Nice article on Travis Ishikawa
Not that I think I'm all that great in judging prospects, there are many more qualified people on McCovey Chronicles who could spin me in circles on prospects, but I wanted to see if there is anything about him to justify the other person's logic. Obviously, Travis strikes out a lot. But that is not that great an evil if he can keep his walk rate up and his HR rate up, there are plenty of major leaguers who strike out a lot but make up for it with walks and homers. Plus I had read that he has a great swing ("sweet" I've seen it described; and his stance did remind me of Will Clark when I first saw it) and plays good defense.
One reason that I said that Ishikawa should be kept is because he is overmatched at that time because he was facing players who were a few years older than he. I said that most players mature physically to a greater degree during their 18-22 phase and yet he was doing OK despite that disadvantage to him, he would have spurts of dominance followed by a period where he's totally lost. I couldn't get anyone on that board to agree with me or to defend my position, so I thought maybe I was out there on a limb alone. So this quote from the article was sweet music to my ears:
Although 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Lefebvre says Ishikawa has yet to be
fully formed physically and mentally. When he does, watch out.
"He has a great swing, and I think as he physically matures, there's going
to be more power in the swing and a lot of quickness in his bat," said
Lefebvre. "And he's real solid around the bag."
So I don't feel as dumb as I did back then, plus more importantly, Ishikawa is sounding like a great prospect who is only going to get better. Niekro better not get too comfortable with 1B; too bad Niekro could not stay at 3B, we don't have any 3B close to the majors and Feliz is probably not going to last much longer with the team, he'll be a free agent after this season and I don't see the Giants signing him for big bucks unless he gives a home discount.
I particularly like this quote from him, which ends the article:
"I've got the confidence now I can put up numbers -- at times I was scared
I was never going to be able to hit," he added. "I'm a perfectionist, and
I know I have a lot more room for improvement."
I like seeing that from prospects. He is confident enough in his abilities and yet humble enough to know that he has a lot more room for improvement. Plus he's a perfectionist, so he's always going to try to improve himself and try to get better, instead of coasting on his abilities and talents.
I had no idea when this whole thing started whether Ishikawa was that great a prospect, I just knew that we shouldn't throw the towel in on him so early, it was at the start of the 2004 season. But none of that matters, what matters is that Ishikawa looks like he has a bright future ahead of him and he could be starting for the Giants by 2008-9, if he continues progressing nicely.