Heaven help me. I can’t believe I’m writing about Eugenio Velez. There’s nothing better (or worse) than STFP (Spring Training Fluff Pieces). Now that baseball is back in action, sportswriters tend to go a little overboard with their spring time pieces. The phenomenon is well known. The latest offense in STFPs? Eugenio Velez.
Eugenio is like the bad habit the Giants just can’t quit. Giving Eugenio playing time should be lumped in between picking your nose and forgetting to turn off your cell ringer during movies. Yet, he runs fast and the Giants like guys that run fast because speed doesn’t slump, unless you’re Eugenio Velez and you can’t get on base. Then speed kinda slumps. But he’s still fast! And he’s kinda funny looking which is nice because every baseball team needs a guy that’s funny looking.
Worst article quote:
Third-base coach Tim Flannery, the Giants’ bunting guru, estimated that the fleet Velez could boost his batting average by 15 to 20 points if he became proficient at tapping the ball up the third- or first-base line or dragging it by the pitcher.
Hmm, the arbitrariness is delicious. The only skill between Eugenio Velez and competency on offense is bunting. Yup.
I don’t have to tell you that Eugenio Velez isn’t a very good player of baseball. Of the 5 tools that scouts like to use to asses players, Velez has 1 tool, he’s very fast. And unless you count hilariously crazy defensive clanks as a tool, it’s the only that he has to work with. He’s played almost every defensive position on the diamond. In the minors, he played 116 career games at SS (which is still a funny image to me) 201 games at 2B, 74 games in CF, and 52 games in LF. This gives Eugenio the illusion of being a versatile utility man when he should probably only being playing LF in the majors.
What I think shocks me — and maybe you — the most about Velez is that he’s not young, either. Despite his scrawny, gangly and youthful appearance, he’ll be 28-years-old next season. His minor league numbers should give us the slightest hope, but each day they seem more and more unlikely. Velez might be out of baseball in 2 years or he might still be playing, who knows. But even though I don’t think he should be playing too much on this year’s team, I’ll always appreciate him for this:
Yeah. That was pretty cool.