Category Archives: Arizona Diamondbacks Gear

Paul Goldschmidt Jersey

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The St. Louis Cardinals and star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt have agreed to a five-year extension worth around $130 million, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported Thursday the two sides were nearing a deal. Goldschmidt is due to hit free agency after the 2019 season. Rosenthal added it’s unclear whether Goldschmidt’s contract includes any opt-outs or a no-trade clause.

The Cardinals acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December.

This move would continue the recent trend of top stars signing long-term extensions well before they hit the open market.

Fox 26′s Mark Berman reported Tuesday the Houston Astros agreed to a six-year, $100 million deal with Alex Bregman that will cover his remaining arbitration years and what would’ve been his first two free-agent years. Also on Tuesday, Passan reported Mike Trout agreed to a 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Passan also reported Thursday the Tampa Bay Rays inked American League Cy Young winner Ian Snell to a five-year, $50 million extension.

Goldschmidt may be content to get long-term security now rather than risk going unsigned for a large chunk of the 2020 offseason and potentially settling for a salary below what many would’ve expected.

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper—both of whom are in their respective primes—didn’t sign until February, while Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain without a team. Considering he’ll turn 32 in September, Goldschmidt might have found a lukewarm market in free agency.

At potentially $22 million a year, re-signing Goldschmidt is a no-brainer for the Cardinals.

Over the past five years, he ranks sixth in WAR among position players (26.8), per FanGraphs. During that span, he has a .301/.408/.539 slash line, 145 home runs and 477 RBI, and his .398 weighted on-base average is fifth-highest in MLB.

The six-time All-Star has generally been a model of consistency at the plate, and he has shown little sign of declining. Even if Goldschmidt’s performance starts slipping a bit, he should more than justify St. Louis’ investment.

Taylor Clarke Jersey

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PHOENIX — Triple-A Reno Aces right-handed pitcher Taylor Clarke will be recalled to make the start against the Giants on Saturday for the Arizona Diamondbacks, manager Torey Lovullo said Friday.

Clarke, who was on the 40-man roster but not the team’s 25-man active roster before Friday’s game, had a locker in the clubhouse. He’s on the “taxi squad,” a term that refers to players who have traveled to their next assignment but whose next assignment hasn’t actually been made official with the league.

Clarke’s helping the big-league club comes after the team placed left-hander Robbie Ray on the 10-day injured list on Thursday. Ray, who has a 3.99 ERA in 26 starts this season, went only two innings in his start on Wednesday. He was diagnosed as having back spasms.

“We pieced things together the best that we can. It’s going to give the ability to give us an extra day for [Merrill] Kelly and [Zac] Gallen,” Lovullo said. “The guys have been getting after it. To be able to push them back and give them that extra day was well-timed.
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“Taylor deserves this opportunity. He’d been throwing the ball extremely well before he was sent out, so I know he’s excited to be back here and I’m excited to see what he can help us out with.”

The 26-year-old Clarke has a 5.46 ERA through 14 games (13 starts) this season, his debut season in the major leagues. In his last four starts before his most recent assignment to Reno, Clarke had a 3.92 ERA over 20.2 innings pitched.

In nine of his 14 starts this year, Clarke has allowed three earned runs or fewer.

Mike Koplove Jersey

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The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

Kevin Cron Jersey

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On May 24, the Arizona Diamondbacks called up Kevin Cron to the big-league club. At the time the 26-year-old led all minor leaguers with 21 home runs. He was called up to help an offense that needed a boost. On June 6, he hit his first big-league home run. Since then, he was sent down when Arizona needed another pitcher, then returned to provide pinch hitting duties and some occasional time at first base. He is also being utilized as the DH when the team is in an American League city.
Arrival to Arizona

Cron attended high school in Phoenix. He was originally drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2011 draft but decided to attend Texas Christian University instead. A catcher in high school, he was moved to first base at TCU. In 2014, after his junior season, the Diamondbacks selected him in the 14th round of the MLB draft. He signed with them on June 23, 2014.

Playing in the Minor Leagues

Cron made his professional debut with the Missoula Osprey of the Rookie-level Pioneer League, and quickly moved up to the Hillsboro Hops of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. He finished 2014 with a combined .291 batting average along with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs.

He spent 2015 with the Visalia Rawhide of the Class A-Advanced California League in 2015 where he hit 27 home runs and had 97 RBIs. In 2016 he was with the AA Mobile BayBears. He added 88 RBIs and 26 home runs to his stats.

After the 2016 season, he played in front of the local Arizona fans when he was assigned to the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. In 2017, Cron played for the AA Jackson Generals. He was named the league’s most valuable player after batting .283 with 25 home runs and 91 RBIs. Cron spent last year with the AAA Reno Aces, improving his batting average to .309 while hitting 22 home runs and adding 97 RBIs to his lifetime totals.
Improved his Power Swing Potential

We know that since he came out of college Cron has a ton of power. At 6-foot-5, and around 245 pounds, his strength is obvious. His swing power is above average.
However, while he hit all those home runs in his three full seasons, he also struck out more than 130 times each year as well, leading some to question if he could make enough contact to tap into his power at the highest level.

He worked persistently with each minor league hitting coach on swing-and-miss issues and on the lack of plate discipline, two things that previously held him back and a key indicator on why he played Double-A ball in 2017. The work has paid off. His pitch recognition has improved. That has led to increased walks helping to offset what will always be a big strikeout total.
Baseball Family

Kevin Cron’s life has revolved around baseball, the game and the clubhouse. His father, Chris Cron, was an MLB player with both the then California Angels and Chicago White Sox. Currently, he is the manager of the AAA Reno Aces. Kevin’s brother, C. J. Cron, plays for the Minnesota Twins and their cousin is former Diamondbacks catcher Chad Moeller. Being around pro baseball at a young age certainly goes along way to help learn the ways players handle themselves and what it takes to be a professional. Not only that, but hanging around the players and managers and hearing their stories and their game breakdowns, you learn the in-outs of the game that are often overlooked or missed by those without this experience. This, too, has helped Cron.

Future in MLB

Since being recalled by the Diamondbacks, he has been limited mostly to pinch-hit duty. Jake Lamb’s return from injury and Christian Walker have pushed Cron’s to a limited role. But, we could see him get more playing time in the second half of the season if the Diamondbacks decide to become sellers and trade Lamb. A lot of that will depend on the team’s playoff chances. Stay tuned.

Lyle Overbay Jersey

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Jays…..please make some news.

Former Blue Jays’ first baseman Lyle Overbay turns 42 today.

Lyle came up to the majors with the Diamondbacks, he played a handful of games in 2001 and 2002 before making the Diamondbacks out of spring training in 2003, after being listed as Baseball America’s 65th best prospect. He didn’t do great and was sent back to the minors after playing in 86 games. In December of 2003 he was sent to the Brewers as part of a 10 player trade. The big name, going to the Diamondbacks, was slugger Richie Sexson. Sexson only played 21 games for the Diamondbacks, in an injury filled 2004.

Overbay played two seasons for the Brewers before being traded to the Jays with Ty Taubenheim for Dave Bush, Gabe Gross and Zach Jackson. Bush won 46 games (while losing 53) over 5 seasons, Gross played a bit hitting .251/.357/.440 in parts of 3 seasons and Jackson pitched 42 innings, for the Brewers, so the trade could be counted as slightly to the win side for J.P. Riccairdi. And, considering Eric Hinske played first for us in 2005, Lyle was a step up at the position.

The trade was the subject of the second post ever on Bluebird Banter. Marc Normandin liked the trade:

He’s a great defensive first basemen, one of the best in the league. He hits well for a first basemen, although he lacks home run power. He makes up for it with doubles though, and his plate patience is good. Acquiring Overbay most likely means that Shea Hillenbrand or Eric Hinske is on their way out of Toronto. The good news? The Jays may actually get a useful part in exchange for one of them, which would be a plus.

Lyle had a pretty good first season for us, he hit .312/.372/.508 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI in 157 games in 2006. He set his career high for home runs, RBI and batting average, as well as finishing 4th in the AL in doubles with 46.

After the season J.P. signed Lyle to a 4-year, $24 million contract. The contract didn’t help make him a favorite with Jays fans. mark w wasn’t sure about the signing, at the time. In his BBB post about it:

My views are on this signing are rather mixed. At first glance, it appears to be a thrifty signing, as the Blue Jays lock up a somewhat gifted hitter at a relatively cheap price. On the other hand, however, couldn’t the Blue Jays have waited another season, thus hedging their bets? I can’t imagine that Overbay’s value will skyrocket at this point of his career, especially considering he’s a likely candidate to “age quickly” — at least based on the career trends of statistically similar players from the past. In the end, I don’t think this contract will come back to bite them, if only because of its low cost to the organization. And Overbay appears to be a safe bet for at least the next 2-3 years.

Well, it did come back to bite them.

2007 wasn’t a good a year for Lyle. He missed more than a month with a broken hand, after being hit by a John Danks pitch June 3. He was hitting .256/.332/.464 when he was hit, but finished the season .240/.315/.391 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. It’s pretty had to hit ball when your hand is hurting. He did manage to hit 30 doubles. Lyle had a big reverse split, that year, having a .794 OPS vs. LHP but just .676 against RHP.

Lyle bounced back a little, in 2008, hitting .270/.358/.419 with 15 homers, 32 doubles and 69 RBI in 158 games. He set a team record for getting on base 12 straight times at the end of May. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hit lefties at all, batting just .215/.285/.255 against them. It was the start of a bad trend, before 2008 he was able to hit lefties, at least not too badly, after, he couldn’t.

Overbay had a pretty good 2009, hitting .265/.372/.466 with 16 home runs (including his first walkoff homer against the A’s in April), 35 doubles and 64 RBI in 132 games. FanGraphs credited him with a 2.4 WAR, the best in his time with the Jays. They liked his fielding much better than back in 2006. He hit just .190/.256/.278 against left-handers (his platoon partner was Kevin Millar, who didn’t hit lefties all that much better that year).

2010 was Lyle’s last year with the Jays, and it wasn’t very good, he hit .243/.329/.433, with 20 home runs (his second highest total in his career), 37 doubles (his 7th consecutive season with 30 doubles) and 67 RBI. He played in 154 games, Cito wouldn’t platoon him as he was a free agent after the season (Cito had some strange ideas, as a often he was more interested in ‘doing right’ by his veteran players than doing what was needed to win games). On defense, Lyle lead AL first basemen in double plays (150) and assists (101). He had the 1000th hit of his career at the end of June.

After leaving the Jays, Lyle has bounced around, playing for the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Braves, Yankees and Brewers. He retired after the 2014, finishing with a .266/.347/.429 line, 151 home runs and 675 RBI in 14 seasons. 83 home runs and 336 RBI were as a Blue Jays.

Happy Birthday Lyle. Even though your time with the Jays wasn’t a huge success, but you were still a favorite of mine. I do wonder how much better his offensive numbers would have been if he hadn’t broken his hand.

It is also Bob File’s birthday, he’s also 42. Bob came up as a reliever with the Jays and had a very good rookie season, in 2001, putting up a 3.27 ERA in 60 relief appearances, 74.1 innings, but there was some luck involved. He only struck out 38 and walked 29. The .233 BABIP wasn’t something that was repeatable. Over the next two seasons he pitched 37 innings, with a 6.08 ERA and that was the end of his major league career.

Happy birthday Bob, hope it is a good one.

Roberto Alomar Jersey

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For most of his career, the only time the word “second” appeared in the same sentence as Roberto Alomar was when someone was describing his position in the field.

At the plate, with the leather or in the final standings, Alomar was usually on top.

Born Feb. 5, 1968 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Alomar had baseball in his blood. His father, Sandy Alomar Sr., was an All-Star second baseman in his 15-year major league career. Like his father, Roberto played second, threw right-handed and switch-hit. Alomar’s brother, Sandy, Jr., also made it to the big leagues as a catcher.

At 18, Roberto Alomar signed with the San Diego Padres and won the California League batting title in his second year in the minors with a .346 batting average. By 1988, he was with the parent club, making a splash with his defense and speed and finishing fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He earned his first All-Star selection in 1990.

Following that season, Alomar was traded to Toronto – where his offense took off. Alomar raised his average over .300, helping the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-1993 while finishing in third in the AL batting title race in 1993. He hit a combined .354 in four postseason series in those two championship seasons.

“Everybody can see the skills on the field,” said teammate Dave Winfield, himself a Hall of Famer. “He’s acrobatic, flamboyant, he’s got his style.”

Following the 1995 season, Alomar signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Forming a Hall of Fame double-play combination with Cal Ripken Jr., helped his team get back to the playoffs – advancing to the ALCS in 1996 and 1997. Following the 1998 season, Alomar signed with the Cleveland Indians and played with his brother Sandy for the first time.

“He reminds me of some of the great players that I’ve played with, who seem like they write their own script,” said Davey Johnson, who managed Alomar with the Orioles. “Frank Robinson’s one, Henry Aaron was the other.”

It was in Cleveland that Alomar had two of his best seasons. In 1999, he hit .323 with 24 homers, 120 RBI and 37 stolen bases. He finished third in MVP voting and led the league in runs scored (138) and sacrifice flies (13). In 2001, he hit .336 with 20 homers, 100 RBI and 30 stolen bases.

Teamed with Omar Vizquel, the double-play combo won three consecutive Gold Gloves together. The Indians advanced to the postseason in both 1999 and 2001.

Alomar was traded to the Mets in 2002 before later stops with the White Sox and Diamondbacks. He retired after the 2004 season.

In 17 major league seasons, Alomar tallied 2,724 hits, 210 home runs, 1,134 RBI, a .300 batting average and .984 fielding percentage. He made 12 consecutive All-Star appearances.

Luke Weaver Jersey

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Angels manager Brad Ausmus has only been on the job for a year, but the club “would consider” firing him to hire Joe Maddon after the season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription link). That would require the Cubs to move on from Maddon, whose contract is up, while the Angels would likely need to make the 65-year-old a substantial offer. The first part of that equation looks like a real possibility, but it appears the second would pose a problem. Angels owner Arte Moreno likely doesn’t want to pay two managers, per Rosenthal, who adds it’s very doubtful he’d be willing to match Maddon’s current salary of $6MM. Notably, though, there is quite a bit of history between Maddon and the Angels. He spent 31 years with the organization in a variety of roles before his managerial career began with the Rays prior to the 2006 season.

Recent speculation has linked longtime Giants executive Brian Sabean to the Marlins, but the 63-year-old told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he isn’t going anywhere. Although Sabean’s contract is about to expire, he and the Giants are in talks to keep him in place for what would be his 28th year with the organization in 2020. “We’re in the process of sorting that out as we speak,” Sabean said. “I’m quite sure my Giant career will continue in some form or fashion. I’m not interested in looking to go anywhere else. We’ll see how it develops in the next month or so.” While Sabean was at the helm of the Giants’ baseball department during all three of their World Series wins this decade, he has taken on a lesser role since the team hired Farhan Zaidi to steer the ship last offseason. Sabean spent a large portion of this season scouting, which is his passion, Schulman notes.

The Diamondbacks have shut right-handers Luke Weaver and Zac Gallen down for the season, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Weaver sat out all of June, July, August and most of September with forearm and UCL injuries, but he made a successful two-inning return last weekend to cap off his 2019. He and Gallen, whom the D-backs acquired at the trade deadline, figure to slot in near the top of the club’s rotation in 2020. Fellow righty Taijuan Walker could join them if he overcomes the arm problems that have essentially shelved him for two straight seasons. Walker could, however, take the ball for the first and only time of the season in Arizona’s finale on Sunday, Piecoro relays.

The Athletics just designated catcher Beau Taylor for assignment for the second time this year, but that doesn’t mean his days with the organization are over. On the contrary, chances are “good” that the A’s will try to re-sign Taylor in the offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Judging by the glowing reviews of Taylor that prized young catcher Sean Murphy and manager Bob Melvin offer in Slusser’s piece, he clearly has the respect of the A’s players and coaches.

Jake Lamb Jersey

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are missing one of their most well-known infielders as Jake Lamb recovers from a quad injury.

The D-backs put Lamb on the injured list with a Grade 2 left quad strain near the start of the season when Lamb hurt himself on April 3. He has since been on the shelf to recover, but the D-backs got their former All-Star on a rehab assignment on June 8.

The Athletic‘s Zach Buchanan cited manager Torey Lovullo as saying it’s “unlikely” Lamb will rejoin the D-backs this next homestand, which spans from Tuesday to next Wednesday, June 26. Lovullo added that he thinks Lamb will be back before the end of June, though.

In getting back Lamb, the D-backs would be adding a left-handed bat that can play corner infield — two positions where Christian Walker and Eduardo Escobar have been getting the everyday playing time. Lovullo has said that upon Lamb’s return, getting everyone time on the field could mean having Escobar play second, Walker stay at first and Lamb play third. That would bump Ketel Marte to center field, where he has spent some time this season, anyway.
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In six games in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno thus far, Lamb has hit .263 with a double and a home run to go with six RBI. Lamb hit his lone home run on Friday before going 1-for-3 with a double on Saturday.

An NL All-Star in 2017, Lamb hit .222 in 2018 and appeared in only 56 games due to a shoulder injury. Before he went down this season, he was hitting .267 (4-for-15). In his six-year big league career, Lamb averages .247 with 24 home runs every 162 games. He is hitting .159 against left-handed pitching in his career and .270 against right-handers.

Luis Gonzalez Jersey

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Former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez pulled a woman from her car after an accident in a Phoenix suburb Friday.

According to the Arizona Republic, Gonzalez stopped when he saw two cars get involved in a head-on collision after a vehicle jumped a median.

Gonzalez’s friend, Artie Cuffari, tweeted video of the scene:

After helping the woman, the 49-year-old former major leaguer explained the situation and his decision to leap into action:

“I just reacted. I didn’t think about it, to be honest with you. … I was just trying to get the lady out of the car. She was a little dazed and groggy. I was like, ‘Open the door, open the door, the other car is on fire.’ I didn’t know if the car was going to blow up or something because I was seeing flames coming out of it.”

Per the Republic, Gonzalez was informed by police that those involved in the crash are doing OK.

Gonzalez spent 19 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Florida Marlins.

He is best known for delivering the game-winning hit for the D-backs in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees.

The five-time All-Star retired following the 2008 season with a career batting average of .283 to go along with 354 home runs and 1,439 RBI.

Stephen Drew Jersey

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This morning, veteran infielder Stephen Drew announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. Drew was quite the prospect when he came into pro ball 13 years ago. Let’s take a look at what was expected of him and what he actually accomplished.

A star shortstop at Florida State University, Stephen Drew hit .344/.468/.692 for the Seminoles in the spring of 2004 and was considered by many to be the most complete player available in the draft that year. He also had a history of injuries and Scott Boras as an agent, factors which pushed him down draft boards.

He went 15th-overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks but held out. I filed this report in the 2005 edition of the Baseball Prospect Book:

Picked in the first round but “just” 15th overall last June, Stephen Drew was rated as the top college player available by most experts, but fell in the draft due to his bonus demands. As I write this (December 5, 2004) he has not signed, but supposedly there is a good chance he will by spring training. Drew is a complete player, a Seven Skill middle infielder. He hits for average, hits for power, controls the strike zone, steals bases, has good range in the field, is reliable, and knows how to use his arm. That’s all seven. About the only thing anyone says bad about him is that he hasn’t always been a rah-rah leader-type guy in the clubhouse. There have also been concerns that he’s not willing to play through injuries. At this point, it is hard to know how seriously to take those kinds of worries, since they are impossible to quantify. For now, he gets a Grade B+ since we don’t know exactly how quickly he will adjust to pro ball. Understand that this is a conservative grade, and that most people think he’ll be ready for the Show within two years, if not sooner. I think he’s more likely to turn out to be a good player like brother J.D. rather than a disappointment like brother Tim.

The holdout went on longer than expected: he began 2005 playing with the Camden Riversharks in the independent Atlantic League. He spent 19 games there until finally coming to terms with the Diamondbacks. He ripped up the Cal League after signing (.389/.486/.738 in 149 at-bats) but was less effective after moving up to Double-A (.218/.301/.386 in 101 at-bats), at least partially due to more nagging injuries.

The report entering 2006:

Maybe there is something I just don’t understand about life. But I really don’t comprehend why it’s necessary for guys like Stephen Drew to hold out. What point does it make, really? He’s gonna make millions anyway. Why delay the start of his career? It’s one thing for a top draftee to hold out for a few months, but I really don’t get the whole “hold out until next spring and get your career off to a late start” dynamic, not for a guy like Drew who will be set for life either way. Anyway, whatever his personal philosophy, Drew is one helluva player, and could possibly end up being the best of the three Drew brothers. His bat is excellent, with unusually good power for a middle infielder. His strike zone judgment is solid, and he has pop to all fields. Although he struggled during a one-month Double-A trial, he smoked the Arizona Fall League, and no one doubts his bat despite the shaky Tennessee numbers. Defense is another matter. Drew is athletic enough to be a fine defender, but scouts say he doesn’t seem to care about his glovework, at least in comparison to his hitting. He runs well, although a leg injury hampered his speed in ’05. I have no doubts that Drew is one of the best prospects in the game, but nagging concerns about his defense will keep him from the absolute top of the list. Grade A-.

Drew split 2006 between Triple-A and the majors and was quite good after moving up, hitting .316/.357/.517 in 209 at-bats. He was the regular shortstop in 2007 and was healthy, playing 150 games, but often struggled and finished with a disappointing .238/.313/.370 line.

He rebounded in 2008 with a .291/.333/.502 line across 611 at-bats. Shaky defense drove down his WAR value however, which came in at 1.9 fWAR. His best season turned out to be 2010, with a .278/.352/.458 line and better glovework resulting in a 4.8 fWAR. He was 27 years old, the classic peak.

It started to go bad in 2011, with a serious ankle injury limiting him to 86 games. He came back in 2012 but was never the same, was traded to the Athletics, then drifted between various major league clubs as a free agent, seeing time with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Nationals.

At times he would flash the old ability. He hit just .201 for the Yankees in 2015 but did knock 17 homers. He was a useful part-timer with the Nationals in 2016 (.266/.348/.524 in 70 games, 143 at-bats) but was clearly winding down in 2017 and his retirement this week is no surprise.

Overall, Drew hit .252/.318/.423 over 4917 plate appearances, collecting 14.1 fWAR.

Among retired players with a similar amount of playing time, his fWAR puts him in the neighborhood of Bucky Dent (15.5), Walt Weiss (14.8), Rey Sanchez (14.6), Julio Lugo (13.9), Dick Schofield (13.8) and Zoilo Versailles (13.5). Sim Score comparables include Jeff Blauser, Alex “Blue Jays” Gonzalez, Robby Thompson, Felipe Lopez, and Versailles.

Despite criticisms of his defensive effort in college and the minors, his glove actually turned out to be better than his bat, at least if you believe WAR. His range declined with age but he made few errors and was still playable in the middle infield on a reserve basis at the end of his career.

Overall, Drew was a very good player at his peak but never lived up to the full superstar potential perceived by scouts when he was an amateur.