sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, April 25, 2005

Interesting N.Y. Times mag article on the efforts of Steve Stanley and Mark Teahen to become major-leaguers as non-power hitters.

Teahan made it to the major leagues last season following a trade from the Oakland A's organization to Kansas City Royals. Michael Lewis' thesis was that Teahan has a better chance of making it in the big leagues because he at least looks like a power hitter.

Stanley's a different story, however. At 5-7 and 155, it's obvious he's no power hitter. He slumped at the AAA-level follwing organization efforts to get him to pull the ball. But back a AA, he went back to his old style of hitting and went on a tear. His prospects for making it to the major leagues look considerably brighter than they did a year ago.

Is "small ball" dead in the big leagues? Steroids not withstanding, it is true big-league players have been getting bigger over the years through weight training. But I would point to Ichiro Suzuki and Tony Womack, both 5'-9" and 160 lbs (exactly my height and weight), as evidence that there is still a place for the little guy in big-league ball.

As for Teahen, he can look to the Reds' Sean Casey for inspiration. At 6'-4" and 215 lbs, Casey hits for a high average. Still, this Reds fan would like to see a little more pop in his bat.


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