2 May 2007
Comments Off on 2b Dilemma
With Dustin Pedroia struggling with the bat and Alex Cora hot, hot, hot, there have been cries from the Red Sox fanbase to sit Pedroia and start Cora.
My take is that Alex Cora is a utility guy for a reason. He just so happens to be a fundementally sound hitter, but not overly loaded with talent with the bat. He can bunt, move runners along, but he lacks in an important catagory…the ability to hit well. His career average of .245 and obp of .311 and slg of .349 prove that out.
Don’t get me wrong, he is great in his role and an important asset for Boston, but he is not meant to hit everyday.
Pedroia on the other hand is a prospect and has hit for average and good obp at every level. Now he is at the majors and is struggling. I think it a bit premature to give up on him so soon though. Give him everyday play as long as A.) he doesn’t become a defensive liability and/or B.) his presence in the line-up doesn’t sink the team’s run scoring ability.
As someone pointed out today on the radio, the top AL prospect in baseball is Kansas City Royals 3b Alex Gordon, and he is hitting .167 with a .314 obp. So even the best struggle.
Derek Jeter – .250/.294/.375 in 1995
Mike Schmidt – .206/.325/.294 in 1972
Joe Morgan – .240/.367/.320 in 1963 and
Joe Morgan – .189/.302/.189 in 1964
A-Rod – .204/.241/.204 in 1994 and
A-Rod – .232/.264/.408 in 1995
The players above are Hall of Famers or on their way to the Hall. Imagine if their managers had decided they weren’t good players and buried them on the bench for good? Before you pounce, I’m not suggesting Pedroia is going to be a Hall of Famer, but I don’t think he is destined to be as bad as his average reflects at the moment.
What do you think?