Nate @198, I think Heyward will end up being the more complete hitter while Stanton will clearly have the power edge, no doubt about it. Also, Heyward looks like the more complete player.
It’s tough to go with Freddie. I don’t think he’ll have the offensive value of either Heyward or Stanton plus the whole positional scarcity thing. Firstbasemen have to hit a ton to be one of the top players. But, not to knock the guy. He’s going to be plenty valuable and steady for a long time.
#214, 203, it seems to me that Jason has the most growing to do at the plate, and if they move him to CF next year, there’s another adjustment he has to make. I think you guys are right that he has a high ceiling, but I really don’t see how it’s that much higher than Freddie’s or Giancarlo Stanton. Both of those guys have made faster adjustments to MLB than Heyward, imo. Again, this is just my opinion. All 3 are really good, young players, I just don’t see the big difference you guys see is all. I would have never said this a year ago, but I don’t think you can ignore what Freeman is doing and what Jason did last year.
Shaun, what’s your opinion on resigning Bourn? Is he worth what he will cost?
Thanks for the response on the Heyward/Freeman stuff. I’m not a big stats guy, so I like hearing that point of view on baseball. I actually looked into some of Heyward’s defensive stuff last night and was surprised at how great of an outfielder he is statistically. Do any of the defensive stats take into account how many throwing errors Freeman saves with his glove?
One last thing on Freddie, I think we’ll see an increase in his power numbers as he gets stronger. I read somewhere that he just started lifting this past offseason. He said he started out benching 160, which is kind of pathetic for a guy his size, but was up in the 260s after Winter.
Nate @219, I’m honestly not that big a stats guy either, believe it or not. I’m more of an evidence guy, if that makes sense. Stats are just the best place to get the evidence in baseball because it’s impossible to watch every play of every player, and you need that for comparison. Even if you watch every play of every player on your favorite team, it still doesn’t give you enough info because you aren’t comparing them to other players and getting a sense of how good he is relative to the competition.
That’s not to say watching isn’t extremely important. Obviously you can’t get a sense of a guy’s tools just from stats.
I don’t know that any stats do a great job measuring how good Freeman is at receiving throws. I read something, I believe on FanGraphs, before Freeman came to the majors that the best scooping firstbasemen do not save a huge number of runs relative to the worst. I think Freeman is good at it, no doubt, but I’m not sure that the impact is significant relative to other firstbasemen. I think most guys capable of playing a solid firstbase in the majors do a pretty good job receiving throws. Some are no doubt better than others but I’m just not sure it’s possible to make a huge impact in that way.
I think Freddie’s range is probably mediocre, maybe worse. But I don’t think he’s a bad firstbaseman. And he’s going to have offensive value, even for a firstbaseman.
Geez, sounds like I’m bashing Freeman but that’s not my intention. Just trying to give as honest assessment as I can based on the info I’m seeing. He’s a fine player. I just think Heyward has all the tools and skills to be a superstar or something close to it. The future is bright with those two in the lineup.
I think Freddie will gain more power, as you say. And his hit tool is just fine. It looks like he may struggle with plate discipline, but probably not enough to make him less than a very good player. I think that is just what will push Heyward over him as both players develop.
Oh, and I think what we’re seeing now is Bourn’s upside offensively. I can’t see him being much better than this at any point during his next contract. He may be worth a significant offer because I still think he can be solid with the bat for a few more years and he’ll be a very good defender and baserunner for a while longer. It seems people are finally starting to take notice that he’s something close to an elite defensive player. He’s not Andruw in his prime but he’s the best we’ve seen since Andruw.
It will probably depend on the Braves’ other options and whether Bourn is wanting to really break the bank. I could see he and the Braves meeting halfway or I could see some team going crazy and offering him a huge deal.
I think I gotcha now. I definitely don’t really watch anyone but the Braves and who they are playing that game. When I lived in TB I used to watch the Rays a lot because they’re an easy bunch to root for, but I don’t really see many other teams play that frequently. Plus with 1B, most of the best players are in the AL now, anyway, so we Braves fans don’t really get to see them play much. Freddie’s offensive game reminds me a lot of Evan Longoria. Both guys could hit .300, but they’re more likely to hit in the .280 range with high 20s low 30s in HR, and between 80-100 RBI. Not exactly the same type of offensive player as a Fielder, Howard, Adrien Gonzalez, or even Pujols when he is hitting. So, Freddie’s not really an elite player at his own position.
As far as Jason goes, my hope is that one day it just starts clicking and we see Matt Kemp like production. He definitely has the tools to play at that level. Freddie doesn’t really have the tools to reach the level of the elite 1B. He can be very good, like you said, but probably never elite level talent at that position.
I hope we resign Bourn. When we traded for him it felt like we had finally found the missing piece to our offense. Then Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher made it all work.