I read the comments. I see that there are those amongst you that think I am too mean. Fair enough, I really have no interest in being mean, near as much as I want to modify how ridiculous professional pieces are these days. Seriously, they are bad.
You know this…
When your job is to read bad media pieces week after week, it becomes infuriating, and my responses indicated such. However, this week, I am going to attempt to find one particularly aggravating piece from the week that was the continued employment of Nick Cafardo and offer a reasoned researched response.
It did not take long to find the paragraph dedicated, unsolicited, to Cafardo’s giant [man-crush] over Jose Iglesias. Please note that this does not come from a mailbag, it is in his baseball notes, and is supposed to be a piece about Deven Marrero (who has me all sorts of excited as a possible Major Leaguer). How much does Nick teach us about Marrero? Check out the full, entirely in context, thought:
Those who have seen the Red Sox’ first-round pick last year, shortstop Deven Marrero, play consistently think he’s a very good all-around player who will be a very good big league player. But, as one American League scout put it, “He’s not [Jose Iglesias defensively. Nobody is.” Iglesias entered Saturday hitting .435/.486/.581. It’s 19 games, but the sample size is growing. He’s starting to prove he can be a major league hitter to go along with off-the-charts ability at short. He’s also played a great third base in the absence of Will Middlebrooks, currently rehabbing
at Pawtucket after a DL stint because of back spasms. Iglesias creates a compelling case by the day to unseat Stephen Drew, but I doubt the Red Sox will do it. Drew is here for a year at $9.5 million.
Listen, I love Jose Iglesias. Ask any of my closest friends, I am overly-obsessed with him. I've made reasoned arguments for him (If he can be a slightly below average hitter and a 2.0 WAR defender, he is worthy starter and 9 hitter), ridiculous arguments for him (SERIOUSLY!!! Did you see that play...he's WAAAAAAY better than Mike Aviles!...or...He's better in the field than Brandon Crawford, about as bad at the plate...and the Giants won a World Series with him at SS), and looks based arguments (he is sexy in the field...). I am an unashamed, unabashed fan. But, I know who he is. I am realistic.
Think about Iglesias from this point of view: his BABIP is a staggering .508 as of Sunday. He has 9 of 31 hits in the infield. His spray chart is nondescript, which could indicate balls are just falling. He has never hit .300 at any level (for a full-ish season), let alone in the best league in the world. No scout thinks he can hit.
Yet, Cafardo wants you to think that his sample size is “growing.” Well, yes, a sample size, by definition, grows with every plate appearance. Yes, it has been a shocking bonus to have Iglesias hit like he is Ty Cobb for 79 at bats. And OMG, the defense at whatever position he plays.
But, no one believes this is who Iglesias is, save perhaps for Cafardo, his biggest fan. In fact, Jose Iglesias likely owes Nick Cafardo 3% agent fees.
But look at what else is missing in this article, which is shaping the thought process of the average fan in the Boston market. It is missing that Stephen Drew has been a positive offensive bWAR player (0.9) and defensive player (1.0) this year. That his brutal start weighs into his stats all season. That his OPS is over .800 since the start of May. He is a very good player. He has been a good player in Boston. He is more than just a $9.5 million dollar investment, as Cafardo continually deconstructs him to be. I am glad Stephen Drew is on this team. You should be, as well.
Next, Will Middlebrooks has been the hitter we all assumed Iglesias would be (and that we maybe should be concerned Iglesias will return to being – regression to the mean, and all). He is coming back. If Middlebrooks wrestles the job back, and let’s all hope he plays well enough to do so, there is nothing at all wrong with internal competition. Some teams cannot find two Major Leaguers in their organization to handle the left side of the infield at the plate and in the field. We have three, and that is before we speculate at Xander Bogaerts’ maturity. Be blessed, be thankful, do not create drama that runs one of them out of town. One of the three will be on the
DL again before the season is over. Depth matters.
Finally, this was supposed to be about Marrero. So, why does his scouting report become about Jose Iglesias. So what if he cannot field like Iglesias? Does he profile as a better hitter? What do his “all around skills” profile as? What do scouts think about his .248/.313/.343 so far in High A (concerns me some). Why are scouts not yet concerned?
We do not know a lot about Marrero, yet. Cafardo does right to ask about him, and present him to Boston. However, he shows his bias by making a Marrero feature about Iglesias.