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by Dave Cameron - February 13, 2013
Nick Franklin played in the AFL, so his offseason was something like 10 weeks.
I saw Franklin play in AAA at the end of last year and got an autograph from him at FanFest this year. If he gained even 15 lbs, he is hiding it well.
12:47 Comment From Spencer
The DBacks proposed Upton for Simmons, and the Braves said no. I’d say his trade value is extremely high.
I really doubt it was a one-for-one offer; Simmons would have been one piece. But the Braves didn’t want to trade him regardless. Trades only happen when both parties agree on the overall values.
This had to have been the most frustrating chat in history.
“I’M TELLING YOU THAT SIMMONS IS THE BEST DEFENSIVE SS IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME. HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BE SO OBTUSE SO AS NOT TO SEE THAT? YOU’RE AN IDIOT! THOSE 400 INNINGS MATTER MUCH MORE THAN RYAN’S SEASONS WORTH OF DATA!!!!!!”
“If fangraphs’ readers misunderstand win curves, I guess that means that the Astros should sign Kyle Lohse!” Nice strawman there!
Nice strawman, but what I actually said was the best in MLB right now. And you know what? Despite the way you mischaracterize it, I wasn’t irritated about it, and I’m not now. I’m serene in my belief* that Simmons is going to go out and put up an amazing defensive season, and that this time next year, Cameron is going to be acknowledging that now we have enough evidence to say that he’s the best active defensive SS.
*Based on the otherworldly defensive metrics, but also based on the universal acclaim he’s gotten from scouts both on his way up and after his MLB debut.
I can’t remember which board it was on (probly BTF), but there was just a discussion about Ryan Howard’s excellent UZR in his first, partial Major League season (He was on pace to lead the league IIRC). Some one found some old scouting reports extolling his great range as well.
I’m not saying Simmons is on the Ryan Howard Gold Glove career path, but suggesting that if Simmons ended up merely above average defensively, no one should be shocked.
Fair enough, but 1) the defensive metrics aren’t great at assessing first base defense in any event, and 2) isn’t it quite possible that Howard really was a good defensive first baseman, and then declined due to adding weight and taking less fielding practice? I am not saying Simmons is the next Ozzie Smith, not least because for all I know he tears some crucial muscle and is out of the league by 25. I’m saying he’s the best right now, and I’m expecting a full season of play to bear that out in a huge way.
Simmons will field really great and hit really lousy.
As for fielding metrics and stuff like quantifying R Howard’s D at any juncture, I believe it’s much better for regular, frequent MLB viewers to apply the eyeball test on fielders than to embrace any defensive metric. Much too much variance and unreliability. When all systems agree, that’s useful. But too often they don’t. I’m not alone in this opinion. MLB teams rely on scouts’ observation of players’ defense more than any other area.
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