Saturday, March 29, 2008

Almost ready to start the season

Haven't had much to say lately. Escobar may be gone for good, and that sucks. Weaver-Garland-Saunders-Santana-Mosely should get the job done but that's not the kind of rotation that will scare anybody. The offense is really going to have to come through this year. If they score runs like in 2007, the division should still be no problem.

Erick Aybar had a strong spring and will be the starting shortstop to open the season. The statistical impression of him is a near replacement level shortstop, a guy who might hit enough singles to bat .270-.280 but with no power or walks and poor baserunning. Defensively he has tools but makes too many errors. Aybar has looked much better than that in March, and while spring training numbers are near meaningless, there is hope for the kid.

Sometimes those players with unimpressive stats but great scouting reports really do pan out. Aybar was the #3 prospect in a strong Angels system, according to Baseball America, in their 2005, 2006, and 2007 handbooks. A few years ago his minor league numbers, when adjusted to MLEs, were neck and neck with Hanley Ramirez (his raw numbers were actually better, but he played in better hitters parks.)

I'm not saying he's going to go Hanley on us and hit .300 with 30 homers and 50 steals, that would be crazy, but just maybe the kid will turn into a contributor. Can't wait to find out.

Good luck to Nathan Haynes, as we didn't have room for him and he's now a Devil Ray. Too bad we couldn't work a trade out and grab an extra arm from them.

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