Re: Napoli deal falls through, according to Jen Royle
posted at 1/15/2013 7:43 AM EST
In response to moonslav59's comment:
I never said Ben would move him, but I'd seriously think about it unless...
1) I viewed Middlebrooks as an inferior fielding 3Bman than Bogaerts, then I'd move Middlebrooks to 1B next year and start Boggy at 3B in ST and AAA.
Boegarts has been a SS his entire life. How does anyone know how well he can play 3rd? If Middlebrooks regresses at 3rd this year, then maybe they will consider a move to first and switch Boegarts to 3rd after the season. I wouldn't count on it, though. Boegarts wants to play SS, he's improved at the position and he just turned 20 years old. Why would they move him away from the position at this point? He will be the starting SS in Portland to start the season, barring injury.
Look, I've read in several places that Bogaerts does not project to be a ML SS, and that he will probably be better suited for 3B.
Middlebrooks does not need to "regress" to consider moving him to 1B. He did not look very good at 3B in the small sample size I saw in 2012. I am not giving up on him at 3B, but if he stays the same as 2012, and Boggy projects to be a better 3Bman, my point is that we should not wait years and years to make the moves, or we risk having to wait until players adjust to their new positions before they can contribute in all areas of the game at the MLb level.
I am not an expert on projecting propsects at new positions, but I am taking the word of experts who know more about Bogaerts than I do.
2) We find a long term 1B solution.
I don''t think "long term" is available right now, but they won't be going into spring training with what they have in house right now.
I don't either, hence my point about making the moves sooner rather than later or too late.
I don't get moving him to the OF. Why is that so understandable, but not moving a 6-3 IF'er who seems to be filling out to 1B? Maybe he doesn't like the position, maybe they feel his athleticism and strong arm would be better suited elsewhere. It doesn't matter, because at least for 2013, he will remain a starting SS.
3B is not a "long shot". It is likely his best position, and if he is all many think he is, he will be better than Middlebrooks.
I say it's a long shot because I think Middlebrooks is the 3rd baseman for the foreseeable future, barring injury. The organization loves the kid. Unless he regresses, or fizzles out, he isn't going anywhere.
It's not like moving Middlebrooks to 1B is giving up on him. I think the organization could "love him" at 1B just as much if not more than at 3B, especially if Boggy thrives at 3B.
This can all be revisited after 2013, but as of right now, they aren't moving Middlebrooks off 3rd and they aren't moving Boegarts off short, so it is kind of pointless to have a discussion about it.
OK, just because there is virtually no chance Ben moves Boggy or Middlebrooks this spring or summer, we should never talk about it. That's your way of looking at discussion and debate, not mine.
Imagine this scenario. Middlebrooks hits very well in 2012, but continues to struggle fielding 3B. Boggy tears up AAA pitching, but looks horrendous at SS and is deemed not MLB SS material. We pick up a couple of key players next winter and look to seriously compete in 2014 and 2015, but we can't bring up Boggy yet, because we have to spend 2014 teaching him a new position, so we get him in 2015 not 2014. We also have to deal with Middlebrooks learning 1B in MLB during the 2014 or 2015 season. This could be a real happening. I actually think it is very likely Bogaerts can be a better fielder than Middlebrooks at 3B, and we have a serious need at 1B as we all know. I think Middlebrooks would probably be a better fielder at 1B than 3B after 1-2 years. It's my opinion based on what I know right now. We don't have to rush things. We can gain another year of more prime year team control on Boggy, if we keep him down another year, but I want to see this kid as soon as possible, and I don't want an all hit-no-field SS as a longterm goal.
Boggy is young. He may develop into a fine SS, but I have yet to read anyone projecting him as even an above average fielding SS. Does that not concern you, even at age 20?
How many 6-3 and filling out prospects become great fielding SSs? He's still pretty skinny for 6-3, so who knows...
sozprospects.com says this...
Slightly above-average arm. Solid-average range, but losing footspeed as he gets bigger. Needs to slow the game down defensively and resist the feeling to rush plays. Inconsistent with footwork and staying down on the ball. Choppy at times with his movements and reactions. Has been improving with his defensive technique, but does not look likely to stick at shortstop. Will transition to third base or left field down the line. Can stick on the infield.
I say he would be better in the OF because hes always had issues with footwork. Yes, he has improved and is still only 20yrs old, but playing 1b requires a TON or proper footwork to play the position adequately. 3rd base requires a good quick twitch reflex. If hes getting slower with footwork and reactions, not sure a corner IF spot is the place for him.
I think LF would be a solid fit if SS doesnt work out. Just has to learn the monstah and belt 30+hr and 100+ rbi...Your typical slugging corner OF'er. With his good arm he would compile a lot of OF assists as well.
Ive seen him play in person a few times and he does look a little awkward out there. Hes good, but hes not an incredibly agile big man. If he fills out a lot this year and it hurts his development at SS he will be moved. If I was a betting man I would say LF.