10.29.2005

Arizona Fall League update

Well, there's good news and then there's bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad news for the six prospects playing in the AFL: Dan Ortmeier, Jeremy Accardo, Brian Burres, Kevin Frandsen, Justin Knoedler, and Brian Wilson. Plus there's some interesting twists.

First with the sole good news: Ortmeier has gone 10 for 26 in his short stint so far. And a short stint it will stay because the injury-prone outfielder has a tender wrist and is being pulled out early; that's the bad news.

The other bad news are all performance related. All the other players have been struggling to some extent, though Knoedler has been hitting well lately and raised his batting average to .267. I won't belabor the lousy stats, hopefully they are just signs of the players trying out new things or working on weaknesses.

On to the interesting twists. First one is this line from the linked article (title) that is on sfgiants.com: "The Giants are taking no chances with Ortmeier, who may play a full-time role in the Major Leagues in 2006." Whoa! Where did that come from!?! They still call him an outfielder (you'll see why I mention this in my next twist) and the Giants currently have Bonds, Winn, and Alou signed and playing in the outfield. The Giants are looking for a 1B/OF, but he wasn't being tried out there either. Is there something wrong with Bonds that hasn't been announced? His website says everything is fine as of 10/18, and that he will be 100% for the 2006 season.

Here is the other twist: Kevin Frandsen is listed as a 3B! That probably partially explains why he is slumping and hitting a "league-low" .189 at the moment, he is concentrating on handling a new position plus he is probably a bit shakened by this move when he hit so well in 2005 regular season. And this is right after Tidrow just recently said that Frandsen is a major league player in the future and will be considered to replace Durham in 2007.

My take on this is that Marcus Sander's injuries are all much improved and everything is healthy enough such that the Giants brass has decided that Sander's arm will be strong enough for a future at 2B and won't have to move to CF. If he is at 2B, then Frandsen will have to find another position and hence why he was moved to 3B during the AFL, to get him ready for the change. It is also a reflection on the lack of 3B talent in the farm system, his main competitors right now are Brian Buscher and Todd Jennings and neither hit as well as Frandsen did in 2005. Plus this flexibility will enable Frandsen to take at least a 2B/3B utility role in 2007 at minimum (Tidrow never said that he was necessarily starting).

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