September 02, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez (21) is thrown out at third base on a pickoff play as Cincinnati Reds infielder Todd Frazier (21) applies the tag in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
A happy Labor Day to all of you...
1) How has Tyler Greene been defensively? - Looking at FanGraphs' leaderboard for August, Houston's most productive player by WAR standards was Tyler Greene. He's played some second base, but it's most been at shortstop for the former St. Louis hitter.
First of all, a digression. Those WAR numbers for July and August are just sad. Only one player topped 0.4 WAR in each of those months (Carlos Corporan in July, Greene in August), whereas six did it in June and May and three did it in April. Which should tell you all you need to know about this team right now.
At any rate, one of the reasons why Greene is so well-regarded WAR-wise is because he's got an excellent Fielding Runs total for the month. Only Brandon Barnes really tops him in defensive numbers for last month. (Second aside: boy, has Brandon Barnes lit up the defensive metrics. He may not be hitting, but the numbers in the outfield love him.)
Greene, in his career, has always been slightly below average at shortstop, but has played there so infrequently, it's hard to get a read on where his numbers should end up. His numbers at second base and third base are pretty horrible, but I don't get the sense that he's a terrible fielder from watching him.
By my eye test, Lowrie is probably a better defender and Marwin probably is too. Maybe Greene doesn't have as much range as the other two guys, and that's what holds him back. But, I wanted to throw the question to the audience. How has Tyler Greene been defensively in your opinion? Has he been good enough to justify keeping his bat in the lineup, so he can hit the occasional home run?
2) BA on DDJ - Baseball America's Jim Callis has some kind words for Delino DeShields, Jr., while also tempering too high expectations for him. Yes, he's had a very good season, but no, he's not a Top 25 prospect yet.
Hamilton is the better prospect, even if he doesn't stick at shortstop. DeShields can't change games to the same extent with his speed, but he's a plus-plus runner with obvious basestealing skills. While he has more pop than Hamilton, that's not really the focus of his game. DeShields has made strides with strike-zone knowledge and on-base ability this year, though he still can get pull-conscious and power-happy at times.
This is nothing new for us. He's made tremendous progress this season, but DeShields isn't quite an "impact" prospect. If he played shortstop like Elvis Andrus? He'd get that kind of consideration. As it is, he's put himself in position this season to make the big league team eventually, even if it does have to be in center field.
3) Callups coming - Unfortunately for OKC, ABQ won on Sunday and eliminated them from the postseason race. That means more players will be called up soon. It's clear at this point that Carlos Corporan will be one of those players, but who are the rest? Farmstros posted a list earlier today of the likeliest candidate. If we think there will only be four callups, and that Corporan and J.D. Martinez are two of them, who's left?