Originally Posted by TRF
There seem to be three types of players that are considered utility guys
- Players over 32 that were never stars, but were good average starters and either moved to a new team or were bumped on their current team. ie Hatteberg
- Players that get their break after age 28. Hopper, Freel types.
- This is the one that confuses me. The Keppingers, the Gils, the Rey Olmedo's. Younger guys that get labeled utility players early on, but break through to the major league level.
Do you think higher rated prospects avoid the utility label because of the cost in signing and developing? Do you think players get labeled unfairly? COULD
Freel or Hopper be a starter on a MLB team other than the Reds? How long will a guy like Stubbs avoid the 4th OF tag if his development starts to stagnate? How long before the "Utility IF" tag lands on AGon's back?
For the most part though I am interested in how you feel this affects the development of minor league players. They certainly hear when someone projects them as 4th OF's or bench guys.
I don't consider Hatty a utility player. Utility player is basically a NL player who has the ability to play multiple positions. A utility guy is not great at either position and really shouldn't be starting on an every day basis. I think a utility player is formed in the minors by players who learn to play multiple positions in order to see the field on a regular basis.