The vagaries of beginning season samples are swirling around, and it's up to us to pick which ones we want to pay attention to. Nothing of substance can be gleaned from the early stats, unless they prove something we want to believe. Edgardo Alfonzo is going to be able to finally give us one Metgardo season out of four, and we're watching the start of it. Matt Cain is going to have no problem plowing through AAA lineups, coming up in June for good.
But there is no way to sell me on Pedro Feliz. I'm just now warming to the idea he can be a productive major-leaguer, even after two productive seasons. A guy who can play a few positions and slug .450-.500 is a valuable guy to have on the bench, even if his on-base percentage is scraping .300. He is no future star, though. The Giants keep telling us Feliz is the first-baseman of the future, ignoring that he missed his high school prom to watch the first moon landing
Perhaps this is just the Armchair Scout Theorem nipping at our heels. Feliz's flaws are just too obvious for us to give him a fair break. He swings at everything, can't hit a breaking ball unless it's hanging, and tries to pull whatever fastball he does get. But this has been going on for two seasons now. It's like the other teams in the league are getting their scouting reports in a Crimson Tide-like situation, where the communication reads:
If I had to guess what Feliz was hitting in the early part of this season, it would be around .180/.180/.400. That's the prejudice coming out. He's actually sporting a .342/.390/.553 line so far, and responsible for a big chunk of the Giants winning record. Of course, Mike Matheny is roping at a .333/.375/.567 clip, and that just brings us back to the sample-size caution in the opening paragraph.
To steal a quote from one of my favorite movies, "That's fish four days old. I won't buy it!". The disconnect between my opinion and the early stats is going to slowly vanish, and Feliz will come back to Earth. But which Earth? The .270/.310/.480 Earth he has built for himself, or the .240/.270/.400 Earth that seems more in line with my prejudices? Or, an Earth where apes are the dominant species, and Feliz escapes from their clutches, only to stumble upon the Willie Mays statue sticking out from the sand? I'd pay $9.50 to see that.