THINK TANK PLAYER OF THE DAY
Delicious to have a geniuine player controversy already. When's the last time we had a 40-comment firefight on a Dr. D player evaluation?! Told you this DiPoto guy would pay off :- )
M'man Cool Papa Bell is having way too much fun in the Shout Box and Comments. He's pointing out that it's tough to trade "a setup reliever" for "three years of "a proven, starting major league regular."
If that is what we are getting -- a center fielder who can bat 80-90 OPS+ and win a Gold Glove in center field -- then the trade is a good one, no argument. Says here that's NOT what the Mariners are getting, not by a long shot.
1. Boog Powell says that not even DiPoto is confident the Mariners are getting such.
2. The Rangers are most certainly confident that there is no way Martin delivers 8+ WAR over the next three years.
3. Here's BaseballHQ *before* Martin's 2015, in which he went on to bat the same 55 OPS+ that Mike Zunino just did. This was after 2014, when Martin managed 274/325/364 and 4.0 runs per 27 outs:
Sophomore campaign looked like a decent repeat, though several indicators suggest change is on the way: xBA continued its sharp decline, SBO fell to career low, and he remained futile vs. LHP. 2nd half contact gains offer some hope, and he still owns elite speed, but a third straight year of 30+ SB is far from a lock.
You realize that not even defensive specialist Mike Zunino was able to remain in a major league lineup over 350 AB's, hitting like Leonys Martin just did over 310 AB's. And the concern for both is that they are headed South from here.
Leonys Martin is a plus center fielder, maybe even a dominating one - as Mike Zunino is a plus catcher, maybe even a dominating one. The deal stands or falls with Martin's ability to hit .270/.320/.370, as he did in 2013-14 IN TEXAS. If Martin can bat 90 OPS+ against righties, be a platoon defender, the deal is fine. Says here that he will not.
But ... fulltime player? Martin, with that swing, is going to hit lefties well enough to play 150 games? He had a 4:33 EYE against them last year, after four years of experience.
Personally I (and the people who gave him an ML chance) think that James Jones could become Leonys Martin -- a platoon defensive glove, pinch-runner, and 60-70 OPS hitter -- given a fair chance and some good coaching. But will cheerfully admit that the evidence came in on the other side yesterday :- )
That's Dr. D's take: that Leonys Martin is odds-against to even hold on to a platoon role, and that therefore this guy is a placeholder for Boog Powell. Or for ANYbody who actually IS a proven starting major league center fielder.
But coming up in the comments: an argument (from the Think Tank) that Leonys Martin simply had a rough season in 2014. Will look forward to it with relish.