Monday, May 17, 2010

Horse Trainers, Barry Larkin, Devin Mesoraco

1. I can name four horse trainers: Nick Zito, D. Wayne Lucas, Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher.

2. I can name zero NHL head coaches.

3. I have no interest in either.

4. Rangers' shortstop Elvis Andrus has been caught stealing seven times this year. Seven! It's mid May! Of course, Andrus is 3rd in the bigs with 14 stolen bases, so that's all anyone wants to talk about. Which is crap.

I feel like part of what's hurting Barry Larkin's Hall of Fame case is intelligence -- as in, maybe he played with too much intelligence. Take a look at his year-by-year stolen base/caught stealing numbers. Mind blowing. Had Larkin been a more greedy (read: unintelligent and less efficient) baserunner, he easily could have racked up a few hundred more stolen bases, and we all know how much HOF voters love numbers. Larkin retired with 379 SBs...would 600 stolen bases (and top 20 all time) be enough to put my favorite baseball player in the Hall of Fame?

5. It's really really really really really really (I'm going to write this word ten more times, once using the power of italics) really really really really really really really really really really early, and we're only talking about Class A Advanced Carolina League, but Reds' 2007 1st round pick, catcher Devin Mesoraco, is leading the entire farm system (not just his own team) in the following categories: batting average, home runs, RBI, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Again, it's early. And it's still just High-A ball. BUT...

Mesoraco is only 20-year-years-old, his first-round tag suggests he obviously has plenty of talent and he's not merely playing okay; he's murdering the ball. Plus, he plays a position that is impossibly difficult to develop. I couldn't tell you if he's considered a great prospect, but he's certainly not a bust. And when you consider where he was last year at this time, I think this qualifies as progress.


More on the way tomorrow.

-Brad Spieser (