Burriss is clearly 26, and Ford 25. We've seen more bright spots out of Burriss in terms of production, hitting .283 in 2008, but nothing from that point.
If Ford and Burriss can find a way to consistently get on base, whether just learning to put the ball in play, or driving the ball in the gaps- whatever it may be, if these guys can ever earn their way into the lineup, the impact would be substantial.
All the talk has been around Jose Reyes, and while Ford or Burriss will likely never live up to Reyes' stature, both of them together in a lineup with their full potential could have just the same impact.
Even if Ford and Burriss never hit past .280, it still opens up the opportunity for a combined 50+ stolen bases and more runs created due to speed.
Am I saying it's ever going to happen? No. Very possible? Yes. Ford and Burriss will likely get as many chances as possible the Giants will keep them around as long as possible, simply due to speed.
My prediction would lean towards Burriss becoming the potentially better player (in an every day lineup), if he gets to that point. Burriss has shown flashes of success, as I mentioned, and only has a total of 1399 PA and a career .286 AVG, compared to Ford's 2960 and .268 AVG. (minor league stats)
Clearly, those stats are nothing to be "excited" by, as you look at someone like Nate Schierholtz, who's a career .325 hitter in the minors, but hasn't shown anything consistent with the Giants.
The reason to be somewhat "enthused" by Burriss, is the fact that while he's only hitting .286 in his 1399 PA's in the minors, is the fact that Ford- and since I mentioned him- Nate Schierholtz, have almost twice the amount of PA's as Burriss.
I'm not saying Burriss will ever be a quality Major League hitter, but to reiterate, there's reasons to be optimistic. Even if it takes him until he's 31-32 years old, he'll still have quality speed and range defensively to get him a starting spot if he can hit.
While Ford has the speed to simply hit balls in play and reach base more often than the average player, he's really shown nothing to be enthused by, except that speed.
We've seen plenty of examples of players who have come on late, most recently, Jose Bautista, who took a total 3740 PA's between the minors and 5 MLB teams to lead the league in home-runs in 2010 with 54, and continue into 2011- currently leading the MLB in home-runs, again, with 14.
Oh, and Bautista's career AVG in the minors is .285. Despite the home-runs, finishing 2010 with a .260 AVG would make you believe he doesn't hit for AVG, but currently is sitting at a fine .358 in 2011.
Call it a coincidence, call it correlation. I could be dramatic or thinking too far ahead being Ford and Burriss are only 25 and 26 years old, but neither of these guys have landed a consistent starting job, so it's time to start wondering why, and wondering what the future holds.
What is the combined future of Ford and Burriss on this team? (Next 5 years)
Starters- Top of the Lineup (6 votes)
Starters- Bottom of the Lineup (5 votes)
Burriss- Starter, Ford- Bench (18 votes)
Burriss- Bench, Ford- Starter (15 votes)
Both Bench Players (101 votes)
Minors (development) (28 votes)
Free Agency (not resigned) (40 votes)
213 total votes