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Alberto, Santander, Nunez; Have They Surprised You?


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#1 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:24 PM

Have they surpassed your expectations? 

Who do you like best?

Who do you think is most likely to contribute to the next winning O's team?



#2 BSLSeanJester

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:30 PM

All of them have been pleasant surprises but for as pleasant a surprise as they've been all of their OPS is below .800.


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#3 Mackus

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:40 PM

Yes, all have surpassed my expectations.  I think Santander would be the only guy I think has more than a very long shot to be able to contribute to a good team in more than a reserve role.

 

Nunez is hitting solidly, but he's just a DH and I don't think that league average offensive performance is something a good team wants from their DH.  If his hitting improves or if he manages to be able to improve defensively and play 3B then you've got something.  But I think he's a less successful version of Mark Trumbo currently and that's if his numbers this season can hold when they fix the baseball for next season which I assume they will be trying to do.

 

I haven't watched a ton, but Santander seems faster this year than before, and if that allows him to be a capable LF, then I think he has a shot at hitting well enough to be a useful regular out there.

 

Alberto is interesting but I don't have a lot of long term optimism.  I think a guy with no power and no ability to draw a walk will eventually get figured out.  He has flashed a bit more power recently so that's a great sign, but I haven't seen enough of that over the year to think it's really sustainable.  If he could play a halfway decent SS I'd be more optimistic about his odds of sticking as a utility guy, but as a strict 2B/3B, I don't think there will be enough offense from him to justify carrying two backup infielders.

 

I think all have earned a role on next year's team to begin the season.  But I'm not yet penciling any of them in as long term options that I'd be happy to have.  Possible for each of them to do so.


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#4 Mike B

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:56 PM

The one that really surprises me is Alberto and he seems to be getting better as the year goes on.

 

He is driving the ball better now, and it seems like he is taking at bats deeper into the count, which will eventually lead to more walks.

 

At worst, I think he can be a reliable utility guy on a good team.


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#5 Mackus

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:08 PM

At worst, I think he can be a reliable utility guy on a good team.

 

It's tough to be a utility guy if you can't play SS.

 

On the right team, such as the recent Orioles with a 2B (Villar) or 3B (Machado) who can fill-in at SS if need be it wouldn't be a major problem.  But most teams want their utility infielder to be able to cover SS.

 

Possible this becomes less of a concern with roster expansion.  But my guess is that teams will go with an extra RP rather than an extra UT with that spot.



#6 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 02:55 PM

Alberto is 26.

Nunez is 25.

Santander is 22.

 

Given their salaries I think all three of them could be on the next good O's team. Certainly they aren't great but they can do the job and it gives you a ton of freedom with whatever the budget will be to go get some difference making players.



#7 Mackus

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:04 PM

Alberto is 26.

Nunez is 25.

Santander is 22.

 

Given their salaries I think all three of them could be on the next good O's team. Certainly they aren't great but they can do the job and it gives you a ton of freedom with whatever the budget will be to go get some difference making players.

 

Santander is 24.

 

Agree that each has a chance to be on the next good O's team.  However, my bet for each would be that they never establish themselves as good enough to be regular position players on a good team.  Certainly each has a shot and more certainly each will have a role on next year's Oriole team.  If any of them can not only repeat their success from this season but build upon it, then I think they'd be in business.

 

Alberto will be arb eligible next season and is under club control for 3 more seasons (2020-2022).

Nunez and Santander will both be arb-eligible as a Super-2 in 2021 are are under club control for 5 more seasons (2020-2024).

The above assumes each remains in the majors moving forward.

 

I didn't recognize it at the time, and I suppose there is a chance it wasn't intentional, but the O's held Santander down in AAA this year until there weren't enough days left in the season for him to reach 2 full years of service.  Clever.  



#8 BSLRobShields

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:08 PM

I’m not surprised about Nunez.

Alberto surprises me because he wasn’t much of anything before.

Santander is surprising in you didn’t expect this production but you definitely knew talent was there and that he had the capabilities to be a solid role player type guy on your team. What has surprised me is his production has been more than a role player.

None of this matters though. If they come back next year and produce, they become potential “real” options for the long term.

Right now, they are just flashes in the pan as for as I’m concerned.


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#9 Mackus

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:17 PM

Let's not forget Smith, either.  I'd put him in the same category as these three.  He's got the weakest season totals and he ties Alberto (aka Castillo?) as the oldest at 26, but I think they're all pretty similar.


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#10 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:19 PM

Agree pretty much with what Rob just said. I wouldn't call them flashes in the pan right now but fine if somebody views them that way But regardless of how you view them right now they have all next season to put up some more numbers. Since the O's aren't likely to be in any kind of contention next year all three of them should be given shots to stick with the club long term. Nothing to lose and maybe one or more actually are good enough to stick long term. No harm in finding out next year.



#11 dude

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:23 AM

All have been a pleasant surprise.

 

Santander has the highest profile and has performed well, especially breaking the 1B/DH limitation and showing some ability in the OF.

 

I was going to put this comment in Rob's thread on looking at pitching differently, but I think you have to look at hitting differently too.

 

Several years ago, I found myself guilty of using an older expectation of hitting evaluation. Where I wanted .800+ OPS everywhere, it just wasn't happening the same.  So when I look at guys like Alberto, Santander and Nunez...they feel good, but when you balance that out against the offensive explosion we've seen...maybe these offensive profiles aren't as good as we'd have expected them to be 3 years ago.

 

They also are performing with the luxury of having no pressure and we aren't even trying to compete with them under a bigger collective expectation.

 

We are years from really understanding who these guys are (performance over time) so you need to decide if you keep giving them the opportunity.  If you are giving it to them, you aren't giving it to someone else.

 

None of these guys are high profile players (+Villar, Severino, Ruiz, Wilkerson...)  If they are key to winning, we are saying you don't need high profile guys to win.  If you need high profile guys to win, then maybe we should trade them and try someone with a higher profile.

 

If they aren't as good next year as this year....what then?

 

After his 2017 season, the Reds gave Engenio Suarez (at 25) a 7/66 extension. You have to back that out to align service time, but would you sign any of of those guys to a 7/40-45M deal now?



#12 BSLRobShields

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:58 AM

Dude, i was going to make that point about looking at hitters differently too.

You can’t get too excited by some of these high homer numbers, especially if/when the ball is changed.

This is a big reason why you need to see these guys come back and do it again. Now, in the case of Alberto, his value isn’t off of the homer, so maybe he won’t be effected as much.

But a guy like Núñez? Very possible. My hope about Nunez is that he did have a pedigree. He was given over 2M to sign by Oakland...a team that knows what it is going. The talent has always been there.

Still, you have to take this season with a grain of salt for sure.
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#13 Ricker Says

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 12:34 PM

Nunez did post a 114 OPS+ in 220 PA's with the O's last season, before the ball changes. This season, it's still all relative and his 106 OPS+ (which I believe will rise a bit) is still nice. I think it's enough of an indication at this point that he's figured it out a bit and can be a regular at this level.
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#14 dude

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 02:52 PM

Nunez did post a 114 OPS+ in 220 PA's with the O's last season, before the ball changes. This season, it's still all relative and his 106 OPS+ (which I believe will rise a bit) is still nice. I think it's enough of an indication at this point that he's figured it out a bit and can be a regular at this level.

 

...but where do you want to play him?

 

Is a 3B? Do you trust him there?

 

Do you prefer him over Mancini or Mountcastle and that's even after you dumped Davis.

 

Everyone doesn't fit, you have to choose (give opportunity to) the guys you think create the team you want.



#15 dude

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 03:14 PM

Everyone wants to seem to treat everything as a tryout, but the reality is you have to figure out the team you want to win with.

 

We won't know anything about these guys when the season is done and the ones that look OK now may fail later and the ones that fail now may do more somewhere else (the JD Martinez model after Houston let him go for nothing).

 

When Ruiz hit the walkoff the other night, in the post interview, he kept saying how we (the public) didn't really understand how good this team was and that it was coming together. 

 

That's great that he believes that, but does anyone else?  This team is literally nothing but haven't beens and don't think they'll bes from a number of places...are they really the core for the future? ...and if they aren't, then who is?  Who is the guy(s) that pushes the Talent of some future Oriole team?

 

....are we just waiting on Rutschman, Hays, Diaz and Mountcastle to make this a 90-win team?



#16 BSLRobShields

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 03:42 PM

Nunez should be at third everyday.

That being said, Mancini should be traded. Mountcastle can play first.

Or, you could keep Mancini and put Mountcastle in LF.
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#17 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 04:52 PM

Nunez should be at third everyday.

That being said, Mancini should be traded. Mountcastle can play first.

Or, you could keep Mancini and put Mountcastle in LF.


Or you can have Nunez at 3rd, Mountcastle at DH where he belongs, Mancini at 1st...   Santander / Stewart / Smith in LF.... Hays in CF, Diaz in RF. 



#18 BSLRobShields

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 04:56 PM

Or you can have Nunez at 3rd, Mountcastle at DH where he belongs, Mancini at 1st...   Santander / Stewart / Smith in LF.... Hays in CF, Diaz in RF. 

Yep.

Either way, you can easily fit all of them if you choose to.
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#19 Dr. FLK

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 11:09 AM

Alberto is 26.

Nunez is 25.

Santander is 22.

 

Given their salaries I think all three of them could be on the next good O's team. Certainly they aren't great but they can do the job and it gives you a ton of freedom with whatever the budget will be to go get some difference making players.

 

You think these guys can stay in good enough shape to play into their 70s?


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#20 Mike B

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 11:12 AM

You think these guys can stay in good enough shape to play into their 70s?

Hell yeah.  Our analytics show a player hits their peak at 68.   Analytics are never wrong.

 

I should be good to make the show in 2025.


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