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Keith Law on Sowers

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Keith Law on Sowers

Unread postby consigliere » Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:54 am

Saw this on the Scout boards.....it is a chat with ESPN/BPro's Keith Law. I am copying it here verbatim. Interesting perspective from Law, and pretty blunt:

Greg (C-town): Keith, I am sick of all this "prospect" talk. Our two biggest prospects are flops, Jeremy Sowers and Andy Marte. While a guy no one ever heard of has out dueled Johan Santana twice, Fuasto Carmona. Why can't we just talk about what's going on now instead of who will be in someone's rotation in 2009?!?

Keith Law: (1:44 PM ET ) Sorry, Greg. Joe Morgan will be along shortly to chat with you.

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Jarrod (Michigan): Keith, what exactly did the Indians see in Sowers to draft him #6 overall? He looks like hes out there tossing BP.

Keith Law: (1:57 PM ET ) So here's my Sowers story. The second Cape Cod League game I ever saw - this is the very dawn of my scouting experience - was the All-Star Game the year Sowers pitched. And I watched him for an inning, saw the radar guns, and said to the GM standing next to me, "What the heck is the big deal with this guy? His stuff isn't that good." And the GM gave me a condescending answer about how I didn't understand, this guy was special, he really knows how to pitch, yata yata yata. Fast forward three years and he can't miss a bat to save his life BECAUSE HIS STUFF ISN'T THAT GOOD. I guess my point is that I have no idea what Cleveland or any other team saw in Sowers to make him a high first-rounder. Maybe because he was a famous prospect out of HS. Maybe because he put up big #s at Vanderbilt. But I didn't get it then and I still don't.

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Dave (Cleveland, OH): Keith, were you last year ripping on Sowers when he was the second best pitcher in the 2nd half behind Santana?

Keith Law: (2:31 PM ET ) Yep. He couldn't strike anyone out last year either. That second-half stuff is so ridiculously overrated. Just ask Zach Duke.

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Mark (Bangor, PA): What postions do you think the Indians need to address most in the draft?

Keith Law: (2:16 PM ET ) I would never advise a team to draft for a specific need. You might address a broad organizational weakness (e.g., a lack of pitching), but a team that takes, say, a third baseman because they don't have a good third baseman in the system is probably wasting its pick. The Indians should just take the best player available, and in their case, I feel like they'll take a college player, maybe Beau Mills or Daniel Moskos if either guy reaches them.

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Ryan (Cleveland): 20 bucks says the Indians sweep the Tigers?

Keith Law: (2:32 PM ET ) I'd never bet on a sweep, but Cleveland is the better team.

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Mitch (San Diego): How is John Drennen doing in the minors? Is he anywhere near the top 100?

Keith Law: (2:35 PM ET ) Hitting .249/.318/.406 in the Carolina League. He's still just 20, though, so he's young for high-A.

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Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:28 pm

Thanks for the info, Consig. I agree that Sowers will never be a dominating pitcher, but based on last year's performance at both the AAA and major league levels, I think he can be another Jake Westbrook or Paul Byrd. Those guys don't get K's either, but when they're on top of their games they are very effective.

Cliff Lee is the same way, and Carmona to some extent. I believe he threw a shutout while striking out only four. Other than CC we really haven't had a power arm around here since Colon was traded.
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Unread postby paulcousineau » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:48 pm

Keith Law: (1:44 PM ET ) Sorry, Greg. Joe Morgan will be along shortly to chat with you.


Funniest thing I've read all week.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:59 pm

One thing we have to be careful about is "sowering" on young players too soon. Very few good young players avoid tough streaks, in fact, they all at some point have some growing pains. I know a lot of people were ready to dump Victor halfway through the 2005 season and felt his 2004 season was a fluke.

Of course, you can't sit by and watch a guy struggle. If you are the Pirates or Royals, you can sit back and live with the ups and downs of a young player trying to make adjustments and regain his confidence.....but as a contending team like the Indians are, they can't do that with Sowers (or anyone) anymore.

Marte and Sowers are facing the cold reality, that if you are a young player, you have to perform. Ask Carmona about that. The Indians can probably get away with a young player in the pitching staff or lineup working their way through things......as long as there are no alternatives. The thing here is we have an alternative to Sowers/Marte with Blake/Westbrook.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:10 pm

Consigliere wrote:One thing we have to be careful about is "sowering" on young players too soon.

That is really, really terrible.
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Unread postby noles1 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:39 pm

Bear in mind that Keith Law is far from an expert in anything and is just one of the many ESPN drones that have a job now because they stunk in their previous one.
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Unread postby ArtGold » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:01 pm

While not a big Sowers fan I think he'll be fine. As Consig knows, I have supported Carmona over Sowers in the past, and was hoping for the drafting of Homer Bailey when the Indians picked Sowers.

However, I think that he will be a competent middle of the rotation pitcher, and capable of putting up Charles Nagy type of seasons. Overall, I think he can be a consistent 12-15 game winner, with 200 decent quality innings. I don't obsess about strikeouts, you can win without them. It just is a little more challenging.
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Unread postby Wahoot » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:06 pm

BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a pretty controversial pitching stat, but it's worth nothing that Sowers posted outstanding BABIP numbers in 2006 (.257) and, now, has regressed to the norm (.297). It may just be that he was exceptionally lucky in 2006 and this is the Jeremy Sowers we are more likely to see.

That being said, 2007 Jeremy Sowers is also walking more batters, striking out fewer, and inducing fewer ground balls -- all of which are hurting him.
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