Bowkermania is running wild. Timpnermania has been cancelled. Refunds at place of mania purchase.
John Bowker didn’t get a lot of preseason attention because:
a. He’s a left-handed corner outfielder in the same system as Nate Schierholtz, who was in AAA while Bowker was in AA.
b. Bowker had a fantastic season in 2007, but it was his first above-average season as a pro. The 2008 season wasn’t supposed to be about major-league debuts, it was supposed to be a demonstration of how last season wasn’t a fluke.
c. While he had his breakout year in a pitcher’s park, he didn’t have a dominating strikeout-to-walk ratio in AA. That doesn’t mean his season wasn’t a good one, it just means we should expect some initial issues with contact.
So that’s how the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year was lost in the shuffle. And, jokes aside, all of those points are still valid. We shouldn’t expect Bowker to be the young player who breaks out, fantastic debut aside. It isn’t realistic.
Nuts to that. After Bowker was drafted, Baseball America was high on him. The rated his power as the best in the Giants’ draft – pretty impressive, considering that was the draft the Giants took Eddy Martinez-Esteve. So it isn’t as if the AA season came out of nowhere; if anything, it was his A-ball performances that were counterintuitive.
And every year, some random semi-prospect gets called up because of special roster circumstances, starts hitting, and doesn’t stop. Preston Wilson, Shannon Stewart, and Chris Duncan are three names that come to mind after five seconds of thinking. Every team has story like that on their roster. Except the Giants, of course. The Giants never get that sort of unexpected leap in performance. It’s one of the reasons they haven’t produced an All-Star since Matt Williams or a useful player since Bill Mueller.
Yeah, well, you know what? This is our random semi-prospect who starts hitting and doesn’t stop for a decade. This one – this, right here. And I don’t care about probabilities and logic. I’m going to be excited about him.
He needs a nickname. This is an Open Bowker thread, but we should try and work in some nicknames. All I can think of are Sha-Na-Na references, and that’s not going to get it done. If just one player like Bowker breaks out, this season won't be a complete disaster.