Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Trade Too Far

Most people who follow baseball closely from the outside (i.e. bloggers) tend to overvalue prospects. For those of us who follow the White Sox this is very unfortunate as Kenny Williams seems to give away prospects like an illegal alien passing out escort cards in Vegas.

To Kenny’s credit, none of the prospects he has traded has yet come back to haunt the Sox. But this offseason he seems to be pushing it. First, he traded the organizations two top lefty pitching prospects, Gio Gonzalaez and Daniel Haigwood. Now he seems intent on trading the crown jewel of the Sox system, Chris Young, to the Diamondbacks for Javier Vasquez.

Chris Young just had a dominant year at Birmingham, one of the toughest hitting parks in the minors. He put up a line of 277/377/545 with 26 homers and 41 doubles. The only black mark was his 129 K’s. But great hitters often have high K rates, and at age 21, he still has a lot of time to improve.

Let's compare Young to how some other Sox sluggers fared at Birmingham.

Chris Young Age 21: 277/377/545
Mike Cameron Age 22: 249/351/429
Mike Cameron Age 23: 300/400/600
Brian Anderson Age 23: 270/346/416 (half season)
Magglio Age 22: 263/323/476
Carlos Lee Age 22: 302/350/485
Rowand Age 22: 258/320/438

As you can see, the only person able to put up the same type of numbers at Birmingham is the player Young is most often compared to, Mike Cameron. Of course, it took Cameron two seasons at AA to put up those numbers and he was two years older than Young at the time.

I know Kenny likes to have his rotation filled in years in advance, but there is hardly a need to make this move. With the right players, it would certainly make sense, and it's great that he plans on unloading El Duque. But with Chris Young, I’m afraid he is giving away the farm. This is a trade that Sox fans will be regretting for a long time.

It's a shame that at a time Sox fans should be basking in the glow of a championship holiday we have to worry if the man at the wheel has had a bit too much egg nog.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Just Say Thank You

So Vince Carter wins a state title for his High School way back in the day and now generously agrees to donate $2.5 million for the construction of a new gym. And some assbag on the school board has the nerve to criticize the school for putting a statue (donated) of Vince in front it.

"There have been many students graduated from that school who have made wonderful contributions to their fellow man — in science, health, theater. Where are their statues?" Conte asked. "I think we're saying we value you if you can make a lot of money, and that troubles me."

Well Ms. Conte, how much money did these scientists, doctors and actors give back to their High School. Even for Vince Carter, $2.5 million is a significant chunk of change. Have any of your other more esteemed graduates given aproportionatee amount of their salaries? Do they ever even go back to Mainland High?

And is it really that odd that they would put a statue of the best athlete ever to walk their halls in front of the gym? Even, if he didn't give the $2.5, how could someone complain about putting a statue of Vince in front of the gym? It's not like they are plopping him in front of the library!

Ms. Conte, you should be thankful Vince Carter has continued to support his alma mater long after he graduated. Putting a statue of him in front of the gym is the least you can do to show your appreciation. Me, I would change the name of the school to Vince Carter High. That has a nice ring to it, much better than the ordinary "Mainland".

Marte for Mackowiak

ESPN Radio 1000 is reporting that the Sox have traded Marte to the Pirates for Oak Lawn Rob Mackowiak. Mackowiak has played a lot of 3B as well as the outfield. KW wanted a left handed 3B backup and he looks like he got one. A good move.

I won't be sad to see Marte go. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a relief pitcher with control problems.

Marte did pitch a scoreless 1 2/3 innings in Game 3 of the World Series. But those fives did not come easy. He would have had the save had Uribe not made error with two outs in the 14th. But I was very happy to Buerhle come on in relief in that game as I had lost all confidence in Marte to get the job done. I think KW must feel the same.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Twins Make Move

The Twins made a good move by picking up the Marlins 30 year old second baseman Luis Castillo for two mid-level pitching prospects. Castillo's career numbers and good, especially when you take the park effects of Pro Player Stadium into account. Player Stadium. He had an OBP of over 400 on the road last year and will fill a huge void at the top of the Twin's order. The Twins have received horrible production from the middle infield over the last couple of years making this move a definite upgrade.

The only silver lining for the Sox may be the added payroll Castillo brings as he is owed over $5 million in each of the next two years. This may suggest that the Twins not be able to make any more significant moves as their owner, Carl Pohlad, keeps a tight lid on the budget.

I think this move is a definite positive for the Twins, but not enough to make them favorites in the Central. The Sox won the division last year with great pitching and a below average offense. The Twins finished near 500 with great pitching and an awful offense. I think the Sox upgraded to above average while the Twins still hover a bit below. Regardless, the AL central may turn out to be quite an exciting three team race next year.