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Well, he tried.
Will The Bronx Be Downs' Town? | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
dr. haque - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#126308) #
Man that game was close!!
CeeBee - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#126310) #
Close till Downs left....... but absolutely no bats anywhere to be found!
Nigel - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#126311) #
I'm glad that Gibbons got tossed out of the game tonight. I'm always skeptical of the utility of that as a motivational technique if its overused, but tonight for just about the first time all season I thought the team lacked intensity. Maybe they're tired, or the beating in Motown took it out of them, but I thought they were flat tonight. Tomorrow's another day.
Ron - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#126313) #
I listened to the postgame show and a caller asked Wilner if Rios was going to hit 20+ HR's next season and he said yes. I get a vibe that most Jay fans think Rios will become a power hitter and I ask why?

His career high in HR's is 11 and that was in AA. With the exception of AA he has never hit for a high SLG or OPS. To tell you how bad he's hitting this season, Hinske has a higher SLG and OPS. Among Jays he ranks 8th in SLG and 10 in OPS. And don't forget the Jays aren't a power hitting club.

During ST he said he put on 10-15pds of muscle during the off-season but he sure doesn't look like it. I would cut bait on Rios right now while some clubs still see him as a potential 5 tool player.

His current performance and profession track record indicate he's nothing more than a 4th OF. And yes I realize he's 24 yrs old.
JayFan0912 - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#126314) #
His current performance and profession track record indicate he's nothing more than a 4th OF. And yes I realize he's 24 yrs old.

Rios is a guy who hits the ball well to all parts of the field, and most of his extra base power is in center right. That's very unique, as most power hitters tend to pull the ball (VW hasn't hit a HR to right field this year).

In due time, I think he will learn to pull certain pitches, and his power will develop -- so far, according to a few at bats I watched, he seems to hit the inside pitches on the ground. 20 HRs is a reasonable total to expect next year since he will probably hit 10 - 12,13 this year, and an offseason of watching tape, workouts, etc. will pay dividents.
VBF - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#126315) #
That game was bad. Scott Downs did try. The chat had some very good arguments. Just skip past the part about the Rocky Horror Show.
CaramonLS - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 01:48 AM EDT (#126316) #
Probably because Rios hits a lot of warning track flies, and a lot of his doubles are "off the wall".

Add a little more muscle or a little more bat speed and you have home runs.
jvictor - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 02:06 AM EDT (#126317) #
Had a good look at Rios? That man is a rail. There aint no way in heaven he won't put on pounds. When he does, look out. 24 years old and you want to give up on him?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 02:17 AM EDT (#126318) #
We have here a couple of Mystery Outfielders, who didn't have much power when they came to the majors.

Ag  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG 
20 124  474   48  121  23 11   5   47   2  5  18  60  .255  .284  .382 
21 147  543   66  169  30  7   7   60   6  6  13  58  .311  .330  .431 
22 111  451   42  114  17  7   4   30   0  4  23  45  .253  .288  .348  
23 140  519   69  150  24 10   6   50   8  2  31  41  .289  .327  .408  
24 105  432   60  128  17  7   4   50   2  3  15  51  .296  .322  .396  

Ag  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   
23 128  557   63  165  12  5   0   31  14  7  16  69  .296  .320  .336  
24 161  691   80  199  29 13   4   74  21 12  41  87  .288  .330  .385  

Would you have wanted to stick with either of these guys?
Ron - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 02:44 AM EDT (#126319) #
I don't know who the first mystery guy is, but the 2nd is Kirby Puckett. Something really clicked between age 24 and 25 for Kirby.

He went from 4 HR's to 31 HR's, .385 SLG to .537 SLG, and .715 OPS to .903 OPS.

That's a massive power spike but players like Kirby are the exception. Rios could go on and belt out 30 HR's next season and I would be dead wrong. But I doubt he will do that. I've discussed Rios's lack of power with somebody else already and he said to wait until he plays 3 seasons. You could wait but you run the risk of hurting his trade value if the power doesn't develop. I still believe there are GM's out there that believe Rios will be a power hitter. I disagree though.

Does anybody else besides myself believe Rios won't develop into a middle of the order/power bat?
slitheringslider - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 03:13 AM EDT (#126320) #
Look Ron, it makes absolutely no sense in trading Rios right now. Prospects are never worth very much, they are usually throw-ins in a deal and right now Rios would not fetch much at all. No GM is dumb enough to trade an established star for a potential one, so we'll either get stuck with bad contracts of overpaid stars, declining stars, average major league players, or potential stars (just like Rios).

So why not take a chance on Rios, when almost ALL BASEBALL SCOUTS predicts great things of him. You have to understand those people are experts that get paid to do identify baseball talents and have the eye of recognizing talents better than you and I. I know that experts do make mistakes from time to time, but the potential gain for keeping him far outweighs the gain for dealing him.

Do you all remember that Halladay guy and how everyone said we should just let him go? Oh wait, wasn't he the same guy that won a Cy Young and was well on his way to a second this year. Oh yea, him. The thing with these young players is that you have to be patient. Some are late bloomers. There are many positive signs that shows he would eventually be a star. A few years down the road, even if he does not become the stars JP and the gang envision him to be, he would still be a more then servicable outfielder. He has great range defensively and has a cannon for an arm, and it's safe to say if not power, he would still be a high average hitter with good speed. So my final word is

Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 05:18 AM EDT (#126321) #
I don't know who the first mystery guy is, but the 2nd is Kirby Puckett.

The first guy had three 20+ HR seasons, eventual career high was 29.

timpinder - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 05:39 AM EDT (#126322) #
Another thing about Rios is that he seems to hit his homeruns in spurts, and he hammers the ball in batting practice. I think that's indicative of a player with homerun potential. It's almost like something clicks for a few games and you get a glimpse of what's to come, but then he loses it for a while. Eventually it'll all come together for him and 30+ dingers wouldn't be a surprise.

Also, forget about the fact that he's skinny. With those long arms and legs he can generate a lot of power. Soriano isn't the biggest guy around either you know.
No, Rios isn't going anywhere.

How about Gross? With money to spend, do you think he'll be a casualty in a trade, or do you think the Jays will have him playing full time in left field next year? He's hitting .300 with a lot of doubles but only a few homers in AAA. JP has said he doesn't like spending a lot of money on 1B, but the Jays need a power bat. I worry that they'll try to trade for some outfield power, Adam Dunn for example, and try to re-sign Hillenbrand to play 1B for a third of the money they could get Konerko for, for example. I think we'd regret it as Gross would flourish with another team and develop into a great outfielder.

Named For Hank - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#126323) #
I have an important point to make about the Blue Jays' recent struggles.

Rance Mullinicks: mustache

Pat Tabler: no mustache

We'll see if this really has any kind of bearing on the game tonight, since it's a TSN broadcast and Rod Black has a mustache.
Craig B - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#126324) #
I'm not sure that Puckett's development tells us anything about Alex Rios. You couldn't find two more dissimilar bodies or swings.

Rios is also dissimilar to the other guy Magpie listed, who is Roberto Clemente. Clemente was a much smaller man, his swing had fewer "moving parts" than a guy who's 6'5" does. Also, Clemente sort of proves the point, perversely enough - he had good power, but never more than that.

I mean, for every Clemente out there, there's a Juan Beniquez, right? Someone who never moves forward? But like Clemente, Beniquez is obviously unlike Alex Rios. The point I'm trying to make, and it's a very simple one, is that it's a mistake to presume that players are going to develop radically differently from the typical aging curve. We shouldn't try to assume some sort of power spike is going to hit Rios (other than for the reason that he's GOT natural power and bat speed, as we can all see) and I think it's likely that he will develop along the same lines as he's shown so far. Clearly he's going to improve.

Rios is built more like Moises Alou or even Torii Hunter, but again he's different in his swing. Alou would be a nice model for his development, but I don't think Rios is as good as Alou was. Maybe he'll be Larry Herndon - spend his six years in a Toronto uniform teasing us with his potential, then bust out the power as soon as he leaves (like Herndon did to the Giants). Come to think of it, Herndon's another comparison to Rios, as is someone like Jerome Walton. So is Al Cowens, who busted out with one phenomenal year at 25, and then had problems.


I just checked Rios's 2004 PECOTA comps - Clemente, Cowens, and Herndon are all on that list.
Craig B - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#126325) #
I should talk a little more about Cowens. His 1977 season was truly amazing; he hit .312 with 23 homers, 14 triples, and 112 RBI and won a Gold Glove in the outfield in what was a decently tough park for a power hitter. He was runner-up in the MVP, mostly because Rod Carew had flirted with .400 for a lot of the year. Cowens had come almost from nowhere - he was coming about from where Rios is now - and immediately fell apart the next season, he went from 23 homers to 5 and from 112 RBI to 63, missed a month with an injury, and then just when he had recovered and was hitting again, he got hit by Ed Farmer of Texas in early 1979. Cowens went into a two-year funk after the beaning, and never recovered mentally.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#126327) #
The other thing is that due to his speed and his ability to make contact, Rios does not need to develop much power to be an effective ballplayer. He is perfectly capable of hitting .310 with 10 triples and 15 homers and 50 walks.

The only reason that you might trade him is that he is capable of playing centerfield well, and he is significantly more valuable in that role.
Craig B - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#126332) #
Mike, I'm not sure Rios really is capable of playing centerfield well. Tall players do not traditionally do well in that role (Dale Murphy excepted, and Murphy fell off rather quickly after an excellent beginning) and Rios is not blessed with a whole lot of speed, nor is he fast to accelerate. I think right field is his longterm position.

The fact that Reed Johnson is now generally preferred to Rios in center when Wells doesn't play is pretty telling. Reed is a marvelous defensive corner OF because of his fearlessness, but he's no speed burner either. (Reed reminds me on defense of Geoff Jenkins - a guy who makes his share of mistakes but plays defense with gusto, never gives up on a ball, and makes catches he has no business making, but just not fast enough to play center every day).
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#126333) #
Craig, I cannot agree about Rios' speed. His acceleration is uninspired, but once he gets going, he is in my view faster than anyone on the team. When he played centerfield in double A, opposing managers routinely described his play as sensational.

I am not suggesting at all that he should be traded. I am merely saying that another team which lacks a centerfielder might perceive him as having great value due to his combined offensive and defensive abilities.

As for the height issue, the closest comp to Rios that I can think of is 6'6" Dave Winfield. Winfield ran well, but not as well as Rios, when he was young. For reasons that I am not quite sure of, the Padres elected to play the 6'3" George Hendrick in center most of the time, although Winfield probably would have done a better job. As soon as Hendrick arrived in St. Louis, they made him a rightfielder. In any event, there have been very few 6'5" outfielders who run very well and came through the high minors as centerfielders.
Craig B - Tuesday, August 23 2005 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#126341) #
I'll have to look more closely at how fast Rios is running when he makes catches, but I really think his point-to-point speed isn't good because of his slowish starts. I'd be delighted to be wrong about that.

I've always thought that the best way of determining how well a corner OF will run down balls in the gap as a centerfielder, is to look at how well he gets to balls flared into foul territory or right down the line. Rios is pretty good going back to the wall, and pretty good for a big guy on the balls hit in front of him, but I have to say he always disappoints me on balls hit to his left. He lets a lot of balls drop in foul territory or right at the line (and I know this is anecdotal) that I think of as catchable.

The fact that he's good going back to the wall, is a huge point in his favor. Maybe he could be a CF!
Will The Bronx Be Downs' Town? | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.