Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks... But You Can Ruin A New One

I was watching the Cubs game with some friends recently, and it just happened to be the record-setting-4-errors-in-one-playoff-game game for the Cubs. Talk shifted from defense of the Cubs to Sox defense, and I overheard suddenly, “Joe Crede and Brian Anderson are the two most overrated drafted White Sox players of, possibly, all time.” As you can imagine, I had a conniption, said something about apples and oranges, and much like a politician, I’ve learned that when all else fails, mention 9/11 2005.

While, I have mentioned Crede and Anderson quite a bit in my blog, my relationship with the two is, indeed, like comparing apples and oranges. I just plain ol’ love Joe Crede. His defense is amazing (plus or minus some questionable error numbers this year), he hits balls with a vengeance, and he really can do no wrong in my eyes. Brian Anderson, on the other hand, is in my good graces simply because I see the reality that Nick Swisher isn’t an asset at bat (99.8% of the times. He’ll occasionally get a home run that’s quite appropriately timed.) or in the field, and I figure BA would do the same job, but run better. And Dewayne “The Rock” Wise has spaghetti arms and looks lost in the outfield. Joe Crede is a man of few words when it comes to the press. So few words, that the gaps he leaves make for a perfect Joe Cowley article. Anderson, on the other hand, not only speaks to the press more than any 4th/5th/6th outfield should, but he finds himself on the bench today because he’s been running his mouth to the press, and everything he says is a Joe Cowley article waiting to happen.

I argued long enough that the point was dropped and everyone admitted that they were nothing alike. But that’s when new things started springing into my mind. What did Crede and Anderson have in common? (Other than both wearing the number 44 at one time while with the Sox.) Both children of the corn, drafted and raised on the White Sox farm. Great defensive skills. Sub-par batting. So I went on this entire tangent of research trying to see if there is, indeed, a connection between growing on the Sox farm and being a great defensive player, but falling short of expectations as a hitter or is it really just these two?

Joe Crede

Brian Anderson

Career AVG with Sox



Minor League Career AVG



Rookie AVG



College AVG


.275, .366

High School AVG


Tell me if you find it

[Mind you- and I can’t believe this either- I’ve never looked at BA’s minor league numbers before. Color me shocked. This kid was tearing up the farm system before coming to the Sox.]

This is when the article takes a drastic turn, upon the climactic discovery we have just made. Now… overall, these numbers seem to be decreasing as time goes on for both of these fellas- but especially BA. Is this a sign of Greg Walker murdering new talent? Is there something about the Sox organization that develops great defense and poor plate mentality? If this is the case, mark my words Greg Walker, stay away from Chris Getz or I am sending you over to the Cubs!

Now, I’m not saying Greg Walker is to blame. Sure, numbers should drop down when stepping from the Minor League to the big leagues, where pitchers and catchers are better at getting in your head, where you’re a little fish in a much bigger pond. And, if, say, a .030 point drop in average is normal, why is BA’s average so low? Is it because of inconsistent playing time? Is he the white Dewayne Wise? (Who is batting something like .212 in his career, but much closer to .300 this year.) [Does this make BA the white black Ross Gload?] Is he a Cubs player in disguise- seemingly good, but a big choker when it really matters? [Oh, snap!]

So, are Joe Crede and Brian Anderson the most overrated prospects the White Sox have had in, possibly, ever? I’d say no on both accounts, but certainly in different ways. Crede is possibly one of the most underrated. I know, I’m not making sense, but I think that his numbers (especially this year) are average, but his contribution goes beyond numbers. You don’t expect a guy with a .250 AVG to hurt you as badly as Crede will. As for Brian… Well, as he himself would put it… I don’t know, man.

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