Thursday, April 22, 2010

I am still looking forward to Bowkermania!

I am still bullish on John Bowker even after his slow start up in the big leagues. Last season he worked hard on his plate discipline and it showed with Bowker posing a strong line in AAA Fresno. He hit .342/ .451/ .596 with 21 HRs the Major League Equivalent for him last year was .286/.380/.476 and 16 HRs and would have made him among the best hitters in our very weak lineup.

I wouldn’t put it past the Giant’s braintrust if they are searching on for some cheap tickets to Fresno for the guy. This is the Giants modus operandi, if young guys don’t light the world on fire in their first 100 at bats they never will but if a veteran has had at least one good season in their career they know what they are doing and it is proven. Its science to them, young guys are risky and should be given few opportunities and if they can’t perform well they never will old guys are proven and must be given as many at bats as necessary to get things back on track because they could always turn the corner at any time even if they are pushing 40.

The last thing that the Giants need to do is over react to this small sample size which they have done oh so many times, this is the reason the Eugenio Velez is up in the majors. It looks like he has been incredibly unlucky thus far this season; he has a BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) of .222 while for his career he is around .300 so expect that number along with his average to go up. He is also hit a lot more groundballs than normal so I would expect him to trend back toward his career averages with more line drives and less groundballs.
Bowker is a valuable member of this team and shouldn’t be sent to the dog house after only 39 plate appearances. Let’s give the guy some more time and if he is still struggling in June send him back to Fresno. We already gave away one solid major leaguer for some cash we don’t need to give up on another one before he even has 50 at bats this year.

Update: Grant at McCovey Chronicles has a nice post on "Winning and developing at the same time..." He brings up a nice comparision among many great points.
Player X was a September call-up from the minor leagues, where he hit very well. He hit .191/.258/.303 in 89 at-bats in the majors, though. He won a starting role the next year, but only hit .186/.308/.236 over 55 April at-bats the following season. If Player X were on the Giants, Player X would have been sent back to the minors until September, or maybe until an injury forced their hand. It’s tough to grade a team based on hypothetical situations like that, but does anyone believe that the Giants would have said, no, let’s stick this one out because we’re certain this young player is ready to contribute right now? No way. Luckily for Dustin Pedroia, he wasn’t on the Giants. The Red Sox stuck with him and were rewarded.
Now I don't know if John Bowker is going to be as good as Dustin Pedroia but I do believe that he can be a valuable part of the Giants line up hit 15-20 home runs with and not be an out machine. All important things to have in a lineup that is starving for baserunners and anything close to power.

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