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Alex Sanchez... Starting CF?

Bethke
on 05/18/2002

 

I must admit, when he looks good, he looks very good. If he were a 22 year-old rookie, I'd be among the first predicting an incredible career for him. I still am the only one, or one of the very few, to say he may well be a mediocre CF.

When he makes contact, and doesn't swing at bad pitches, especially breaking balls in the dirt, he's a pretty decent player. He's almost the epitome of what I'd look for in my 4th OF, with the exception of not being a switch hitter.

I think the frustrating thing to many of us is nearly all of his mistakes tend to be mental. Not racing back on the balls hit over his head. Baserunning blunders. Swinging at the pitcher's pitch early in the count. Trying to steal a base regardless of his lead and/or his jump. Getting picked off first base EVER.

Just thought I'd throw a few things out there, that haven't been discussed much, or not at all.

1. Alex is listed as being 25. But, as a Cuban native, could he be older, by several years even? He is now an American, living in Miami, so he did not need to go through an intensive background and document check when he returned to the US this spring like de los Santos, Vizcaino, and the hundred plus guys who were found to be lying about their age.

2. Many of us complain about Alex's low walk totals, but the truth is, he has NEVER walked enough to maximize his potential as a baseball player. In the minors, where many wild throwers take the mound daily, he walked only once every 17 AB's, barely half the amount he should be getting, as walking once per every 10 AB's has become an easy to figure standard.

3. While no one doubts his speed, his ability to steal a base has always been a break-even proposition. It is general baseball sense that you have to be successful more than 2/3rd's of the time to have a positive effect on runs scored. Alex has only succeeded 67.7% of the time, just over the break-even mark. Also, keep in mind that "caught stealings" DO NOT include being picked off a base. Alex has been picked off 4 times in this young season, far diminishing his solid SB numbers thus far.

4. There

 




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