mblax10 wrote:ZOMG-One guy who was rushed sucked when he got to the majors. How about Justin Upton, Joe Mauer, Gary Sheffield, etc. There are numerous examples of guys failing or succeeding after being rushed. Similarly, there are numerous guys who have failed or succeeded after spending too much time in the minors. Why? Tons of guys try and make the majors and many fail.
Last year Kila was 24, Lars was 20. Until you understand what that means, just give up. I'm also curious how you quantify "skillset and maturity for an easy transition into the majors."
BABIP with no history is a very poor choice of stat to try and deduce a hitter being lucky.
Butler is under Royals control for 4 more seasons. He may not even be arb eligible after this season depending on what the Super 2 cutoff is. Jacobs has 2 more arb seasons with the Royals. These 2 are blocking Kila. There's no reason to think Lars won't compete for a DH/1B spot to open 2010.
You are a fool to think (and to actually type ZOMG in what was may have almost been considered an intellectual debate) that more prospects flourish than get set back by being rushed. You are listing extremely rare and elite talent, Lars Anderson is not even close to this type of talent. Trust me there are way more guys who were ruined or set way back due to being rushed. There names just aren't as known for the obvious reason that they just aren't as good as these other guys. Brandon Wood had much better numbers than Lars did when he was 20 he actually broke the high A ball record for HRs. He still has yet to actualize in the majors. Please don't misenturpet this as me saying he's a bad player and will never have a MLB career because that isn't what I'm saying. I'm just pointing out the fact that Wood is a top prospect who had much better numbers than Lars but he still hasn't made it in the majors, for an assortment of reasons.
Until you understand that a year in AA doesn't mean a player is going to be a great MLB hitter, you need to rethink your whole approach here. You seem to be taking this whole thing person with the unnecessary "ZOMG's". My whole original intent was to bring light to the fact that Lars Anderson isn't hands down the better pick than Kila. Everyone over looked Kila and no one gave him a chance in this fight. I was just sticking up for the underdog with some key points.
Also BABIP has been proven to be on average for most players to be right around .300 with there BABIP, anything much higher than that is out of the norm and considered "lucky". In 2008 Lars Anderson's BABIP at high A ball was .367 (very high) and at AA it was .435 (even higher!). His BABIP this year is .295, so it just goes to show you.
Also Mike Jacobs was up for arbitration last year. Which is why the Marlin's traded him for so little. They just didn't want to pay him. The Royals gave him 3.5 million to avoid arbitration (Jacobs wanted 3.8 mil the Royals wanted 2.75 mil). Billy Butler signed a 1 year deal last year. So because of him signing a one year deal I am fairly certain he has the option to either file as an out right free agent or go to arbitration terms with his current team (still leaving FA an open option). Meaning reguardless of which, he is going to get paid. He only makes $421K right now, I'd think he'd get a bigger contract at least the size of Jacobs if not bigger (3.5 million). Also Butler getting a one year deal from the Royals means another one of two things, either 1) they want to lock him up for long term this offseason or 2) they don't intend on keeping him more than one more year which would be his one year contract from arbitration. Why would a low budget team like the Royals want to pay 2 players more money when Kila can come in and play for much cheaper for awhile?
I'm gonna go with Kila Ka'aihue personally. If you check my posts, I am currently driving his bandwagon, so keep that in mind I suppose. I'm jumping into the debate a little late, here goes nothing...
For starters, I believe Lars is a bit of an overblown prospect, not saying he's not a fantastic prospect, but he's a Red Sox prospect, and thus he is more well known much like any NY prospect, so I take some of the hyperbole with a grain of salt. I also don't think he's that close to the Majors. It's obviously never a great idea to put too much stock in minor league numbers given plenty of players prove to be AAAA talents and others sky rocket when they develop at the Major League level, but some stock has to be put into them. The first troubling stat for me with Lars is his struggles against lefties this year. He's currently hitting .192 in 52 AB's... sure small sample size, but couple that with 17 K's and no HR's and yuck. Second, he's regressed this year while repeating AA. He is hitting better lately, but his K rate is on the high side for a guy that's supposed to be "close to major league ready" considering we're talking about him facing AA pitching. His walk rate is good, but certainly not great for a corner IF. As I've said already, sometimes the numbers don't tell the whole story, but those are a bit alarming numbers for me. I also wouldn't say he has an easier path to the Major Leagues either. Being that the Red Sox have no trouble spending money, who's to say they won't sign someone or make a big splash deal for someone like Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera? Projecting signings/trades is a bit extreme, but it's certainly much more likely the Sox make a move like that then the Royals, who would be more inclined to dump a guy like Jacobs at the deadline for some low-mid tier prospects just to rid themselves of the remainder of his contract this year. It's also important to remember the Red Sox made a monster play for Teixeira, that doesn't scream to me that they are sure of Lars developing into a cornerstone 1B. I don't have my BA Handbook on me, but if I'm not mistaken, isn't Lars projected as a sweet swinging gap to gap guy not a big HR hitter as well? Anyways, point being, yes he has the higher ceiling given age, team (he'll have better surroundings for counting numbers assuming both stay with their respective teams) but he also think he has some hurdles of his own, where as at this point Kila only has the hurdle of getting a call up and then ultimately needing to produce.
As for Kila, I think it's important to remember the power numbers came in some hitting friendly leagues, but his BB:K is what is so exciting to me. I also think that he will get an extended look either in KC or elsewhere through a trade this year. He may ultimately prove to be a AAAA player, but he may not, I think if you choose to use your roster spot on Kila you'll get quicker return. Though he has split issues himself this year, his OBP is certainly adequate against lefties, and given his walk rate, I'd assume he's got a grasp of the strike zone against them and he'll see a bit of an uptick in his BA soon.
All in all I don't think it's an easy choice at all, but making it myself, I'd choose Kila. I would fault no one for taking Lars Anderson, but remember, there have been plenty of high ceiling guys who have not reached their potential much like there have been plenty of late bloomers. I'm sure I'll get the obligatory "name plenty of busts/bloomers" but I'll hold off for now and wait for that post...
Year Level(s) 2B HR HR/2B Ratio XBH/AB 2003 A 21 11 0.52 .084 2004 A 23 15 0.65 .101 2005 A+ 31 20 0.65 .107 2006 AA 15 6 0.40 .064 2007 A+,AA 21 21 1.00 .093 2008 AA,AAA 15 37 2.47 .130 2009 AAA 17 8 0.47 .138
The home run to doubles ratio in 2008 is so vastly different than the rest of his career. Some feel that a huge power surge in home runs, without a corresponding increase in doubles is the sign of a fluke. In Bill James' study of the 96 types of different hitters, a small number of major leaguers have a ratio of HR/2B over 1.00, and it almost never tops 1.50 for any sustainable period. In fact, only nine of the top 100 home run hitters have hit 50% more home runs than doubles for their career. Jim Thome is the highest active player with a ratio of just 1.36. Based on Ka'aihue's track record, a more reasonable assumption is a HR/2B ratio of 0.60. On a positive note for 2009, Ka'aihue is knocking extra base hits at an even higher rate than 2008, though balls that were leaving the park last year seem to be just bouncing off the wall this year.
Projection System AVG/ OBP/ SLG Bill James .259/.380/.475 Oliver .256/.351/.487 Marcel .277/.351/.436 ZiPS .258/.345/.432 CHONE .242/.343/.398 PECOTA .226/.323/.388
Projection Average .255/.352/.432 Omaha Equivalent .306/.427/.538
The second to last line are the weighted slash stats of the six projections, while the last line is the Projection Average translated back to AAA Omaha using the Minor League Equivalency calculator. The Omaha Equivalent is pretty close to what he has accomplished. These projections for a 25 year-old suggest a solid, but not spectacular, major-league first baseman in the future.
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The MLB equivalent ratios and projections are pretty much a joke for almost all players. Hey, a guy is hitting .295 so that means he'd be hitting .250 in the MLB? Laughable.... if that were the case no prospects coming up would be hitting over .260, and to break a .300 average you'd have to be hitting .350. You can never follow projections like this for any prospect, they are just some formulas that these guys came up with to determine how guys could do this year at the MLB level.
I have mixed opinions on the equivalency projections. I think they are a nice tool, but more so for power then average. I always feel like the projections are overly pessimistic. Obviously you don't expect a guy to duplicate their AAA in the bigs, because the talent level and ballparks are different, but to expect a guy with a solid plate approach who smacks XBH all over the field to just fall apart seems a bit strange as well. Conversely, I'd be curious to see what kind of equivalency numbers Joey Gathright has put up in the past, given his speed and stellar AAA batting averages, I would guess the equivalency projections loved him. Interesting piece though, and I'm glad you posted it, as the 2B:HR is an interesting stat that I'd never looked at or given thought to. On a side note, taking a look at 2B:HR Ryan Howard appears to be in the unique camp of guys who hit a lot more HR's then doubles as he's currently at 115 2B: 196 HR's in his career and over the last three years has hit almost twice as many HR's as doubles.