You have no idea how much restraint it's taken. You have no idea.
Back in 2009, a 25-year-old John Bowker hit .342/.451/.596 in Triple-A. In retrospect, I should have been suspicious of the age and the high average. Take away 40 points of average -- at no point should he have been seen as a true .340 hitter -- and the slugging percentage isn't nearly as impressive for a 25-year-old in the PCL. But the Giants scored 36 runs in 2009, and I was desperate. I believed. I was very vocal about this belief. It made me look silly.
So for the last four months, I've been checking Minor Lines with the rest of you, except I usually do a quick scan for Matt Duffy before I do anything else. I'm fascinated. Quietly, secretly fascinated. When Brandon Hicks started to detalent, and it was clear the Giants were going to cycle through second basemen, all I wanted to do was write a post about Duffy. The ol' Duffster. Duff Man.
Except I'm bad at this. Every time I glom onto a player who isn't a well-regarded prospect, I screw everything up. I'm no talent evaluator. I don't see holes in swings, and it's hard to discern that fine line between unacceptable/acceptable defense. When a 23-year-old shortstop starts pummelling the Eastern League, where Giants hitting prospects usually go to die, and he still isn't a top prospect by most accounts, there has to be something wrong with him.
Which means I'll shut up. Until he's called up.
It's official: Matt Duffy, Jarrett Parker called up from Double-A Richmond. Uggla, Colvin designated for assignment.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 1, 2014
Will not overrate him. Will not expect too much. Will not pencil him into the lineup.
Will not overrate him. Will not expect too much. Will not pencil him into the lineup. Will not overrate him. Will not expect too much. Will not pencil him into the lineup. Will not overrate him. Will not expect too much. Will not pencil him into the lineup.
But, say, you know what would be awesome?
Duffy's played exactly three games at second base in his professional career, so it's probably not fair to expect him to be anything but an extra body off the bench. But he's a perfect right-handed complement to Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik in a way that Joaquin Arias is not. He's not the perfect complement with extreme malice right now. Duffy could be.
So I'm excited. Really, secretly excited. I was kinda excited about Joe Panik, too, so you can see how that currency has been devalued just a bit. With Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan possibly coming back as soon as this road trip, I have a strange, unlikely dream that everyone on this team gets healthy and plays to their potential, with a guy like Duffy helping out more than we ever expected.
Parker is an interesting cat, too, but in a much different way. I'd peg his upside as Tyler Colvin, which isn't meant to be a slam. We're talking about a lefty-hitting athlete who can play center and whomp dingers if he stops missing the danged ball so much. I think Colvin's upside is higher than we might think after watching him fail over the last two months, and he's a fringy major leaguer with enough tools to have a chance to stick as a fifth outfielder one day. Same goes for Parker, who, from most accounts, is a much better center fielder than Colvin.
The day belongs to Duffy, though. If he is coming up, I'll sit on my hands and pretend to be cool. Once he has his first three-hit game, though, it's time to go full Frandsen and overrate him irrationally. I can't wait.