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Friday, September 01, 2006

What's Ben Zobrist Done For Me Lately?

From Richard Justice's blog today:

"Aubrey Huff leads the Astros with 23 RBIs this month."

I had no idea. I feel fairly certain that Ben Zobrist wouldn't have ripped out 23 RBI in August. In fact, Scott's fetish is actually only hitting .229 (with an OBP of .259) since his call-up to the Devil Rays. By way of comparison, whipping boy Adam Everett is hitting .241 for the season (.291 OBP) and has continued his stellar defensive play in the field. I'm officially reevaluating my stance on the trade as the Astros continue their push to the playoffs. I'll keep everyone posted on my conclusions.


Blogger Scott said...

Aubrey Huff had a nice month. Fantastic. Not as nice of a month as Mike Lamb had in July, who sat on the bench so that Huff and Ensberg could platoon at third base. Remember Lamb? The guy with a .372 OBP and .529 SLG while playing every day in July? Replacing Lamb in the lineup with Huff is like substituting Marshmallow Mateys for your regular breakfast of Lucky Charms. Since ingredients, different packaging, except your new cereal costs more and will likely disappear at the end of the year.

I have never been simply "anti-Huff"; rather, I am more "anti-Huff for this particular team and for the price paid". Everyone agreed the Astros needed a bat. No one claimed that the Astros needed a slow, platoon corner IF/OF rental player who had never played in a game that mattered. As you mentioned, in his first 100 ABs, Zobrist is hitting about as well as Everett currently is, and Everett is what, five years into his career? After a terrible first six games, he's hitting .264. Everett in August? .221 AVG and .252 OBP. To Purpura's point that Zobrist can't field the position like a major-leaguer? Maybe he will prove incapable, but so far he's got a .970 FPCT. That's not Ozzie Smith, nor is it Adam Everett, but it's not Bill Dahlen, either. I've never claimed that Zobrist is the next Miguel Tejada, but when your only alternative in the organization at that position is Adam Everett, he's pretty damn valuable, and despite the negative factors that naturally affect anyone in their first month in the bigs, Zobrist has already proven to be able to about as well as Everett, and his track record indicates that he will continue to improve considerably.

And it's not just Zobrist v. Huff, by the way - there's some guy named Talbot who is 22 years old and has posted a 1.94 ERA in nine Double-A starts since being included in this deal and a 2.81 ERA in 150 IP with 154 K's on the season. If Backe, Wandy, Zeke, Buchholz, Albers and Hirsh were all sure things, then I guess losing Talbot wouldn't be a big deal. Instead, each of their performances has rated somewhere between marginal and terrible, rendering Talbot all the more valuable to your future.

I've been called a prospect lover. That's a fun, easy label to place, but it's not accurate. I do try to follow the farm teams closely so that I can better understand the moves that the front office makes. I would LOVE to see the Astros trade some of their prized prospects in the right situation. Get some dynamic positional talent that will diversify the offense and help transform this team from the one-dimensional beer league softball team that its lineup currently resembles. But bringing in a platoon corner OF free agent for two months at the price they paid was still, in my mind, an ill-conceived plan steeped in desperation.

Fri Sep 01, 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

That was too easy. Take a 'lude.

Fri Sep 01, 10:29:00 AM  

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