When access to the numbers isn’t better

This is my first post since returning from my trip, and I really should be posting something about how crazy the baseball landscape changed when I was away.

However, I’m gonna talk about Aaron Sanchez. Just cause.

Sanchez got called up to AAA today, and as is the case with all uber-prospects, it’s attracted a lot of attention. Some convinced now we’ll see him in the rotation sooner rather than later. Others thinking it’s a showcase for some trade. Many saying he’s being rushed because his walk numbers stink.

While I love looking at the numbers of minor leaguers, I do it probably once a week for every affiliate of the Jays, I continuously remind myself that they’re just numbers and I haven’t actually seen these players play.

And that’s big. When we watch players we do gain some information that we can’t get from the numbers. Yes, we can take that too far. Watching players can lead to only remembering the great (or terrible) plays they make and can cloud our judgments of said player. JA Happ, for instance, constantly gets shit on as a terrible pitcher. That’s become a thing, and people often only take note when he does struggle. But the truth is, he’s a decent number five pitcher. Then we look at some of his numbers and realize he actually has been ok.

But it can go the other way too. We look at Sanchez’s walk rates and say, “he’s not ready. He needs to improve his control. Blah blah blah.”

What we don’t know is how he’s looked. Perhaps he’s run into some tight strike zones. Perhaps the team’s only been looking for a mechanical change, and that change has finally been implemented.

So at the end of the take take this news the only way we can: it’s a promotion and one step closer to the big leagues.


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