Wednesday: How did we get here with Brennan Boesch???

Did it really all fall apart this quickly?

Brennan Boesch was being pushed for All-Star consideration three years ago. He was a back-to-back AL Rookie of the Month, and a midseason favorite for AL Rookie of the Year by a vote of his fellow Major League players.

“He never, ever looks scared,” Michael Cuddyer said at the time.

He was that combination of power hitter with discipline, so much that was he was in the middle of the AL batting race when he finally had enough plate appearances to qualify.

“It looks like he’s going to be a really great hitter. He already is,” Paul Konerko said amidst that summer of 2010. “We have to try to find a way to hold him down.”

Even with all the cautionary tales of one-year wonders over the years, Boesch looked like the kind of Major League hitter who got it. He wouldn’t keep hitting like he did over the first half of that 2010 season, of course, but he was on his way to being a formidable hitter.

What the heck happened?

First came the skid down the stretch in 2010, when injuries to Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez left Boesch exposed as the guy hitting behind Miguel Cabrera. Rays manager Joe Maddon walked Cabrera intentionally in three straight games to face Boesch and got away with it.

Then came the impossible standards to meet in 2011, and the roller coaster season of his that kept you wondering if he could be that guy again. He hit .319 in the opening month, .186 in May, .380 with six home runs in June, .267 in July, then .208 in August before a season-ending hand injury derailed him.

Whether it was the effect of his damage to his hand or not, he hasn’t been the same since then. Just as important, between the emergence of Andy Dirks, the trade for Delmon Young, the arrival of Avisail Garcia and signing of Torii Hunter, his role hasn’t been the same, either.

His chances of making the team weren’t all that great, no matter what he did, and they relied in part on guys like Dirks struggling. Instead, an oblique strain for Boesch all but ended his chance to compete for the left-field job.

You can chart it and have it make sense, and yet it’s stunning how this all disintegrated so quickly.

Boesch batted .342 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in the first half of 2010. Then he hit .306 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIS in 2011. In no other half-season has he hit even .245, and he has just 18 home runs in those other stretches combined.

It’s entirely possible Boesch finds his stroke again, if he is really is healthy. He could hit a ton of home runs in new Yankee Stadium, or he could have the ultimate low-pressure situation to get his game going again in Houston. It won’t be the same as Detroit, though.

17 Comments

Based on how long they hung on to some players when they were not useful, this did seem to happen fast. Maybe BB didn’t heed their advice about his batting pattern or whatever and they decided he was uncoachable. Didn’t he have any options left?

You may be touching on something there. He did have options left, I think, but they said there wasn’t much point in sending him to AAA. I have my own theories, but it’s all just educated, or uneducated guesses. We’re just not privy to what goes on.
He was so good at going the opposite way at times, then would go pull happy. Jim said Brennan would get mad when they tried to coach him up.
So yeah, what the heck happened?

I liked Boesch, but at this point they needed to release him now, or be responsible for his entire contract I believe. With guys like Garcia, Castellanos, and Moya in the system, just not much room for him. I wish him luck where ever he ends up playing, though.
-Mike

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

couldn’t have been more wrong last spring when it appeared to me that Boesch was going to do some serious damage out of the 2 hole in the lineup. reminds me a bit of Chris Shelton who could not readjust once the league figured him out.

the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter is one extra hit every 20 ABs. getting that additional hit every 4-5 games is worth millions at the MLB level.

lost his role on the club: slugger, long ball, etc.

2010 sluggers: Cabrera (622SLG), Raburn (474), Maggs (474), Boesch (414), and then Damon at 401 slugging. Oh and Casper slugged a 538 in 99 PAs.
.
SO these days….. (2012 numbers: ) Prince at 606, cabby at 528, dirks 487, jackson 479, VMART (2011: 470slugging).

toss in their Alex (452 slg 2011/2012 average) and jhonny (431 slg 2011/2012 average)….and we can afford to let a guy like brennan go. It’s just tough because his career numbers aren’t that bad, really.

BB will be 28 in a few weeks and should be in his prime. If that means a marginal defensive player who has shown little ability to adjust offensively, so be it. Nevertheless, BB flashed enough brilliance to make him an intriguing prospect. I just wonder how much his hand injury had to do with his non-performance issues.

I think that hand injury did more damage than we understand. He did seem to lose focus the last couple years. To me his power was his downfall, when he went the opposite way and stayed on the outside pitches he was very good. When he tried pulling everything.. the troubles began.

his up and down year(s), especially the first half vs the 2nd sounds familiar to Raburn. I’ll be interested in seeing whether his move to Cleveland clears his head and gets him going. Ripping the ball so far this spring. As for Boesch, someone will certainly take a chance on him. Maybe the Yanks?

Well, I sure do not agree with Tuiasosopo getting more playing time than Castellanos. I mean, c’mon! Seriously? It’s clear that NC is going to end up in Toledo but let’s see what he can do. At least management has figured out that It is clear that NC doesn’t hit as a part-timer!

I’m wondering if they’re trying to see how he does in pinch hitting situations. I think he’s all but guaranteed to be in Toledo. I agree it’d be nice to see him get more plate appearances.

maybe they are trying to trade Tuiasosopo? does seem weird!

What hope have we got with a name like that? Most of us couldn’t get Rayburn right. :-)

my guess is Boesch ends up in Houston. gives him the best shot at extended PT which I suspect is the priority at this point in his career.

is the emergence of Dirks as the starting LF every bit as surprising as Boesch regressing to the fringe of MLB?

As predicted on March 14, Yanks sign Boesch. It worked for Granderson…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 24,792 other followers