Castro vs. Barney

Provided with no comment (click on the links if you're not familiar with the saber stats)

Darwin Barney (Age 26):

  • 268/309/389 .306 wOBA, 85 wRC+
  • 4.9 BB%, 9.5 K%
  • 31 XBH, 31 RBI, 48 R, 6/7 SB
  • 7.9 UZR, 2.0 WAR

Starlin Castro (Age 22):

  • 272/301/414 .303 wOBA, 83 wRC+
  • 3.9 BB%, 16 K%
  • 32 XBH, 52 RBI, 53 R, 17/27 SB
  • 7.1 UZR, 2.1 WAR

Comments

I'm assuming these are year 2012 numbers, not career stats. The old codger Rush fan in me keeps wanting to write 2112 whenever I refer to 2012. I really hate that. Barney has turned into a better player than I ever thought he would be, actually. And Castro - I think his improving defense (I remember a really low UZR last year) may be impacting his hitting a bit from the standpoint of focus, but for all I know that theory is baloney. I doubt Castro really projects much higher than a .800 something OPS /15 homer guy, but that isn't too bad.

Jed rushed Castro into the bigs. Shoulda been seasoned one more year at Tacoma. / : 0

While I like Barney, I really hope people aren't starting to pass judgement on a 22 year old player who's shown clear indication he works to get better (defense).

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In reply to by johann

Definitely. It's really hard to know how far Castro can go still. I think it's to be expected that he hits a bit of a bump. Hitting at that level is just such a hard thing to do and he started off like he had figured it out really early. But he's struggled some this year. That's okay, so did Josh Hamilton for a really long stretch.

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In reply to by johann

I'm not a regular poster here, but it cracks me up to see how many folks around these parts are on the bash a 22-year old wagon. The kid hasn't even filled out yet... I see Castro sliding to 2B and making more of a Brandon Phillips comparison. In 2003, Phillips played 112 games at 22 yrs with a .981 FLD%... was out of the Bigs until 2006 when he posted a .977 with the Reds at 26 yrs, after the tribe gave up on him. Since '06 Phillips has averaged a 3.48 WAR. I'm not saying Castro is going to develop into a GG caliber SS/2B, but offensively he has a very similar in body type as phillips and an average projection of .300-22-85-20 would make him a pretty damn valuable 2B going forward, especially if Baez stays at SS.

While I have been on the Barney bandwagon (which has broken down on LaHair, apparently) since I saw him in the CWS, he seems to be a #8 batter. He is better than Theriot with more range, and unless HoyStein gets something in a package for real value, it seems like he is the kind of player Jed likes up the middle to save runs. It is a great thing to have. As Goldstein says, "He's a baseball player who will play in the Big Leagues for ten years and deservedly so."

some Muskat tweet tidbits: today is Rizzo's 23rd birthday cub record thru 108 games is 2011 and 2012 is identical: 43-65 lineup... Jakkkkson sits, Soriano returns: DeJesus, Barney, Rizzo, Soriano, Castro, Castillo, Vitters, Mather (RF), Samardzija

My problem with Barney is that on a really good team you can aford to have a good field no hit 2B. However, on a crappy team you can't afford that luxury. Is it worth keeping him 2 - 3 years until we become good? My vote is no, get something for him while you still can. If he could only draw walks and get his ob% to .340 - .350 or so, he would be worth keeping.

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In reply to by TJ

I see this sentiment on Barney a lot from posters and talk shows all over, and I get it. Where it stops for me is -- Barney for who? Is the return worth 1 to 3 WAR value more than Barney? Would the Cubs be just trading a so-so MLB player for someone else's so-so player? That's my take whenever the subject of trading Barney or Castro for Upton or, for that matter, almost any trade (except veterans/big contracts for prospects) at this point in TheJedi's 'rebuilding' project. Fundamentally, I'd like to see Ricketts spend $60-70M on FA's this off-season for no other reason than he probably can. Perversely, I'd like to see him have to decide - better team? or better ballpark? However, what do the Cubs get back? More Crawfords, Lackeys, and Soriano's? Or worse than that - 4 to 5 year deals that when the 'waves' of MLB-ready prospects arrive, there's 4 to 5 pieces of dead weight soaking up $60M in payroll where $500K prospects could produce better. I love adding FA's, but who? For how long? Playing where? Blocking who in 3 years?

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In reply to by George Altman

This is my point. Why not have the best defensive 2B in the middle of our infield for a few years? As GA states, realistically, unless it is some kind of a nice package of players, who do you get back for Barney that makes it worthwhile?

people can still use UZR while keeping a straight face? also, d.barney is nearing 100 games without an error.

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In reply to by crunch

I actually don't even really have the foggiest understanding of UZR. It reminds me a bit of QB ratings in football, which does have this empirical formula that I don't give a shit about in the slightest. In Castro's case, it just so happens that his UZR sucked and now it doesn't, and my eyes also tell me that he has improved in the field.

6:35 (EST) start time for a mid-week game in SD? okay, sure. also, after watching the "away" feed for what feels like a week i can finally watch some len/bob on wgn.

dejesus is working hard to make the cubs pay him $1.5m to go away next season rather than paying the full $6.5m to keep him around. i wouldn't complain seeing him next year if he at least picks up the hitting/ob% part of his game. he's not fallen sharply yet, but his minimal power hasn't reappeared and he's in a cruddy 2nd half slump so far...

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In reply to by crunch

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 5:06pm — crunch dejesus is working hard to make the cubs pay him $1.5m to go away next season rather than paying the full $6.5m to keep him around. i wouldn't complain seeing him next year if he at least picks up the hitting/ob% part of his game. he's not fallen sharply yet, but his minimal power hasn't reappeared and he's in a cruddy 2nd half slump so far... ========================= CRUNCH: DeJesus signed a three-year $15M contract ($10M guaranteed) last off-season where he gets $4.25M (guaranteed) per season 2012-13 plus a third year club option ($6.5M or $1.5M buy-out) for 2014. So unless he gets traded in the meantime, DeJesus will almost certainly be back in a Cub uniform in 2013.

Umpire Bill Miller took a pitch directly to the mask on a fastball where the catcher was crossed up in the bottom of the first inning in Oakland. Later on, twice during the game he rang up a batter on strike two. During the bottom of the sixth, the second base umpire left the game, then came back suited up with the home plate equipment. When the second base umpire came back out with two outs, Miller handed him his baseballs without a word and left. I watched the bottom of the sixth on mlb tv archive, and it looked like the switchover was something the umpires discussed beforehand.

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In reply to by QuietMan

he's a good dude, pretty good evaluator imo...but didn't manage the big organizational picture. And for all I know, a lot of that blame could be the ownership in flux, he poured a lot of resources into the major league team, but should have been doing the same into the minor league system at that time (2007 time period of course). But who knows how much flexibility he had... Ricketts seem to get it though and I know TheJedi do...be nice if I knew their timeframe because right now it seems like 2015 which is gonna piss off a lot of fans.

excerpt from Kevin Goldstein on the Brett Jackkkkson call up:
If Jackson can close some of the massive holes in his swing, he's a true five-tool player. He has above-average raw power and speed, and the ability to post a string of 20/20 seasons. That gives him excellent long-term potential. However, the "ifs" regarding his swing are gigantic ones. He has a good understanding of the strike zone and is not prone to chasing, but he's not a sound hitter. There isn't an obvious flaw in his swing, or a tendency to chase sliders or something like that, he's just not that good of a hitter. The hope is that he can display enough power, speed and defense to make up for a low batting average.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17915

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In reply to by Cubster

Interesting thing about Jackson is that the sky is the limit. Well, not a Troutish sky, maybe, but it's high. Problem is that the opposite is also true. He could be a permanent member of the Mendoza club.

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In reply to by Cubster

I'm getting my first looks at Jackson. Maybe Goldstein has seen him a lot, or maybe he is just improvising. But the Jackson I'm seeing is very "prone to chasing." I don't see much difference between Jackson right now and Colvin last year. On two strikes, they start hacking and don't stop till it's strike three. Sveum said this yesterday: "We're learning a lot about him, and it's basically come down to swinging out of the strike zone. It's not like he's swinging through anything." That's the opposite of what Goldstein is saying. A "massive hole" means you swing through pitches. I don't want to get into name-calling, but if you can't figure out that pitchers at this level don't throw strikes if you don't force them to, then you didn't get into Berkeley on your SAT scores.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

Reports on Jackson in the minors have always been that he has a good command of the strike zone but that he swings through strikes a lot. Maybe Sveum has seen the opposite, but let's trust the larger sample size for now. And maybe Jackson is going through a phase (during his first MLB callup) where is chasing--doesn't mean that's what caused his K rate in his minor league career.

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In reply to by Charlie

"Reports on Jackson in the minors have always been that he has a good command of the strike zone etc." Professional scouts who write such reports--and also turn in hotel and fast-food receipts--do not file their reports on the internet. We may not have seen reliable reports on Jackson. Sveum has said a few times that he wanted to see the strikeout machine with his own eyes, because the numbers didn't make sense. Sveum has pointed out that even in games where Jackson got a few extra-base hits, the outs would all be strikeouts. It's odd for a player to either hit the ball hard or miss it completely. What happened to the popups and the easy grounders to second and short? The data sample, small though it is, shows Jackson "protecting the plate" or whatever it's called when you swing at everything on two strikes. That approach becomes untenable in the majors and also the high minors, where pitchers have learned how to make hitters look foolish. As for Dr. Aaron's point about Jackson's career OBP versus Colvin's: that's a very good question and I don't have an immediate answer, but I suppose it would be possible to be a very patient hitter until you have two strikes, at which point you go into the panic mode that produces the large number of strikeouts. If the count goes to 3-1, then 3-2, maybe you don't panic, because you can smell a walk. You might get a lot of walks without actually working the count. To me, working the count means getting from 0-2 or 1-2 to 3-2.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

I think Brant Brown might end up being a good comp to Bjax. It's something I've largely thought all year. Big kid with some speed and power. Can play CF. Tons of swing and miss in their games. Brant was able to have a couple of good MLB years. He brought us a great pitcher in trade. Ultimately a bit of a letdown.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

"Tons of swing and miss" But did Brown have any swing-and-hit? Look at his age-23 and 24 seasons--in AA, for Pete's sake. 5 or 6 home runs, .390 SLG. Jackson: 20 HRs last year, 10 of them in AAA; 15 homers this year. Career SLG: .488. Sometimes I feel sympathy for Cub fans who grew up in the Gary Scott era. In retrospect, I was pretty lucky in the '60s.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

'87 was the middle of a long dormant period for me--far from Chicago, WGN cable not locally available, etc. Woke up briefly in '98 for Soto-McGuire, then for good about the time Dusty arrived. Without looking it up, can't place Scott or Brown accurately in the 80's-90's.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

Brant Brown came on the scene during the 98 season. He played a serviceable CF and flashed some power, and hit 290-ish. Looked like he might be a player. We dealt him that offseason for Jon Lieber.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Hey man, you can trust years of scouting or you can trust the few days of observation from the guy who's successfully leading the Cubs to a record just under .400. I'll trust the major league manager; it's what my gut tells me.

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