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  1. One of my favorite baseball jargon words: journeyman

    Comment by yaboynate — May 24, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  2. I kept reading because I thought something exciting was going to happen.

    Comment by Slartibartfast — May 24, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

  3. “It’s a testament to Ransom’s longevity and perseverance.”

    Or a testament to how much GMs overvalue scrappiness and grittiness even when a player has shown, repeatedly, that he just isn’t any good.

    Comment by Neil S — May 24, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  4. It’s actually a testament to the lack of quality shortstops available for teams to employ. It’s also a testament to teams valuing defense more highly than they have in the past, probably because the value is more quantifiable.

    If my sons want to play baseball, I’m going to encourage them to either be shortstops (they’re both right handed) or pitchers.

    Comment by fergie348 — May 24, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  5. I wonder if the Giants would have picked him up if Milwaukee had passed?

    Comment by jim mc — May 24, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  6. This article is a testament to the fact that Cody Ransom exists.

    Comment by Radivel — May 24, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  7. When has he shown he “isn’t any good”? He has never been given a pro-longed opportunity. This year he was hitting, then got benched. He has struggled lately but it has been without regular playing time and perhaps he is just in a slump. Give him a chance before you make those sort of conclusions.

    Comment by SteveMcAnderson — May 24, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

  8. The Pirate should have picked him up. He is probably a better SS than Barmes!

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — May 24, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  9. Maybe you haven’t seen the Brewers other options at SS.

    Comment by Bob — May 24, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  10. I wouldn’t call him scrappy just because he’s a decent defensive SS that hasn’t ever been a regular but still manages to float around the league and get MLB PAs. He’s always posted solid to very good ISO’s in the minors (and sometimes in the majors); ditto with BB%. I don’t associate those things with scrappy players at all . . .

    Comment by Robert J. Baumann — May 24, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  11. He has some great numbers at AAA over the last couple years, but considering that he’s been playing at that level of above for 7 years, he probably should. But he’s a career 90 wRC+ player who ZiPS projects to be roughly that good for the rest of the year. And he’s probably about an average defender, which makes for about a 1 WAR player. He’s not “terrible”, but he’s demonstrably not good, either.

    Comment by Neil S — May 24, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  12. This is a good story of a career on the fringe of MLB.

    Comment by Jon L. — May 24, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  13. That’s a very poor choice of words. You consider him to be an average defender (at SS?) and a wRC+ 90 hitter? Zips projects him to be worth about 1.0 WAR for 335 PAs, so maybe 2.0 WAR across a full season. That’s MLB starter quality. He’s better than 70% of the players who will see time in the MLB this year, easy.

    “Not ANY good”?! A replacement level MLB player certainly has some good in their baseball skill, so “not any good” shouldn’t be used when we’re talking about this level of play. “Not good” we might take to be a relative statement, but the any makes it absolute.

    But Ransom not just good relative to the general populace of baseball players, he’s good relative to the players in the top league in the world. He’s not great, no, but he certainly looks like a major league level player (so at least “some good”) from the data available here.

    Comment by Nathan Nathan — May 24, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  14. Minor league money is better than working at McDonalds. More power to him for trying.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — May 24, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  15. I drafted Ransom in a Hacking Mass-esque league when he was with the Yankees in 2009, and he helped me jump out to a big lead, so I’ve always had a soft spot for him. I don’t think he’s a testament to grittiness/hustle so much as he is to the seduction of tools/athleticism. During Spring Training w/ the Yankees (and when it was clear that A-Rod would start the year on the DL), there were a couple of stories about how Ransom was, by far, the most athletic player on the roster. This was mentioned by Johnny Damon, and there’s a YouTube clip of Ransom showing off his 60 inch vertical. I imagine his longevity is in part because of his potential if he could just put everything together.

    Comment by Dunston — May 24, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  16. You should know better, after designing Norway.

    Comment by Sam Samson — May 24, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  17. What is the definition of a “replacement player”?

    Is a team better off having a “replacement player” in a game or someone who is better than a replacement player?

    Comment by theDAWG — May 24, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

  18. i doubt it. knbr still plays audio of jon miller ripping ransom for that 2nd error. they blame ransom the same way they blame salomon torres for 1993. silly imo. i don’t think i’ve heard announcer rip a player the way they ripped ransom.

    Comment by to — May 25, 2012 @ 1:16 am

  19. The median MLB player is supposed to accrue 2 WAR per 600 PA. His ZiPS projections have him at around that level with everyday playing time. His nearly-average defensive and offensive marks bear this out. He is not better than 70% of MLB players, he’s better than 50%.

    Comment by Nate — May 25, 2012 @ 4:33 am

  20. Anyone who blames Torres for ’93 is beyond simplistic.

    Same for Cody in ’04. Blame Sabean for the apocolyptic Pierzynski trade. One in which the Giants traded away Joe Nathan. If Nathan had at Chavez Ravine that day, Giants win 3-0. (Honestly, Matt Herges, closer???)

    Comment by Bubba — May 25, 2012 @ 6:58 am

  21. And yet it’s funny that it is a mis-used term in baseball. A journeyman refers to someone who someone who is good but not great, from the old days where a craftsman went from apprentice to journeyman and then on to master. Such players tend to get traded around. When someone long ago referred to a player who was good enough to stay in the pros but not good enough to get a lot of play as ‘a journeyman player’ it was misinterpreted as a player who journeys around to a lot of teams. And, by consensus, that is the most common meaning of the word when it is used at this point.

    Comment by Jason — May 25, 2012 @ 7:45 am

  22. You could argue that a player who is good enough to hang around the big leagues but isn’t a regular is a journeyman compared to minor league players though. Not a master like a good big leaguer but better than the apprentices in the minors.

    Comment by Z — May 25, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  23. How is this an article? Who greenlit this? Horrific.

    Comment by sprot — May 25, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  24. Quirky factoid, and an odd little career. But I had a hell of a time getting into the article.

    With all due respect, this would have been a much stronger article, and tighter story overall, if the last 2 paragraphs (the 2 paragraphs around the table at the end) were at the beginning. The 2nd paragraph of the article as-is, is convoluted and didn’t sell me on why Cody Ransom is so interesting. It seemed like a very artificial distinction or cutoff point to make.

    The end of the piece explained it a lot more clearly, and actually made me want to skim back over the details a bit more.

    Comment by Snowblind — May 25, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  25. @Nate

    “The median MLB player is supposed to accrue 2 WAR per 600 PA. His ZiPS projections have him at around that level with everyday playing time. His nearly-average defensive and offensive marks bear this out. He is not better than 70% of MLB players, he’s better than 50%.”

    No, the median starter might accrue 2 WAR, but most MLB players aren’t starters. Consider this article:

    Note that 73% of players had less than 1 WAR.

    Comment by Nathan Nathan — May 25, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

  26. As I was reading this, half-way through I said to myself, ‘this is a great article’. With all the numbers we always look at, pieces like this remind us that these are just men who play the game, each with their own story.

    Comment by mother — May 26, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  27. your reasoning is flawed. You are attempting to use the qualitativeprojections and comparing them to arent projected by this same measure (335) plate appearances. You have to project everyone of these players performances over 335 plate appearances for a more accurate analysis.

    Comment by Matt — May 27, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  28. Good points. I agree putting the chart up top would have made it a better post.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — May 29, 2012 @ 1:04 am

  29. Cody Ransom is an easy guy to root for.He survived a horrendous van accident in college that killed several of his team.It’s part of his lore that when the rolling van finally came to a halt he ended up on his feet in a sideways van.He persevered through more than one college then a LOT of minor league ball,even BEFORE he was first called up by the Giants.And he’s a phenominal pure athlete who keeps himself in superb condition.

    So it’s a real shame he can’t hit.

    Play him 162 games and he’d hit .200 with some dingers,maybe 16-18.But give him credit for hanging in there,always going back to triple A and giving it his all and somehow,always making it back to the bigs.He’ll never get rich but hopefully he’s socked away a little money over the years.He’s had a few half million dollar deals,just enough to do some saving.He’s a throw-back.A pro ballplayer just trying to grind out a decent living.

    Comment by YankeeRay — June 1, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

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    Comment by morrowrosanna — June 2, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

  31. You have to remember that a regular, all-star or whatever, does not
    remain (with few exceptions) as such for their entire career. However,
    they were there once, hence the term, journeyman. These type of
    players, in the clutch, can and will put a hurting on you. During the
    1959 pennant drive, in the late summer, the hitless White Sox
    acquired a journeyman, big Ted Kluszewski, from Pittsburgh. They
    won the A.L. pennant and looked like they’d win the the World
    Series, but caved in to the more talented Los Angeles Dodgers.
    What was interesting though, was that Nelson Fox and Ernie
    Banks, two Chicago players were the MVPs for 1959. What

    Comment by Juan Chapa — June 3, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

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