Paul DePodesta is a smart man, a baseball man, and like me he has a blog to talk to his beloved fans. Last month he was asked a question about moving prospects too quickly through the system — and then suffering as they struggle in the majors. He answered:
Remember, regardless of the preparation they receive in the minors, young players will almost always struggle early on in the Majors, often for two or three seasons, before hitting their stride. Adrian Gonzalez hit .229/.272/.401 in 2004 and 2005 combined for the Texas Rangers, and there are countless other examples. Just like any other job, there’s only so much you can do to prepare before actually doing the job.And I think that’s a great point. Delmon Young’s numbers are much much better than that, and when he adjusts to the league he’ll be a premier hitter. So stop criticizing me for trading away Garza and Bartlett to get him!
When Young is a cross between Adrian Gonzalez and Manny Ramirez, that trade will look pretty good.
The trade that won’t look good is the one that’ll happen shortly before he becomes an offensive powerhouse. The one where I send him to another team in exchange for someone who’s less far down the path to their ceiling, which is ultimately lower than the guy’s that I’m trading away, and he’s the final piece to their puzzle and they suddenly become contenders while we wallow in mediocrity.
Mark my words, I’ll do it!