Friday, September 07, 2007
From mattymatty: “It looks like one of Theo's jobs this summer will be to upgrade the team's power, which unfortunately, he probably thought he accomplished last winter.”
I’m not sure if Theo thought he was going to get the 550+ slugging out of Drew, but at the price he probably did, I guess. As for next season, the Sox could be wild and ink A-Hole but that is unlikely for numerous reasons. The Sox should have a few trade targets to give them added power at the infield corners. Adam Dunn, Jeff Kent and Hank Blalock could all be available. My guess, though, is that Richie Sexson plays first and Youk moves to the hot corner. Theo can buy low on Sexson and hope he turns it around with the Wall out in leftfield. Regardless, the Sox can not upgrade from within.
The Sox knew they would have to go outside of the organization to find power; hence dealing for Wily Mo Pena. Part of their draft strategy from 2003-2005 was to select players with lower ceilings but could move quickly in the system. The consequence of that and drafting late is the lack of power hitters in the high minors, although the Sox should have been more aggressive in the international market to supplement the low ceiling draftees during this time period. To their credit, the Sox changed and have a few power threats in the lower levels – Lars Anderson, Jason Place, Michael Almanzar, Oscar Tejada - but they are long ways away.
It should be even more if the Sox showed college junior draftees: Matt LaPorta (2006) and Steven Pearce (2004) more dollar signs and that is not even mentioning 2005 high school draftee, Pedro Alvarez, who has a shot at going #1 overall in 2008. Pearce has hit 333/394/622 over three levels this year in the Pirates organization. LaPorta taken seventh overall this year by the Brewers is killing the ball by going 318/392/750. Slugging 750 is not a misprint.
LaPorta murdering the baseball should not come as a surprise to the Sox. Red Sox director of amateur scouting, Jason McLeod on the slugger after last June’s draft:
" He probably has the most raw power in the country… When we got to that area of the draft, there was too much potential for impact to let him sit there and let another team grab him."
But his upside was not enough to pay $1.5 to $2 million that it likely would have taken to get LaPorta in a Sox uniform last year. These two deals with college juniors should have gotten done.
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