Thursday, November 18, 2004
Six-year minor league free agents do not get much press nor should they. It is extremely unlikely that they will become superstars, but El Guapo’s Ghost is the fake sports media so here is a look at my favorite minor league free agents on the market.
• Jack Cust - LHB DH with patience and power, but not much else. Cust needs work on making more contact at the plate to have real value. Cust is not a bad cheap PH/DH option.
• Brad Thomas - 6-4 hard throwing southpaw with a curve was claimed off waivers from Minn. He is a good gamble as a third or fourth pen option. Hurt most of the season (wink, wink) with the Sox and Twins, but I bet Thomas is ready for Feb.
• Esteban German - Hit 329/377/424 at Sac while playing second. Beane did not promote him after Ellis went down, which is surprising and a concern. German is a contact/speed hitter with a decent glove. He is worth a gamble on a rebuilding club that is cost conscience.
• Graham Koonce - Hit 241/362/443 at Sac. He had 46 extra base hits in 436 at-bats, but 129 strikeouts. Koonce is a cheap option for a rebuilding club on a budget at 1B/DH/PH.
• Keith Osik – Osik is the typical average backup catcher - average to good defense without a stick. He should find a job.
• Aquilino Lopez - Former Rule 5 guy, he is a RH RP that comes at hitters with a tough slider and low 90's heat. He did well in 03 with a 64/34 K/BB ration and allowing five dingers in 73 innings, but his control and overall numbers suffered in 2004. Regardless, Lopez held RHB to 184/272/262 in 206 at-bats. A cheap ROGGY on some playoff contending clubs is valuable.
Yes, El Guapo’s Ghost is a baseball geek. Writing about minor league FAs is a sure sign. Any-HO, the moral of the story is that there are inexpensive options (waiver wire, Rule 5 draft, Minor League Free Agents, etc.) for major league clubs to fill various holes.