Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Juvenile Court Clerk's Counter Argument to Greg Rajan

The Constable posted about Greg Rajan's take on the Hooks season and how the Astros abused the Corpus fans' dogs...or something like that. Here's my response:

Yes, minor league W-L records can be an indicator of talent level, but a crappy AA win% doesn't mean we're not doing what is needed as an organization to bolster our farm club. Quickly glancing at some of the players that graduated from the Hooks this season, I see names like Altuve, Martinez, Paredes, Goebbert, Keuchel, Cedeno, and Sosa. Four of those players are making meaningful contributions to the parent club now. The other three got to taste AAA competition for the first time, with mixed results. That's half of a starting lineup and over half of a pitching rotation. I'm sure having those 7 players would have made a considerable difference in the outcome of the Hooks season. While Rajan does make mention of this, I don't think it's given the proper weight.

In their place we guys like Adam Bailey, who did well after his second promotion of the season. Kody Hinze, held his own coming up from Lancaster. Others are being pushed up the system, and understandably some struggled after arriving in CC. The jump to AA is said to separate the wheat from the chaff, and not all promising prospects will succeed. That's what we're likely seeing with Gaston, Brad James, and Steele. Players like Chris Wallace, David Flores, Jonathan Villar, Andrew Simunic, Jose Thompson, and Kyle Greenwalt all saw their first AA action and stumbled after putting up good numbers at Lexington and Lancaster earlier in the year. That doesn't mean they're all going to wash out. I'd wager at least half of them regain their status as prospects and continue their climb up the ladder.

I understand the frustration. Nobody likes to watch a loser, but Rajan's a little late to the blame party, and his suggestion that the Hooks will continue this pitiful path through the end of their player development contract with Houston in 2016 doesn't mesh with the drafts and international signings we've been applauding the last few seasons.

EDIT: Rajan responds (indirectly).


AstroBrit said...

I think Greg's unhappy about the non-prospect guys who are still swallowing up a whole lot of playing time, i.e. Gaston, Steele, Barnes etc.

Still, as you point out, they've seen some premium talent in Cosart, Altuve, Martinez and Villar.

Next season they will have Austin Wates, and maybe Jonathan Singleton at some point.

Reuben said...

You should email Rajan and see what he says. He seems like a smart, rational guy.

By the way, I think you meant "I'm sure having those 7 players for the entire season would have..."

Juvenile Court Clerk said...

Yes, I did mean for the entire season. Apparently Rajan got some flak for being "late to the party" for that article, and responded on twitter with a link to a similar story written in 2007. I'm updating this post with a link.