Re: Who is Redszone's #3 prospect?
I know that it's in vogue right now to say that RBIs are insignificant stats because they're dependent upon everybody else in the lineup. But in a way, that's exactly the point. A lineup needs to work together to maximize its efficiency. And the guys responsible for driving in runs will do so if they put the ball in play with regularity and authority. To me, the most underrated stat in the game is total bases. I'll take a total-base guy in the cleanup spot every day. Every total base equates to one or more that he moves along a runner. Walks are wonderful, but an offense can't prosper on them alone. I know you're not saying that. You acknowledged that Dunn, for instance, is not a great driver in of runs because he doesn't put the ball in play often enough. Where we disagree is that I'm not a fan of RBI guys deferring their duty. And it doesn't mean that I'm basing my offense around one hitter. I just want batters to function productively in their roles. The 4-man is a better RBI guy than the 5-man, and the 5-man is better than the 6-man (if the manager is making out the lineup properly).
The walks you showed for the RBI guys are, in some part, a function of those players being pitched around. That doesn't always translate to an intentional walk. But it's an acceptable walk on the pitcher's part (and consequently, not the outcome that the offense would prefer). Now, if Francisco swings fruitlessly at pitches that a pitcher is deliberately keeping away from him, trying to make him chase, he won't succeed. I agree that he needs to refine his approach in that respect. But in the short time he was up in Cincinnati--which is the only time I've seen him hit--he seemed to be doing a nice job of that. It was anecdotal, of course, and inconsequential statistically, but encouraging to the eye.
Two things with him are givens. One, he will hit for power. And two, he won't walk much. The question, for me, is whether he will hit for average. I understand the line of reasoning and math that suggests he won't. I choose, perhaps optimistically, to trust in the progress that I've seen, his special skills, and his apparent penchant (small sample) for playing up to his competition. It can go either way. A few of us, adopting sort of a macro view, like his chances. Most, citing more specific predictors, don't. So be it.