Re: Thoughts on David Sappelt
I had a real good conversation with a scout who has seen Sappelt play a lot this season. Here is how it went:
"He was a .269 hitter in Dayton last year. Now he's hitting .340 in Double-A. What happened?"
"He figured out that he was not a home run hitter and starting hitting the ball where it is pitched."
"Is he a Norris Hopper type profile?"
"I actually thought Norris was a pretty good player. I am not sure if he will be as good as Norris or not. It's a little early to say. But, yes, that type of player."
"When he was in Dayton, they ran on his arm. Every runner went first to third on anything to the right of straightaway center. Can you have that in the big leagues?"
"He will have to play shallow and maybe move to left field, although he has great range in center."
"Can he play in the big leagues?"
"I think so, but probably not as an everyday player."
That's it. I personally was not impressed with Sappelt last season but you can't argue with what he has done in 2010. Last season, I thought he was more of the problem than the solution. The team was 31-47 when he moved up, and they got better after he left. Too many base running blunders. The steals were mostly in meaningless times when they were not concerned with holding him on. Too many runners taking extra bases on his arm. His confidence level is over-the-top, and I did not care for that, but others think that is one of his best attributes. The word is that he toned it down this season, at least outwardly. He is a great example of why you can't make a long-term judgement on a player based on first impressions.
Congrats to Dave for a great, great 2010 season.