(Re: B.J. Upton)
Upton is still raw and at times overly agressive while hitting. He's hitting .385 but has struck out 11 times in 25 ABs. That's a formula for failure--it's just a matter of time. I think the Devil Rays should trade Upton at peak value and try to bring some pitching back for their organization.
I doubt highly that many professional baseball G.M.s take time out of their busy days to read online chats by the guy who used to be their insurance policy against being the worst within the peer group. Well, maybe Bavasi does, but he won't count in about two weeks anyway. Anyway, here's what Steve Phillips has to offer on one of the most scrutinized young players in the major leagues:
1) He's still raw: This would make sense, as Upton is 22. Thanks Steve.
2) At times he's overly aggressive when hitting: This could probably be said about every major league hitter, with the possible exception of the laconic Bobby Abreu and the incomparable Albert Pujols. Everyone else gets out of line sometimes. This is not helpful analysis.
3) He's hitting .385: This is awesome because Steve, in the same sentence, admits that Upton's only had 25 at-bats. Twenty-five at-bats! Mind you, it is 175 doggy at-bats, so maybe it does mean something.
4) He's struck out 11 times in those 25 ABs: Again, it's 25 AB! STOP ACTING LIKE THIS SAMPLE SIZE IS INDICATIVE OF WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM 22-YEAR-OLD B.J. UPTON WHO IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE AWESOME AT BASEBALL.
5) The "that's a formula for failure" line: No, it's not. Again, let me pull out a list that's come in handy before:
That's a list of the gentlemen who struck out more than anyone else in the National League last season. Also doubles as: A list of five of the most valuable players in the NL last season.
For the last time, everyone: Strikeouts are really not that bad at all. Provided you are good at hitting, a concept that is not mutually exclusive with striking out.
6) I think the Devil Rays should trade Upton at peak value and try to bring some pitching back for their organization.
I just want everyone to read that sentence again. I'll wait.
For the last year, just about everyone has taken turns stomping on B.J. Upton's nuts, because he hasn't hit quite like he was expected to and it's turned out that he couldn't catch a grounder off the bat of a little leaguer. He's gone from SS to 2B to 3B to possible outfielder and back to 2B this season. That many position changes would make Jenna Jameson's head spin. All the while, the Devil Rays have publicly wrung the franchise's metaphorical hands over what to do with this guy, like he was some kind of ticking, iron-gloved time bomb. Two days before Spring Training came to a close, they announced they weren't going to dick around with him as some kind of super-utility player, instead opting to stick him at second base, where at least they're used to having shitty defenders. The general vibe coming from Tampa is that the club is treating the keystone like it's a fucking quarantine island for the worlds biggest-swinging leper.
Then, to top it all off, idiot pundits like Steve Phillips won't get off the kid's ass for two seconds, constantly nattering about his strikeouts (no mention of that ugly .308 OBP he put up last year, though) and his defense, and referring to him as a giant disappointment.
Yet, his value is at its peak because he's hitting .385 in 25 fucking ABs.
When I started writing this, I was in a good mood and I wanted it to be funny. Now, I'm just really angry and I want to make a time machine and fly back in time and abort Steve Phillips.