Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jose Bautista is...

... a very bad man?

... having a season worthy of being discussed among those of Delgado, Alomar, and Bell?

... the owner of MLB's best beard?

(no, really, this is fun - play along with me here)

... now established as one of AA's designated "core players", and therefore

... due a contract extension this offseason?

... the Jays best option at 3B in 2011?

... or at RF?

... making the front office count their blessings they didn't deal him off for the best (garbage) offer?

... deserving of MVP consideration?

... now established as one of the game's top power hitters and offensive threats?

... potentially the most underrated/under discussed player in baseball?

... no fluke or one-dimensional threat a la Tony Batista?

... making the founding members of the BAS (Bautista Appreciation Society) look very wise indeed?

OK friends, levity aside, let's all just appreciate the monster season Jose Bautista is having before our very eyes for what it is: one of the best single-season offensive performances in franchise history. I never thought I'd see the day when Jose Bautista's name was mentioned in the same breath as George Bell and Carlos Delgado, but here we are.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but as early as a month or six weeks ago, I wasn't sold on Bautista as much more than a trade chip heading into this offseason, or approaching the 2011 deadline. Now I can't see how Anthopoulos doesn't take a run at locking him up long-term. It's a dangerous game, negotiating with The Player after a career year, but assuming the demand isn't, y'know, Vernon Wells money (heyo!), how do the Jays not entertain the idea? I don't think anyone should expect another 46+ HR season, but pay him based on 30 and let's call it even.

Who's with me?

Make room for the kids?
Everyone's favorite analyst they love to hate (unless he says something positive about your team's prospects), Keith Law, had plenty to say about the two brightest pitching prospects in the Jays system after taking in a pair of Fisher Cat playoff games.

Both blog posts are behind ESPN's insider wall, but I'll only sorta break the rules by telling you the following:

Kyle Drabek flashed "stuff" he'd never seen nor heard from him before, showing a fastball topping out at 97 and his patented power curve, calling it a major-league out pitch. He now views Drabek as having "ace potential", with "a realistic ceiling just below that". Boom. Hear that, Drabek doubters?

Observing Zach Stewart, KLaw reports a 90-96 sinking fastball, "out-pitch" slider, surprising change, and mixing in a (substandard) curveball. Translation? "Potential #2 starter, maybe a #3..."

(of note, reading the comments from whiny Yankee fans accusing Law of - wait for it - Blue Jay bias for daring to grade the pair of Jays starters more highly than their Yankee prospect counterparts is almost worth the cost of Insider alone)


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Yes to all of the above Bautista questions. And for what it's worth (nothing), he's my 3B next year.

Mattt said...

Awesome prospect news as well. Yes, we've got pitching...

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Bautista is amazing. Simply amazing. I hope he stays in right though.

Can't wait to see Kyle Drabek

Roberto said...

Barring a trade or some other transaction, Bautista ought to be playing 3B next year.

It's a lot easier to find someone to replace him in the OF (even if the defense slips a bit), then it would be to find a serviceable MLB-caliber third baseman.

BJ Fledgling said...

It's funny, re: Yankees. I don't know if this is worth anything but look at this:

AA - Trenton knocked New Hampshire out
A (FSL) - Tampa Yankees will be playing the Dunedin Blue Jays in the playoffs
A (NY-Penn) - Staten Island were 4 games under .500, Auburn was 5 games under.
A (Gulf Coast) - Jays were 5.5 games ahead of the Yankees.

Can I interpret this to mean that we are keeping pace with the big boys now?

BJ Fledgling said...

Oh, and I think Cito has won me over on this one: I like Bautista in RF. Ipso facto Emaus Express! Woo woo!

Anonymous said...

Yeah but where's BEamus now? Being sheltered from the Manager?

SP said...

We're gonna hear a lot about Jays pitching prospects and "surprising changeups".

Great news about Drabek and Stewart as he hasn't been as high on them as others.

SP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg E said...

Here's something else Bautista has done: He has given these fans something to believe in.

I was at the game last night. And every time he approached the on-deck circle, you could feel the excitement growing. Even before the Jays really got the 'comeback' rolling, there was a buzz in the air. When he fouled off 11 pitches, it was more than a buzz.

When he hit his 2nd HR, it was the loudest I have ever heard 15,000 fans be. The building was just full of appreciation, appreciation for witnessing something special.

It's a good time to be a Jays fan, and people are starting to realize that.

/Overly Dramatic Wall of Text

Ian H. said...

Ack, Bautista is ... all of those things above. I can't wait until he cracks his 48th dinger, and who knows ... maybe he'll even break 50. He's giving fans something to believe in right now! BAS 4 LIFE!

Anonymous said...

3 years $30M for Bautista? I think the Jays would do that and I think Bautista might.

Peter D said...

I'd still listen to offers for Bautista, however my guess is that the return won't be greater that value you will get from keeping Bautista. That being said if a significant offer was made, it should be considered.

Some other thoughts:
- I still think the Jays should see how he plays next year before trying to lock him up to a long term contract
- I think Bautista has a greater defensive value in RF, however the Jay look like they will have a greater need for a 3B next season, so unless they can find an alternative solution at the hot corner, I expect Bautista to be playing the most of his games at that position in 2011.
- There are Drabek doubters?

kingsbishop said...

hey ack... sportsnet 1 post coming?

The Ack said...

@kingbishop....I'm too fucking angry, it would be an illogical mash of internet rage. Luckily the weekend has passed, or I'd probably embarrass myself.

I know Tao and many others proclaim short-term pain for long-term pain, and we see more games now than ever before....but I just dont' fucking care about being rational about it, to be honest.

My underlying POV is that (a) Rogers is using Jays fans as a pawn to force rivals' hands into pickup up SN1, (b) Beeston's answer that he's good with the situation insults me, (c) I'm tiring of "short-term pain", (d) hijacking 50% of the remaining schedule from whenever it was SN1 launched - during one of the most exciting non-contending periods in history - to season's end is just a fucking asinine Blue Jays buzzkill, and (e) limiting Drabek's debut to the miniscule SN1 audience is the icing on the shit-cake. arent' you all glad I didn't actually construct a post on that?

Banana Pancakes said...

Ack: I'm with you in that I don't understand the "we see more games now than ever" arguement. That justifies a reduction of games we get to see now? Odd logic. I know the issue will supposedly be resolved next season, but I haven't heard any cable executive guarantee that. I imagine Rogers' competitors are quite enjoying this silliness. I thought I was over my anger, but the Drabek debut really tears open that wound again doesn't it?

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