Chances of me being a major league baseball general manager are about as good me starting in center field for the Cardinals.
However, this will show my perspective as a fan.
1. I don’t care how we score runs. Singles, suicide squeezes, sacrifice flies, home runs, it doesn’t matter.
2. Why has average become a passe statistic? You give me a team of guys who hit close to .300 and we’re making the playoffs.
3. Left field, right field, first base and third base are positions that must hit. If the guy isn’t doing it with the bat, send him down to the minors. Hitters can be found at these positions for cheap (with maybe the exception of third), prospects or large dollars should only be spent for exceptional hitters (.300 and 30 plus homers or steals) at these positions.
4. I would like at least one legit power threat, someone other teams are afraid of in either cleanup or 3 hole.
5. I would like at least one speed threat. Running disrupts a pitcher. Best way to get a big inning is a one out walk that a guy turns into a double with his legs.
6. A walk is as good as a hit.
7. Catcher, second base, short stop and center field are positions that must be good with the glove. If you can find one of these positions that can hit, now you’re playing with house money. Players at these positions that can hit and field are worth high round draft picks, prospects in trades and big money.
8. (For an AL team) My DH better hit like a monster, .300 and 30 plus homers, or be cheap.
9. (For NL team) I would want my pitchers to be at least passable at the plate, like can bunt a runner over.
10. I want my catcher, short stop, center fielder and best hitter to be smart. Manny Ramirez kind of bucks that last trend.
11. You need a mixture of young guys and veterans, hopefully the clubhouse stays loose but is not carefree.
1. You can never have too many good pitchers.
2. A starter is always more valuable than a reliever, call this the Adam Wainwright principle.
3. Stuff trumps velocity, location trumps velocity but stuff trumps location. Pitch speed is overrated. A 92 mph fastball with late downward movement is just as hard to hit as 100 mph heater. That being said you can teach a guy to locate (although it is difficult). There’s almost no guy with all three; guys who can locate with nasty stuff are worth big money or prospects.
4. I want my starters to be smart or at least the top 2 guys. I want my closer to be dumb as a sack of hammers. There’s a reason that short memory has worked it’s way into the baseball vernacular.
5. Do not draft a projected reliever any higher than round 4, even closers. Every year there’s a new closer who lights every one up. You shake a tree, 10 relievers fall out.
6. A guy doesn’t throw strikes, get rid of him. I can forgive a young guy getting hit hard but loading the bases and then walking in a run earns an automatic demotion to Triple A.
7. Just like batting average, ERA is my stat. My entire rotation has an ERA around 3.00, we’re making the playoffs. Wins for a starter, however, are meaningless.
8. Durable guys are valuable. I’m not sure if pitch count is the right way to do things. It seems to vary wildly from guy to guy.
9. Your ace sets the tone for all your pitchers. He needs to be a hard worker.
1. For buyers, in season trades, usually don’t go well. Do not raid the farm unless your World Series window is quickly closing with an aging or soon to be too expensive club. The Hunter Pence trade is the only one I can think of that helped a team win the World Series.
2. For sellers, trade away, especially if the guys is old. Prospects are valuable.
3. It’s better to make moves in the off-season because that way you get a whole year out of a guy.
4. Be wary of any long term deals. Father time is undefeated.
5. Somewhat contradictory, extensions for young guys are a good idea. It also makes them more valuable in a trade.