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2 comments to The Men Who Weren’t Buster

  • Lefty

    On Hector Sanchez, you didn’t consider his stellar winter ball season in Venezuela. Guy was raking, hitting for average and power, and was named Rookie of the Year, barely missing the batting title (which our Gregor Blanco won, along with the league MVP). He did well behind the plate in several major league starts last year, notably catching Zito three times in the minors (with great results and raves from Zito), Lincecum in a victory (and Timmy said after the first couple of innings Hector did just fine), and Vogelsong.

    So far Hector is hitting .800 in spring training with a homer, a double, two singles, and four RBIs. Two games is a small sample. But what if his winter ball season was a legitimate indicator that he’s a major-league ready hitter? If Posey can’t start at catcher 2-3 days a week, who would you rather have taking those ABs? With Stewart and Whiteside, you pretty much know what to expect, but with Hector, the potential for more is there (he’s only 22). Sure, we don’t really know yet, but I don’t think it’s ridiculous to have Hector’s name in the conversation, given that the alternatives are barely tolerable (and I mean that with all affection towards Stewart and Whiteside, both good Giants).

    If it’s not Hector, it’s an easy call: Stewart. You’re losing a lot offensively with either Stewart or Whiteside, so you might as well have the defense, and even a healthy Whiteside doesn’t come close to Stewart. Stewart also works very well with the pitchers. You mentioned Lincecum (less of an issue with Buster back), but Stewart also caught about 2/3s of Bumgarner’s starts from June on–and you might remember that Bum started dominating at that point.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about Sanchez, I just think we all know how tricky it is to translate Venezuela and Spring Training numbers to actual MLB production. My point was more that he should end up in the level that suits his development, not necessarily default to AAA just because of his promotion last year.