If you're looking at a pure speed guy for the future, you may want to look at Tampa's Joey Gathright (now at AAA-Durham). He's not a highly publicized prospect @ 21-22 yrs old I believe -- because his whole game is speed.
Rumors down here have Crawford eventually being dealt likely for a pitching and Gathright likely taking over in center or left.
Born: April 27, 1981
Gathright is not only the fastest player in the Tampa Bay organization (yes, including Carl Crawford), but he may very well also be the fastest runner in all of baseball. After stealing 91 bases in his first two seasons as a pro, Gathright has continued his success in 2004 and has been red-hot following his recent promotion to Triple-A Durham. Last season, in a total of 111 games between the High-A and Double-A levels, Gathright hit .334 and stole 69 bases. He didn't hit a single home run, but then again, fantasy owners are interested in Gathright solely for his speed. Just consider him as Jason Tyner with more speed, much better pure hitting ability, and better plate discipline.
The 23-year-old Gathright started strong at Double-A Montgomery this year with a .341 batting average, .399 on-base percentage and 10 stolen bases in 126 at-bats. Since joining Durham, he was successful in his first 11 stolen base attempts and currently has been caught only once in his 12 tries for the Bulls in just 13 games. He has also maintained a .310 batting average and a .344 OBP.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Gathright will make his major league debut at some point in 2004. His hitting at the major league level may take a year or two before it matches his minor league production, but as long as the speedster can continue to get on base, which he should, he will rack up plenty of stolen bases regardless of the level at which he is playing. Gathright has a great chance at breaking into the Tampa Bay outfield for opening day of 2005. If that happens, the Devil Rays would have the undisputed fastest outfield in all of baseball -- Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and Gathright. "
Crawford won't be traded, they are even going to work on a new contract soon for him. Huff hasn't played OF all year and never will again. Gathright will play DH, LF, and CF. and will get SB's as long as he is in the line up.
Also Gathright at 2b? That's a pretty big mistake seeing as how he hasn't played the infield since Single A years ago.
thomasps3 wrote:Crawford won't get dealt...They'll slide Huff to 1b, and have the best defencsive OF in baseball with Crawdaddy, Baldelli, and Gaithwright
Uhh, what about Jose Cruz Jr. Is he DH? and if so, where is Tino?
If/when Gathright is called up, look for him to play the OF some and DH. Don't listen to what he said, Huff is staying at 3B cause the others options are awful even to think about and Cruz will be playin OF more then Gathright.
"Rumors persist that the Phillies are interested in acquiring the Devil Rays' Carl Crawford or Rocco Baldelli.
Philadelphia wants a speedy outfielder, and may be willing to part with minor-league power-hitting sensation Ryan Howard. Normally, we would dismiss trade rumors concerning young cornerstone players like Crawford or Baldelli without a thought. However, with Joey Gathright able to fill in, and with the chance to get a prospect as promising as first baseman Howard, the Rays may consider making this kind of trade. Jul. 23 - 6:39 am et
Source: Tampa Tribune
They'd be silly to deal Crawford for anything -- but he's definitely got more value than Baldelli at this moment in time. The Phillies have been the only real team mentioned for either of them over the past 2-3 months.
I wouldn't deal either for Ryan Howard however. They should be moving Huff to 1B and perhaps Upton to 2B eventually. I'd be thinking more along the lines of Hamels/Floyd & Marlon Byrd (who's struggling in AAA).
Cantu looks impressive to me thus far. I'm not ready to conceed he'll only be a bench bat. Lugo's built himself up quite well this year & may be more costly than the D'rays want to eventually pay -- Looked like they would sign him to an extension earlier in the year for reasonable $$.