Our producer was in my ear telling me to move on to Pedro Beato so I didn’t get to make this point about Brad Emaus, and Toby’s point that high-OBP guys without much power might struggle when they reach the bigs: I remember Mike Salfino having similar concerns about Brett Gardner before last season. Since Gardner strikes out a little more and hits for a little less power, he’s not a great comp for Emaus (just in terms of stats, and beyond the obvious differences in position, handedness, speed). But Gardner, obviously, still found his way on base enough last season to be a very valuable player for the Yanks.
And though he’s not a home run hitter, Emaus showed at least doubles power in most of his stops before the Pacific Coast League, so I’ll hold out hope that he knows what to do with a pitch over the plate when he sees it.
For what it’s worth, in talking to Toby before the show, I brought up Ben Zobrist — again a terrible comp for Emaus for a variety of reasons. But Zobrist showed a pretty remarkable batting eye in the Minors without a heck of a lot of power. Then in a season and a half in 2008-09, he posted some pretty huge power numbers.
Course, The Zorilla took a big step back in 2010.
Again, I’m not saying Emaus should be considered the instant favorite to take over the second-base job in 2011, or even that the Mets should stop looking for a capable second basemen. Just holding out hope that he’s more than a guy with a good enough eye to get on a lot against inferior pitching.