There were no red flags in the minor league performance of Jose Lopez; he was always three years younger than his league, swinging beautifully, and posting absurdly-low K rates.
I didn't think at the time, that it mattered much that Jose Lopez hit every batted ball into a 10-degree wedge of left field; Juan Gonzalez did that. But MLB pitchers simply fed Lopez the kind of pitches that, if pulled down the LF line, would be weak ground balls.
Like we say, find your own minor-league heroes who had hidden problems with their games.
As mentioned before, the main difference between MLB and AAA is not power, but precision.
Even now, there are 100 Carlos Peguero types wearing out the minors because they get plenty 'nuff hitters' pitches to rack up gorgeous numbers. What can they do with pitchers' pitches, though?
Clement had no defense against pitches on his hands, or against breaking pitches located outside the heart of the strike zone. The only hits he got, were when an MLB pitcher missed his spot. But AAA pitchers, working on their games, couldn't locate curves in the strike zone nearly as well ...
Great point about the red flag. This is probably a key point at which we talk past each other. In my view, there is definitely such a thing as a player whose flaws AAA pitchers do not possess the precision to exploit.
The AAAA player. Carlos Peguero and Michael Saunders are going to turn out to be examples, if they don't do something fast.
When Jack Zduriencik runs hitters up-and-down from Cheney, how much of his attention is devoted to this question, do you think? Did that have anything to do with Alex Liddi's callup in 2011?
You and I watch the carousel :- ) and we're mostly watching slash lines and, maybe, EYE ratios. Here is where we need to give the scouts credit: they're watching the player battle different kinds of pitches, in different locations. They're trying to figure out whether the hitter has a Jeff Clement / Calvin Pickering fatal flaw.
If Trayvon Robinson is swinging badly over the tops of curve balls, left handed -- which he is -- is that something he'll be able to correct? They have to judge these questions. When they bring up Mike Wilson, they have to judge whether the scouts are right that "he can't hit good velocity."
From an amateur's perspective, you don't have to be a pro scout to enjoy this plot theme. Just pay attention to whether the guy sometimes hits pitchers' pitches.
Dr. D would challenge you to specify the pitch that Kyle Seager can't hit. Or Dustin Ackley.
Or Justin Smoak. Jam pitch, ladder pitch, outside, which pitch is it?