In March I was finally able to get going and I released my 2014 Prospect Rankings, wrote a little about Matt Kemp, and wrote extensively about Yasiel Puig.
Besides game threads and game recaps, here’s what I was up to.
It really is an unfortunate, delicate balance at the moment. And perhaps the worst part is that while we’d all like to know the answer to the Kemp question right away, it’s probably going to take months — if not years — to get the full perspective on what his future holds.
The recent history (since 2007) of non-knuckleballers throwing the knuckleball is very short. Eddie Bonine used the pitch the most when he worked it into his repertoire with the Tigers (232 Times), Ryan Franklin sparingly used one in relief with the Cardinals (26 Times), Manny Parra of the Brewers “fooled around” with a knuckler seven times (an even rarer lefty knuckler), and Livan Hernandez threw it once with the Mets (because of course he did).
Due to all the shuffling that went into making Dodgers Digest happen before the 2014 season began, starting up my prospects content was actually a rather last-minute decision. I used to do extensive prospect coverage as far back as 2008, but simply began to run out of time to do everything I wanted consistently. True, I probably could have just thrown together whatever and called it a day, but whether I end up right or wrong, I do actually put quite a bit of effort into my work. Fortunately, due to this site having multiple authors, I was able to find the time to work on the prospect side of things again, and while it’s a bit late, I’m just happy to be back at it.
The expectations in some quarters is that Puig will be able to build on his 2013, and that’s exactly why he’s considered overrated to many, because it’s unrealistic to expect that out of him. Personally, all I really want from him is something I would label a “consolidation year”, where he regresses a bit due to unsustainable BABIP but shows signs of combining his skills into a sustainable foundation that he can build with in the future.
Blame the fans for “having blinders on” all you want, but if the fans have them on, then it’s because certain media members have essentially rendered all of their Puig reports/articles/opinions moot by, ironically, “crying wolf” about him too often.