video is 1:58. first minute is about J.J. Putz: started at 91, 92mph. After 20 pitches he went to 94.
March 15, 2010
22 Sox players surveyed: If you were a general manager, which one player in the American League would you build your team around?
PLAYER VOTES Joe Mauer, catcher, Twins 14 Felix Hernandez, RHP, Mariners 3 Derek Jeter, shortstop, Yankees 2 Grady Sizemore, outfield, Indians 2 Jake Peavy, RHP, White Sox 1
Jeter? Look in your locker dumbasses. The name is Beckham. Gordon Beckham.
1. Adam Lind, Blue Jays
2. Juan Rivera, Angels
3. Nelson Cruz, Rangers
7. JUAN PIERRE, WHITE SOX
Peavy. Buehrle. Danks. Floyd. Hudson. Garcia. While history isn’t likely to compare this rotation to Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz-Avery anytime soon, the Sox already had a trio of excellent 120 ERA+ types, added Cy Young winner Peavy and talented youngster Hudson. If healthy, the 2010 White Sox arguably have the game’s best rotation. The average fans may not be able to distinguish it as such, given the ballpark and the expected offensive struggles, but opposing managers will be well aware of the relentless nature of this strong and deep rotation. The starters will be well-supported by a solid and deep bullpen again in 2010, so the overall pitching should be fantastic.
Offensively and defensively, the team is founded on some moves which seem, at times, to be more like wishcasting than solid GM strategy, but Kenny Williams has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt. The mantra has been more “small ball” and defense this season, but the two top steals guys are gone from 2009, and lots of players are learning (or re-acquainting themselves with) new positions, so the defensive benefit is questionable. Still, Juan Pierre, despite his noodle arm, fits the “new mold” to a “T” as he’s a rangy outfielder who embodies the “small ball” approach to the game. …
4. What does the future hold for Gordon Beckham?
Good things – and lots of them. His performance with the Sox last year showed that the team was right to draft him with their No. 1 pick in 2008, and then move him out of the minors after only 59 games. The kid looks like the real deal and should have a terrific future in front of him.
… For a clearer picture what’s in store for him, I did a little digging for comps. Last year, the 22-year-old Beckham posted a 107 OPS+. So, I went to Baseball-Reference.com’s excellent Play Index and did a search for seasons by: 1) 22-year-olds since 1900, who 2) played an infield defensive position (short, third, or second), 3) posted an OPS+ between 97 and 117, and 4) either qualified for a batting title or had 400 PA.
Fifty-three names popped up. Two were in 2009 (Beckham himself and Everth Cabrera) – leaving the remaining 51 to serve as forecasting tools for Beckham. (I know B-ref has easily available sim scores, but I don’t really trust them because of the differences of era and park. Besides, I think it matters to account for defensive position.) I then dug into their careers to get an idea what the short- and long-term future could be for him (they’re all listed in references and resources at the end of this column if your curious). …
He thinks Jayson Nix and Sergio Santos are the frontrunners for the utility man and 6th bullpen spot roster battles.
Part of the proposition is that Howard is from St. Louis. So, essentially, is Mark Buehrle. How about this, if we’re throwing names against a wall — Buehrle, Carlos Quentin and prospects for Pujols? Tony La Russa, who earlier this spring said he could picture himself working for Jerry Reinsdorf in a non-managerial capacity, could then follow Pujols to Chicago.