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Valbuena according to BA

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Valbuena according to BA

Postby TheWord » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:20 pm

Luis Valbuena, 2b, Indians
Born: Nov. 30, 1985. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 200. Signed: Venezuela, 2002. Signed by: Emilio Carrasquel (Mariners).
The Indians played a small part in a three-team, 12-player trade at the Winter Meetings, sending Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners and receiving Joe Smith from the Mets and Valbuena from Seattle. Valbuena redeemed himself for a poor 2007 season in Double-A by returning there, raising his average by 65 points and increasing his power output. He earned a promotion to Triple-A at the end of June, and then played regularly for the Mariners in September, pushing Jose Lopez to first base. With a line-drive stroke and a knack for making contact, Valbuena is geared to hit for average with occasional power to the gaps. On the flip side, he has just enough juice to get himself in trouble when he gets pull-happy. He stands out with his bat speed, his fearlessness and for the fact that he never wastes an at-bat. Valbuena always has handled the bat well and shown a good eye at the plate, but his recent defensive improvement has raised his chances of playing regularly in the majors. While his speed is average at best, he shows good range to both sides and has a strong arm at second base. He turns the double-play pivot quickly and efficiently. Valbuena is ready for an expanded big league role and has a higher offensive ceiling than Cleveland's 2008 starter, Asdrubal Cabrera.



Excellent.

He and Cabrera should be the starting middle infield by AT LEAST the All Star Break IMO. He should be platooning with Carroll from day 1.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby petes999 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:32 pm

I hate it when national people use a comparison to a young player that they don't comment on, like Cabrera. Is it the Cabrera that many people saw early in the season that didn't hit or the improved Cabrera that was great when he came back. And, is a better bat just due to HR potential power or power/average?

It sounds like a good combo Cabrera/Valbuena ... unless he was thinking of the all glove no stick Cabrera.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:51 pm

TheWord wrote:Excellent.

He and Cabrera should be the starting middle infield by AT LEAST the All Star Break IMO. He should be platooning with Carroll from day 1.


I think it's VERY premature to say that about him. Barfield's scouting report was basically the same (nice bat with occasional power to the gaps).....yet look where he is. Valbuena could easily be starting at the All-Star break....but Barfield could also pass him and be there.


Also, I'm not a fan of platooning a guy as young as Valbuena. I'd rather see him getting everyday at-bats in AAA.....but that's just me. If we have nothing better at the start of the season then it makes some sense (being the lefty in the platoon)....but that's still assuming he has a good spring and beats out Barfield (or even Marte for that matter)....


And a lot of people are saying he should platoon with Carroll.....why? Carroll hit much better against righties last year than lefties (OPS was .733 vs. righties and only .631 against lefties). Granted in his career he's had better success against lefties....though not that much (.721 OPS vs Righties and .694 vs Lefties).

Considering how well Marte has hit lefties (.827 OPS last year and .749 in his career.....albeit in limited at-bats)....you could easily let Valbuena develop a bit more in AAA and let Marte platoon with Carroll.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby MickS » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:04 pm

I really don't think that it's out of the question for Valbuena to break camp out of spring training as the starting 2b. If Barfield can provide some competition, then great because it means he's playing well enough to call up if Luis struggles or to serve as trade bait. It would be ideal not to have to sign a short term stopgap at 2B or 3B and, instead devote resources to another area of need like SP.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:08 pm

O I agree, I don't think it's at all out of the question that Valbuena can break camp with the big league club......but I wouldn't say it's super likely or that it's a foregone conclusion that he'll be starting full-time by the All-Star break.

The problem though is do you bank on Valbuena stepping up by the All-Star break or do you sign a stop-gap. Not likely to wait til mid-way through camp to sign someone (which is when you'll have a clearer picture of how far along Valbuena and Barfield are)........though I suppose a guy like Vizquel could be still on the market....and as i mentioned in other threads, Barfield is a cheap trade target you could look at.....
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby JP_Frost » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:26 pm

Hermie13 wrote:I think it's VERY premature to say that about him. Barfield's scouting report was basically the same (nice bat with occasional power to the gaps).....yet look where he is. Valbuena could easily be starting at the All-Star break....but Barfield could also pass him and be there.


the biggest difference though is that Valbuena has much better plate discipline -- he walks more and strikes out less. It also seems that his defense is rated better than Barfield's at the time, because there were some thoughts about moving Barfield to left field during his time in the minors.

I think it's very encouraging to see Callis being optimistic about Valbuena and actually placing him in our top 10 (which makes me wonder why he didn't crack the M's top 10, because it seems like we have a better system overall). Hopefully he can live up to expectations.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby TheWord » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:41 pm

Exactly, he's really nothing like Barfield when considering his K:BB ratio is literally TWICE as good as Barfield to this point in the minors.

Yet another poor comparison in a long list.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:41 am

TheWord wrote:Exactly, he's really nothing like Barfield when considering his K:BB ratio is literally TWICE as good as Barfield to this point in the minors.

Yet another poor comparison in a long list.


He's FAR from 'twice' as good as Barfield at this point in the minors. Barfield was just as good with the glove (there were talks of moving him to LF, but he improved greatly his last year in the minors and first couple years in the majors). Barfield was a much more highly touted prospect with the bat coming out of the minors as well. You don't have talks about gettign moved to LF unless you have an advanced bat.

Valbuena does have better plate discipline, but that's not everything....


And please tell me where I 'compared' the two? All I said was it would be as easy for Barfield to have the better year or for Valbuena to really struggle this year and not have the breakout type year you're predicting. That's NOT a comparison at all. I did say their scouting reports were similar, but that's it (and I did't compare their plate discipline still).


Barfield's minor league totals: .294/.344/.436/.780 along with 66 HRs, 52 doubles, and 87 SBs in 2725 at-bats.

Valbuena's minor league totals: .270/.346/.405/.751 along with 39 HRs, 80 doubles, and 64 SBs in 1675 at-bats.

Their OBP's are nearly identical. Yeah, Barfield strikeouts out a lot more (about twice as much in 1000 more at-bats) and walks less.....but both got on base at about the same rate, and Barfield has shown more power.


Again, NOT saying the two are the same type of player at all, but saying Valbuena is gonna be starting by the All-Star break may be a strech, and calling him 'twice' as good as Barfield is ludicrous.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby JP_Frost » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:48 am

Hermie13 wrote:
TheWord wrote:Exactly, he's really nothing like Barfield when considering his K:BB ratio is literally TWICE as good as Barfield to this point in the minors.

Yet another poor comparison in a long list.


He's FAR from 'twice' as good as Barfield at this point in the minors. Barfield was just as good with the glove (there were talks of moving him to LF, but he improved greatly his last year in the minors and first couple years in the majors). Barfield was a much more highly touted prospect with the bat coming out of the minors as well. You don't have talks about gettign moved to LF unless you have an advanced bat.

Valbuena does have better plate discipline, but that's not everything....


And please tell me where I 'compared' the two? All I said was it would be as easy for Barfield to have the better year or for Valbuena to really struggle this year and not have the breakout type year you're predicting. That's NOT a comparison at all. I did say their scouting reports were similar, but that's it (and I did't compare their plate discipline still).


Barfield's minor league totals: .294/.344/.436/.780 along with 66 HRs, 52 doubles, and 87 SBs in 2725 at-bats.

Valbuena's minor league totals: .270/.346/.405/.751 along with 39 HRs, 80 doubles, and 64 SBs in 1675 at-bats.

Their OBP's are nearly identical. Yeah, Barfield strikeouts out a lot more (about twice as much in 1000 more at-bats) and walks less.....but both got on base at about the same rate, and Barfield has shown more power.


Again, NOT saying the two are the same type of player at all, but saying Valbuena is gonna be starting by the All-Star break may be a strech, and calling him 'twice' as good as Barfield is ludicrous.


isoD (OBP minus AVG)

Barfield: .050
Valbuena: .076

BB%

Barfield: 7,6%
Valbuena: 11,8%

K%

Barfield: 21,0%
Valbuena: 15,6%

that's a pretty big difference in plate discipline throughout their minor league careers. I also don't know where you get that Barfield was solid at 2nd base in the majors, because he wasn't.

Nobody is saying that Valbuena is twice as good as Barfield, but the problem is that you brought up the comparison, which simply is a very poor one. They're both really different players. The only thing you found similar were their scouting reports in that they both hit for good average with gap power, but later on you contradicted yourself by saying that Barfield was much more highly touted as a hitter. It's not a big deal, but it's understandable that some of use felt it was a poor comparison.

Either way, I'm excited about Valbuena. I saw some video of him earlier against the A's (it's floating around on LGT) where he hit a triple (though he was called out during the ump's brainfart) and he looked really good. Much leaner and taller than some people had us believe -- really nothing like Belliard, and he it looked like he had some speed as well. If Shapiro doesn't make any more infield moves, I really don't think it's a stretch to see Valbuena with the Indians around the all star break.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:05 pm

JP_Frost wrote:isoD (OBP minus AVG)

Barfield: .050
Valbuena: .076

BB%

Barfield: 7,6%
Valbuena: 11,8%

K%

Barfield: 21,0%
Valbuena: 15,6%

that's a pretty big difference in plate discipline throughout their minor league careers. I also don't know where you get that Barfield was solid at 2nd base in the majors, because he wasn't.

Nobody is saying that Valbuena is twice as good as Barfield, but the problem is that you brought up the comparison, which simply is a very poor one. They're both really different players. The only thing you found similar were their scouting reports in that they both hit for good average with gap power, but later on you contradicted yourself by saying that Barfield was much more highly touted as a hitter. It's not a big deal, but it's understandable that some of use felt it was a poor comparison.

Either way, I'm excited about Valbuena. I saw some video of him earlier against the A's (it's floating around on LGT) where he hit a triple (though he was called out during the ump's brainfart) and he looked really good. Much leaner and taller than some people had us believe -- really nothing like Belliard, and he it looked like he had some speed as well. If Shapiro doesn't make any more infield moves, I really don't think it's a stretch to see Valbuena with the Indians around the all star break.


I did misread what he was saying about Valbuena being twice as good as Barfield (my apolgies there).

Barfield is solid at 2B in the majors. Is he gonna win a GG? no, but he makes the routine plays you need and can suprise you as well. Turns the double play well enough as well. Valbuena hasn't shown anything to truly say he'll be better defensively than Barfield either.


I also agreed that there was a difference in plate discipline (also never said they were similar in that regard). But hits are just as good as walks and vice-versa. Bottom line is both guys got on base at similar clips in the minors.

Valbuena has shown nothing at the ML level (and only 216 at-bats at the AAA level). Barfield has at least shown he can hit ML pitching....even if it was 2 years ago.


The way the thread started, it sounds like people want to annoint Valbuena based off what people are saying about him and scouting reports....which isn't smart. That was the main point I was trying to make (obviously I didn't make that clear, my bad).


We saw how well Cabrera played at the end of 2007 as well.....but then REALLY struggled to start 2008. Did come on later in the year to raise his average from a sub-.190 to a livable .259. There's no saying that Valbuena won't have the exact same struggles as Cabrera.....and could easily not find his stroke like Cabrera did.

If Valbuena has a great spring though, I'll be all for him getting the starting 2B job.....but he hasn't earned anything yet and is far from the sure thing some people are making him out to be....
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby jellis » Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:39 pm

Valbuena sounds like an Ideal number 2 hitter on this team, at some point

Also remeber a lot of Asdrubals early issues were arrgoance kid came to camp and started the season out of shape, I think he learned an important lesson and will b in excellent shape this year.

Here is my question if the season started today who would you want at 2B
Carroll
Valbuena
Barfield

?
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby MadThinker88 » Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:30 am

For me, Barfield starts at 2B in Cleveland and Carroll plays 3 days a week. Luis V plays nearly everyday at AAA Columbus.

Barring injury I stay with this through May 15 and then I re-evaluate how things are going.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby TheWord » Thu Dec 25, 2008 2:24 am

88,

Why?

It seems as though Valbuena has outperformed Barfield at AAA to this point, and would provide a much better L/R platoon than the R/R Carroll and Barfield.

Just wondering why you'd put Barfield ahead of Valbuena.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby MadThinker88 » Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:12 pm

First, I want Luis playing as much as possible at this point and I figure he will play more in Columbus then in Cleveland due to Carroll and Wedge. That is not a knock on Luis, just an acceptance of the general situation.

Second, I have a suspicion that Barfield will be able to make some positive contributions this season (as a result of the work he has been putting in in Arizona).
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:36 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:First, I want Luis playing as much as possible at this point and I figure he will play more in Columbus then in Cleveland due to Carroll and Wedge. That is not a knock on Luis, just an acceptance of the general situation.

Second, I have a suspicion that Barfield will be able to make some positive contributions this season (as a result of the work he has been putting in in Arizona).


I think your first idea is a good one. I don't happen to think that it's little more than common sense to have Valbuena as polished as possible if he is going to be thrown into a situation when the tribe is in contention.

I hear Barfield is still working under Jesse's guidance. If that is the case, count me in the skeptical category.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby jellis » Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:46 pm

yeah hard to coach a kid that that only listens to his dad
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby Duane Kuiper » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:56 am

Jesse had poor plate discipline. Lower walk rate some seasons and a ton of Ks. No wonder Josh is the same way.
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Re: Valbuena according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:02 am

TheWord wrote:88,

Why?

It seems as though Valbuena has outperformed Barfield at AAA to this point, and would provide a much better L/R platoon than the R/R Carroll and Barfield.

Just wondering why you'd put Barfield ahead of Valbuena.


How has Valbuena outperformed Barfield at AAA?? He's got a whopping 216 at-bats there!

Barfield's numbers as a 22 year old in AAA: .310/.370/.450/.820 with 15 HRs and 20SBs.
Valbuena's numbers as a 22yr old in AAA: .302/.383/.347/.756 with 2 HRs and 10SBs.

Yeah, Barfield struggled last year in AAA.....but you can't say Valbuena has 'outperformed' Barfield there at this point.

And Barfield really ins't much worse a platoon option.....and based off how Carroll did last year, is actually a BETTER platoon option. Carroll hit better against righties last year.....not lefties.
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