MLB Sweet Spot is back! After a long hiatus that has spanned from the middle of September until now, I will be slowly providing content once again, just in time for the Hot Stove season. A lot has happened since I was gone, ranging from the Cubs’ all-too-predictable World Series victory, to the not-so-predictable results of the presidential election. Baseball activity will be picking back up now that free agency is open, so it is only appropriate that I provide my thoughts and analysis, whether you, the reader, likes it or not! Many of my articles in the coming months will be featured at Off The Bench Baseball, whom I was writing for previously. In addition, I will do my best to provide some original content for MLB Sweet Spot too. To kick-off the my grand return, I thought I would re-blog an article that was written by Johnnie Teng over at Baseball More Than Just A Game. This article focuses in on a few one-dimensional MLB players who still have managed to add value to their major league ballclubs. I beleive that it also does a nice job of explaining the 5 tools of baseball to for those casual fans who may not be as scouting-oriented. Stay tuned for more, and enjoy!
THE FIVE ONE-TOOL PLAYERS, by Johnnie Teng
Everyone knows the five-tool players: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper. These guys are the big name superstars, the household names. Most other players are productive despite lacking a tool or two. David Ortiz can’t field [or run], Jose Altuve doesn’t have a big arm, but they can still impact the game in many ways. Most one-dimensional players will wash out in the minor leagues. Cody Johnson was known for his prodigious power, but he couldn’t do much else. Willians Astudillo may be the best contact hitter on the planet, but he’s still toiling in Double-A. However, in very rare occasions, some players can make it to the major leagues riding on one skill alone. These 5 players below each have the ability to do one thing extraordinarily well, and somehow, its carried them into a major-league career.
Contact: 2B/3B T.J. Rivera, New York Mets
The long shot of all long shots, T.J. Rivera signed as an undrafted free agent out of little Troy University. Without any physical projection, Rivera was never considered much of a prospect. Not rated a tremendous defensive player, he has nonetheless held his own just enough to let his ultimate carrying tool, his bat, to carry him to the majors. Rivera has hit everywhere he’s gone: a career .324 in the minors, .307 in 3 seasons of Puerto Rican winter ball, and now .344 in his first 61 at bats in the majors. He doesn’t provide much pop, but he can spray line drives around the field and produce. And production is all that matters at the major league level.
To read about the Power, Speed, Glove, and Arm Strength tools, please visit Johnnie Teng’s blog at Baseball: More Than Just A Game.>>>