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Saturday, March 13, 2004
note from aziz
i like letters. they give me a chance to clarify things. not retract, clarify.
Here are some thoughts:
Mauer, from reading ESPN’s feature on him (it’s good if you hvaen’t read it) is ready for the majors as a catcher, and with his great contact he won’t embarrass himself. Considering how many catchers there are who can’t hit but can catch/throw/call games well (all of which Mauer apparently does exceptionally well), I think saying “he’ll suck for a while” may be premature. If he does a good job outside of offense, he’d have to hit below .230 to earn the suck title.
.230 with no power is worse than sucking: it's unusable. mauer won't embarrass himself in a jack cust way, it'll be more of a neifi perez way. neifi has had a long, lucrative career, though, so who am i?
i think mauer's got a good shot; i just think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Jeremy Reed can and will develop power, imo. The guy is 6’ and only 160 pounds. He will fill out and get stronger, though he’s not super young at near-23. I added 15-20 pounds of muscle around age 25 and I’m no athlete.
Marte apparently has some defensive issues, so that’s something else he has to work on. I hope he develops, and I agree with you that he’s overrated.
Be careful what you call “total package”. Referring to Prince Fielder, he has no speed and who knows about his defense? He’s got it all as far as standing at the plate goes, but we both know there’s a lot more to it than hitting. For one thing, he has his father’s body type. He’s 5’11 *280* (at freaking nineteen!). So it’s seriously unlikely that he can play any kind of decent 1st base.
i haven't seen him, but i heard he slimmed down. either way, what i meant by "total package" was "total hitting package". it's a good thing you pointed that out. i wouldn't want to anoint young prince a star of speed or glove. but a bat that big will get in the lineup.
Also, don’t forget about Jose Reyes when talking about NL shortstops (errr, 2nd basemen who should be shortstops!).
unmentioned, but not forgotten. mini-raffy is a special player, but he's not yet clearly better than matsui.
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