The Process – A Hole 2b Reviewed by Momizat on . The Royals as we know have a thin margin for error in regards to the 2013 season and in the future.  While there are weaknesses in the rotation, unknowns all o The Royals as we know have a thin margin for error in regards to the 2013 season and in the future.  While there are weaknesses in the rotation, unknowns all o Rating: 0
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The Process – A Hole 2b

The Process – A Hole 2b

The Royals as we know have a thin margin for error in regards to the 2013 season and in the future.  While there are weaknesses in the rotation, unknowns all over the infield and outfield the most glaring weakness to the team is at second base.  Lets look at the possible options the Royals have in the org currently.

Chris Getz – The leader in the clubhouse as they say in more ways than one is a very weak option indeed.  The projected starter had a career year at the plate and still finished with just a 85 OPS+ and 83 RC+ in 2012, so basically he’s 15% below average with the stick at a position that has suddenly become a source of offense in the majors.  What Getz can’t provide on offense he’s supposed to make up for with the glove yet he’s only been able to muster an average UZR in two of the last three years while putting up a solid season in between.  If you believe in UZR then Getz defense just isn’t good enough to make up for his weak stick.  If you prefer the eye test well then show me something that is better than average on defense cause I just don’t see it.  The range isn’t great, the arm is blah and the turn on the DP isn’t outstanding.  When the best you can say about Getz is that he is mistake free then that just isn’t enough praise for his defense to make up for the bat.  On top of the weak bat and so-so defense Getz has yet to make it past 118 games in a season while playing less than half in two of his last three seasons likely meaning another player on the club would have to take up significant time at his spot.  At 29 years old Getz shouldn’t be expected to build on his performance more than try to sustain it and considering that was a career year there is a better than average chance he returns to old form which is far too big a hole for this club to carry.  On the Tigers, a club with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the performance Getz provides would be good enough but for this club it just doesn’t get it done.

(Photo Minda Haas)

(Photo Minda Haas)

Johnny Giavotella – As most of you know I’ve been out in front of the Gio fan club for quite sometime.  Still I can’t believe Gio is the answer after his performance in the majors so far.  Yes I think the Royals have contributed to the poor results with their inconsistent playing time and jerking around of Gio but it doesn’t matter, you have to perform when the lights are on and Gio hasn’t.  The other problem with Gio is Eric Hosmer.  What?  Yes Hosmer is a problem for all the second baseman listed.  If you believe in the UZR numbers then it must be pointed out that Hosmer has been an atrocious first baseman defensively built mostly on his poor range factor.  Is that poor defensive alignment by the Royals or does Hos lack actual range on balls?  All I know is that it doesn’t take an expert eye to realize that Eric’s defense isn’t what the Royals desired on the right side and if that is the case then the Royals can’t afford to have a limited range defender like Gio playing next to him.  I’m a big fan of Johnny and the way his teammates seem to rally around him almost feeding off of his performance but unless he absolutely kills it in spring training I don’t see him getting a realistic shot at this job.

Miguel Tejada – A 39 year old does not a All Star defender make generally and I don’t buy that the Royals brought Miguel in for his glove at second base.  The idea that “leadership” is more or equal to as valuable as production to this team or any team for that matter is a farce.  The idea that a 39 year old who hasn’t produced an above average season since 2009 would be the best candidate for the position seems laughable.  Unfortunately that might be the case as I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he put up an average OPS+ with slightly below average defense which I doubt the other two candidates could pull off at this point.  As we get closer to the season I’m leaning more and more to the idea that he si the Royals starter at second which speaks to how poor of options KC is working with here.

Christian Colon - The former #4 overall pick has yet to must an average minor league season offensively so to think that he’s a true option here would be pretty shocking.  I’ve been very critical of Colon since he’s joined the org which was surprising to me as I liked his talent in college quite a bit and wasn’t upset with the pick even though I was a proponent of Chris Sale in that draft.  That stuff out of the way his foot speed was remarkably slow which cuts into his range and if not for his instincts would likely make him a worse defensive candidate than Giavotella.  On top of the average at best defense he’s been a very Getzian like hitter actually putting together a worse minor league OPS than Getz with less SLG if you believe it or not all despite playing the bulk of his games in a very very hitter friendly Texas league.  That foot speed also hampers any kind of secondary skills that Colon can provide, something Getz does very well.  These are all bad signs for his future as a starter in the bigs and is a reason I don’t have him ranked higher organizationally.

Too Late Now – I would like to blame the lack of talent at 2b on a payroll cap but that just isn’t true.  The Royals had the money to jump out and grab Kelly Johnson earlier than the Rays as well as outbidding them if they needed to.  If not that move they also could have snapped up Jed Lowrie by putting together a better package than what the A’s put together.  In the end the lack of moves at this position is a poor evaluation of major league talent on the Royals part creates a gap in their lineup and a hole defensively on the right side.  For some teams that isn’t a big deal but to the Royals that is a major concern as they don’t have that super star player that we know of yet that can carry a lineup.  They need average to slightly better performances all over the diamond just to be competitive and I just don’t see that happening at this position on the diamond.

About The Author

I grew up on the mean gravel roads of Iowa where I started my love for baseball from the age of 2. George Brett and the voice of Denny Matthews deepened my love even more for the Royals as my father and I spent summers listening to the team on our deck or in the car on our way to or from my little league and high school games. Sports was always the common bond that my father and I enjoyed and the Royals were in the center of that.I currently live in La Vista with my wife, two sons, two dogs and a pair of gross cats where we are grinding through until we can move somewhere warm when we retire. I own Casino Cab Company and Bluffs Affordable Auto Repair in Council Bluffs trying to build my 1% empire. If you are in the area you can find me at Omaha Storm Chasers games on most nights or just follow me on twitter @ClintScoles.

Number of Entries : 814

Comments (4)

  • Clint Scoles

    I may have overstated Getz defense a bit but compared to the many in the league he’s merely average and with his bat just isn’t enough. I agree he’s one of the best baserunners on the team. As far as situational hitting he’s just not a good enough hitter overall to say that makes any sort of difference. This team made a big mistake overall letting this position stay as is.

    As far as Frenchy, I went through the same thing this last year with my wife having two within the last 18 months. Personally my business has thrived as I’ve worked harder on it and been a support system for my wife while I handled my own feelings. Perhaps he let it eat at him and affect his game.

    According to Kim Figueroa’s tweets as of last week they are dating still.

  • mungakc

    Clint, I agree that, for ’13 (and the last few years), 2nd base looks like a black hole. Your comments on Getz are mostly right-on except for the eye test – he actually turns the DP better than average and teams with Escobar to look fairly seemless on balls up the middle. Maybe I’m overrating him based on just how bad Gio looks defensively. Defensive zone ratings are certainly a mixed bag and, at best, a work in progress. Hosmer’s range looks much better in person than what his ratings suggest. Part of the evaluation is to compare him vs. other starting 1st baseman, whom are primarily put there for their bats and not their range. If Hosmer would ditch the ole’ scoop on throws in the dirt, he would look much better, though I’m not certain that would show up in any metrics. Also, I think if you’re going to give Gio props for his positive energy, then you probably need to do the same for Tejada (still can’t believe we’re talking about him as the potential starter – confirms just how bad 2nd base situation looks). Colon’s upside is utility IF, which I doubt he will ever even make that grade. One more comment; Getz might be the Royals best baserunner (Gordon might successfully argue against that) and definitely is their best small-ball, situational hitter (sort of like being the tallest midget; for the Royals this is feint praise). Given Yost’s penchant for defense up the middle, Getz is likely the choice with Tejada sneaking up-the-rail because of his perceived leadership value (dubious and hard to quantify). Oh, did you happen to hear GMDM’s comments at the season ticket holder luncheon regarding Frenchy and the possible effect his wife’s miscarriage might have had on his ’12 performance? Weird that no one had ever mentioned this before (including those inside the organization that had never heard this), especially with the rumor-mill/internet. I can’t imagine how this personal loss would have effected his total loss of speed on the basepaths or range in right, but it’s an interesting comment and a bit surprising that GMDM would bring it up in that venue. Also, it will be interesting to see if Hosmer’s split from his 30-something GF will aid his ’13 rebound?

  • Clint Scoles

    Last season was out of the ordinary for Falu. I believe he would have to repeat his results for a month or two before getting a job like that.

  • mmeade17

    I would just LOVE to see Irving Falu come out in Spring Training and dominate, winning the starting 2b job. I know he’s not the sabermetric darling because he never walks, but he can move enough to play a good second base. And if he continues to put a lot of balls in play, we may see that he’s one of those Salvador Perez types who hits for a decent average because he never walks but hardly strikes out either. He’s had high BABIP for he last three seasons, maybe it’s a trend with him. Regardless, I’d rather see him get a chance than someone like Getz who the Royals already should know can’t cut it.

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