Friday, August 12, 2011

Sacrilege

Brace yourselves, guys.  I'm gonna say something bad about Jed Williams.

I have serious doubts about his ability, even if he were to stay healthy for an entire baseball season, to be an everyday major league baseball player.

It is August 12th (Strike Day for those with Rain Man-level memory banks) and there are still two positional controversies in right field and shortstop.  Pat's all-time favorite Mariano killer Marco Scutaro has had the starting job for much of the season as he started with it, lost it when Lowrie hit .400 for a while, and then regained it when Lowrie got hurt.  Of course, JD doesn't play against lefties anymore, but he may have had his spot taken by a lefty RF in Reddick.  However, Reddick's career-long streakiness has called into question whether he can be an everyday player and replace Drew. 

Hate to say it, but you can say the same about Lowrie.

First of all, why does Lowrie hit left-handed, period?  I'm sure there are plenty of one-sided baseball players who have messed around from the other side in batting practice or in college, then revert back to hitting the natural way.  Lowrie should be one of those players.  Over his entire major league career, he has hit .218 lefty.  Think about that for a minute.  A .337 career hitter as a right-handed hitter, he hits .218.  Is it inconceivable that he could hit righties as a righty at a rate better than .218?  I'd hope so.

As far as consistency goes, though, he's just as streaky as Reddick's reputation is.  We can throw out 2009 completely, as he played about thirty games and hit under .200.  But we'll start with his rookie 2008 campaign.  Half of Lowrie's extra-base hits came in one torrent in August, and the rest of the time...eh.  In 2008, he hit .269 in 29 games, .373 in his next 17 games, and .193 for his last 34 games.  Is this something the Red Sox can count on?

Moving along to 2010, which was actually his most consistent season, he had two hot streaks and one cold.  His first 21 games, he hit .317.  His next eighteen, he hit .179 before getting it back together and hitting .364 for his last sixteen.  Which brings you to this year:  Since May 9, he's hit .202, which is offensive production you could probably get from friggin Jose Iglesias.

I'm sorry for the Jed Williams truth torpedoes here, but these are my concerns.  I guess when you're talking about your backup shortstop, there aren't too many other problems out there on a Friday morning.

2 comments:

Rocci said...

Batting average is a deceptive stat - you should probably throw out some OPS numbers as well, it's a pretty accurate representation of a player's offensive production.

:P

Anonymous said...

DV

There's no real reason to be excited about Jed Lowrie. Yes, he can play multiple positions. Yes, he can get hot at times. But he also goes through very cold stretches and has not shown that he's physically capable of playing a full season. You know what we call those types of guys? Utility players. That's exactly how the Sox have used him and that's exactly what he is as a player.

--the Gunn