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Postby Steve-o » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:02 pm

Maybe some time sooner than expected.

Adam McCalvy wrote:But across the diamond at third base, the Brewers remain in limbo with third baseman Corey Koskie, who did not play after last July 5 because of post-concussion syndrome. His uncertain status for 2007 has the team "concerned, but not alarmed," according to the club's top medical official, and ultimately unsure who will man the hot corner on Opening Day.

"He is progressing in a positive direction, but no baseball activities yet," said assistant general manager Gord Ash, who got an update on Koskie from head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger on Tuesday. "The information we have is somewhat vague, and I don't know that we'll know anything more until we see him in person."

That means the Brewers will head to Maryvale Baseball Park with no definitive third baseman. According to Ash and general manager Doug Melvin, top prospect Ryan Braun is one option to replace Koskie, and the team also could look to veteran backups Craig Counsell or Tony Graffanino. No one on the free agent market has piqued the Brewers' interest.

"We're always keeping our eyes open, but there's no need to panic just yet," Ash said.

Koskie was acquired at a discount last January from the Blue Jays, who had a glut of corner infielders, and agreed to pay much of his salary in 2006 and 2007.


Pure speculation, but I still don't think we see Braun until later in the season. His glove is just not ready.

Just some fuel for the hot stove.
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Postby FalcoAtL » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:56 pm

Very interesting info... Def. something to ponder thats for sure. Good find! ;-D
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Postby rmande09 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:11 pm

Even though Braun's bat is ready, I don't think the BrewCrew can deal with the atrocity that is his defense at the hot corner - they may give him a chance, but I don't think it'll be long before he's in the OF.
C: Pierzynski
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Postby TurdFerguson » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:54 pm

If they're giving Weeks every opportunity at 2B , than they will do the same with Braun.Just curious , have you seen Braun play? I watch a lot of Southern league baseball.
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Postby rmande09 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:11 pm

TurdFerguson wrote:If they're giving Weeks every opportunity at 2B , than they will do the same with Braun.Just curious , have you seen Braun play? I watch a lot of Southern league baseball.


Ryan Braun would be the WORST defensive player in baseball if he was up right now at 3B. He made 34 errors last year in 1,000 innings at 3B, which is equivalent to 110 games. Extrapolate that and you have 44 errors from your 3B, which is inexcusable. His FPCT, though not a drastically important stat, was something around .910, which is downright pathetic. Weeks, though a poor defender himself, has great range and is a much better fielder (still 30 or so errors extrapolated to 160 games in the Bigs), but still - huge difference between 30 and 44. And Weeks' .950 FPCT is bad, but no where near as bad as Braun's .910.

Braun has a very plus arm and decent range and could easily be a good outfielder, but it is becoming clear that he is never going to even be an average defender at 3B.
C: Pierzynski
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Postby dcskater619 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:43 am

rmande09 wrote:
TurdFerguson wrote:If they're giving Weeks every opportunity at 2B , than they will do the same with Braun.Just curious , have you seen Braun play? I watch a lot of Southern league baseball.


Ryan Braun would be the WORST defensive player in baseball if he was up right now at 3B. He made 34 errors last year in 1,000 innings at 3B, which is equivalent to 110 games. Extrapolate that and you have 44 errors from your 3B, which is inexcusable. His FPCT, though not a drastically important stat, was something around .910, which is downright pathetic. Weeks, though a poor defender himself, has great range and is a much better fielder (still 30 or so errors extrapolated to 160 games in the Bigs), but still - huge difference between 30 and 44. And Weeks' .950 FPCT is bad, but no where near as bad as Braun's .910.

Braun has a very plus arm and decent range and could easily be a good outfielder, but it is becoming clear that he is never going to even be an average defender at 3B.


I disagree that he could NEVER be an average defender. If he got practice time in with the major league club, he could get better. It just takes time and a lot of effort from him and the coaches. Why don't the Brewers have Bill Hall man 3rd and let three of Clark/Hart/Mench/Jenkins play the OF..??
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Postby Steve-o » Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:17 am

dcskater619 wrote:Why don't the Brewers have Bill Hall man 3rd and let three of Clark/Hart/Mench/Jenkins play the OF..??


Because that means that Clark (263/348/335) pretty much plays everyday in CF. Yes, his OBP was higher than his slugging percentage last year.

It will be Koskie at third, with probably Graffanino filling in when needed. I really don't think Braun gets anything more than a cup of coffee this year
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Postby rmande09 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:03 am

Braun has been a 3B for a very long time. He's not good. Even if he does put in all this time and effort, defense is not something that develops anywhere near as much as hitting - from a strictly-statistical standpoint, Braun is going to have to drop nearly TWENTY (20!) errors to become simply an average 3B. Any way you slice it, that is a ridiculous improvement that Braun needs to make - maybe impossible - defense is not going to become easier as he moves on to AAA and the Bigs.
C: Pierzynski
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3B: Miggy
SS: HanRam
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Postby Koby Schellenger » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:37 pm

I think the defensive criticisms of Braun are a little overblown in general. Most of the errors he makes are throwing errors despite a good arm. He is able to cover plenty of territory and get to a lot of balls.

Using errors as the basis of defensive analysis has tremendous flaws inherant to the metric. That is not to deny that Braun struggles defensively, but it is magnified when considering the conditions of the fields. The Southern League, and to a lesser extent, the Florida State League, does not have the pristinely soft infields of major league stadiums that are meticulously groomed. The SL in particular features very tough, hard infields which only compounds the statistical noise present in the error statistic.

By comparison, Andy LaRoche, an average to above average defensive 3B committed 10 errors in 62 games in the SL. Projecting that over 162 means he would have made more errors than any other 3B in baseball. What's more interesting is that upon being promoted to AAA Las Vegas, LaRoche committed only 5 errors in 53 games. Understandably, errors are nearly the worst statistic ever created in baseball, what goes on is that with better fields that are built in more suitable ways with a higher budget, balls don't take as many funny hops, they are easier to field in proper position and on and on.

Braun will stick at third if for no other reason than the Brewers have too many outfielders as it is. I don't think there's any reason he needs to be rushed up to the majors if Koskie can't go but I certainly think he could contribute. Given that the Brewers have alternatives (Hall, Graffanino) and a surplus of outfielders, I can't see a scenario in which Braun makes the team out of ST. But I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him in Milwaukee after the All Star game, especially if Milwaukee is struggling offensively.
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Postby rmande09 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:00 pm

Koby Schellenger wrote:I think the defensive criticisms of Braun are a little overblown in general. Most of the errors he makes are throwing errors despite a good arm. He is able to cover plenty of territory and get to a lot of balls.

Using errors as the basis of defensive analysis has tremendous flaws inherant to the metric. That is not to deny that Braun struggles defensively, but it is magnified when considering the conditions of the fields. The Southern League, and to a lesser extent, the Florida State League, does not have the pristinely soft infields of major league stadiums that are meticulously groomed. The SL in particular features very tough, hard infields which only compounds the statistical noise present in the error statistic.

By comparison, Andy LaRoche, an average to above average defensive 3B committed 10 errors in 62 games in the SL. Projecting that over 162 means he would have made more errors than any other 3B in baseball. What's more interesting is that upon being promoted to AAA Las Vegas, LaRoche committed only 5 errors in 53 games. Understandably, errors are nearly the worst statistic ever created in baseball, what goes on is that with better fields that are built in more suitable ways with a higher budget, balls don't take as many funny hops, they are easier to field in proper position and on and on.

Braun will stick at third if for no other reason than the Brewers have too many outfielders as it is. I don't think there's any reason he needs to be rushed up to the majors if Koskie can't go but I certainly think he could contribute. Given that the Brewers have alternatives (Hall, Graffanino) and a surplus of outfielders, I can't see a scenario in which Braun makes the team out of ST. But I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him in Milwaukee after the All Star game, especially if Milwaukee is struggling offensively.


I completely agree that errors are an awful statistic. They really measure little defensively, especially when talking a guy like a middle-infielder... However, there's a difference when we are talking 25 errors and 45 errors (Actually, LaRoche's 10 in 62 extrapolated over 162 is 26, which is higher than every other 3Bman, but I only extrapolated Braun's over 150 I think, because 34 in 110 is 50 in 162 - flat out scary). Though I agree that the fields generally get better as you progress, the difference IS minimal - I would like to see an analysis as to HOW much difference it actually makes. I would bet it was less than a .005 difference in FPCT. In college, I played at spring training sites, some of the best college fields in the country, and a few short-season and A-ball fields, and there was literally no difference - and I have no idea how it can actually get BETTER, at least in terms of being a defender, than those fields. Obviously I believe that the infield at Fenway plays better than the infield at Lowell, but the difference is probably minimal - certainly not enough to change the fact that 50 errors is 50 errors.

Do you have a link to show errors on throws and errors actually fielding the ball? I ask this in seriousness, not being a smarta**, because you stated that he made more throwing errors than fielding errors and unless you have seen him play more than 50% of his games, I'm not sure you can state that with much confidence unless there are actually splits. Regardless, even if they are throwing errors, that does not bode well for Braun. If they were fielding errors, you could make the argument that it has to do with the conditions of the fields, but throwing errors are throwing errors, and at the age of 22 with 17 years of baseball experience, I would think that he would have harnessed the control of his throws by now. From all reports I've read, Braun has poor movement at 3rd troubled even more by hands like feet. His arm is very much PLUS, but you'd be better off playing Russian Roulette than guessing where his ball is headed.

And to go even farther with this, he made 15 errors at Brevard County (A+) in 508 innings at 3B, but 19 errors in 500 innings at AA Hunstville. Sample size is too small, certainly, but I was just putting it out there as a comparison since you showed me LaRoche's.

You are probably right that the Brewers will keep Braun at 3B because the OF is full, but as soon as a spot opens up I would think they would toss him out there. Honestly - even if he cuts his errors by 15, 35 errors, regardless of how they are made, are far too excessive to have from a Major League player. His defense could be more detrimental than his offense being instrumental (that sounds awful, but you know what I mean).
C: Pierzynski
1B: Pujols
2B: Altuve
3B: Miggy
SS: HanRam
OF (x3): CarGo, M. Bourn, D. Jennings
UTIL (x2): E. Encarnacion, C. Hart
BN: Cuddyer, C. Ross, J. Montero

SP: Price, Gallardo, T. Hudson, Lester
RP: Chapman, Jansen, Rodney, Putz, Cishek, Bailey
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