(Sung to the tune of "Gary, Indiana" from The Music Man)
...what? The kids don't like musicals that cast pool as the great evil anymore? Bah!
As far as the Nats offense goes I feel like I got a pretty good grasp on how almost everyone is going to do. Those with a lot of major league experience (Werth, Zimm, The French Rock) are easy enough to predict. I think Morgan and Desmond will fall nicely into "better than last year, still not as good as fans hope". Pudge will have an empty batting average and stink. Ramos will have an empty batting average and not stink. But Danny Espinosa eludes me.
Honestly he should elude me. He only played 28 games in the majors last year and only 24 in AAA. Those stats are hard to take as meaningful.
AA (99 games) .259 / .332 / .461
AAA (24) .295 /.349 / .463
Maj (28) .214 /.277 /.447
Worse yet they don't seem to be saying the same thing. Up until Danny made the jump to AAA, his minor league stats were pointing in the same direction. He'd be a low average major leaguer with decent pop, and just enough patience to make him worthwhile. His AAA numbers suggest a player that can sacrifice a little patience and power for a much higher batting average. His major league numbers suggest someone who could sacrifice a little batting average for much bigger pop. Is either of these more indicative of what he can do going foward?
It's easy to just ignore these two short stints and go with the AA and below minor league stats, (if you look at his projections - that is basically what we are seeing) but it's not like we're talking about years of numbers here. It's one even shorter stop in low A-ball that doesn't seem relevant at all, followed by 1 1/2 seasons worth of games (232 to be precise) all while moving up to harder competition than faced the year before. We haven't yet seen Danny get to "normalize" in a league playing there for 2+ years, getting used to the talent level in front of him. Contrast that with Ian Desmond who got to play parts of 3 years in each of A+ and AA ball.
All I'm saying is that I don't know.
I don't know what to expect from Danny Espinosa. He could watch his crazy power drop as teams figure out how to pitch him (see Ian Desmond again ) while he struggles to keep his batting average out of the .220s. He could, for the first time playing in the same league a 2nd year in a row, quickly get it and end up a ROY candidate, batting .270+ with pop. Twisting my arm I see both - I see a struggle of a 2011, with streaks of impressive play, that may even end up sending him back to AAA once or twice. The Ks just indicate a player who can be pitched to. At the same time I see real talent from his consistent ability to adapt to a higher level of talent every year, and I see a player who could very well bust out in 2012 and beyond.
Still like I said, I don't know, and I'm glad I don't know, because that means Danny Espinosa will be interesting to watch all season long.