About three weeks ago, Alex provided his view on Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs. As I re-read that piece, I saw all the statements regarding Stubbs and his role with the team. As I see the stats from this spring, the “on-again” experiment with Stubbs as the leadoff guy, all appears not to be going as planned.
While this idea hasn’t been entirely shot down, it hasn’t exactly been met with a warm, fuzzy feeling either. I mentioned his stats from the spring, he wore the golden sombrero yesterday with 4 whiffs. But I’m not completely ready to write this off…yet.
Why? Stubbs reminds me of someone. A player that for four seasons was a leadoff guy, had good (if not great) numbers. Had his own demons with the strikeouts, but his team still managed to win. He had the confidence of his manager, too. That player would be former Detroit Tigers center fielder, now Yankee, Curtis Granderson (right). We all know that manager was Jim Leyland.
Last year, it was about a month into the season before Dusty Baker scrapped the idea of Stubbs batting atop the order. Even after the move, the Reds were still one of the worst teams in the NL from the leadoff position. And as I wrote yesterday, the Reds still managed to win the division.
Now, I’m wondering how long “Phase II” of the Stubbs in the leadoff spot experiment will be in tact before the plug is pulled this season. Maybe it should stay. Yes, this is an offshoot of yesterday’s post. Long way to go for that point, huh? But Leyland stuck with Granderson despite the high SO numbers. Here’s a look at Granderson’s numbers while he was in Detroit.
Here’s something to add to those. It’s the number of games in which Granderson played and was inserted in the leadoff position in the batting order. From 2006 to 2009: 139, 132, 124 and 130. Yes there were games where he wan’t the leadoff guy. More than a few. BUt in the end, Leyland stuck with Granderson. And the winning I mentioned, the Tigers never won their division with Granderson in the leadoff, but they did manage to reach the 2006 World Series.
So as I’m doing a bit on “investigating” on this, I (of course) go to the Drew Stubbs page on Baseball Reference. As I did, I came across this on down the page…
If you look at the numbers from Stubbs…
… you have to realize that if he can hit that .267 like he did during his brief stint in ’09, he’ll be allright. The strikeouts are going to be there, just limit them. Whether that results in an increase in walks or hits, we’ll take either.
And if you’re wondering exactly the type of player Drew Stubbs is…he’s just a player with tons of potential and tons of tools. No need to “define” him.