PDA

View Full Version : Question about Austin Kearns



Cedric
04-18-2008, 11:53 PM
Was at the game today and somehow got started talking about Austin with my friend. Raise your hand if you thought Austin would be one month shy of 28 years old and have a .264 career average with 96 hr's? What happened to someone that was this can't miss? Was it the shoulder injury that slowed his bat and made his hitch even more pronounced? I know how hard this game is to play but it's even harder with injuries and POSSIBLE work ethic questions.

Just wondering what others are thinking because I see that he is now hitting .203 with 1 hr and 7 rbi's this early into the season. Just never thought Austin would struggle like this.

redsrule2500
04-19-2008, 12:31 AM
Yeah, maybe it was just GABP that was friendly for Austin. I don't know. It's crazy the turn around that both him and lopez have seen since going to DC though.

The Baumer
04-19-2008, 12:48 AM
I watched him play on TV his first call up with the team and he was raking. Clean, hard line drives in the gaps. Made it look effortless. Something had to have happened because he never got even close to that level ever again.

Spring~Fields
04-19-2008, 12:55 AM
If I recall correctly when Kearns came up he was standing close to the plate and having success but they started throwing inside and he was hit, I believe that a time or two he was injured by inside throws. My next guess would be the coaches or managers that handled him with their different approaches or theories might have stunted his progress.

I still think that Adam Dunn would have been even better than he is if the multiple hitting instructors, managers and coaches would have done things right with him, he was a more rounded and balanced hitter coming up.

I won't pretend to know what is "right", that is what they (baseball personnel) get the big bucks and respect for in their fields.

Red in Chicago
04-19-2008, 01:05 AM
Isn't he just another one of the dozens of homegrown players, that Reds' fans overvalue?

Cedric
04-19-2008, 02:20 AM
Isn't he just another one of the dozens of homegrown players, that Reds' fans overvalue?

Every scouting service ranked Kearns as a top 20 minor leaguer. He was considered a great instinctual player that was blessed with amazing talent. He was one of those rare talents that could have either pitched or played the field in the bigs. Somewhere along the way he lost it.

Highlifeman21
04-19-2008, 07:46 AM
Every scouting service ranked Kearns as a top 20 minor leaguer. He was considered a great instinctual player that was blessed with amazing talent. He was one of those rare talents that could have either pitched or played the field in the bigs. Somewhere along the way he lost it.

I remember hearing and reading that the knock on Kearns was that he never took the necessary next step to grow up and be his own man. His childhood bed was easily accessible while with the Reds, and rather than maturing (both as a person and a ballplayer), he went home to Mommy and Daddy often when things didn't go his way.

Now that he's in the DC Metro area, he doesn't have the luxury of going home to the house where he grew up when he's having a bad day, etc.

Kearns being traded away from where he grew up should have been a push in the right direction concerning his personal and professional development, but the jury is still out on those fronts.

I rooted for the kid, and will continue to root for the kid, as I hoped he and Dunn would patrol the Reds OF for at least 10 years. Kearns just seemed too comfortable b/c he was close to home, and never took that next step as a ballplayer.

Sea Ray
04-19-2008, 12:18 PM
I think the main reason Kearns is just an average major league outfielder is work ethic. He's someone who's satisfied being a .264 hitter. He can play video games, make plenty of money and have a good life. He's not willing to work hard to be an All Star. You can tell just by looking at him that he doesn't take physical conditioning seriously and my bet is he's not a great student of the game.

This gets down to the thing in scouting where you not only have to look at the guy's talent but also the fire in his belly.

pahster
04-19-2008, 12:21 PM
I think the main reason Kearns is just an average major league outfielder is work ethic. He's someone who's satisfied being a .264 hitter. He can play video games, make plenty of money and have a good life. He's not willing to work hard to be an All Star. You can tell just by looking at him that he doesn't take physical conditioning seriously and my bet is he's not a great student of the game.


How do you know any of that?

westofyou
04-19-2008, 01:56 PM
Kearns came into the game being hyped as an Al Kaline, Dale Murphy level type of player. Instead he's an average - slightly above average player. A guy whose career comps vs the league puts him in a group of 19th century guys and Kenny Henderson..funny comps.

At the start of the season here's the guys that matched up with based on age/PA's/and average vs the league in rate stats



RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G AVG OBA SLG AB
1 Herman Long 7.27 .012 .015 .020 2780
2 Bid McPhee 6.50 .010 .017 .020 2659
3 Austin Kearns 5.64 -.005 .018 .017 2392
4 Ken Henderson 4.88 -.004 .014 .013 2417

IF he was 28 like he will be on 5-20 then here would be the group he matches with.



RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G AVG OBA SLG AB
1 Marcus Giles 5.89 .016 .020 .015 2514
2 Austin Kearns 5.64 -.005 .018 .017 2392
3 Jeff Blauser 5.14 .007 .021 .014 2746
4 Steve Evans 5.05 .002 .023 .012 2289
5 Jim Pagliaroni 5.01 -.005 .021 .023 2029
6 Todd Zeile 4.89 .001 .016 .013 2567

edabbs44
04-19-2008, 02:09 PM
When you think about it, the King collision shouldn't have had that much of an effect on him...but maybe it did. I remember 2003 and he was hammering the opposition day in, day out. I recall watching that game and when I saw King fall on him, I cringed. I guess it's one of those "you never know" type situations.


Trades like the eight-player deal that sent Kearns and infielder Felipe Lopez to Washington happen every year. But this one rattled Kearns, the seventh pick of the 1998 draft who has yet to fully realize the potential so many saw in him. Ask Bob Boone, the Nationals' director of player development who managed Kearns in Cincinnati, what he expected Kearns to be by now, at 26, and the answer is blunt: "A super-duper star," Boone said.

Yet he isn't. And here's a small list of reasons: torn thumb ligament (2001); strained hamstring (2002); rotator cuff surgery (2003); broken left forearm and right thumb surgery (2004). It got to the point that Kearns, an affable guy, came to spring training in 2005 wary of discussing his health.

"It just started bugging the crap out of me, answering that question every spring," Kearns said. "I just told people, 'Look, I'm not talking about it. It's over with.' "

There was, Kearns said, nothing worse than the summer of 2003. He was coming off a 107-game debut as a rookie the year before in which he hit .315. The first two months of '03, "he was just crushing the ball," said Boone, the Reds' manager at the time.

On May 21, Kearns doubled in the seventh inning of a home game against the Atlanta Braves. Dan Kearns was in the stands, and his son moved up to third. Reliever Ray King, now a National, was on the mound for the Braves, and he uncorked a ball that got by Javy Lopez, the Braves' catcher.

As old and slow as I am," Dan Kearns said, "I would have tried to score."

So Austin took off for the plate. But Lopez pounced on the ball, and King covered home. King, who is listed at 240 pounds, collided with Kearns as he tagged him out. "It was ugly," Dan Kearns said, "and it was awkward."

Austin Kearns returned to right for the top of the eighth. He finished with three RBI. The Reds won that night, and at game's end, Kearns was hitting .309, slugging .599. He had played in 45 games, had 44 RBI.

The next day, he couldn't raise his arm above his head. He played anyway. He underwent daily rehabilitation. His shoulder got no better. He stopped hitting. He kept playing.

"I'm stubborn," he said. "I've always kind of thought if you can be out there, you should go out there. That's one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate it when a guy gets nicked up or something and goes down like he was shot, and all the trainers and everybody comes running out, and then he stays in the game. I've just never been like that.

"But looking back, it probably wasn't the smart thing to do."

Over the next 37 games, Kearns hit .208, slugged .277. In July, he went on the disabled list. Doctors found damage in his right shoulder. He underwent the surgery.

That September, the Chicago Cubs came to Cincinnati fighting for a playoff spot, creating a buzz. One night, Kearns watched the first few innings from the dugout. But he couldn't stand it.

"I was going nuts," he said. He headed to the clubhouse. If he couldn't play, he wouldn't watch.

All that, he said, was the hardest.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/04/AR2007030401261.html

westofyou
04-19-2008, 03:13 PM
http://dcbb.blogspot.com/


Yesterday's sixth double play of the season is to make even the biggest Austin Kearns fanboy [raises hand] start to doubt. He's on pace (yay! fun with paces!) for 65 on the season. Somewhere -- not in the Hall of Fame -- Jim Rice is quietly rooting.

Forget everything you know about Kearns and his expectations.

Just look at what he is, has been, and is doing.

He walks and smacks the occasional single. He hits the ball on the ground a lot, and is always a DP threat when there are runners on. He's basically the team's second best on-base guy.

What would you do with a guy with that profile? Bat him leadoff dammit! He gets on base for the guys below him. He's not especially fast, but he's hardly a base-clogger. With the pitcher ahead of him, he's going to have fewer opportunities to hit into DPs. Walks are always good, but sometimes -- in the middle of the order -- you need a guy to put the bat on the ball and drive those guys in, and that's not something I'm sure he's capable of right now. (FIRE LENNY!!!!)

Put him at the top of the order. Let Guzman hit second (he's driving the ball, but he'd bat left-handed most of the time and with Kearns on first after his walk, he'd have a bigger hole on the right side to drive the ball through). Zimmerman/Johnson, who cares? I know that's the grand messageboard debate now, but having the worse batter hit third actually makes sense according to some lineup theories.

Kearns
Guzman
Zimmerman
Johnson
Milledge
Pena
Belliard
PLod

Works for me. Same guys, different order. Maximizing the things they do well. Hey, why not? Nothing else is working lately.

Sea Ray
04-19-2008, 05:58 PM
How do you know any of that?

Nobody "knows" anything. Remember the thread started:


Just wondering what others are thinking because I see that he is now hitting .203 with 1 hr and 7 rbi's this early into the season. Just never thought Austin would struggle like this

I'll hit you right between the eyes with it since it wasn't obvious to you:

Those were my "thoughts".

deltachi8
04-19-2008, 06:55 PM
video games and the demise of the Cincinnati corner outfielders...up next on redszone.

:rolleyes:

pahster
04-19-2008, 07:47 PM
Nobody "knows" anything. Remember the thread started:



I'll hit you right between the eyes with it since it wasn't obvious to you:

Those were my "thoughts".

Ah, so based on nothing then. Carry on.

RedsManRick
04-20-2008, 02:56 AM
The surest thing in baseball is still a 50/50 proposition... at best.

TeamBoone
04-20-2008, 12:44 PM
He has two children now. I doubt he plays video games as much as he used to.

Big Klu
04-20-2008, 12:48 PM
He has two children now. I doubt he plays video games as much as he used to.

I wouldn't bet on it. I know a lot of young fathers who still spend a lot of time playing video games.

BRM
04-21-2008, 10:30 AM
He has two children now. I doubt he plays video games as much as he used to.

It's possible. Having kids sure killed my gaming time.

westofyou
08-28-2008, 11:18 AM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7997


Scouts give their views on various major-league players:

* Nationals right fielder Austin Kearns: "He's lost all his power. He just doesn't drive the ball anymore. I really thought he was going to be a big-time home-run hitter when he came up with the Reds, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen."

Sea Ray
08-28-2008, 12:00 PM
Scouts give their views on various major-league players:

* Nationals right fielder Austin Kearns: "He's lost all his power. He just doesn't drive the ball anymore. I really thought he was going to be a big-time home-run hitter when he came up with the Reds, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen."

Yeah, and I bet no scout thought he'd be hitting .217 either. Austin Kearns is an example of a guy who peaked at age 22. His best year by far was his rookie year.

KronoRed
08-28-2008, 01:31 PM
Guys flame out, sometimes there isn't a smoking gun reason, lots of little things combine to produce a guy will be out of the game before 30.