Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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15 Jun

Barbaro Canizares

A great big righthanded hitter (listed at 240 lbs., and looks it) who was born to DH, but signed with the wrong league. Canizares defected in 2006 and hasn’t done anything since but hit the baseball, putting up a career minor league line of .318/.376/.461. He’s listed at 29, but who knows how accurate that is; if it’s true, he was playing at the top level in Cuba when he was 18. It’s not impossible.

Canizares does hit the ball hard; his plate judgment isn’t great, but it’s not too bad. In his limited major league action so far, he hasn’t really connected yet, but everyone can just tell that if he does it could go a long way. He doesn’t quite resemble any Brave of recent vintage; I tend to think of him as similar to Rico Carty, another righthanded hitter who couldn’t run or field.

The fielding issues may have been exaggerated; he isn’t Kotchman at the first base bag, but from what I’ve seen so far he won’t kill you. I can’t prove it, but I believe that the only really important difference at first base is between the guy who can make routine plays and the guy who can’t, the guy below the Dick Stuart Line. My guess is that there aren’t enough potential good plays to make it worth going with an inferior hitter for defense. It’s not clear that Kotchman is actually an inferior hitter to Canizares, though Canizares, if he hits as projected, fits the team’s needs better… Canizares is slow, but is 3-3 in his minor league career in stolen bases, and has three triples. You probably don’t want him hitting fifth, as putting him directly after McCann could lead to epic numbers of double plays, though since he mostly hits the ball in the air it might not be too bad.

Barbaro Canizares Minor League Statistics & History – Baseball-Reference.com

159 Responses to “Barbaro Canizares”

  1. 1
    td Says:

    Canizares reminds me a little of Francisco Cabrera, although I don’t remember much about Cabrera’s defense. Canizares supposedly has more power, but it hasn’t been too evident until this year.

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Cabrera was a catcher originally, and at one point was actually voted the best defensive catcher in his minor league, but got the bad-glove rep. He never was much at first base.

  3. 3
    kc Says:

    I don’t care if Franciso Cabrera is a pitcher. That one hit is all that matters, ha.

    Mac, for a guy that big, it’s surprising that he doesn’t hit for more power.

  4. 4
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think it was a stylistic choice, to try to make solid contact more consistently. He doesn’t seem, from what I can tell, to have a big uppercut swing like most contemporary hitters.

  5. 5
    PWHjort Says:

    From nbcsports.com’s “Circling The Bases”:

    Orioles 11, Braves 2: Brad Bergesen has only given up six runs in his last 32 innings. Not that he needed to be that good against the Braves on Sunday, as Ty Wigginton hit two home runs and Robert Andino drove in three runs and freakin’ stole home. The steal was on a botched rundown play so it was not some feat of derring-do. That botch caused Bobby Cox to pull Yunel Escobar from the game. I can’t recall Jeff Francoeur ever getting pulled out of a game for doing something stupid (and it’s certainly not for a lack of opportunity) so why Escobar had to go I have no idea. I can only guess that Francoeur has Bobby Cox’s grandchildren locked in a tower someplace and vows not to release them unless he’s given 160 starts a year.

  6. 6
    cliff Says:

    And PWHjort,

    The favoritism that is shown to Francoeur has to be a poison in that clubhouse.

    Yunel needs his butt yanked to the bench about once a week until he stops being stupid. But, Frenchy needs to join him. And anybody that doesn’t hustle, needs to sit.

    We REALLY need Cox to go. We REALLY need it to be NOW.

  7. 7
    Joe Lee Says:

    Hey y’all. Anyone know which blog or site is the earliest to post the lineup before games?

  8. 8
    csg Says:

    Canizares is a player that can help this team, esp with the DH this week, but Im sure he’ll be sent down tomorrow if Kotch is ready and the useless 5th OF’r of Blanco will remain

  9. 9
    Johnny Says:

    ‘My guess is that there aren’t enough potential good plays to make it worth going with an inferior hitter for defense. ‘

    Does that count for Right Field too?

    edit: .318/.376/.461. What does a guy have to do to get a shot? In the true Braves way he must not LOOK good putting up those kinds of numbers.

  10. 10
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    From Talking Chop I now know that the Braves did sign LaPoint. This will be an interesting draft class: lots of no names–but at least in Northcutt and LaPoint they have two young starters with good upsides. Now, if they can sign the rest of their top 10 and then add two of the following pitchers: Dorris, Upperman, Icard, Walden, Montgomery, Bourgeios and Harris, they will have done a great job of restocking arms. It would also be nice to get Rauh or Carrillo….

  11. 11
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The first posted lineup I see is usually in the comments at the AJC blog.

  12. 12
    Stu Says:

    They’re not signing Dorris.

  13. 13
    Johnny Says:

    @10 Just curious. You are obviously knowledgeable about the Brave’s minors. Do you study all the minors or just the Brave’s? So maybe you can answer the question. Why does a guy that is a career .318/.376/.461 minor league hitter
    not get a shot sooner. I mean if Kotch doesn’t get hurt he never gets a chance.

  14. 14
    csg Says:

    #7 – fox sports or the ajc blog usually get them up 1st

    after the #’s barbaro put up last year, I dont understand why the org didnt at least give him and invite to ST. It doesnt make sense and it does nothing to help his value. I guess they thought they could just let him rot away at AAA. Someone, if not the Braves, could use a player like him

  15. 15
    td Says:

    If the Braves keep Blanco it will be for defensive purposes. Considering Blanco’s arm, it’s not like he’s a huge upgrade over the guys we have out there now. Well, pretty much anyone can be an upgrade over Anderson.

  16. 16
    csg Says:

    well there is no point to keep Blanco up as a 5th of’r. If he was a util player then maybe

  17. 17
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    What I don’t understand is why Barbaro didn’t get a chance, but didn’t get Rule 5′d, either. You’d imagine that if the Braves were that committed to not playing him, they wouldn’t have protected him.

  18. 18
    ububba Says:

    More Met Pain: Gary Sheffield to get an MRI on sore knee.

  19. 19
    PWHjort Says:

    AAR,
    He’s never been rule 5 eligible. You have to play 4 full minor league seasons off of the 40-man roster (5 if you were signed before the age of 18) to be rule 5 eligible.

  20. 20
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Whew! Braves have exactly one off day bewteen now and the All-Star break.
    Somebody drag out the pitching machine!

  21. 21
    Smitty Says:

    @20

    Not to worry, our season only has a week and a half left anyways.

  22. 22
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Johnny–I only have time to watch the Braves’ system, but I am happy to take a peak elsewhere. When one looks at drafted players, it is important to bear in mind that each faces very difficult odds (if making the big leagues is the goal) of achieving success.

    Every player is different, but a couple of things come to mind: first with good batting numbers, but without promotion there is every chance that he is a poor fielder or a slow runner.

    Now for Canizares the most important number is 29–which is his age. There are some exceptions, but after about 26 a player ususally ceases to be considered a prospect….

  23. 23
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    #12–They should not be able to sign Dorris, but they did Milligan….

  24. 24
    sansho1 Says:

    To be fair to Canizares, he had just arrived in the US at age 26. He led the Cuban league in multiple offensive categories multiple times IIRC.

  25. 25
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I have severe doubts about that age. I think it’s at least as likely he’s 31.

  26. 26
    Adam M Says:

    Out of curiosity, is all this talk about trading Vazquez emanating from a real source or is it simply based on the very real possibility that the Braves are facing a budget crunch? I mean, are there actual rumors out there?

  27. 27
    sansho1 Says:

    Could be, Mac. I was responding more to Stephen about whether he could be considered a “prospect”.

  28. 28
    Stu Says:

    Stephen,
    They took Milligan in the 6th round and paid him like a 3rd-rounder. And Milligan was a JuCo kid who would have only been playing college ball for a year, anyway. There was very little doubt that the Braves were going to sign Milligan last year.

    Dorris was taken in the 45th round. There’s simply no way the Braves are going to be willing to offer a 45th-rounder the kind of money it would take to get him to even consider not coming to school.

    One caveat: VU is in a bit of a roster crunch, and it’s possible that Corbin would tell Dorris, not one of our most highly-regarded recruits, that he’s unlikely to see the field in the immediate future; in that case, if the Braves offer decent money, he might sign. That’s really unlikely, though.

  29. 29
    Dan Says:

    Athletes may pose nude for ESPN mag

    WTF?

  30. 30
    csg Says:

    #26 – its just speculation on our part, no rumors. We need to make room for Huddy and need to find a bat somehow. JV could be a way of doing that

  31. 31
    Stu Says:

    29—Bob Wickman, please.

  32. 32
    Smitty Says:

    @29

    Beach Volleyball. They are almost naked anways.

  33. 33
    Ron E. Says:

    Why not platoon Canizares and Kotchman for the rest of the season? There’s any number of players on the roster that are completely worthless and can be sent down, released, or traded instead (Medlen, Anderson, Johnson, Moylan, and Francoeur all come to mind). Barbaro would be nice to have vs lefty pitchers and as a power hitting pinch hitter.

  34. 34
    hankonly Says:

    Love the poll question, Mac.

    For you callow yutes, one of the early SNL skits had Bill Murray as the host of “Quien es Mas Macho” – a game show that simply asked that question.

    It was hilarious in an altered states sort of way …

  35. 35
    ububba Says:

    #29
    A nude photo shoot with Matt Stairs & Prince Fielder at an Ibiza foam party.

    http://tinyurl.com/l24qaj

  36. 36
    hankonly Says:

    Ain’t no way in hell I’m clicking on that link …

    Btw, Cecil Fielder (fully clothed) is giving lessons at an indoor store/practice facility in Smyrna.

  37. 37
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Knowing ESPN’s cross-promotional tendencies, I just hope we aren’t faced with Live Nude Kruk.

  38. 38
    jjschiller Says:

    “I’m not upset,” Schafer said. “I’m not mad. I understand 100 percent why I’m here. I think once I get playing again and once I get comfortable, I think I can go back up and help the team win this year.”

    And that’s why I don’t think he’ll be another Francine.

  39. 39
    ububba Says:

    Hank,
    Nothing that would ruffle any feathers or challenge one’s sexuality, plus it’s The Rolling Stones…promise.

  40. 40
    PWHjort Says:

    Peanut seems to think we can get Jeremy Hermida for Jeff Francoeur. Ha.

  41. 41
    braves14 Says:

    Peanut doesn’t seem to have a baseball IQ except for what the Braves tell him to say.

  42. 42
    sdp Says:

    I’d like to hear Earl Weaver’s comments if he were Jeff Francoeur’s manager. It’d probably be somewhere along the lines of his Terry Crowley assessment.

  43. 43
    urlhix Says:

    I thought that too, sdp. “He should feel %&*˚∆¬˚ˆ lucky to stand out there and watch the %$# *@^# game for nine innings, like every other fan” etc…

  44. 44
    ububba Says:

    “If this (bleeper) doesn’t hit for power anymore, what (bleeping) good is this (bleeper)?”

  45. 45
    FlaBravesFan Says:

    I’d take Hemedia for Frenchy, but wouldmt thatr make our lineup a little left handed heavy?

  46. 46
    kc Says:

    I really like Schafer, and I like him even more after reading the interview. I still think very highly of him despite his early struggle.

    jjschiller, I agree, he is not another frenchy for sure.

    http://www.ajc.com/braves/content/sports/braves/stories/2009/06/15/braves_jordan_schafer.html

  47. 47
    kc Says:

    “Hudson is nearing a return to action. Last week, he threw 60 pitches at 75 percent, “mixing in some change-ups, sprinkling in some cutters.” Barring any setbacks, the plan is for him to be throwing batting practice by the beginning of July and make a minor-league rehab start sometime around July 19. He hopes that leads to his return to the rotation by mid-August.”

    I didn’t know he can be “ready” this soon…

    http://www.ajc.com/braves/content/sports/braves/stories/2009/06/15/braves_tim_hudson.html

  48. 48
    mraver Says:

    @45- That’s true, but it would make our lineup less suck-heavy, so overall I think it’s a net win.

    And the reason Schafer is “not another Frenchy” is that he can at least play pretty good defense in CF.

  49. 49
    kc Says:

    What is surprise! HoRo signed with the Natspos!

  50. 50
    JC Says:

    From the AJC interview with Schafer.

    Q: What about the trade for McLouth?

    A: McLouth makes us a better team. Am I hurt by it or upset by it? No. If he can help us win, then by all means, let’s get him. I have no worries for myself. When I figure things out, I’ll be back up. I don’t feel it’s a roadblock for me at all.

    Q: How can it not be since he plays your position?

    A: The Braves have reassured me that when I’m ready to come back, when I figure things out, that I’ll be ready to go.

  51. 51
    kc Says:

    Gondeee did a good job over on Talking Chop to explain why trading Javy is the most logical trade candidate to improve the offense. I don’t like the names he was throwing in the article on the bats we can bring in, but his thinking logic in the first part of the article is essentially the same as what I think.

  52. 52
    Ethan Says:

    @49

    Haha. After the Royals, what other options were there?

    With regard to KK, I don’t think that he is bad. I agree with JC’s, assessment; however, I just wish the resources had been distributed a little more evenly between the lineup and the rotation during the offseason.

    Of the three pitchers acquired, he seems the most superfluous.

  53. 53
    kc Says:

    Ethan, I honestly don’t see how KK can be superfluous. If we don’t have KK now, who would you plug in for his spot? Putting both Hanson and Medlen in the rotation at the same time or bringing back Glavine?

  54. 54
    Robert Says:

    With regard to KK, I don’t think that he is bad. I agree with JC’s, assessment; however, I just wish the resources had been distributed a little more evenly between the lineup and the rotation during the offseason.

    Me too. At least the games are quicker, but you can’t really punt the outfield and be considered serious.

  55. 55
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Holy cow, this Japanese High School baseball documentary on PBS is powerful. Great stuff.

  56. 56
    Johnny Says:

    If I recall Kawakami was obtained before we knew we had Lowe. So is Lowe superflous? I have to believe that Wren tried to get a better outfielder than ACHE but was limited by either money or what other teams were asking for in return.

  57. 57
    Johnny Says:

    Jordan Schafer has just earned a lot of fan points with me. I hope he can get his stroke back and get back to the show soon.

  58. 58
    sdp Says:

    Schafer should have started the interview by saying, “This has put a damper on my relationship with the Atlanta Braves,” and then busted out into a howling laughter.

  59. 59
    kc Says:

    Schafer is a great kid. I am looking forward to seeing him back in the centerfield and McLouth in left or right.

  60. 60
    c. shorter Says:

    59 — Preferably right.

  61. 61
    sdp Says:

    Certain corners of the intertubes suggest this was the girl McLouth was nailin’ in Pittsburgh.

  62. 62
    kc Says:

    @60 That’s my preference too, but the chance of Ganderson leaving should be greater than Frenchy. Our outfield defense would actually be pretty good with the trio of McLouth-Schafer-Frenchy.

  63. 63
    braves14 Says:

    Remember, Wren was tasked with the assignment of rebuilding a 70 win team. This is more than a one year rebuilding plan, so he figured the best way to get us back around .500 was to rebuild the rotation so that we were in every game.

    Look for him to acquire a big bat in the offseason.

  64. 64
    jj3bagger Says:

    61, props to Mr McLouth. Maybe that’s why he’s called Nate the Great.

  65. 65
    PWHjort Says:

    50,
    Apparently nobody told the AJC that Nate sucks defensively.
    45,
    We’ve hit lefties better than righties this season, so I don’t see it as an issue.

  66. 66
    ububba Says:

    Watching the MLB Network’s broadcast of Game 1 of the 1968 WS is pretty cool. It’s amazing to see how little time each AB takes. Nobody steps out of the box against Bob Gibson (natch) or Denny McLain.

    The postgame discussion, taped recently it seems, between Bob Costas, Bob Gibson & Tim McCarver is fascinating. You can tell that Gibson still burns at the memory of losing that WS.

    And he’s still mad at Lou Brock for not sliding into home during Game 5.

  67. 67
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Stu–I recognize that signing Dorris is a long shot–if only because the Braves normally don’t pursue their last 10-15 picks. My only caveat would be this: the Braves may have saved money at the top of the draft and might use it to secure players like Dorris. High school pitchers with impressive ceilings are what the organization has usually spent good money to obtain. At this point, I think they probably have just two: LaPoint and Northcutt.

    I agree that Dorris will probably be a Commandore.

    With respect to Milligan, it would have made more sense to have him join Vandy. As it is, he has yet to play an inning of minor league ball and he is now 21. Best case scenario now puts him the in majors as a 25-26 year old rookie. Not impossible, but I think that the fact he did not play last summer (due to injury) made his trajectory a lot less impressive.

  68. 68
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    66–I would like to see that: I was in elementary school in Nashville (partly a Cardinal town) and we were allowed to watch it live…..No small thing in 3rd grade….

  69. 69
    Timo Says:

    There’s an Q&A with Schafer on AJC. Here’s something intresting:

    Q: What about the slogan on your arm?

    A: It reminds me I can overcome things. It keeps me humble, no matter how good things get. My tattoo guy was making fun of me about how much I struck out. It was refreshing to have someone be honest, because outside [the clubhouse], everybody says you’re great. It’s nice just to hear somebody say, ‘Dude you struck out way too much.’

    Hm, maybe the tattoo guy should replace TP or…or send Frenchy get a tattoo?!

  70. 70
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Osuna got rocked–but otherwise the pitching in the system was nice last night. Good to see that Ortegano had his second straight quality start and DiMaster Delgado appears ready to take the South Atlantic League by storm…..

  71. 71
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Speaking of the Cardinals in the 1960s–Hal Woodeshick died.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/11859384

    He was more memorable as a Houston Colt .45….

  72. 72
    hankonly Says:

    DeRosa has 12 home runs. How many does the Braves leader have?

    Sure would look good in right or 2B …

  73. 73
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    I am beginning to think more at 2B than in RF….

  74. 74
    Johnny Says:

    I wonder if we had offered the McClouth package to the Indians if we would have gotten DeRosa.
    He is having a better year than McLouth. But…
    He’s 34
    not a CF
    I think more expensive.

    But he’s right handed and to the point can play the corners and 2b.
    I’d still like to try and get him. Just not sure what we have that the Indians want. Medlen?

  75. 75
    marc schneider Says:

    Ububba,

    Gibson would never have put up with hitters stepping out or leaning over the plate like they do now. He would have drilled them.

    It’s also interesting to compare the batting numbers during the “Year of the Pitcher” when a WS-winning team had a third-baseman hitting .200. Different era for sure. They generally didn’t have dark hitting backgrounds back then so, especially during the World Series games played in the day, it could be awfully hard to hit.

    And, what’s with those goofy Tony Kubek interviews? Did NBC think these were interesting?

    Also, on the ball that Curt Flood missed in Game 7 that cost the Cardinals the World Series, it’s pretty clear, as Gibson points out, that Flood misjudged (or didn’t see the ball). It happens. But, Flood, in his book “The Way it IS” blames Walter O’Malley, the Dodger owner, for him missing the ball. The argument is that O’Malley had enough power to manipulate the schedule for the Dodgers’ benefit, which resulted in other teams, like the Cardinals, not having enough days off or traveling too much, so that by the time they got to the World Series, Flood was tired and that’s why he missed the ball.

    I know Jeffy can’t read, but that’s world-class excuse-making that exceeds even what Francy is capable of. I wonder if he learned it from Flood.

  76. 76
    sansho1 Says:

    Not to mention their starting SS batted all of .135.

  77. 77
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    1968–It was also the year that Gibson challenged Don Drysdale’s newly minted scoreless inning streak (also 1968) on his way to posting a 1.12 ERA….

  78. 78
    sansho1 Says:

    BBRef’s neutralize stats function is great, especially using the 1968 numbers. Willie McCovey had this season in 1968:

    .293/.378/.545 81 R, 36 HR, 105 RBI

    This was the best offensive season by anyone in the NL by a fair margin. It’s also a fair projection of what Casey Blake has hit so far this year.

    Those numbers translated to a neutral 2008 NL park would look like this:

    .331/.421/.618 106 R, 43 HR, 137 RBI

    And if Coors Field, circa 2000, had been his home park?

    .378/.473/.708 146 R, 53 HR, 188 RBI

    Speaking of 2000 Coors, here’s Ichiro’s yearly hit totals had he played in that environment:

    321, 265, 275, 329, 267, 294, 309, 284

  79. 79
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Is Ichiro a 3,000 hit man?
    I don’t have a copy of “the favorite toy” projection formula, but if someone would figure his odds and speculate, I’d appreciate it.

  80. 80
    barrycuda Says:

    Canizares is similar to Rico Carty??……theres a stretch…if hes anywhere near the hitter Carty was, he can play 1st base without a glove for all i care. hell, he can play shortstop………..Carty trivia………The Beeg Fella trusted nobody and played with his wallet in his pocket.

  81. 81
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    In 1968 in the AL, Yaz (who won the Triple Crown in 1967) led the league in hitting with just a .301 average….I believe that it remains the lowest league leader

  82. 82
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’m not saying he’s as good as Carty, but he’s a similar type of player.

  83. 83
    Seat Painter Says:

    Ichiro is 35, and has 1892 hits as of Sunday. So 5 and a half more years at 200 hits per season would do it when he turns 40. Still a ways to go, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

  84. 84
    sansho1 Says:

    Ichiro arrived in the US at age 27.

    Most career hits, including and after age 27:

    Rose – 3357
    Sam Rice – 2925
    Honus Wagner – 2766
    Cap Anson – 2710

    Before this season I’d have said he wouldn’t make it to 3000 — now he’s having maybe his best offensive year. So I won’t bet against him, because I’m rooting for it to happen.

    FYI he now has 3170 professional hits, putting him 1086 hits short of Rose. Another milestone I’ll be pulling for…

  85. 85
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Re@83
    Thanks, Seat Painter. This question comes from an argument about a silly poll. Sporting News rated Ichiro #30 among the “50 Greatest Major Leaguers” this season. Does thirtieth seem low to you?

    This guy gets 200+ hits each year, scores a hundred runs, and wins Gold Gloves in right. Will it take 3000 hits to get him into the HOF?

  86. 86
    Mac Thomason Says:

    He’s a good player, but he doesn’t have any power to speak of, and he’s just 25th among active players in on-base because he doesn’t walk much. 30th seems about right, even with his rebound this year.

  87. 87
    sansho1 Says:

    Personally, I think Ichiro would make the HOF even if he went back to Japan after 2010, ten years being the minimum amount of major league service time required for consideration. He’s not the impact player he’s sometimes made out to be, but he’s the best ever at what he does, with the possible exceptions of Rose and Willie Keeler.

  88. 88
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Yaz (who won the Triple Crown in 1967) led the league in hitting with just a .301 average….I believe that it remains the lowest league leader

    10th lowest title alltime, 5th in the NL?

    Terry Pendleton

  89. 89
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Good discussion. I may be suffering from rightfielder envy.

  90. 90
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Sporting News rated Ichiro #30 among the “50 Greatest Major Leaguers” this season. Does thirtieth seem low to you?

    Personally, I think he only gets in the discussion if you give him some mental credit for what he did in Japan. Given that the vast majority of his starts have come in RF, a career OPS+ of 117 (yes I know it understates OBP, but his ain’t THAT great either) he does not compare favorably with his peers. Thinking about it, even crediting his defense, I don’t really see how you could put him in your all time top 50. He’s been a Very Good player, but nowhere near inner circle, which I think is what we mean by top fifty to have ever played the game.

  91. 91
    Stu Says:

    63—This has sort of been my thinking, but I don’t know that we have, or are able to get, the financial flexibility required to make that offensive upgrade this offseason.

    67—The Braves would have to give Dorris a lot of money to get him out of his VU commitment. I can’t imagine them giving a 45th-rounder Top 5-10 round money, and that’s what it would take to get him to even consider signing. Seriously, under Tim Corbin, it takes some serious bank for kids not to come to school. He’s been here since 2003 and lost only six recruits to the draft. (Of course, three of those were last year.) Several guys have turned down big-time money.

    As for Milligan, there was no way to know he’d be injured when they signed him, was there?

    Finally: “Commandore”??? Come on!

  92. 92
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    He’s not the impact player he’s sometimes made out to be, but he’s the best ever at what he does, with the possible exceptions of Rose and Willie Keeler.

    To recycle a tired meme, Tony Gwynn and Rod Carew say hi.

  93. 93
    sdp Says:

    I keep hopping online to see if Francoeur has been jettisoned.

  94. 94
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/article/2009-05-20/sporting-news-top-50-mlb-players

    Ah. 50 Greatest right now. Sure, 30th or so. Disregard 90.

  95. 95
    Johnny Says:

    @93 Me too.

  96. 96
    sansho1 Says:

    @92

    Ha, fair enough. Perhaps if I add the caveat of being in the lineup every day, year after year, the comparison I made is strengthened a bit.

  97. 97
    ububba Says:

    If Ichiro finishes his requisite decade in MLB with an even remotely representative year in 2010, he’s in Cooperstown easy. Hell, even if he doesn’t.

    We can debate just how good he is/was, but he’s a HOFer, sure.

  98. 98
    Johnny Says:

    Stu – I have a daughter mildly interested in Vandy. How is the experience there? Size of school, stuff to do in Nashville, campus life, safe location in Nashville? It goes without saying that the school has a great academic rep. How do grads from there do when it comes time to compete for jobs? I know it depends on the field of study but in general. I’ve been trying to convince her to put Vandy on her short list.

  99. 99
    cliff Says:

    Mac, (and others who have historical perspective),

    My memory is that Carty was probably a little better fielder than Dunn and Burrell before he had TB. He played left. Then, in his “post rehab” stint (he missed more than a full season in a “sanitarium”), his offense briefly came back to almost the same level, but his defense descended into the depths of hell (like Dunn or Burrell).

    Am I remembering right?

  100. 100
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I didn’t see Carty play, but statistically you may be right; his range factors in left before 1969 are about average.

  101. 101
    PWHjort Says:

    If you consider Ichiro’s NPB accomplishments along with his MLB accomplishments he’s certainly a HOF’er. I don’t know that his MLB accomplishments alone are enough to get him into the HOF.

  102. 102
    cliff Says:

    ububba,

    I am not sure a 10 year Ichiro gets in Cooperstown. There are only a few short career guys there. A few I remember are Koufax (12 years?, but he was dominant in a way that Ichiro isn’t and gets some “tragedy vote” for the injuries”) and DiMaggio (16 years, but left at 34 or so) and Kirby Puckett (14 years? and also “tragedy” of eye problems). Many players are 20 year guys (they are good enough to rise early and stay late).

    If Ichiro leaves in 2010 he won’t get in unless a lot of committee members count the Japanese service. And, I think 10% are against anybody that has any reason they aren’t clear cut and he only has to lose another 15% of voters or he is cooked.

    I think he needs to stay 4 to 5 more years after 2010 at fairly good production (say 220, 200, 190, 180 on hits and Ba 320, 300, 290, 275).

  103. 103
    Stu Says:

    Well, I’m incredibly biased, Johnny. My experience was and continues to be great.

    Size of school: ~6,000 undergrads, ~1500 per class.

    Stuff to do in Nashville: There’s always music, and not just country, as many assume. (Though there’s certainly plenty of that.) Good restaurants, a couple of really nice, big parks nearby. I mean, Nashville’s not small; it’s not a college town. There’s always something going on.

    Campus life: With the new freshman area (“The Commons”–step 1 in the move toward a residential colleges system), she’d have a sweet place to live her first year. Traditionally, something like 50% of girls are involved in the Greek system, though that’s decreasing every year. And there’s plenty going on and plenty of people not in the system, so she’d have stuff to do regardless. (Neither my wife nor I were Greek, and we both had a blast.) There’s always stuff going on around campus. Lots of student organizations, a nice rec center, lots of speakers. For example, in my time, I went to speeches (free to students, of course) by Spike Lee, Ralph Nader, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And I was among the lazier speech-goers; there were a lot more available. And you won’t find many prettier campuses.

    The sports scene has already gotten a lot better since I was there (graduated in ’04), too.

    Location: Nashville isn’t a high-crime city, anyway, but West Nashville is very safe.

    What other schools is she considering?

  104. 104
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The thing about the HOF is that it’s pretty much limited its purview to people who made their names in the regular major leagues or in segregated baseball. Its full name is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; its purview is American (including Canadian, but not Mexican or Caribbean) professional baseball. So I don’t know if you can consider what happened in Japan, at all.

  105. 105
    sansho1 Says:

    Since there’s no real standard for induction, it basically comes down to reading the tea leaves, which tell me that Ichiro has probably done just about all he needs to do. It will also help to have been scandal-free in scandal-ridden times.

  106. 106
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Gosh, ububba, he would have some AWFULLY low counting stats and rate stats for HOF’s from his era . Can you quantify the argument for Ichiro (concede he will get to 2000 hits). As a RF, I would think he would be historically low offensively, absent clear mistakes like Harry Hooper and accounting for low offense eras.

    Average HOF RF Stats v Ichiro!

    0.312 AVG .332

    .385 OBP .377

    .475 SLG .433

    253 HR 78

    1,326 RBI 486

    1,476 Runs 913

    238 SB 238

    In the mix sure, but I think you could make a decent argument against.

  107. 107
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Similar Batters through 34
    View Player Links in Pop-up
    Compare Stats to Similars

    1. Jack Tobin (904)
    2. Ralph Garr (899)
    3. Ken Griffey (891)
    4. Mickey Rivers (883)
    5. Wally Moses (882)
    6. Kenny Lofton (880)
    7. Pete Fox (878)
    8. Dom DiMaggio (872)
    9. Matty Alou (871)
    10. Doc Cramer (870)

    Um… No.

  108. 108
    cliff Says:

    spike,

    I agree. Absent at least a “wink and a nod” for Japanese production, Ichiro just doesn’t stand up. If you assume he stayed in AAA until his U. S. debut, the 10 years don’t cut it.

  109. 109
    sansho1 Says:

    I think you guys are confusing a deservedness argument with a likelihood argument. As Snoop from The Wire said, deserve ain’t got nothing to do with it….

    They just put Joe Gordon in.

  110. 110
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Oh, if you look at him on the HOF Monitor, there’s no doubt he’ll get it. He’s higher than Chipper or Vlad or Biggio or Bagwell.

  111. 111
    cliff Says:

    Although,

    the acceptance of Negro League participation toward the HOF does have a partially related component. That is, the legal system in Japan bars players from playing elsewhere under a reserve clause type arrangment. MLB has been a “co-conspirator in this restraint of trade”. Therefore, Ichiro’s non participation may have been forced by the rules of the game, rather than by his lesser ability to perform.

    So, maybe something like this opens the door to consideration of Japanese league performance.

  112. 112
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    If we are limited to arguing who will be let in, as opposed to who should, it becomes a much less interesting topic for me. The BBWAA and VC have precious little value in determining much of anything outside their parochial interests.

  113. 113
    sansho1 Says:

    Then I have to cop to the fact that I was making the less interesting argument. :)

  114. 114
    cliff Says:

    Mac,

    What moron figures the numbers in that batting thing on Hall of Fame monitor?

    9 years of Ichiro is worth almost as much 16 years of “the Big Hurt”? Is worth more than 21 years of Gary Sheffield? Is worth more than 14 years of Chipper?

    Ichiro is allergic to walks and has an awfully low ISO to even be in the discussion with those guys. Every one of them has higher OBP besides ISO. And it says “batters”. Maybe they are adjusting for fielding, but ther isn’t that much room to adjust there.

  115. 115
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    HOF Monitor (I think) tries to measure who will get in over who should. By the HOF Standards monitor he is at 33 (avg 50) and waaaay down the list.

  116. 116
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Sansho, your argument was compelling, as I conceded :)

  117. 117
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, Standards and Monitor are both Bill James inventions; the Monitor is an “amoral” system designed to predict who will go in. Traditionally, 100 points would be a HOFer, with 125 a certain HOFer, but that’s probably crept up. Ichiro does lots of things (high batting averages, high hit totals) that have traditionally impressed HOF voters, who are not very sophisticated. A 200-hit season (Ichiro has 200 or more hits in every one of his seasons) is worth five points, though I don’t think anyone would think it’s really that valuable.

  118. 118
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    How are you feeling today, Mac?

  119. 119
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Much better. A little spacey, but no pain or anything.

  120. 120
    Stu Says:

    So, Yunel-ish?

    Glad you’re better, Mac.

  121. 121
    sansho1 Says:

    Chipper shows up artificially low because he went so long without ever leading the league in any offensive category.

    Good, Mac. Glad to hear it.

  122. 122
    Seat Painter Says:

    @85

    I’m no cognoscenti, but I can think of probably 15 hitters off the top of my head I’d rather have than Ichiro. Add in pitchers, and 30 seems about right, given he’s a one trick pony (but it is a HELL of a trick I admit).

  123. 123
    Johnny Says:

    @120 LOL! A new adjective for the Braves Journal Glossary?

    Mac, Glad to hear you are feeling better.

    @107 A lot of very good but not great players in that list.

    Stu – she has Univeristy of Virginia, Duke and Davidson College so far on her visit list. She also made mention of Univ of Chicago and Northwestern as well but I think the winter weather thing has dampened her enthusiasm for those places. Right now the kid is in summer mode now so my challenge is to get her to think about this process just a little.

  124. 124
    Jason C Says:

    I certainly hope the numbers have crept up for the Monitor. It states that anyone over 100 is a “good possibility.” Jason Kendall is at 107.

    Oddly, Andruw is at 101. I would think he were much more “likely” than Kendall, given all the GG.

    EDIT: Glad to hear you are feeling better, Mac.

  125. 125
    Stu Says:

    123—Davidson is in the middle of nowhere. Talk about boring. For me, a major university was (and still is) more appealing than a small liberal arts college, but that’s obviously a personal-preference thing.

    I think UVA would be a lot of fun. While I generally prefer bigger cities to college towns, I’ve enjoyed my visits to Charlottesville and I have a few friends and acquaintances who went to UVA in sone capacity and really enjoyed their time there.

    Duke is a lot like Vanderbilt, but with less Texas and more New Jersey. Duke is several years ahead of Vanderbilt as far as weeding out the rich doofuses and focusing more directly on academics, but Vanderbilt (and Nashville) are probably more “fun,” however important that is to you.

    UChicago is like Davidson for me in that there’s not much to the school other than the academics. (Though Chicago, my favorite city in the country, is obviously awesome.) I never wanted to go to a school without D-I athletics. (Please refrain from VU jokes.) Northwestern is great but for the winter weather.

  126. 126
    Johnny Says:

    125 Stu, thanks for the perspective. Its been a long time since I attended college. Yeah, fun is important. Lets face it, and I don’t want to discourage our young posters here, college is the last ‘free’ 4 years of a persons life. They should be enjoyed to the fullest.

  127. 127
    Jason C Says:

    I wouldn’t really call Davidson “middle of nowhere” as it’s basically in a suburb of Charlotte. It is however, a very small school and no D-I athletics.

    I’ve also heard that Charlottesville is a great college town. But if I had the options your daughter has, and the financial ability (I had neither the grades nor the money), I’d jump at the chance to go to Vandy or Duke.

    Since Nashville >>> Durham, I’d rank them: Vandy, Duke, UVA, Davidson. But all 4 are fine academic institutions. As such, congratulations to your daughter, Johnny. And to you for raising her.

  128. 128
    c. shorter Says:

    Johnny, even has a VT fan, I really enjoyed getting a masters at UVa. Charlottesville is a beautiful place (perhaps I’m biased because it’s near home, but the campus is gorgeous regardless). The undergrad students I taught there were really on the ball and all seemed driven to do well.

  129. 129
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Um… I’m pretty sure that Davidson is Division I. They just play I-AA (I won’t use the new name) in football.

  130. 130
    Jason C Says:

    Hmm, I stand corected. I always assumed Davidson was D-II since they didn’t participate in the Southern Conference for football. But no, they are in the Pioneer Conference, which is indeed I-AA. (Mac, I share in your disdain for the new I-AA moniker).

  131. 131
    Stu Says:

    Good point, Mac. My bad on the UChicago-Davidson comp.

  132. 132
    ububba Says:

    Let’s say in a 10-year career, he has 10 200-hit seasons & 10 all-star teams (he has 8 so far & probably 9 after this year). Add an MVP, a ROY and the single-season hit record & 8 Gold Gloves (so far).

    Seems like a Hall of Famer to me.

  133. 133
    Hate King Says:

    I seem to remember Stephen Curry dominating the NCAA tournament two seasons ago. The entire school is Divison I with the exception of football. The football team is non-scholarship D I-AA. The soccer program used to be legit and the baseball program occasionally has a player drafted.

  134. 134
    Nick Says:

    It might’ve been kinda cool to be at Davidson from a sports standpoint the last couple of years, but if you were just coming in now, you just missed probably the most exciting two years in Davidson sports history. I would expect that it would go back to being pretty drab from that standpoint.

  135. 135
    sdp Says:

    DAMMIT. I come in from a two-hour class and Francoeur is still on this team?!

  136. 136
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    I think that Ichiro is probably already an HOF player….While it is not clear how the Japanese numbers will be evaluated, I suspect in his case they will be used to confirm greatness….

    Johnny–Davidson would be great school as is Vandy….of course when you refer to the last 4 free years, I think back to CofC–a fun place to study and to teach!

  137. 137
    bfan Says:

    “DAMMIT. I come in from a two-hour class and Francoeur is still on this team?!”

    I guess to the Braves’ credit they are trying to get much more in return for Francoeur than they are giving, so I do not see it happening. Certainly the 2 Marlins outfielders we have asked for, if we send them Frenchie, would be a good upgrade for the Braves, but why would the Marlins do that? They are more in the race than we are, right now.

    Does anyone smell a rat here? Maybe the front office, in an effort to appease the vocal minority, is acting as if they want to trade him, but are making demands in return that pretty much guarantee that we will not be able to move him?

  138. 138
    Hate King Says:

    Has anyone seen a list of drafted players that have signed with the Braves?

  139. 139
    Johnny Says:

    Y’all I sure hope that I didn’t come across as the OBNOXIOUS bragging Dad even though I came across as the bragging dad.

    #127 Jason – thanks a lot.

    Alas, I think that sports is the last criteria that she has in mind.

    Edit: Stephen, now I remember you taught at The College (as Charlestonians call it). Man you should see the campus now. I tried to get my daughter interested to go there. Heck her grand parents are 10 miles away. But I guess theres not enough academic prestige for her.

  140. 140
    sdp Says:

    Johnny, I’m a junior at Clemson. Does she want to be an engineer? (Hah!)

    Have her to aim as high as she can when it comes to choosing a university. I like Clemson, but I only applied to two schools. In hindsight, I would have applied to a lot more and broadened my potential horizons.

  141. 141
    Jason C Says:

    Johnny, you have every right to be an obnoxious bragging dad, even though you didn’t come off as one. Heck, if any of my kids get accepted to those schools, I’ll do enough bragging for both of us.

    Ichiro is a HOF. Easily.

    I don’t buy the Frency to the Marlins rumour either. Why would the Braves trade him within the division? I mean, as frustrated as we all are with him, doesn’t he have at least some chance to rebound and have Joe Carter’s career?

    Bobby nixed the McGriff trade to the Marlins, I doubt he’d want to send Golden Boy there.

  142. 142
    sdp Says:

    @141: Joe Carter? No way. McFrenchy is on the Tony Graffanino career track.

  143. 143
    Johnny Says:

    sdp – she hasn’t got a clue.

    Way back in the day I was accepted to Clemson. Easily the best of the public SC Universities back in the 70′s (apologies to any Gamecocks out there but it was true back then) but even then money was an issue so I ended up attending the College of Charleston.

    edit: I disagree. The Braves will trade him within the division. They’ll trade him to the Toyo Carp. They’ll offer him to Man United. They are in negotiations this minute with Cuba. You get the picture. sdp – I am hoping too man

  144. 144
    PWHjort Says:

    132,
    But the hall is also about accumulating massive numbers and there’s only so much you can do in 10 years. I think that if there’s anyone that can make it to the hall in 10 years, though, it is Ichiro.

  145. 145
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Let’s say in a 10-year career, he has 10 200-hit seasons & 10 all-star teams (he has 8 so far & probably 9 after this year). Add an MVP, a ROY and the single-season hit record & 8 Gold Gloves (so far). Seems like a Hall of Famer to me

    Wellllll, sort of. Historically, those 10 200 hit seasons don’t add up to a lot of offense. 6.6 RC/G x 10 seasons isn’t that much contextually. I wouldn’t have a problem if he were admitted with that theoretical 10 year total, but I’d not put him past Dawson or Sosa for career value (not that I am changing the argument). He’s just not that impressive to me in an HOF context.

  146. 146
    Mike N. Says:

    Don’t make her go to a school she doesn’t want to go to. I pretty much didn’t have a choice once I got into Georgia Tech, with the Hope Scholarship and all, my parents weren’t really even willing to consider another school. But it definitely was not my first choice. I like and support the sports teams, but my time at Georgia Tech has not been the most fun of my life.

  147. 147
    ububba Says:

    All the fun is 65 miles east.

  148. 148
    Stu Says:

    What about a 5:1 guy:girl ratio does not appeal to you, Mike N.? :)

    I’m so tired of having to discuss Jeff Francoeur.

    138—Check over at Talking Chop; they’ve done a good job of staying on top of it. As of yesterday, we’d signed 17 guys. Nothing yet on Minor and Hale.

  149. 149
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Why would the Braves trade him within the division?

    I think I’d turn that question around to why would anyone in the division trade for him? I think I’d be only too happy to let the Braves lie in their own political and talent-deprived bed. I don’t doubt the Marlins told them to beat it.

  150. 150
    ububba Says:

    Tedious Topic Dept.:

    Dunno if this was posted, but it’s from Jeff Schultz’s column yesterday:

    Chipper Jones had some interesting things to say on Francoeur the other day when I asked him. The first thing stood out the most: “He’s got a million batting coaches. A million. And he’s listening to all of them.” (Feel free to read between the lines.)

    But Jones believes the problems with Francoeur are not all mental: “He’s tried. He’s worked. But he has some fundamental issues that he can’t feel. You can tell him don’t arm-bar at the plate [keeping arm stiff and parallel to ground]. I can show him what it does to his swing but he can’t fix it because he can’t feel it. If you can’t feel it, you can’t make the adjustment. You can show him his stance in his rookie year and show him last year and all the major differences. But he doesn’t feel it.”

  151. 151
    Jason C Says:

    Hmm, all the Ichiro talk made me decide to compare his stats to Tony Gwynn. Not too dis-similar at 332/377/433 vs. 338/388/459 and nobody complains about Gwynn being in the Hall (yes, I realize that Gwynn’s numbers are over 20 years and include his decline).

    Then I saw it. Holy Crap! Tony Gwynn stole 56 bases in 1987!

    I guess I don’t really have a point. I just wanted to share that Holy Crap! moment.

  152. 152
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Gwynn got fat, but he was a great athlete. He was a star basketball player at SDSU, still holds season and career assist records there.

  153. 153
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Game thread is up.

  154. 154
    ububba Says:

    According to DOB’s blog, which references a Smoltz radio appearance, it seems like Smoltz will face the Braves on June 28 at The Ted.

  155. 155
    Stu Says:

    ububba,
    It’s tempting (to me, anyway) to read stuff like that which you posted at 150 and feel really sorry for the guy. Of course, then he’ll open his mouth…

  156. 156
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Not too dis-similar at 332/377/433 vs. 338/388/459 and nobody complains about Gwynn being in the Hall

    Context, my friend. Gwynn 132 OPS+ x 20 seasons, Ichiro! 117 x 8.5. That is a massive disparity, no matter what his JPL years are worth.

    Ichiro never had Gwynn’s peak let alone his decline.

  157. 157
    Hate King Says:

    I can’t access Talking Chop at work, but I will check it out once I get home. Thanks!

  158. 158
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Itchy’s a Hall of Famer. Though I realize this may be a tortured metaphor, I think his Japanese years will be treated by the HOF voters in much the same way Mac treated the non-Atlanta years of the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves. In other words, they won’t count for peak, but they will count to some degree for ranking.

    And what he’s done since arriving here HAS been remarkable, even if his achievements look best using caveman stats like Hits and Batting Average. The guy has a friggin’ lifetime BABIP of .355. That’s crazy.

    He’ll have to play a few more years over here, of course. But there’s going to be a campaign, and there may well be a lot of people who get behind him because of the identity politics of putting the first Asian baseball player in the HOF. But really, he’ll get in because he deserves it. When you lead the league that many times, you deserve it.

  159. 159
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    I concur that he will get in, and that his skill set is unique among ML players of today (he really would have been something to see in the dead ball era I think). I just find most of his accomplishments to be of comparatively limited value the way the game is played today. Put another way, I don’t see a team of Ichiros as world beaters versus a team of average HOF RF’s.

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