2017 Recaps: Third Base Provides the Biggest Hole For the Pirates Going Forward

I wrote about the second base position going into the weekend, and how the Pirates have a difficult decision to make at second base. They have Josh Harrison making $10 M, Sean Rodriguez making $5 M, and Max Moroff as the first of several young players who should get a shot at the full-time job at some point over the next few years.

One strategy would be for the Pirates to trade Harrison, go with Rodriguez and Moroff as the starters (until Moroff can show that he’s capable of starting on his own), and using Harrison’s savings elsewhere for a bigger impact.

As a few people noted, that second base position isn’t an independent issue. The Pirates also have a question mark at third base, and you could argue that Harrison would be a good fit at the position, especially since he’s started there in the past, and can provide good defense at the corner.

The 2017 season highlighted the problem in an unfortunate way. Jung Ho Kang missed the entire season, as he was unable to acquire a work visa to enter the United States. He’s currently playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, but the situation is hardly resolved. The only reason he’s playing there is because South Koreans can spend 90 days in the Dominican Republic without a visa, showing that his issues aren’t just limited to the US.

I don’t expect Kang to ever return to the Pirates. They had a backup third baseman in David Freese, who proved to be a strong guy off the bench in 2016 when Kang was out of action at times during the season. Freese is getting up there in age, and showed during the 2017 season that he doesn’t have the stamina to be a regular starter in the majors.

So let’s combine the second and third base issues. David Freese isn’t a starter. The Pirates don’t have any prospects who can step in and start at third base. Moroff could be an option at second, but even there I don’t think he should be counted on until he can prove himself. The Pirates could pair Freese with Sean Rodriguez, and have Rodriguez splitting the rest of his time with Moroff at second, although I don’t think that combo is what you want to help your team contend.

The best option for a full-time starter would be Harrison. That would leave Freese on the bench, and Rodriguez and Moroff splitting time at second. I can’t really see the Pirates spending about $10 M on Freese and Rodriguez combined to both be part-time players. So perhaps that would mean they would part with one of them under this scenario, and my guess is that would be Freese, since I don’t think they added Rodriguez recently just to turn around and trade him.

There is also a third option. They could look for outside help at the third base position. That would be tough, as third base is a difficult position to fill. They were lucky to land an impact guy like Kang for a short time at a low price. They were also fortunate to have Freese slip to them as a backup option.

So unless they’re going big for someone like Todd Frazier or Mike Moustakas, I don’t see them finding a big upgrade for the third base position. That’s not saying it can’t happen with the value route again. It just seems like this position provides the biggest need for the team, and the one that they don’t have an easy answer for, or any kind of options for, at the moment.

The Future

Leading to the problem at third base is the lack of prospects they have for the position in the upper levels. They have Eric Wood in the upper levels, although he hasn’t hit enough to deserve a shot in the majors, and even then, he would have to show that he has more than bench depth upside.

The only third base prospect who could realistically start in the next few years is Ke’Bryan Hayes. His career path has been interesting, to say the least. He’s a strong defender, but hasn’t shown a lot with the bat. He suffered a cracked rib at the end of 2016, leading to him losing a lot of muscle mass in the offseason. He entered the 2017 season very skinny, leading to a lot of stolen bases, and little power. He showed skills needed to hit for average and get on base, but the power wasn’t there.

Hayes could add power as he fills out, not only recovering the muscle he lost last year, but adding more to his young frame. Even if he doesn’t add a lot of power, there is value in a strong hitting third baseman with speed on the bases, and strong defense on the field.

The Pirates could have other options in their system, although none are apparent right now. They have a lot of middle infield prospects at the moment, and one could emerge as a third base option. The problem is that middle infielders don’t easily move to third base for a reason.

A shortstop like Cole Tucker, for example, would be more likely to move to second than third, since he doesn’t have the best arm strength. He’s improving at shortstop due to his fluid moves, and routes to the ball. He wouldn’t see the same success at the hot corner, where his range impact is reduced and his reaction time and arm strength is tested more.

The same goes for Kevin Kramer, in a more obvious way. He’s got the bat you’d like to see from a third baseman, but he’s only a shortstop option in a pinch, and moving further to the left side of the infield hurts his value.

It’s even more difficult for an outfielder or a first baseman to move to third base, as we’ve seen with Jordan Luplow and Connor Joe in previous years in the minors. That’s why all talk of Jose Osuna going to third base, for example, should only be about giving him more positions to play off the bench, and never about him starting at the position.

The Pirates once had their third base position locked up through the 2019 season. Now, they have their third base hopes pinned mostly on one player, with the hopes that Ke’Bryan Hayes can put it together with the bat, while continuing his strong defense and base running. Outside of that, their hope is that someone from the middle infield bunch improves their weaknesses enough to be an option at the position. And in the short-term, they need to figure out what to do in 2018, since David Freese clearly isn’t an everyday option, and Jung Ho Kang doesn’t look to ever be coming back.

  • If Kang isn’t coming back, you absolutely need to trade for a strong third baseman, and at whatever price you have to. If it means trading Cutch or Cole, or both, or even glasnow….you do it. Starting pitching can be replaced, outfielders can be replaced, but as you see……3rd baseman is one of those positions that if you don’t prioritize in the draft early and often, you have a big hole that can’t be filled. Its time to deal some of our young pitching depth along with Cole or Cutch, and make it happen. NOW.

  • No love for Eric Wood…

  • Was the Luplow 3B experiment really a failure? I thought he played adequately there for one season at WVa and was then crowded out by Hayes, Joe, and Mathieson. Bobby Bonillia and Bill Robinson were OF’ers that played an adequate 3B. I think Luplow at 3B is worth a shot.

  • By the way, if Shawn Rodriguez is our starting shortstop next year,
    I am done……

    I am sure he has many positive qualities but he’s not a shortstop.

  • andrew.oneill88
    October 25, 2017 7:27 am

    Any chance Dylan Busby beats Hayes to the show? Obviously Busby had an awful season, but he’s a college prospect and could see a shorter time frame to the Majors like Kevin Newman if the results pick up next season?

  • Why not go get Brett Lawrie… he sat out last year, should be ready to at least play a part time role

    • Let’s be honest….the Pirates won’t make a good enough trade to please any of us. That’s how it has been and that’s how it will be until we get better owners. This whole keeping prospects bc we are a small market team thing isn’t working. Glasnow, as an example, shows we have to pull the trigger on a trade when we can because prospects are never gaurenteed.

  • rickmontgomery
    October 24, 2017 7:04 pm

    On a more serious note, I wonder what it might take to spring Matt Chapman from Oakland? MLB seems to think they need outfielders. Starling Marte + one of our good young arms?

  • rickmontgomery
    October 24, 2017 6:54 pm

    Where is Don Hoak when you need him? I know he passed decades ago, but one can dream. Maybe Mad Dog could still suit up.

  • Potentially available players to help solve the 2b/3b conundrum and yes I’m combining both positions into one problem because once one side of the equation is solved, the other becomes much clearer by simply plugging in the best option of the remaining 6 utility players on the team 🙂

    Free agents: Moustakas, Neil Walker, Eduardo Nunez, Todd Frazier, Yunel Escobar, Stephen Drew, and Jose Reyes

    Potential trade targets: Jed Lowrie, Chase Headley, Starlin Castro, Miguel Andujar, Maikel Franco, Jeff Gyorko, Matt Carpenter, Dee Gordon, Juricksor Profar, Brock Holt, Jose Iglesias, Nick Castellanos, and a bunch of other players all of you can point out to me that I missed.

    Free agent solutions seem like treading water at best or way beyond the Pirates’ financial comfort zone. If the knee injury Nunez aggravated that ended his year in the playoffs dampens his market but is healthy enough to rely on then he would be my chioce hands down but I assume his versatility will make a lot of teams interested and push him out of the Bucs range.

    Therefore a trade is where I’d expect the front office to look and I’d strongly consider Headley, Gyorko and Lowrie above the rest.

    • What about Holt? Expensive?

      • I don’t think Holt would be terribly expensive to acquire and I believe he’s arb eligible for another year or two at a reasonable rate. I just think Holt is too similar to what the Pirates already have in Frazier, Moroff, and Rodriguez.

      • 29 year old Brock Holt, 3.5 career WAR in ~450 games doesn’t seem like the answer, unless the question is how can we be sure to cap our offense at “mediocre”

  • One other consideration is that if Kang does somehow get a Visa, but his skills have deteriorated due to the layoff the Bucs will have dead salary to pay.

    • A max of $3,25M…I would guess a “deteriorated” Kang would still put up better numbers than Freese once he knocks the rust off…at about 2/3 the price.

  • Why hasn’t Frazier been mentioned as a starting option more often?

    • he’s an awful infielder, and not quite a good enough hitter to make that worthwhile.

  • Put Adam Frazier at 2B and Harrison at 3B if Kang doesn’t get a visa. Bet you get more HR combined from those two positions than you did this year. I put Frazier far ahead of Moroff offensively. Use Moroff as a defensive replacement in late innings if he is superior to Frazier.

  • I think the inability to develop corner infielders has been the Pirates Achilles Heel for the last 50 years.

    • What about a trade for Colin Moran of the Astros. He’s currently blocked by Alex Bregman .He’s seems to be the ideal type to go for both short and long term

      • Can he hit?

        • He was the the 6th pick overall in 2013 by the Marlins. Played a bit this year for the Astros before getting hurt. Had a plus 1200 ops in limited plate appearances. I believe he is considered a very good prospect

  • Didn’t they draft Craig to play 3b which everyone in baseball except the Pirate management team knew he couldn’t play. Bad drafting. when everyone in baseball stopped relying on OBP and switched to power the Pirates went with NEwman and Craig in consecutive drafts; both can not field very well or hit for any power. So the pirate run philosophy is, lets take 3 singles to score a run while other teams knock it over the fence time and time again and win against the Pirates. Once again management drafted poorly and strategized wrongly. There reward for all this futility is a mind boggling 4 year extension for the GM and manager. Only in the Burg could this happen.

    • With the speed they moved him to 1B, I’d say that while they announced him as a 3B, it was probably never their expectations to keep him there.

    • ” when everyone in baseball stopped relying on OBP” what in the hell are you talking about

      you’re acting like every other team is a bunch of Pedro Alvarezes or something.

    • Craig and Newman can both field well. Craig just can’t field well at 3B.

      Also, if you recall, when he was drafted and announced as a 3B, it was known at the time that he probably wouldn’t stick at the position for long due to Hayes. It was just a question of how long the Pirates would force the issue.

      This is a common approach. Kevin Kramer was a second round pick, announced as a shortstop, and has played four games at the position, all in 2015, and all when Kevin Newman was out. They’re trying him at the position again in the AFL, but he never projected to be at the position.

      You draft a guy at his most valuable spot, try him there until a better option comes along, and then move him to a better role. That happened quickly with Craig and Kramer.

      • Shh. You’re ruining the narrative.

        • Since you can literally count the number of successful college first basemen on one hand, admitting that your R1 pick with known wooden bat issues and power question marks will quickly move to the bottom of the defensive spectrum isn’t exactly the sick burn you were looking for.

          • LOL. Um yeah, so……….. the argument is the Pirates basically planned on moving Will Craig to 1b sooner than later because of Hayes who probably won’t be ready until 2019 or 2020 at the earliest. Sure, makes that pick look a lot better.

            • Him not hitting is what’s making the pick look lousy. Nothing else. Especially that they had to move him to 1B.

              OPS goes to the FSL to die. If Craig is still hitting this poorly next July, I’ll gladly jump on the bandwagon panning this pick. It’s too soon to right him off.

              • A 1b has more pressure on his bat than a 3b- that is not a matter of debate.

                Now I will agree with you that the primary problem is that he simply isn’t hitting. But the fact he is limited to 1b makes the problems with the bat even more of an issue.

                Look how much hype surrounded Josh Bell’s 2017 season. The fact is he was under 1 fWAR largely(though not entirely) because of the positional demand on his bat.

      • There is a mighty big difference between someone with a defensive ceiling of short stop being moved to 2b and someone with a defensive ceiling of a 3b likely having to move to 1b.

        Also doesn’t get into the fact that there were all kinds of questions about the legitimacy of future 1bs power potential with the bat(which are all looking to be extremely valid concerns).

      • Correct me if I am wrong, Tim, but I believe Craig’s bat does not profile well to be a MLB starter at 1B. Is that correct? If that’s the case, why was he drafted in the first place?

        • At some point, you’ve gotta trust your scouts.

          Word was that Jerry Jordan practically begged Huntington to draft Craig, who was also a sabermetric wonder for his mix of power, contact, and patience.

          None of us would be complaining if Craig turned out to be the kind of first baseman they were expecting, and I personally applauded them for breaking the light-bat mold they had cast over the previous three drafts.

          Thing is, you’ve gotta be *right*. And in this case, all indications are that they were not. This comes down to accountability, or lack thereof.

    • I think you meant to say only with the Pirates does such futility warrant a 4 year extension. No other sports team in Pittsburgh would adhere to the same philosophy.

      • Kind of like the Steelers signing Cowher to a contract extension in 2001 after three straight non-playoff years. Heard the same moaning and groaning back then.

  • Or, they could just spend some money

  • All those players drafted, the gazillion players filling up their 2 DSL teams and all they have to show at 3B is Hayes?

    • Yes. I had the exact same thought.

    • it kinda surprises me that Mathisen’s not mentioned or thought of more highly. Just finished a good year in AA.

      It sounds like the dude can pick it at 3b, and always posts solid AVG and OBPs.

      All he’s really missing is power, and the Pirates are starting to have a little track record of having these low-power guys adding pop late in their development.

      Bell, Moroff, Luplow, Kramer come to mind.

      I’m not closing the book on him at least.

    • They only have one DSL team.

      Also, they haven’t drafted or signed many third basemen.

  • Wasn’t Osuna working out at 3B? I think he’s a serious option there. Shifting is making all the IF defensive positions less important.

    • honest question… what makes you think that Osuna is any good at hitting, let alone 3b? what kind of hitter do you think he’ll be?

    • Osuna hasn’t hit enough to be a starter at a position he can play. I don’t understand the thinking that he can learn a new position and suddenly be valuable as a starter.

      • The hitting will improve once he’s not 24 and a rookie. He already slugged .428. He’ll get to .500. Get the OBP up to .310 and that’s a ballplayer. He’s athletic enough to play 3B in this new age of flyballs and shifting. I’m not betting against it working. Scouts love his makeup.

  • The system is low on both 3B & C. I still like Hayes (he is very young.) If they
    do nothing like I suspect & use Moroff, Rodriguez, & Harrison at 2B & 3B that
    will have to do until the team is DOA in June.

    • Yeah, I think Tim’s overview was really well done but also feel the organization’s biggest hole has to still be at Catcher.

      Hayes is a borderline Top 100 prospect, as is Tucker who could slide over and handle the position let alone lower-upside guys like Moroff.

      No catchers close to approaching that kind of talent at any level of the org.

      • I vote their biggest hole is at SS. Not organizationally, but at the big league level. Mercer is bottom-third quality and getting more expensive. They finally plugged the 30 year hole at 1B, so I can be hopeful that SS is next.

  • And a second question which may be more appropriate for the 2B column–is there no chance that Frazier could develop into a competent 2B or 3B? Or has Moroff clearly passed Frazier on the depth chart? I’m kind of surprised that Frazier wasn’t mentioned as an option in either article.

    • And obviously I’m referring to Adam, not Todd.

    • You never say never, but wouldnt you agree that Frazier has hands of stone?

      Frazier and Moroff are apples and oranges at this point.

      Moroff has probably passed him on the 2b depth chart, but Frazier has a spot on this team as an outfielder and *emergency* infielder.

      • Hands of stone and a noodle arm.

        • this is totally just a feeling and not based on data, but i feel like guys taking extra bases on a guy because of a weak arm is a relatively infrequent event. At least in relation to the consequences of bad actual fielding of the position.

          • Counterpoint: Sid. F*cking. Bream.

            Taking extra bases on a candy arm doesn’t matter, until it really, reeeaaalllyy does.

            • this is beside the point, but i still kinda think he was out haha

              But with frazier, he just rated as a top 40 defensive OF by Baseball Savant’s OAA, and posted a UZR/150 of 3 (includes arm), and a DRS of 6 (includes arm).

              maybe in game 7 of the 2018 world series when the Pirates’ Brandon Morrow gives up a double late, they can think about putting a big arm in LF. but over the grind of the 162 game regular season, i’m pretty confident that Frazier will do more good than bad in the field in LF.

              • You really do not want to hang your hat on 500 innings worth of data.

                Regardless, we’re not arguing that Frazier literally cannot play the position. We’re arguing he isn’t good enough to warrant starter time.

                • oh i agree that that’s not what was being argued. I thought we were (for lack of a better word) arguing about the relative importance of arm strength.

                  I was arguing that despite his bad arm, he’s still a plus in LF. That’s all.

                  But your point about 500 innings is well taken.

                  But if he ends up being bad enough that i dont want him starting in LF, then i probably don’t want him backing up in LF either. i guess…what good does *that* do?

                  • I think that logic is a bit circular for my taste; if one acknowledges a flaw in the data – sample size in this case – then they cannot use said data to argue their point.

                    The backup role in this case is the same as any. Limit the exposure, which limits the opportunity for flaws in a player’s game to be exploited.

                    • acknowledging that the sample size isn’t huge is more about me saying “i understand why you aren’t buying those numbers yet” than it was about me saying “i don’t buy those numbers.”

                      heck, his true ability could be higher than those numbers for all we know.

            • That hurt – again. 🙂

              • What self-respecting Pirate fan is gonna argue that arm strength from a left fielder don’t matter, right?!

                It will *always* be too soon. 😉

            • and bonds made up for it with being really accurate and charging the ball like a bull

        • There are comments here about Frazier that I think
          are a little too negative:

          1) The guy can hit. And lets face it we need hitters.

          2) He can field & throw better than Pedro.

    • Frazier isn’t mentioned as a starter because I don’t see him as a starter. He’s a really good super utility player. That’s not a bad thing.

      The only problem with that role is that he will look good in the role, leading to people wanting to see him as a starter. Then he becomes a starter, and gets exposed on defense and with his hitting consistency.

      • I can see that, but he was consistently good in the 2nd half. Of position players he was 2nd on the team in fWAR and actually led the team in SLG and OPS…actually if I lower the number of PA’s to be qualified, then Moroff was even better. Moroff’s K rate worries me and much of his production was in the last few games, but he’s interesting too.

        Anyway, both should be given a chance to prove themselves in 2018. Unless, that is, we get Kang back or sign Walker and there’s no room for them except in a utility role.

    • correct. no chance.

  • justinblain1996
    October 24, 2017 11:58 am

    Just a name suggestion, more realistic than signing Moose or Frazier, make a trade for Maikel Franco?

    • what makes you think Franco is any good?

      • He’s probably not, but these are the types you’ve gotta take a chance on.

        The Pirates simply are not going to be acquiring the guy you *want*, at least not in the immediate sense. They’ve gotta find the guy you *will want* after making a leap in production. Yes, this is extremely difficult.

        If Nick Castellanos didn’t make Pedro blush defensively I’d be all over acquiring him.

        • Same line of thinking…Profar even more of a gamble but he’s a lefty hitter who can play ss. Or 3rd. Ideally Solarte would fill that need but the pirates will need to win on some lottery ticket to have a chance.

          • I still have a Profar-don.

            I have a feeling he won’t require much of a return this off-season. I’d be shocked if he cost the Pirates more than Schugel (or someone of comparable ability/projection).

            Not too sure about the service clock…I do believe he only has two years of control remaining, but it’s borderline and might be three.

            • Controllable thru 2020. I was thinking an Altoona starter who wasn’t on Bradenton to begin last year.

              • Ah…you are correct…he would have only had two if the Rangers had made him a September call-up. With the extra year, that will increase the price a tad, but baseball is littered with once-top prospects…so I don’t think the cost would be anything substantial. He’s definitely a guy I’d roll the dice on.

        • Nick has a nice bat, but at times he simply does not hide his disdain for defense. I would argue that at least Pedro tried.

      • justinblain1996
        October 24, 2017 12:41 pm

        low average, but some power in his bat. Not that far away from being a top prospect for the Phils.

        • just not sure that the 25 homers is worth the sub-300 OBP and bad defense, but who knows, maybe he’ll break out i guess.

  • I do not pretend to know who to target, but it is obvious that the FO needs to target a young 3B in the minors and deal from our overall minor/major league pitching depth. I like that lefty swinging Ryan McMahon.

  • What about signing Walker and having him split 3B with Freese? That’s a pretty good lefty/righty combo. Obviously, Huntington and Walker would need to let bygones by bygones, but Huntington brought back A.J. and McLouth so there are precedents.

  • Mlb is more and more about young position player talent and the Pirates have an exceedingly little supply of such talent ready or even on the horizon.

    • That’s not accurate.

      • Which part. The fact that most of these playoff teams have an abundance of position player talent under 28 years old(which is about league average in terms of age)

        Or that the Pirates have received minimal production from position players younger than league average?

        Or are you arguing that the Pirates will be suddenly getting an influx of talent from players 28 or younger?

        Diaz has a good chance of being replacement or below with his framing?
        Frazier likely can’t start because he can’t be trusted defensively in infield

        What regulars do the Pirates have that will be under 28 in 2018? Bell and Polanco. And let’s be honest both of them will be lucky to project for about 2 WAR.

        Who is on the way? a 24 year old Kevin Newman who can’t get his WRC+ above 90 in Triple A?



        You want to tell me how that group compares with a team like the Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs etc

        • I completely agree with your assessment. We lack depth in “starting caliber” young position player talent compared to many NL teams (I don’t think you need to throw in the Yankees and Astros to prove the point). Which is the primary reason why I think we should tear down this offseason. We need an infusion of those players to compete over the next 3-5 years and to get that talent we need to get maximum value for guys like Cutch, Cole, Harrison…maybe others…Now. Our pitching is young enough that I think we will still have a strong rotation in a couple years if we are able to get the right young offensive talent and bounce back quickly.

          • I totally agree about the prudence of rebuilding now but with this tv contract coming up and this mediocre squad nh has really made himself a shit sandwich

        • To your point, from Fangraphs…
          150 MLBers 28 or younger had 300 or more PA in 2017. 4 of them were Pirates (Marte, Frazier, Bell and Polanco)
          – of those 150 48 had 3 or more fWAR (0 Pirates)
          – 73 of those 150 had 2 or more fWAR (0 Pirates)
          – 113 of those 150 had 1 or more fWAR (2 Pirates – Marte and Frazier)

          If I drop the requirement to 200 PAs, I pick up a total of 186 players and add Ozuna and Diaz to the Pirates, both of whom posted negative fWAR.

          I think it is fair to say the Pirates will have more impact from under age 28 hitters next year. But it’s also fair to say they will still lag behind typical MLB production.

  • Pirates piece together cheaper contracts which total the cost of a good 3rd baseman. The inability to develop a decent 3rd baseman with some pop is one more example of the going the low cost cheaper route as the default position. It is also why fans are losing interest in the ownership and staff. What is the plan except to get lucky. Bell is at first only due to no one else and his arm is little league. But he did hit reasonably well so there is that. NH drafted him and spent 5 million on a prospect who can’t throw a base ball 100 feet with any accuracy? Really?

    • Yeah, I could see why you stockpile high price 3B talent when you have Kang locked up for a number of years. Nobody could have forseen this.

    • I mean they did “develop” (he was indeed a prospect) a good 3rd baseman with power the trouble is he can’t get into the country.

      • I wouldn’t give them credit for developing Kang. He was a free agent signing.

        I would give them credit for developing Josh Harrison. He could realistically be a third base option for them, although not a great one.

        And if we’re talking about a decent 3B with pop, there were a few years where Pedro Alvarez wasn’t a disaster. Then he suddenly forgot how defense and throwing worked.

    • I agree with what I think you are saying. Getting marginal players for limited roles instead of going with prospects seems inefficient in terms of budget and also a bad way to build a team. The marginal players that cost money that I am thinking of are Sean Rodriguez and John Jaso. Rodriguez costs $5 million I think? Jaso costs $3 million I bet. What do either of them offer beyond what a prospect could provide? It seems like it would be much more efficient to replace Rodriguez’s and Jaso’s roles with prospects.

      Put another way, I wonder if the Pirates would do better if they paid what it took to put together some good starters. Either by extending their own high quality players when they can, like they did with McCutchen, Marte, Polanco – or just signing one high quality starter instead signing a handful of bench pieces for $5 million or $3 million a pop. Then, filling out the bench with only prospects who make the minimum to save money there.

      This would be similar to the approach that worked (sometimes) with pitchers. Try to spend money on the starters, but try to fill the bullpen with low cost relievers.

    • very few rookies come i and post an .800 OPS, you might not want to minimize that

  • Not having seen enough video to the contrary, my brain keeps telling me we’re two years away from having Charlie Hayes and a solid 15 jacks/year.

  • at least theyll patch up 2018 when they trade Cutch and something for Donaldson, then commit to Frazier in LF. 😛

  • So is Wyatt Mathisen a nonprospect at this point?

    Dreker mentioned that Suiter had played some 3b. Did he look awful there?

  • I must’ve missed the ‘Tucker lacks arm strength’ memo. 🙁

    I still like Moroff at 2b and JHay at 3b until Moroff shows that he can’t handle a full time MLB position.

    I still think Hayes’ bat is going to break out once he gets healthy.

    • That line jumped out at me, too, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what Tim is saying after reading again. Seems to simply be saying Tucker’s arm is *better* suited for 2B more so than it’s not good enough for 3B, and 2B would allow his range to play up more.

    • Tucker lacks the arm strength, bat, and by the sounds of it, quickness/agility to play third.

    • Is the arm strength issue related to the labrum injury issue? Did Tucker used to have the arm strength?

  • Although he dropped off this past season, one of the options I would seriously consider is making an effort to sign Mike Moustakas, IF the Royals don’t offer him the QO.