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Moncada hopes to stay at 2b

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1 hour ago, Lillian said:

If we are only going to consider Madrigal a potential core piece of this rebuild, if he develops power, then the Sox have made a mistake, picking him #4. Power has not been part of his game and may never be. Therefore, we selected a guy with a top Draft pick, with the hope that he can become something, that he isn't. My guess is that the Sox wanted him because they value what he brings, not what he could bring, to the game, He is a tremendous contact hitter, in an age where everyone strikes out far too often. He is a great defensive player, at an important middle infield position. He has a very high baseball acumen and he is a team leader. He is not a power hitter and I don't think that he will become one. Although power would be a nice bonus, it is probably not something, upon which the Sox are going to insist, before promoting him to the Majors. He profiles as a potential Gold Glove second baseman, who could fill a valuable role, as a leadoff, or 2 hole hitter. If he demonstrates a capacity to perform those functions, at the Big League level, he'll be brought up.

Agreed.  Our two best (projected) position players, Anderson and Moncada had OPS+ numbers of 97 and 88, Anderson in his third full season.

Abreu, Narvaez and Palka were essentially their only above average hitters...

Madrigal won’t be stopped on his path to the big leagues by his SLG %.

 

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12 hours ago, Flash said:

Its not a matter of him developing his glove and I don't know how anyone could possibly construe Lillians comment as 'writing off our best prospect' (which he isn't). The fact is we drafted Madrigal and he will be our 2nd baseman, most likely by 2020. Since Moncada has played 3rd in the past and given our need there, he is a likely candidate to move there. Whats so hard to understand?  

He played a limited number of games at 3B in minors and majors and struggled( understandably).  Hahn moved him back to 2nd after the trade and he obviously prefers 2nd. Moving him to 3B should be a last resort. 

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27 minutes ago, SCCWS said:

He played a limited number of games at 3B in minors and majors and struggled( understandably).  Hahn moved him back to 2nd after the trade and he obviously prefers 2nd. Moving him to 3B should be a last resort. 

Under what circumstance would you exercise that "last resort"?  I understand that Madrigal has not yet forced this issue, because he is still in the lower Minor Leagues. However, Moncada would benefit from playing time at 3RD, if that is ultimately going to be his position. I'd hate to see him struggle in 2020, learning to play third, when the team is ready to compete.

Edited by Lillian

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8 hours ago, southsideirish71 said:

Moncada should spend this offseason working on his footwork and glove work at 2b.  He has amazing physical tools.  I think a focus on working on the technical side of being a fielder is going to help him over the long run.  

You can already see a huge difference over the course of this season. 

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4 hours ago, Lillian said:

If we are only going to consider Madrigal a potential core piece of this rebuild, if he develops power, then the Sox have made a mistake, picking him #4. Power has not been part of his game and may never be. If that were the case, the Sox used a precious top Draft pick, to select a player, with the hope that he can become something, that he isn't. My guess is that the Sox wanted him because they value what he brings, not what he could bring, to the game, He is a tremendous contact hitter, in an age where everyone strikes out far too often. He is a great defensive player, at an important middle infield position. He has a very high baseball acumen and he is a team leader. He is not a power hitter and I don't think that he will become one. Although power would be a nice bonus, it is probably not something, upon which the Sox are going to insist, before promoting him to the Majors. He profiles as a potential Gold Glove second baseman, who could fill a valuable role, as a leadoff, or 2 hole hitter. If he demonstrates a capacity to perform those functions, at the Big League level, he'll be brought up.

I want to walk through Madrigal's game in reply. I would say that if his power game doesn't significantly improve, he's a backup player and definitely not a leadoff hitter, no matter how good his defense is at 2b. Without a power game, Yolmer will be a better 2b option than him, let alone Moncada.

Start with where Madrigal is right now, a .300 hitter in the minors. Right now, he hit 0 home runs this year. Right away, 15 home runs would translate to 25 points of batting average and OBP that he's not getting, so that's 25 points lower each of those numbers are compared to a ballplayer who could hit those.

Beyond that, the fewest strikeouts by a qualified player in the big leagues this year was Andrelton Simmons with 44. Madrigal is on pace that would give him about 18 over a 600 PA season. I would strongly guess that, like it or not, Madrigal will strikeout more in the big leagues than in the low minors. You get to the big leagues and there's the occasional Chris Sale there and there's just nothing you can do about it. So, take his strikeout numbers right now and let's let them move up to where Simmons is at, that's another 15 points of batting average drop.

Then we have the fielders. Andrelton Simmons isn't in the minors either. The fielding is better in the big leagues. That's gonna rob a few points of batting average also.

Then, finally, and I think this is a big one - if he's not playing the power game, then he's also not going to be doubling off the wall. He's not going to be hitting balls in the gap. He's going to be relying on balls on the ground or bloops getting through and this doesn't work in the big leagues that well. His groudout to flyout ratio right now, from last year, would compete with the worst in the big leagues - Ian Desmond led the league in that last year and he hit .236. If guys don't respect that you're going to hit the ball over their head, they'll play in and they'll rob you of the shallow hits, and they'll shift and take away some hits on the ground. The guys who are putting up as few extra base hits (HR + 2b + 3b) as him are guys who are hitting .250 or so, Victor Martinez, Alcides Escobar, Travis Shaw, these guys aren't that good and some of those guys have pretty low K numbers too.

He has a strong hit tool, I will grant you that, but without some power development he is not going to be a #1 or #2 hitter, he'll be a backup or a guy you bury at the back of your order. 

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I think it's fair to assume that none of our players in single-A will improve at all.

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3 minutes ago, bmags said:

I think it's fair to assume that none of our players in single-A will improve at all.

I don't think it's unfair to point at the part of their game where they need to improve and say "If they don't improve at this part of their game they won't be a quality big leaguer, so how much improvement can we expect and how quickly?"

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15 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

I don't think it's unfair to point at the part of their game where they need to improve and say "If they don't improve at this part of their game they won't be a quality big leaguer, so how much improvement can we expect and how quickly?"

The fact that the entire world viewed Madrigal as a near top of the draft pick in 2018 is more telling to me than any of this.  There are plenty of evaluluators/teams/scouts out there who think Madrigal is going to be a very good major leaguer.  To already be classifying him as a back up is crazy.

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Travis Shaw isn't that good??? Avg over 30 HRs and 90 RBIs last two seasons. I'd happily take him as 3rd baseman now and into the future.

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10 hours ago, Eminor3rd said:

This positional logjam stuff always - ALWAYS - works itself out. There’s no point in moving anyone for anyone when nobody is forcing anybody. It’s ridiculous to talk about anyone on the White Sox blocking anyone else at this point. When we have two dudes raking at the same position in the Majors, then the time to worry about it. Let’s try to even get there first. If that happens, and no one wants to move, then somebody gets traded for something useful. 

Its gonna be fine. 

I remember  laughing at Theo because he just kept  acquiring middle infield prospects.  Like you said, those things always work themselves out.

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I have seen a few examples now of plus plus contact (astudillo) or plus plus discipline (narvaez) end up with surprising power. It may take a few years to get him to 10 home runs, but unlike the other two, he has plus speed and plus defense. He has reported plus baserunning instincts.

He is said to use all of his power. He's going to hit a bunch of grounders. It's a fact.

His power didn't show up in his first half season, where he was coming off of a CWS championship and was placed at a higher level than any other draft pick. It didn't for Burger or Sheets either, who had plus power in their game. I'm more confident in Madrigal's plus plus skill unlocking the most of what else he has.

If Madrigal succeeds, he is going to do it differently than what we are used to.

 

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3 minutes ago, bmags said:

I have seen a few examples now of plus plus contact (astudillo) or plus plus discipline (narvaez) end up with surprising power. It may take a few years to get him to 10 home runs, but unlike the other two, he has plus speed and plus defense. He has reported plus baserunning instincts.

He is said to use all of his power. He's going to hit a bunch of grounders. It's a fact.

His power didn't show up in his first half season, where he was coming off of a CWS championship and was placed at a higher level than any other draft pick. It didn't for Burger or Sheets either, who had plus power in their game. I'm more confident in Madrigal's plus plus skill unlocking the most of what else he has.

If Madrigal succeeds, he is going to do it differently than what we are used to.

 

Jose Altuve didn't even make it to 10 HRs until his 5th season in the bigs.

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9 minutes ago, LittleHurt05 said:

I remember  laughing at Theo because he just kept  acquiring middle infield prospects.  Like you said, those things always work themselves out.

Right, and we are struggling to really understand this because our logjams are a bunch of below average bat-only players we are irrationally attached to and afraid of losing in case they "break out". Eventually (hopefully) it will be multiple good players with plus offense that we'll be happy to find the field any way they can. We won't clamor to trade out one so our lineup is easier.

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10 minutes ago, LittleHurt05 said:

I remember  laughing at Theo because he just kept  acquiring middle infield prospects.  Like you said, those things always work themselves out.

Exactly. The next time the White Sox have too many good players for one position other than should be a DH, will be the first.

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I don't know how anyone can be married to anyone on the White Sox current roster that is older than 24 or 25. Jose Abreu led the team for those with at least 100 plate appearances in OBP at .325. .318 is major league average including pitchers. Most of these guys suck pretty much with the bat. And lets face it, there aren't too many gold glove candidates around either. 

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2 minutes ago, bmags said:

Right, and we are struggling to really understand this because our logjams are a bunch of below average bat-only players we are irrationally attached to and afraid of losing in case they "break out". Eventually (hopefully) it will be multiple good players with plus offense that we'll be happy to find the field any way they can. We won't clamor to trade out one so our lineup is easier.

And even if Madrigal flies through the system, we really have until 2020 at the earliest to worry about this.  I can't see him blasting through A+/AA/AAA and into the majors in 2019.  Really we are probably talking about starting at WS/A+ and then a possible midyear promotion to AA.  Once 2020 rolls around starting at AA, and then again a mid season promotion into AAA, with a possible September call up.  And that is insanely fast all by itself.  That process could easily be A+->2019, AA->2020 and AAA/MLB->2021, without it being a bad thing.

If all that comes together, THEN we can really talk about moving Moncada if Madrigal is looking like a guy who will push Moncada off of 2B in two years.

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Power doesn't only mean HRs. Obviously they help, but a hitter can still have a quality OPS hitting 15 HR per year if he has the power and speed to hit a lot of doubles and triples. If they're hitting 40-50 doubles and 6-12 triples, with 12-15 HR while getting on base at a .340+ clip, that is still a quality OPS.  The Sox have two guys that probably fit this profile in the minors, and they are Madrigal and Rutherford. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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3 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

Power doesn't only mean HRs. Obviously they help, but you can still have a quality OPS hitting 15 HR per year if you have the power and speed to hit a lot of doubles and triples. 

If he's hitting 15 HR a year I think he'll be a really good player. I'm just skeptical that we're going to be talking about him at that level in 2020 or 2021, and if we're not talking about him at that level that quickly then Moncada isn't moving for him. Do people think he's going to flip that on like a lightswitch next year?

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1 minute ago, Jack Parkman said:

Power doesn't only mean HRs. Obviously they help, but a hitter can still have a quality OPS hitting 15 HR per year if he has the power and speed to hit a lot of doubles and triples. 

I agree. Next year, if he hits 10 doubles 1 triple and 0 homers, maybe worry. But he did get injured this season in college, getting acclimated to professional baseball and wooden bats, and still hit as many homers as Luis Robert, and no one thinks Robert has no power.

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I still can't believe how obsessed people are with Nick Madrigal's future HR totals. We all decry how the game has devolved into the three true outcomes obsession and then get a gift of a player who hits for average, plays Gold Glove defense, runs well, doesn't strike out and brings positive intangibles as a bonus. Let's enjoy it. It's too simplistic to say "it doesn't matter" if he hits HRs, because obviously if he does it would catapult him into a different stratosphere. But it's not necessary and shouldn't be a focus in any way, shape or form.

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13 minutes ago, Dick Allen said:

I agree. Next year, if he hits 10 doubles 1 triple and 0 homers, maybe worry. But he did get injured this season in college, getting acclimated to professional baseball and wooden bats, and still hit as many homers as Luis Robert, and no one thinks Robert has no power.

The thing to look for with both Madrigal and Rutherford in 2019 are their 2B, 3B, and OBP numbers. Both guys are probably maxing out at 12-15 HR, with 18-20 being an outside shot for Rutherford. I'd like to see 40 2B and 6-10 3B from Rutherford and 30 2B and 10+ 3B from Madrigal. Both should also get on base at .350+ clip in AA. Rutherford also needs to keep his BA in the .285+ range and Madrigal in the .310+ range. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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32 minutes ago, Flash said:

Travis Shaw isn't that good??? Avg over 30 HRs and 90 RBIs last two seasons. I'd happily take him as 3rd baseman now and into the future.

My bad, I was trying to eyeball doubles + Hr and missed one, he had a ton of HR and my eye didn't catch that. Remove him from the list and leave Escobar and Martinez - those are the low strikeout guys with low power #'s. 

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26 minutes ago, bmags said:

Right, and we are struggling to really understand this because our logjams are a bunch of below average bat-only players we are irrationally attached to and afraid of losing in case they "break out". Eventually (hopefully) it will be multiple good players with plus offense that we'll be happy to find the field any way they can. We won't clamor to trade out one so our lineup is easier.

Who are these bat-only players you speak of?

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6 minutes ago, Buehrlesque said:

I still can't believe how obsessed people are with Nick Madrigal's future HR totals. We all decry how the game has devolved into the three true outcomes obsession and then get a gift of a player who hits for average, plays Gold Glove defense, runs well, doesn't strike out and brings positive intangibles as a bonus. Let's enjoy it. It's too simplistic to say "it doesn't matter" if he hits HRs, because obviously if he does it would catapult him into a different stratosphere. But it's not necessary and shouldn't be a focus in any way, shape or form.

I agree. The day Madrigal gets called up, he is the smartest baseball player on the team.

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1 minute ago, Jose Abreu said:

Who are these bat-only players you speak of?

Nicky, Davidson, Palka (realistically, though I like him)

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