to a World Series, they can sign a backup catcher off the free agent market.
…or, you know, just do it now, let Collins play every day in AAA, and if the stars align, you kick the cheap backup to the curb.
If he’s right that the Eaton-Engel platoon is more effective than Pederson only, then there’s nothing wrong with paying him more. I’d be just fine if they pay Cruz more than Eaton and he’ll play a lot less.
Cruz would be great. But even Rosario would be just fine. He hits lefty, so he would complement Vaughn when the time comes. He can play LF and get by in RF in an emergency. And he’ll likely come on a one-year deal. Unless he’s looking for a guaranteed full-season full-time role like Pederson, it’s a great fit.
Apparently the White Sox offered more to Pederson than they did Eaton, at least according to the Los Angeles Times:
So much for the hand-wringing above. I’m not excusing the WS, but more than likely there is a lot that we don’t know about why certain moves are made/not made.
It sounds like this offer was made a while back and may no longer have been on the table. If his price had come down like this, they should have jumped back in since they still need another bat.
I don’t know what to complain about anymore.
Regardless of what you think of him, he’s a fascinating player to dig into statistically. Jim – the first thing that jumped out at me from your writeup (which was fantastic btw) was that maybe avg EV isn’t the best measure for a guy like him? He swings and makes contact so often, that it seems likely a lot of that contact isn’t going to be of the super hard variety. Longenhagen likes to reference max EV as a true measure of raw pop. I think his point is basically (and I’m paraphrasing a ton here) if you can hit a ball X mph, then you have that capability. Whether you can do that consistently and hit it that hard at the best launch angles is another matter. And if you go sort the Savant leaderboard by max EV and search for Madrigal’s name, the results are going to make your eyebrows do funny things.
Max EV of 112 mph (77th among the 437 guys who had at least 25 BBE last season). Names around him include Joc, Hosmer, Yelich, Buxton, Grisham, Ohtani, Voit, Moustakas, etc. Now, that particular batted ball that led to his max EV was kind of wonky (it had a distance of 8 feet), so maybe this was a bit of a fluke (I don’t spend a ton of time staring at individual batted ball data, so someone else probably knows better than me how much this data can be trusted). But I’m wondering, if there is some decent raw juice in there, if it’s just a matter of getting him to be a little more selective in terms of looking for pitches to drive and elevate. Or maybe this one batted ball just broke Statcast somehow, I dunno haha!
The 112-mph hit doesn’t look like 112 mph. Here’s the video.
He hit five balls over 100, and all of them stayed on the ground. So did 15 of his 20 balls hit over 95 mph. So the swing isn’t there to make use of that, at least yet.
Yeah, it’s obvious even if he possesses the ability to hit it hard, he doesn’t yet possess the ability to do that and not hit it on the ground at the same time (at least yet). With that in mind, would it be best to just ignore his EV on GBs for this kind of exercise and only focus on the LD and FB?
To best use Madrigal’s hit tool, I think having speed in front of him is important. If he bats 9th and Robert and Eaton/Engel are directly in front of him, Tony will be able to use the hit-and-run very often to take advantage of Madrigal’s great bat-to-ball skills. Since he hits so many ground balls, having the infielders moving will be to his advantage and give him more holes to work with. I am very interested to see if Tony will take advantage of this. His managerial style sure seems to make me think he will.
Who would have thought that winning gold gloves devalues players at 2B (Wong, Yolmer, Hernández)
Watching the games, Madrigal seemed like a guy who didn’t get the benefit of many close calls, like Moncada in his first year and most other rookies. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his walk rate jump to between 5 and 6% this year, with room for more improvement in the future when the automated strike zone becomes reality.
And he’s the type of player MLB wants to excel to counter the three-outcome lethargy rampant in today’s game. New rules from the league – and endorsed/proposed by bigwigs like Theo Epstein – should help a player with his skills.
Matt Moore, who was my pick for a buy-low contract before last season, just signed with the Phillies. He would have been a worthwhile signing for fifth starter this year.
Interesting hire by MLBPA
I wonder if this hire is a long-term strategy to eventually have him as head of the union. Marvin Miller was an economist and lawyer; Edwards’s skillset is not a world away from that.
Fangraphs: Moncada still needs to swing more https://blogs.fangraphs.com/yoan-moncada-still-doesnt-swing-enough/
Clemens should’ve mentioned COVID as a possible reason for Moncada’s passivity last year before writing a thousand words. Maybe buried the lead a bit?
You mean like this:
Man, I don’t think that sentence was there when I read the initial blog post. And the word “passivity” especially is odd.
I mean, you’re not wrong that he kind of buried the lead (that comments was kind of near the end of the article). A good write-up by Ben, but yeah I think I would have mentioned that earlier.
Did he edit his blog? I apologize if the “passivity” sentence was written before my post. I didn’t mean to misrepresent that paragraph of his article.
It was in there before I posted the link. He made a nod to it at the beginning when he said there were two reasons and it would get to one at the end.
He got to it, yes. Was that paragraph edited between the time I read it and you did?
I’m going to drop it unless someone truly in-the-know wants to clarify.
Looking at it again, I think I must have glossed over those last few sentences and made a mistake and unwise assertion. Apologies, Ben Clemens.
I was honestly surprised to see that Madrigals ground ball rate was *only* 55%. That’s still one of the highest in baseball but it’s pretty much in line with Tim Anderson, who is at ~54% (also very high!).
That is interesting. Both high average hitters. Is there a metric for how much “better” a hit is than a walk? To start an inning, it seems pretty even. Two outs runner on third a different story. Free swingers also hit into more double plays. Many variables.
I believe this is what wOBA tries to capture. You can take a look at the formula here.
Unintentional walks are weighted .69 and singles .89, so about 29% more valuable. These weights are recalculated for every season but they stay roughly in the same range.
Back to the topic at hand, I just want to go on the record and state that I love the way Magrigal plays. I think he’s gonna be a great fit for the Sox, offensively and defensively. I don’t think he’s gonna be a superstar but having THAT kind of bat control is gonna be very valuable. I think he will regularly be a 3-6 WAR player for a long time.
Should’ve sold high on Madrigal like they did with Dunning. His skill set is suitable for 1980’s baseball, not now. One injury and he’ll be out of the league.
He already had one injury, and he’s still in the league.
Madrigal & Dunning aren’t a great comparison for a lot of reasons, including college success, prospect pedigree, age, and, most importantly, Madrigal has a tool (hit/contact) that is elite. It remains to be seen if his weaknesses outweigh his strengths, but I do think he’s got a real shot of being an all-star caliber player (which I wouldn’t say about Dunning).
Unrelated, but it was only 6 years ago that I was really excited for Micah Johnson to be the 2nd baseman.
well, his art is really good so there’s that.
my favorite of his.
Micah Johnson debuting as the Opening Day starting second baseman to the rave reviews of the front office on a 2015 squad that was aiming for the postseason is Exhibit A in why I do not trust Hahn’s rosy assessments of their DH/backup catcher situation.
i’m still really bullish on madrigal. i think the elite bat-to-ball skills are hugely valuable. i think he’ll add some power and even if it’s not much, it’ll force pitchers to locate better. that should help boost the BB%. maybe the BA comes down a tick or two, but if the the ISO and BB gains are enough to offset, his other contributions should make him well above average.
i also think there’s more than a lottery ticket chance that he could turn into a 5+ WAR guy. i see some shades of jose altuve in madrigal.
I think Madrigal’s biggest area of improvement will be his baserunning. Now that he has experienced the speed of MLB his decision making should improve tremendously. Hoping he can steal 25 bases.
Is there any research on the expected trade off of swing-and-miss vs better launch angle? In other words, is there an estimate for how much contact he’d give up to turn grounders into liners?
Thanks for the shout out to my offseason plan! I’d sure prefer to have Semien/Gallo to Madrigal/Eaton.