Hey - I just noticed a new blog in town. One of my blog-o-sphere mateys, known as "etowncoug" and a few other folks have just opened shop over at Hardball Review
. Etown/Brent has written a fine article on Jose Lopez, and honestly, I think we're sharing a lot of the same thoughts:
The long term fix to Lopez is not as simple as a change of scenery. Lopez needs find a way to hide his weaknesses. Waiting for a pitch that he can drive would be an excellent start. I am extremely skeptical of any player whose breakout ability depends so heavily on his pitch recognition ability to go from well below average to above average. This isn’t going to happen overnight and until this improves I see his ceiling as an average player.
Jose is one of two players that I believe have much more value to another club than they do the Mariners (the other being Brandon Morrow, who I believe will only be used as a bullpen arm in this organization, since they're not going to be patient enough to give him the 1-2 years in the minors that he would need to truly become an effective starter, and I don't believe Morrow's talented/polished enough to pull off becoming an effective starter over the winter and through spring training -- but I digres...). That doesn't mean they should trade him away just to trade him, like they did with Carlos Guillen and to a certain extent Rafael Soriano. But indeed, Lopez still has enough upside that his struggles in the second halves of 2006 and 2007 are just minor bumps in the road.
It's easy to forget that he's only 23 years old. There's still a lot of potential for him to mature into an above-average second baseman, but again -- as Brent mentions -- until he improves on his pitch recognition and becomes more selective on the pitches he tries to drive, he's not going to help the team with his bat. His glove certainly took some major strides forward, and he can still improve in that area of his game. His bat, though, is quite a ways behind. I believe he's talented enough to pull it together, but it may take more time than this organization is willing to give him.
Labels: Brandon Morrow, Jose Lopez, new blogs, prospects, trades