The new old Giants with their fresh, classic look are 1-0 in the New Old Era. That's more exciting than stupid ol' prospects, right?
The Giants scored nine runs -- more than half as many runs as they scored during the last nine-game homestand. And they did it with Brett Pill and Roger Kieschnick -- the "young bats," as CSN Bay Area called them -- whomping Kyle Kendrick around. A reminder of what you're supposed to root for:
1. The Giants drafting 30th every year
2. The Giants drafting a Hall of Famer at #30 every year
Forget about draft positioning. There's no tanking in baseball. Not unless there's a Bryce Harper type that's a clear consensus #1. Only then can you secretly think, "Gee, I wouldn't be so broke up about them losing every game for the rest of the season." After that, it's all a crapshoot.
Say the Giants get the 11th pick instead of the 12th pick. Do you know who the most valuable players ever drafted #11 are? Shawn Estes is one of them. Calvin Murray has the 13th-highest career WAR of the 49 players drafted. Nuts to the draft. It's better to evaluate drafts with the arrogance of hindsight, that's what I always say.
No, it's much better to watch the Giants win, even in a lost season. Bold opinion, I know. But after that Cubs series, I would have taken a win on a blown call. It's nice to see them pummel a team for once.
People who root against Brett Pill should be loaded into a trebuchet and fired into a field of nettle bushes.
With that out of the way, it makes sense to have an easy-to-link, digestible section that explains where McCovey Chronicles stands on the Pill vs. Belt debates. This all still stands, but let's whittle this down to a three-point core:
1. If the 28-year-old Brett Pill has a successful major-league career after 1,700 plate appearances with an on-base percentage below the Pacific Coast League average, he will be a historical anomaly.
2. Hopefully, he can have a successful major-league career and help the Giants win.
3. Because rooting for historical anomalies is a bad way to operate a baseball team, hopefully the Giants will be forever skeptical about Pill. And if there is any indication that they're not skeptical, it's worrisome.
That's it. Nothing fancy. If you think Pill has a chance to be something good, a real major-league starter, that's swell. But the burden of proof is on you. Brandon Belt's career on-base percentage in the majors, playing in an extreme pitcher's park, is .339. He's 25. Brett Pill's career on-base percentage in the minor leagues, playing in an extreme hitter's league, is .332. He'll be 29 in September.
Pill was born in 1984. Hunter Pence was born in 1983. You are not expecting Hunter Pence to develop into a completely different hitter. What you see is what you get. You should not expect Brett Pill to develop into a completely different hitter. What you see is almost certainly what you get.
With that out of the way, be happy for the guy. He's been a better fit for the Giants roster than Nick Noonan and Jeff Francoeur, but he's been buried in Triple-A, where he's ruined the poor pitchers of the PCL. He's kind of been hosed this year, so it's nice to see him have a game like that. He even hit the Giants' first home run since spring training. Good for him.
I was surprised Chad Gaudin wasn't traded today, to be honest. He's a perfect sell-high player, and there had to have been a team that was moderately interested. But he's still a Giant, and I guess he's still the staff ace.
We're at the point in the season where it's worth wondering what kind of contract he's going to get, and if the Giants should give it to him. There was the ickiness in Las Vegas, yes, though I'll reserve judgment until a jury tells me what to think. But as a low-cost pitcher with moderate upside, he's sort of the template for what the Giants should be looking for this offseason. There's no such thing as "the next Ryan Vogelsong," but there are certainly good starting pitchers who come out of nowhere in their 30s. Al Leiter. John Tudor. Ryan Vogelsong.
Forget that part about historical anomalies up there. I'm on a roll.
But in a world where Kevin Correias get guaranteed two-year deals, I'm thinking that Gaudin's going to be a relatively hot commodity. That's something of a shame, considering how good he's been with the Giants this year.
I'm thinking the Giants keep him, though. Just a hunch.
Congratulations to Roger Kieschnick for his first major-league hit and RBI. When something like that happens, it's never a bad idea to look back at the day he was drafted. So much wrong. So much anger.
And on the theme of the draft, please note that the Giants have already received more value from a #82 pick than 38 of the 49 teams in draft history. By even reaching the majors, Kieschnick has beaten the odds. That 2008 draft just might go down as a good one after all.