Tuesday, August 3, 2010

OUT OF RIGHT FIELD

(Took a brief hiatus, but I'm still here.)

The signing of Corey Hart took me by surprise, as it seems to have most everyone else.  Just a few initial thoughts...

1.  This does not necessarily mean that he won't get traded anyway.  In fact, having him under a 3-year contract might improve his value in a trade.

2.  But, by that logic, Ryan Braun would have even more trade value. He's younger and has a much more favorable contract.  But Melvin wouldn't do that.  Would he?

2.  But, the Brewers now have this group of players signed and/or under their control at least through the 2012 season - the next two years.

SP Yovani Gallardo
SP Randy Wolf
SP Manny Parra
SP Chris Narveson
RP Carlos Villanueva
RP Zach Braddock
RP Mitch Stetter
CL John Axford
C Jonathan Lucroy
C George Kottaras
SS Alcides Escobar
3B Casey McGehee
IF Mat Gamel
LF Ryan Braun
CF Carlos Gomez
RF Corey Hart
OF Joe Inglett
OF Lorenzo Cain

That's a pretty impressive, solid nucleus of talent.

3.  But, that same nucleus of talent, plus Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks, is currently 9 games under .500.

4.  But, that nucleus of talent is young.  Save for Randy Wolf and Joe Inglett, they are all under 30 years old.  They could get better.

5.  But, seven of those players are past their 27th birthday and at the theoretical peak of their careers (Parra, Narveson, McGehee, Hart, Stetter, Axford, Kotarras).  You can't expect that those players will get much better.

Five years ago, when the huge wave of talent came spilling out of the Brewers minor league system all at once, there was an enormous storm cloud on the horizon when all of these players would become free agents.  Doug Melvin has dissipated that cloud little by little and now has only Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder left to deal with.  I at least give him credit for that.

2 comments:

Jared said...

Isn't 27 seen as the breakout year, not necessarily the players best year but the beginning of his best years?

Scott Segrin said...

Most every study on aging I've seen identifies age 27 as a player's peak. The incline is sharper than the decline which I believe leads to a perception that the peak is later.

On an individual player basis, the peak age mostly meaningless. Some players peak at age 25 while others peak at age 35. But in examining a group of players, I think it is meaningful. If today, you have a group of 27 year old ball players the likelihood is that two years from now the group won't be quite as productive as it is now.

The point here is that 3-4 years ago when everyone was in their early 20's (Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Braun, Gallardo, Hart) there was a reasonable expectation that as a group they would get better over time and thus the team would naturally improve. Today, I don't think you can have that expectation. What you have now is pretty much all your going to get.

 
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