Results tagged ‘ Joey Gathright ’
How does he project as a prospect?
Not only was Kyle Hudson the player most fun to watch for the 2011 Tides, he may have been the player most fun to watch (in a positive way) for the Tides in the six years I’ve been datacasting. He’s very fast and gives his all every play. However, I don’t think he’s a very good prospect, for several reasons:
- He has zero power. His entire offensive game is based on slapping at the ball and running like crazy; or, for a change of pace, bunting and running like crazy. Major-league pitchers will knock the bat out of his hands unless he gets stronger.
- Although he’s very fast, he’s not a good outfielder. He has trouble judging fly balls and doesn’t have a good throwing arm.
- Possibly because he’s a former college football player, he does play all-out on every play. That makes him entertaining to watch and someone to root for, but it also makes him susceptible to injuries.
I think the best-case scenario for Hudson is to be someone like Joey Gathright, another pure speed player. Gathright managed to last four seasons as a bench player / part-time regular. The key difference is that Gathright was a .300 hitter in the minors, while Hudson has been a .280 hitter in the minors. That may not seem like much of a difference, but when you consider that Gathright was a very marginal player anyway, it may be enough to keep Hudson in the minor leagues.
Would you rather have Hudson or Matt Angle?
Although they’re similar players, I’d rather have Angle, who’s a far better defensive outfielder and, at least in my opinion, has more strength. The Orioles won’t have either one; they waived Matt Angle. They wanted to remove Hudson from the 40-man roster, but because of an arcane roster-rule technicality Hudson was declared a free agent and signed with the Rangers.
Is his career finished?
I don’t think so. Joey Gathright is an unusual player; given today’s roster-composition practices, he has a very difficult time making a 25-man roster; but he can be extremely useful to a contending team once rosters expand in September.
Gathright has plus-plus speed, and he also has figured out how to use his speed effectively on offense (he steals bases, he is a very good drag bunter, he doesn’t try to hit home runs, etc.) His speed gives him terrific range in the outfield. On the other hand, he has zero power, and he has so little power that pitchers aren’t afraid to groove pitches, so it’s hard for him to draw walks. While he has good range in the outfield, he has a weak arm, so he’s really just an average defensive player overall. On a twenty-five man roster with twelve pitchers, you can’t carry a guy with that skill set — he’s really just a pinch-runner. Sort of a poor man’s late-career Willie Wilson.
But when rosters expand, contending teams can use pinch runners. If you’ve got forty roster spots (really, teams don’t carry more than 35 or so, but still …) you can use one of them for a pinch-runner for those times when you really NEED one. When you add that he can be an adequate outfield fill-in for a game, and that even the best farm systems can always use a guy like Gathright on their AAA team, a contending team like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies should sign him to an AAA contract planning to add him to the roster in September.