Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bourn: Feel-good human-interest local-boy hyphenated-All Star

Jerome Solomon's Told-You-So column on Michael Bourn this morning is a good one:

He might be confident and somewhat stubborn, but to this point he hasn’t been as concerned with critics as with improving his game.

That makes him easy to root for.

The stubbornness is why continued improvement is likely, and why he could truly become a special player. Bourn has always believed he could be a great player. He doesn’t think he is a great player yet.

And he's good at taking directions:
The Astros told Bourn what to work on in winter ball last year — staying on top of the ball, hitting the other way, being more selective — and he looked like a different hitter this season.

He improved his average by 56 points — hitting .285, which was almost as high as his on-base percentage (.288) in 2008 — thanks to 66 more hits, and he led the league in stolen bases with 61. Offensive consistency made it easier for people to applaud his defensive prowess.

Who should get credit for Bourn (besides Bourn?):
Cooper should get some credit for Bourn’s development as a hitter. Jose Cruz played a major role in Bourn becoming a better outfielder. The God-given speed would be wasted if Bourn didn’t get the great jumps for which he is now known.