Monday, August 16, 2004

Redman's Future

Bob Smizik has a new column on Tike Redman’s future with the Pirates.

The notion that Redman will ever be a good major league player – much less a leadoff hitter - for any extended period strikes me as extreme wishful thinking. Here’s Redman’s line this year, which includes his last two decent months: .305/.365/.670. He has drawn just 17 walks this year. For an everyday player, that’s very, very bad. For a leadoff hitter, it’s a disaster.

This would be one thing if Redman were a young player with lots of potential. He’s not. He’s 27 now and not likely to improve much. And his minor league record doesn’t inspire confidence. He never really hit for average or power in the low minors (except in 1996, when he nearly hit .300 in two rookie leagues). He only managed to hit even acceptably in AAA two of the three years he was there, in 2001 and 2003. After his awful season in 2002, when he hit .315/.344/.659 at age 25, he passed through waivers and no one claimed him.

Basically, then, Redman wasn’t a prospect at all as recently as 18 months ago. But because of two good months in the majors last year, he was given the starting job this year out of spring training.

That wasn’t necessarily a bad idea. The Pirates didn’t have a lot of options in center at the time, so there wasn’t any reason not to find out if Redman was for real or not. But his performance the first couple of months should have convinced the Pirates that he was not, and his showing the last two months hasn’t been nearly good enough to make up for the first two.

Redman isn’t an answer for the Pirates in the long term. And he shouldn’t even be an answer in the short term. The strangest part of Smizik’s article is its suggestion that center field is Jason Bay’s best position. I hadn’t realized that he could do much more than fake center field. If he can really play there, then the choice seems clear to me: the second Redman’s hot streak stops, move Bay to center and let someone else play left.


Blogger Rowdy said...

What do you do with David Newhan or Robb Quinlan? It's not likely that Redman will have a long and distinguished career, but it's not impossible. Guys come up and contribute at every age.

Going into the season, I thought Tike had a chance to be 2004's Scott Podsednik. Tike hasn't stolen 48 bases, but the rest of the comparison makes the prediction look decent.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Yeah, I guess now you have to let him play. I certainly wouldn't plan around having him help in the future, though.

Didn't Podsednik have a much higher OBP than Redman, also?

12:36 PM  

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