Diamonds in the rough
Trying to discover the finest young talent in the major leagues is kind of like mining for diamonds: you have to sift through lot of crap to get to the good stuff.
When it comes to the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays roster, there are a few diamonds in the rough. Players like Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Travis Snider are going to make watching this team at least somewhat bearable this coming season.
Thanks to Justin at Beyond the Boxscore, you can check out how the 2009 Blue Jays starting lineup fared in the DiamondView Composite: a very cool visual aid that helps show how players stack up in four basic categories (fielding, on base, power and base-running).
Considering that over one-third of last year’s Opening Day lineup has flown the nest, I decided to choose the young guns: Adam Lind, Aaron Hill and Travis Snider.
Just by quickly glancing over these, three things come immediately to mind:
- Aaron Hill is not a good a fielder as I thought he was.
- Adam Lind is a much worse fielder than I thought he was.
- Out of all three above, Travis Snider is the most well-rounded player.
1.) I don’t expect Aaron Hill to be saving lives out there at second base, but for some reason I thought he performed much better on the field in 2009 than his numbers dictate. Nowhere near his incredible 2006 season where is UZR was a phenomenal 18.1, Hill dropped down to earth a little bit in 2009 with a -2.3 UZR.
2.) As great a player as Adam Lind is, by looking at his DiamondView composite, it appears that Cito is grooming Lind into a one-trick pony. I don’t claim to be a conditioning coach, but is Lind so far gone when it comes to fielding that he is a liability on the field? It certainly appears to be that way. Luckily, there are plenty of other teams who have below average fielders on the everyday roster.
3.) Travis Snider on the other hand, provides quite a bit of hope for the future. His defensive skill set is far superior to Lind’s, and Snider is also a little quicker on the base paths. 86 games at the major league level is a small sample size of numbers to base the future on, but I think he has yet to find his power stride. In my mind, the sky’s the limit for Travis Snider.
If you’re curious how the rest of the Blue Jays fared on the DiamondView Composites, make sure you check out the rest of the roster over at Beyond the Boxscore.
DiamondView Composites courtesy of Beyond the Boxscore