Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A GOATEED STOPGAP

One year, $3.275-million for Reed Johnson coming off an injury-ravaged season sounds about right for the Jays.

There is a man writing baseball in Toronto who might take this as licence to whine about another one of "his guys" (read: undersized, modest physidal gifts and preferably white) getting shortchanged by that mean J.P. Ricciardi. However, it's a business and lefty-hitting Adam Lind (even if he starts in Syracuse) and Travis Snider have more upside beyond 2008.

As for defence, Lind had an .898 Revised Zone Rating last season -- second-best among American League left-fielders who played at least 450 innings. Who knows how he pulled that off, but he did.

(In the same post at Baseball Digest Daily, there's a note that last season's Ottawa Lynx leadoff hitter, Chris Roberson, has been dealt to the Baltimore Orioles.)

9 comments:

Andrew said...

I think the issue is that Lind is a competent fielder. I think his arm isn't the strongest but he's yet to make any mistakes in the field.

I just have a feeling that he's going to be sitting in AAA and hitting like .450 for the first half of the season then getting a call up once we trade Sparky for a bag of balls and an injury plagued minor leaguer.

Pete Toms said...

As BDD says, Johnson will platoon with Stairs and play late inning defense. Eckstein provides the Jays with a leadoff hitter, a role perhaps Johnson would have filled.

As for Snider, I think he's the best Jays hitting prospect since Delgado. I don't see him in the OF, he's pretty thick already, I see him as a DH, maybe as soon as 09, goodbye Thomas.

As for Roberson, I think the most notable aspect of this is that the O's have given up on Fiorentino who they designated to make room for Roberson. Baseball America rated Fiorentino the O's #9 prospect 2 offseasons past.

Dave Rouleau said...

Pete,

The problem with Thomas is that once he reaches 1,000 plate appearances in 2007-08 (or 525 in 2008), his 2009 option kicks in...and it will unless he gets injured or the Jays simply don't play him.

I don't agree with your assessment that he won't play the outfield. While he is clearly not the best athlete, he is athletic for his frame and played RF in Lansing. He's expected to be an average LF in the bigs, with a bat that's just dangerous!

sager said...

Most projections see Snider as a corner OF, don't they?

Dave Rouleau said...

Sager,

Yes they do.

I interviewed him for Inside the Dome (Scout.com) and he talked about three things he had to work on: base running, routes in the outfield and making sure to always hit the cut off guy.

He was in LF most of the time he played in the AFL two months ago and CAN'T see the Jays playing him in RF when he hits Dunedin and New Hampshire in 2008.

sager said...

So this is the "aggressive promotion" strategy? How long will be in High-A?

Dave Rouleau said...

I actually made a case for him to open the season in AA, in an editorial for ITD. While a start in Dunedin would not be bad at all, he clearly can compete with the best of them (as seen in the AFL with older and more experienced players) and AA would have been a nice test.

THAT would have been an 'aggressive promotion'.

Pete Toms said...

Ok, BA says he's a corner OF. But keep in mind that he's a 230 lb 19 yr old. How big will this kid be in another couple years or further out when he's in his mid - late 20's? I saw some video of him this winter and he's a big boy.

Very exciting though. I'm anxious to see where he is in the BA Top 100. I think he was #14? on the MiLB Top 50 this winter.

As for succeeding Thomas in 09, looks like I could be wrong about that one.

Dave Rouleau said...

I don't like the way the option kicks in automatically after 1000 PA for Thomas. We have our hands tied and it's not even due to his performance, it's all about stamina. I just hope it doesn't hurt us and Thomas actually performs like he did in the second half of 2007.