Thursday, November 17, 2005

Play Deep

Ah, outfielders! They seem to be quite the topic of conversation lately, and I won't let my not having anything to say stop me from saying anything.

Brad Wilkerson seems like a good guy, and I want him to be with people who love him. Since the management of Nationals is completely focused on the one goddamn thing he can't do (not strike out), maybe it would be better for him to seek his fortune in Seattle. At least they want him -- check out this perhaps too enthusiastic scouting report. Author Dr. D makes the important point that Wilkerson's 2005 is less indicative of his actual ability than are the years preceding it. You know that, and I know that, but it can't hurt to harp on it, since you never know when Bill Ladson's going to Google himself and maybe learn something new.
But check the young Brian Giles, up until he exploded - perfect comp. As Shandler indicates, Wilkerson has an outside chance to explode like Giles did.
See that, Bodes? That's not a prediction, it's a fucking prophecy. If you trade Wilkerson, he will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

Milton Bradley doesn't seem like such a good guy, but he's available and sparking discussion and even a new addition to the Natlantic Natmospheric Natscape. Longtime Nats scenester JammingEcono has started By the Banks of the Mighty Anacostia and devotes his first real post to Bradley. He (JammingEcono) likes him (Bradley), especially compared to the apple of Jim Bowden's eye, Juan Encarnacion. Harper over at OMGWTFLOL, meanwhile, thinks having one batshit crazy outfielder means we may as well add another.

Having considered the issue and consulted at length with Professor Bacon, I declare myself anti-Bradley. He's not an appreciably better hitter than Wilkerson or Jose Guillen. While both Win Shares and Baseball Prospectus agree that he's a really good centerfielder, his grisly injury history makes him likely to decline or simply not play. Then there are the behavior problems -- whatever his performance on the field, his eagerness to slam down the race card and yell "Uno!" has to count against him. I'd rather have Bradley than Encarnacion -- he's a better player, and I just want Bowden to be sad -- but I don't think either one is an improvement over the outfield we have now.

3 comments:

Nate said...

He doesn't really have to be a better hitter than Brad or Jose, he just has to be a better CF with a better OBP than Brandon Watson, and that ain't hard.

Besides, deep down you know you're dying to see Milton play the race card in the same clubhouse as Frank Robinson.

Ryan said...

Aren't you forgetting someone? Someone with an awesome soul patch?

Bradley's being touted, it seems, as a replacement for Wilkerson. He's more defensible as a replacement for Church, but the cost, insanity, and especially injuries still put me off him. Well, let me clarify: as a fan, I think Bradley's a bad idea. As a blogger, I think he's a great idea.

Basil said...

If you trade Wilkerson, he will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine

I laughed.