Friday, June 11, 2010

Year of the Rookie

Something I alluded to in my last post (on -- Can you remember a year where rookies have had such a huge impact on baseball?

Consider the fact that you've got a guy like David Freese -- he of the .311 average, 4 home runs and 32 RBI stat line -- and the guy is going almost unnoticed outside of St. Louis because of the likes of Strasburg, Heyward and Stanton. I personally think it's great to see, though. I like that teams are starting to look inwards a bit and bringing up players they are developing rather than just going out and buying the best free agent. For some teams like the Twins, Marlins and Rays, building from within is a must. But even teams like the Yankees are starting to look at their farm systems for help -- which isn't to suggest that they are done spending gobs of cash on big names.

If this were 2005, injuries to Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada would have triggered a trade or two, and probably the signing of some free agent sitting out there waiting for a call. Of course, you knew the Yankees were operating with a different mind set when they let Johnny Damon walk and finished spring training with Brett Gardner as their starting left fielder. But even as injuries mounted, they were content to promote guys from AAA rather than make a reactionary move.

Strasburg, of course, is the big name that EVERYONE knows at this point, but he's far from the only rookie out there worth watching.

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