Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Poor or No Production from Youngsters

By Corey R. Cunningham

  Young 1B Justin Smoak was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Seattle Mariners for Cliff Lee. Smoak who was suppose to be an above average first baseman has yet to prove his due diligence in the MLB. Smoak in this young season is hitting just .175, 3 HR, 10 RBI, and 9R in 103 AB’s. Seattle is just 7 games behind West Division Leader Texas, they still have a shot like the other teams, but not when your first baseman is hitting .175. Not sure the options they will explore here, perhaps a trade for 1B Bryan LaHair of the Cubs, or perhaps even 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis who is in his last year of his contract in Boston. Another scenario is moving Liddi to 1B. Smoak has been dropped in several leagues and continues to fall. I advise to use him on your roster at your own risk.

Toronto Blue Jays starting CF Colby Rasmus has yet to live up to his hype. Rasmus was acquired from the Cardinals, and was a highly touted product at one point in his young career. Rasmus had his best year in St. Louis in 2010 where he had 464 AB’s, 23 HR, and hit for .276. Once he was traded, his stock dropped tremendously. Rasmus has now played in 29 games, with 100 AB’s hitting a messily .210 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, and 11 R. I thought Colby was poised for a break out campaign in 2012 and was hoping to move on his stock once it rose, however, it never rose. I recently cut Rasmus off my team, and have looked for better options at the OF position. 

San Francisco LF/1B Brandon Belt is yet another example of poor producing highly touted prospects. Brandon made his MLB debut last year with the Giants, and had a subpar performance at best. Belt appeared in 63 games last year, and had only a .225 BA, with 9 HR, and 18 RBI. In 2012 Belt’s numbers look like this, 22 games, .278 BA, 0 HR, and 5 RBI. Those stats are opposite of what Belt accomplished during the minors in 2010 and 2011. Take a look at these numbers in AAA Fresno last year; 49 Games, 8 HR, 32 RBI, and a .309 BA. In 2010 a combination of High-A San Jose, AA Richmond, and AAA Fresno Belt had a combo of .352 BA, 23 HR, 112 RBI and 22 SB. Bruce Bochey noted before, Belt was not on a short leash and looks to be getting more playing time with Aubrey Huff on the DL, however, his production has not come with the bat yet, and the Giants are waiting patiently, however, not sure how much longer they will wait for their big prospect to show up. I would keep Belt around for a while, as I still have him stashed on my bench, yet I do not play him often.

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