Monday, August 23, 2010

Short Season Short Stops

There seems to be some surprise at how well SS Luis Sardinas is hitting in his debut season. After all, Jurickson Profar was supposed to be the guy that has a present hit tool right?

Well if you didn't trust the j2 reports on Sardinas suggesting he could hit, then there is a wealth of evidence attesting to that fact from the spring training reports of both Jason Cole and Jason Parks. Both Jason's liked Sardinas just fine from the RH side in ST; it was his present strength that was thought to be an issue (so not hitting per say, but present gap power). This is also consistent with the j2 scouting reports (nice RH swing with gap power potential). Profar was said to be best from the LH side (in Parksies' ST reports) with his weak-side swing more advanced than Sardinas' but lacking the same kind of solid contact ability that he (Profar) has from his left side (at present).

The splits for both aren't that straight forward at this point, which could mainly be a SSS issue or maybe Sardinas is mainly batting from the RH side (due to his shortened season?) while Profar is a bit more inconsistent from the LH side than anticipated, while still hitting for nice gap power and making better contact from the RH (with much less power). However you parse it, both guys are doing very well. As both Parks and Cole noted in ST, and further supported by their present stats, what is impressive about each is their patience and sound approach at the plate. While Profar struggled with strikeouts his first 2-3 weeks, he quickly made the adjustment to the more experienced pitching at that level and his walk rate has been very nice the remainder of the season even as he has had problems making consistent contact vs RHP. Sardinas has had a balanced walk/so ratio from the beginning over his 82AB, improving week to week, particularly in August.

I wonder if we might see Sardinas in Hickory along side Profar at some point next season (if not from the beginning?) which would be very cool. I will be interested to see if the club chooses to keep Sardinas in short season again or not. The purported advantage might be that he can work on his weak-side hitting and get stronger. Given the fact that there are a # of young diminutive MIF in the system who were not kept from a Hickory promotion due to their size (Leury Garcia, Edwin Garcia to name two smallish teens) I'm not sure I buy the necessity of the "let him gain some muscle mass" argument governing his promotion schedule (and he can work on SH at any level). If he makes enough progress from instructs through ST of next year, then I say put him in Hickory; if he's ready, he's ready. Both kids can split time between SS, 2b and 3b.

Jason Cole is going down to AZ this week so I'm interested to see what he has to say about Sardinas' development from instructs through ST and the end of the season. As an aside, both Profar and Sardinas have effectively missed one month of their season with Profar missing all of spring training with a shoulder issue (playing in 0 intrasquad games) and Sardinas missing one month of the season after getting hit on the wrist (while missing no intrasquad games). In the end, I think both would be doing even better (Profar with consistency, Sardinas with more gap power) if they hadn't each missed extensive time to begin the season due to injuries. Considering how well they are both doing, that is saying a lot.


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