After watching Pablo Sandoval spray the ball all over Mays Field on Sunday, I have the perfect new comparison: a switch-hitting Vladimir Guerrero who can play catcher. Wait, let me qualify that. Sandoval's worst-case scenario is a switch-hitting Vladimir Guerrero who can play catcher. His best-case comparison is a switch-pitching, multi-position Babe Ruth. With Sandoval and Buster Posey, the Giants will really only need a 19-man roster.
Wait a sec...someone turned this thing to "hyperbole." Let's start over.
Right now, Sandoval is a low-walk, low-strikeout guy, but it isn't crazy to think he'll start walking a little bit. Not because he'll actively try to become an on-base machine, but because as his power develops, pitchers are going to be terrified to throw him strikes. And unlike some French-vanilla-clad hackers of the past, Sandoval will begrudgingly take the walks he's given. When considering this one tiny facet of both of their games, I don't feel guilty comparing future Pablito to Vladimir Guerrero.
Travis Ishikawa, of course, is the new Carlos Pena, except Ishikawa will be more consistent. Oh, and Nate Schierholtz will be just like Vladmir Guerrero, too. Maybe a little less power, but he'll keep his current .500/.542/.727 line going for most of next season too.
When it comes to fantastic spiritual visions, peyote has nothing on ten-run innings.
Coming back to Earth, there's a distinct chance that the Giants could open 2009 with a lineup that uses some permutation of the following:
Almost all of the players called up over the past month have done well. This should allow the Giants to feel a little more comfortable with penciling some youth into the 2008 lineup, which is a marked difference from "The Bocock and Ortmeier No Other Option Spectacular!" we were treated to at the beginning of the season.
Long post short: The Giants might enter the offseason with every position other than third filled with a player worthy of a rebuilding team's attention. This brings up a two-part comment starter:
- Is there a chance that the Giants will be satisfied with minor tinkering, or will they think they have to sign Joe Crede and Pat Burrell to show the season-ticket holders that the team is trying to compete? Those kind of good-faith signings have worked so well in the past, what with Barry Zito's stellar pitching and Aaron Rowand's non-terrifying second-half performance, so it wouldn't surprise any of us if they returned to the veteran well.
- If the Giants gave a large chunk of at-bats to Ishikawa, Sandoval, and Schierholtz next season, would the offense improve, or would next year be another poor offensive year as the team figures out whose 2008 improvement was for real?
#2 pencils only, please.