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Jose Abreu

Anderson's growth & optimism for Moncada

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One of the few bright spots of our season at the Major League level has been Tim Anderson. Coming off what was a rough 2017 for him in many ways, he has made huge strides defensively, increased his walk rate, decreased his strikeout rate, become more of a stolen base threat, more of a menace on the bases, more of a home run threat, and still has a very low BABIP (.276, was .328 last year) which suggests better looking offensive numbers by the end of the season. Defensively, he still botches a routine play here and there, but he also makes rangey, flashy plays and has gotten better as the season has progressed. It's been fun to watch him grow and I'm confident we have our shortstop of the future. 

That said, looking at where he was at the end of last season, it would probably have been considered a surprise to learn that he has likely been our most valuable player through 75 games. While he still has room for improvement, it is clear that he has begun to iron out irritating mistakes and has become a more complete hitter offensively. I'm sure more improvements will come. Watching him improve has given me more faith in improvements from Moncada, and even in the rebuild as a whole. Yoan is similar to Anderson in the sense that he's young, uber talented, and sometimes frustrating to watch. But seeing Anderson slowly but surely put his main concerns to rest with time has made me feel a lot better about Moncada doing the same, perhaps to an even greater extent. 

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Anderson has really impressed me this year. Yes he can be frustrating, especially defensively, but he seems like more of himself this year. It’s rough losing someone close to you, it messes with your head. All aside, especially on the offensive end, I’m happy he’s taking way more walks as the season went on. I think these last two months he’s taken almost as much as he has his first two seasons. Believe he has 22 and his first 2 seasons were 26 combined. He’s gaining some pop too. 

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Anderson is on pace for a 20 20 season. That is very nice.Would like to see him continue to improve his OBP though.

Moncada is reminding me more and more of Dustin Ackley with each passing day. All the tools on paper, dominated lower competition, but became just another guy at the MLB level.

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3 hours ago, tlongo81@gmail.com said:

Anderson is on pace for a 20 20 season. That is very nice.Would like to see him continue to improve his OBP though.

Moncada is reminding me more and more of Dustin Ackley with each passing day. All the tools on paper, dominated lower competition, but became just another guy at the MLB level.

Can we pin this post?  Just want to make sure a few years from now we all remember the time someone said Moncada reminded them of Dustin Ackley because the kid hit a rough patch as a 23 year old before he even reached the 600 plate appearance mark.

Edited by Chicago White Sox
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5 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Can we pin this post?  Just want to make sure a few years from now we all remember the time someone said Moncada reminded them of Dustin Ackley because the kid hit a rough patch as a 23 year old before he even reached the 600 plate appearance mark.

Some of you take this stuff too seriously. We all have our opinions. This one I happen to think Moncada will be fine, but if somebody wants to criticize him, you can always answer back with your opinion. If you listen to most talk shows, the host repeats his point over and over and over. Same with message boards. Hardly anybody on here has given up on Moncada. I like Moncada. It's like when somebody rips Abreu, I'll defend him over and over.

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7 minutes ago, greg775 said:

Some of you take this stuff too seriously. We all have our opinions. This one I happen to think Moncada will be fine, but if somebody wants to criticize him, you can always answer back with your opinion. If you listen to most talk shows, the host repeats his point over and over and over. Same with message boards. Hardly anybody on here has given up on Moncada. I like Moncada. It's like when somebody rips Abreu, I'll defend him over and over.

I did answer back with my opinion, which is that his opinion is unjust & ridiculous.  If someone wants to argue that Moncada might not ever become a star then that’s fine.  But calling him Dustin Ackley this early into career when he’s already flashed elite talent and has like a 3 WAR floor is just plain stupid.  And no offense, you of all people should not tell people to take this too serious.  You literally get worked up over everything.

Edited by Chicago White Sox

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41 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I did answer back with my opinion, which is that his opinion is unjust & ridiculous.  If someone wants to argue that Moncada might not ever become a star then that’s fine.  But calling him Dustin Ackley this early into career when he’s already flashed elite talent and has like a 3 WAR floor is just plain stupid.  And no offense, you of all people should not tell people to take this too serious.  You literally get worked up over everything.

I read it differently. He wrote he's reminding him of Ackley more and more every day. I didn't see that as a big deal. Guys remind people of other guys all the time. Moncada definitely has some pop in his bat and seems to be a great prospect is how I see him. His defense seems like it'll be fine as well.

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I thought when I looked up Moncada's BABIP it would be well less than .300 because it seems he tatoos the ball very often but it goes right at people. Was shocked to find BABIP was .329 on the season. Still doesn't explain the weird called strike stuff. He's getting hosed way too often by Umps and it is gettng beyond annoying at this point. 

Edited by Jack Parkman
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Good grief I don't see much progress but everything will change tomorrow. Guys may take years to develop before they start getting injury breakdowns. 

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3 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

I thought when I looked up Moncada's BABIP it would be well less than .300 because it seems he tatoos the ball very often but it goes right at people. Was shocked to find BABIP was .329 on the season. Still doesn't explain the weird called strike stuff. He's getting hosed way too often by Umps and it is gettng beyond annoying at this point. 

He had a very, very high BABIP before the injury. Recently, it has been falling a lot. That's why it seems like it's higher than it should be 

Edited by Jose Abreu

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5 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

I thought when I looked up Moncada's BABIP it would be well less than .300 because it seems he tatoos the ball very often but it goes right at people. Was shocked to find BABIP was .329 on the season. Still doesn't explain the weird called strike stuff. He's getting hosed way too often by Umps and it is gettng beyond annoying at this point. 

Yoan needs to make a donation to the Umpires Retirement Fund and he will start seeing a smaller strike zone. 

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It's really disappointing. Moncada was coming on so strong prior to the DL stint. I still think at some point that he gets it going and can possibly still even make a run at a 20/20 season. However, right now... even as an extremely pro-Moncada guy through all of this. It's getting discouraging watching these AB's all go the same way.

I think he needs to re-tool his swing a bit this off-season. Very stiff and very robotic. Which leads to a lot of pulling off of the ball and jerking. Fouling a lot of good pitches straight back instead of staying through and driving them. As I said in a thread of my own... I'd like to see the hands lowered. Which I think could translate to a bit more of a relaxed/rhythmic approach. 

Edited by Richie

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These wannabes are in a depressing situation. They know that players come to Chicago to fail. Just ask the three Adams. 

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On 6/23/2018 at 5:02 PM, pcq said:

Good grief I don't see much progress but everything will change tomorrow. Guys may take years to develop before they start getting injury breakdowns. 

Wow, was that ever prophetic!!  "Tomorrow" we witnessed his biggest day at the plate, in his short career. A bases clearing double and then a 3 run homer is indeed a pretty nice "change".

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I feel like because of his toe tap that Yoan is going to run hot and cold throughout his career.  At least until he turns into a complete hitter and not just a pull guy.  Nothing wrong with being a pull guy, almost all the best power hitters are, but as we've seen he can get pull happy and off balance.

Next step in his evolution will be to start looking opposite way against the tougher pitchers, but for now I'll settle for ripping pitches he should rip, like that 95mph fastball right down broadway he hit 410 feet yesterday.

Also, his defense has picked back up again.  

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1 hour ago, chitownsportsfan said:

I feel like because of his toe tap that Yoan is going to run hot and cold throughout his career.  At least until he turns into a complete hitter and not just a pull guy.  Nothing wrong with being a pull guy, almost all the best power hitters are, but as we've seen he can get pull happy and off balance.

Next step in his evolution will be to start looking opposite way against the tougher pitchers, but for now I'll settle for ripping pitches he should rip, like that 95mph fastball right down broadway he hit 410 feet yesterday.

Also, his defense has picked back up again.  

I couldn't agree more with your observation. He has taken so many pitches, just outside the strike zone, which could have been hit to the opposite field. It's frustrating to watch, particularly when he has 2 strikes and when teams employ the shift, in their defensive alignment. I understand that he is not unique, but it is nevertheless frustrating. Being a pull hitter is fine, but being "pull happy," as you call it, plays right into the opposition's strategy of pitching hitters away, and using the shift. He could be so much more productive if he exploited the shift, and just took the outside pitch to left field. Moreover, trying to pull an outside pitch, most often results in a weak ground ball. This entire approach is one of my pet peeves. I guess I'm just "old school". 

Edited by Lillian

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@Lillian I think it will come with experience for him but I doubt he'll ever hit for a very high average.   I'd be happy if he can settle in around 260-280 with 25-35 HR a year and a slash line around 270/350/500.  

 I can't think of many power hitters that are also spray hitters.  Jose comes to mind.  Maybe Eloy once he gets up here.  Konerko obviously was.  Guys that can maintain a high average (above 280) and hit 25+ homeruns a year are pretty rare, takes a real talented hitter, not many of them around in this era or any era really.

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4 minutes ago, chitownsportsfan said:

@Lillian I think it will come with experience for him but I doubt he'll ever hit for a very high average.   I'd be happy if he can settle in around 260-280 with 25-35 HR a year and a slash line around 270/350/500.  

 I can't think of many power hitters that are also spray hitters.  Jose comes to mind.  Maybe Eloy once he gets up here.  Konerko obviously was.  Guys that can maintain a high average (above 280) and hit 25+ homeruns a year are pretty rare, takes a real talented hitter, not many of them around in this era or any era really.

Gap hitters playing in the juiced ball era who run into balls that would be deep outs if the ball wasn't so live. 

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I'm not sure what Anderson will be. I see some Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura in him — guys who never had enough bat to that they could afford to have a down year without really being a drag. But Anderson, like them, has some real pop in his bat but is rough around the edges and doesn't draw many walks. He does hit for more power than either them of did at the same age and also strikes out more. Anderson has shown a lot of power without getting beefy like Segura. Brandon Crawford is another SS with pop, some strikeout tendency, and took a while to develop patience and put balls into play; he's a steadier hand on defense though. Anderson is a superior athlete to all these guys though.

What I'm not sure about with Tim is how much better he can get. I think there's potential there for fewer strikeouts and an attendant increase in batting average, but that probably means he's never really an All-Star caliber player. I'm not sure what the best version of him looks like in part because it's hard for me to envision him maintaining a decent average, high walk rate, and power all at the same time...he's basically never done those things as a pro. Tim's defense is inconsistent and error-prone but improving — and the errors are atoned for in part by his very good range and throwing arm.

Nonetheless, I think he should represent a feather in the cap of the Sox player development people. He was taken as a really raw player who had premium athleticism but a questionable hit tool, game power, and defense that few thought would fly at SS in MLB. He's really found that game power, his hit tool is still a weakness but not enough from keeping him from being a .700 OPS guy, and his defense is basically fine. The Sox got him to the majors and made him a MLB regular at a premium position, which is something we have really struggled to do even with relatively low risk players. Add Yolmer Sanchez as another player that came up through our system to become a good all-around player. Combined they pretty definitively break the streak of the Sox failing to develop solid position players through the draft/international amateurs after ~Crede.

 

Edited by Jake

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3 minutes ago, Jake said:

I'm not sure what Anderson will be. I see some Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura in him — guys who never had enough bat to that they could afford to have a down year without really being a drag. But Anderson, like them, has some real pop in his bat but is rough around the edges and doesn't draw many walks. He does hit for more power than either them of did at the same age and also strikes out more. Anderson has shown a lot of power without getting beefy like Segura. Brandon Crawford is another SS with pop, some strikeout tendency, and took a while to develop patience and put balls into play; he's a steadier hand on defense though. Anderson is a superior athlete to all these guys though.

What I'm not sure about with Tim is how much better he can get. I think there's potential there for fewer strikeouts and an attendant increase in batting average, but that probably means he's never really an All-Star caliber player. I'm not sure what the best version of him looks like in part because it's hard for me to envision him maintaining a decent average, high walk rate, and power all at the same time...he's basically never done those things as a pro. Tim's defense is inconsistent and error-prone but improving — and the errors are atoned for in part by his very good range and throwing arm.

 

 

I've always hoped that the best version of Anderson is Jose Reyes but with fewer steals. Guy who starts out way too aggressive and never is a walk machine, but eventually gets to about a 10% walk rate, who then hits 15-20 HR per year and puts up an .800-ish OPS for several seasons. 

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Just now, Balta1701 said:

I've always hoped that the best version of Anderson is Jose Reyes but with fewer steals. Guy who starts out way too aggressive and never is a walk machine, but eventually gets to about a 10% walk rate, who then hits 15-20 HR per year and puts up an .800-ish OPS for several seasons. 

Yeah that comparison is a good one because he was a premium athlete. Of course one thing that hit home as I was thinking about comps is that you just aren't going to find many good SS that strike out 25% of the time. That said, it can be hard to compare even to 10-15 years ago when the league-wide strikeout rate has gone up so much.

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Anderson now with a 101 wRC+ and 1.6fWAR.  His defense has really solidified since about the midway point last year.  He's basically a slightly above average (solid) starting defensive SS.  I don't really expect his bat to develop much more as it seems he's traded BA for power and more walks.  Maybe if he can get back up into the 270 range he'll turn into a 4-5 WAR SS, but for now I think he's settled in around the 2-3 WAR range which as @Jake noted, is a good job by the Sox' drafting and development team.

I don't see TA ever consistently putting up an OPS over 800.  Maybe one year he could run into something like 270/330/500 but I'd expect much closer to 240/300/440. 

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10 minutes ago, chitownsportsfan said:

I don't see TA ever consistently putting up an OPS over 800.  Maybe one year he could run into something like 270/330/500 but I'd expect much closer to 240/300/440. 

That's probably a fair guess. I'd go with 260/310/440. Either way, that, combined with his speed and his average to above average defense at SS, is a quality starting SS and one we can absolutely win with down the road.  

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