What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Anybody hear any news on what postion the Rangers play him this year? If he stays at 3rd, it sounds like he's strictly trade bait, which is bad, because I'm developing a serious man crush and want him on the Rangers. SOunds like he's not speedy, so 1B may be the best option , but I look at our farm system, and wonder where we're going to get our new OFs in the next few years? I can't imagine being able to re-up Josha nd Nelly to huge deals with all our other commitments.
Jamey had a good write-up on this subject a few weeks (months?) ago. In essence: develop your prospects at their best positions and leave them there until they absolutley have to transition to another position or until they are traded.
If Olt is as good as reports say on the hot corner, I'd hate to move him off of there because you never know if Beltre will be healthy in a couple of years or what team with a TORP and need for a 3B comes looking for a trade partner.
Good call on the Newberg article. It was very good and I agree with him. Apparently Olt is a premium defensive 3B. He's no Beltre, but actually not too far behind is what I've heard. By moving him from 3B we would decrease his value significantly. With that said, I'm beginning to wander if this offseason will be when he has the most value as a trade piece. Every report I've seen about him says good things, but always mentions some holes in his swing. Without any real first hand knowledge that kind of guy just seems like a guy who could have a season where he hits .250 and his stock drops significantly. Everyone saw how great he was in the AFL and I would think his stock is really high now, so here's to hoping he has another good year since I don't really see much in terms of trades that gets me that excited.
I think it's possible that this is the moment of Olt's highest value. What causes me to lean the other direction, however, is the plus defensive chops at 3B. Let's say he has a hole in his swing, and he's a .250 hitter. Let's say he has a decent walk rate and posts 35 HR a year to go with that .250 BA. That's a solid bat, nothing more. But if a Gold Glove quality 3B has that bat, he's a star, or at least just shy of a star. So I think you wait for the right moment to decide whether to trade him or move him to another position.
I was thinking, if he's even just a capable OF, that makes him slightly more valuable in terms of negotiating, because as it is now, with him only as a 3B, teams know he HAVE to trade him. Having the option of playing him smewhere else gives us some more leverage.
I agree with Scoob that this is probably the off-season of Olt's highest value. We don't know at this point if he's going to slow down as the pitching adjusts to him, or what have you. In Texas, he's blocked by Adrian Beltre at 3rd, which is why it'd be smart to see what kind of glove he can hold at first with Mitch Moreland's lack of it, combined with the likelihood Texas won't sign Prince Fielder.
The problem is, Olt won't have any higher value than as a 3rd baseman. A 3b who hits, .270 let's say, to go with 25 home runs and 85rbi on a consistent basis is a good stick. With his defense at 3rd, it makes him an above-average regular. However, those numbers at 1b would be slightly below average (an upgrade in this lineup, but not compared to the rest of the league), and with his well below average run speed, he doesn't translate as a +glove in the outfield, furthermore diminishing his value.
For some teams, versatility is great. I mean, we all see how Michael Young worked out this past season. But when you have a guy that can play multiple positions, it's more like they carry no position. We saw this with MY's poor defense at every position, mostly highlighted by his World Series errors.
Olt has more value outside this organization than in it, because the Rangers aren't the lineup to try to pry into. They are so set at virtually every position that they need to fix Olt up at the one place where he can outshine the guy who's warming his seat. It would be nice to continue the line of solid 3b prospects who are even better at first, a la Mark Teixeira and Chris Davis.
Once we signed Beltre, we pretty much guaranteed we would get more value by trading Olt than playing him. He is an interesting hitting prospect, at 3B. At 1B or in the OF, his bat doesn't look nearly as exciting.
But how much longer can Beltre play 3B? He's already 32 and signed for 4 more years. You figure he'll need to move across the diamond or to DH in a couple of years to keep him healthy and by that time Olt could be ready.
Scott Rolen played plus 3B through age 35. And I think he's a great Beltre comp. Both Hall of Famers in the end, I think.
On the contrary, now is the time to find out if Olt can play first base. The Rangers have a crying need for run production at first base. Lately, we've had either good fielding or a good average, but never both at the same time. We've seen what happens when the Rangers allow good talent to languish too long in the minors. Before we relegate Olt to a life in the minors or a career with another team, let's find out what else he can do besides play third.
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