Farm Aid: Fans Decide They Know Everything About Prospects

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Tomorrow night is the Draft for our friends in MLB. The Mets actually had you pretty high up on the board until you lost your amateur status by letting your friend hit you in the stomach with a metal bat for beer money. But if you're like most other baseball fans you'll still have your eye on the proceedings. See, thanks to the internet, and its specialization and range of coverage, you now think you're a damned expert when it comes to young talent. Even Theo Epstein has had enough of your big mouth.

The Internet allows fans to track how players are doing. And now that the Red Sox have three farm teams within easy driving distance of Boston - the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and short-season Singl-A Lowell Spinners - fans can get in the car and go on scouting missions.

"Five or six years ago, the fan on the street wanted to tell you what superstar you should go trade for, using all your prospects," Epstein said. "And a couple of years ago, they started telling you what prospects you should promote from Double A to Triple A to the big leagues.

"Now," he said, "they want to tell you who to draft."

Holding on to young prospects in lieu of an over the hill big name can often be sound thinking. But just having more information doesn't necessarily make you smarter. Baseball fans with recent interest in the minor leagues and the amateur system are like people when they first start getting into wine. Just because you've heard of a certain exotic vintage doesn't make it good. And just because you've read about some kid on the internet that hit .588 at Wake Forest in his junior season doesn't make him the saving grace for your favorite team.

Take for example, the case of Gordon Beckham. Beckham was the White Sox' first round pick last season, and after just 59 pro games he'll be making his big league debut for the White Sox this evening three days ago. Chicago fans were clamoring to see him with the big club, and they got their wish. It all has left Ozzie Guillen wondering "Who the hell cares about Gordon Beckham?"

Manager Ozzie Guillen wasn't pulling many punches on Monday when the topic of the "golden child'' were brought up.

"The last thing we worry about is [Gordon] Beckham, and I don't know why people in Chicago fell in love with this kid,'' Guillen said in his pre-game media gathering. "He's a great player, he's going to be in the big leagues, he's going to be a big part of this organization pretty soon. But we don't have Beckham on our mind right now. I don't and I'm the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham here, we're in trouble.''

"I hope I can sleep [Wednesday night] and not think about it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have some Vodka knock myself down,'' Guillen said, almost mocking the media hype surrounding the 22-year-old.

That attitude is actually one of the healthiest I've heard from Ozzie. Well except for the self-medication through alcohol.

Gordon Beckham aint saving the franchise. If they're calling up a minor leaguer before he reached certain organizational milestones, than Ozzie is right. It doesn't speak well for what's going on with the White Sox. It's hard to find fault in fans getting excited about players club but people need to temper their new found knowledge of names with some perspective.


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11 Comments

"It doesn't speak well for what's going on with the White Sox."
Neither does hitting .213 at home.

Meh, you'll still take at least four out of five from Detroit this week.

Fuckers.

@Jerkwheat, WGN's Tom Skilling thinks it'll be more like 3 of 4 with this shitty Chicago forecast.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that the big-name players drafted in the NBA and NFL typically get PT from Day 1. If you root for a crappy MLB team, it's tough to stomach Garret Atkins kick the ball all over the field when you have a stud supposedly waiting in the wings, regardless of whether or not he is appropriately seasoned (hoisin, preferably).

This also applies to columnists coughberniemiklaszcough who, like Houneynut pointed out, see high draft picks in the NFL play right away and think (therefore write) that MLB prospects should play right away.

I don't know why people in Chicago fell in love with this kid,

The same reason people love me. Spend 4 years in Athens Ozzie, and you won't be such a sour puss yourself.

This is like the time I called Fernando Martinez a pitching prospect.

Even bloggers have no fucking idea what's going on.

You mean it's not healthy to throw your prospects under an intense & debilitating spotlight with incredibly unrealistic expectations like Baltimore did w/ Wieters?? If the fans just put A BIT MORE pressure on the front office to have him play every position like they wanted, maybe we'd have won more than TWO games since he was called up.

I blame PECOTA.

To be fair, Wieters had a really good BONILLA.

Wieters will come around when the pressure is off. Angelos should definitely wait it out and try to get a better deal for pizza when he breaks out.

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