Writing about things the Giants should do is like trying to craft the perfect sandwich out of the worst ingredients imaginable. You really want a sandwich. You’re starved but when you look in your cabinet all you can find pickles, coffee grinds, marmite, and half-used jar of bacon flavored Cheez Whiz. The perfect sandwich? Well, It’s never going to happen. At best it’s an exercise in delusional thinking.
Still, it’s good blog fodder and there’s something the Giants should consider doing. Send down Emmanuel Burriss and recall Kevin Frandsen (after his 10-day wait is over).
The Giants insistence that Manny Burriss is not only the 2B of the future, but the 2B of right-now is head-scratching. Burriss’ noodle bat has been well chronicled in the minors — a career minor line of: .285/.347/.337 — and he’s never really hit well at any level. Burriss started off hot in the SAL in ’07, was promoted to San Jose, didn’t hit all, and was sent back to low-A baseball where he finished the year. By April 20th of 2008, Burriss was on the major league team after never truly mastering minor league play.
In theory, for Burriss to work at the major league level he’s going to have to really play awesome defense and just be a bad hitter instead of a league worst hitter. In 700+ innings at 2B in his MLB career he rates as a +2 run defender per 150 games. That’s solid defense, but it’s nowhere near close to offsetting his bat. To this point, Burriss’ bat — by wRAA — has been worth -12.8 runs below average. That’s just in the 200+ PA’s that he’s hit for this season. If you extrapolate his current offensive production out to a full season of 700 PA’s, his bat works out to -40 runs below average. That’s a minus 4 win deficit but just hitting alone. That’s quite a hole to dig yourself out of.
Burriss isn’t a true talent -4 win hitter by his bat, but it’s definitely possible that he’s a -2 win player as a hitter at this current stage in his career. Kevin Frandsen isn’t a top prospect any more, but he’s the lesser of two evils. He should play around average defense at 2B and his bat has a better minor league track record. He hasn’t hit much better than Burriss in the majors but the Giants have to do something with 2B. If Burriss wants to remain in the majors, it’s best that he goes to AAA and plays SS for a couple of months. Burriss was another odd choice for a rushed prospect by the Giants.
It’s pretty amazing that the Giants looked at Burriss’ track record and thought “Starting Second Baseman!” instead of “Needs more time.”
Pass the Cheez Whiz, please.
Comment Starter: How much longer is Burriss with the big club?