Much was written about Matt Hague, the Indianapolis Indians MVP this season. He did everything asked of him: He hit. He played where he was told, even third base. He was a late blooming producer even if he is a few years past being called a prospect.
Hague should have got a shot in Pittsburgh, the story goes. We think he deserved it.
In the unbelievably well written story below, the last two MVPs of the International League are getting their shot with Tampa Bay. Much like Hague, they aren’t quite spring chickens.
Certainly, the Pittsburgh Pirates could use someone proficient at getting hits, right? Hague earned a shot – even if it was just a few at bats – especially seeing the ease with which Steve Pearce was shrugged to the 60-day to make room for someone who isn’t proficient at hitting named Matt Pagnozzi.
Hague earned a shot, if for no other reason than to see what he looks like at first base. Sure, playing Derrek Lee is something that gives the Pirates a shot at a supplemental draft pick, but how long will it take before we find someone who can hit and play first base for the major league team in 2012? Lee won’t come back to Pittsburgh.
But we digress. People who are much better at evaluating talent than we are decided Hague wouldn’t pull on the Black and Gold.
You and everyone that loves the sport of baseball know that just being the MVP of the Indianapolis Indians or any AAA ball team doesn’t mean instant success in the majors.
Hell, even being the MVP of the whole damn league means nothing in the bigs. (Derrek Bell is on the list if you decide to peek)
Just ask the men in this story, Russ Canzler and Dan Johnson (-10VORP), who were the 2011 and 2010 MVPs of the International League. Both got called up to play with Tampa, which is in the middle of a run.
There are no sure things in baseball. Being a producer in AAA proves little in the bigs. Just ask a recent 1B scholarship winner named Jeff Clement.
If you read only one story today, make it this amazing one. It was put together by former playwright Adam Sobsey and was posted in Baseball ProGUESTUS segment of Baseball Prospectus today.
It’s a free story, you cheap ass.
…we just love the ‘his star never brighter’ part–it’s a fitting and riveting read. Something you won’t find in the PG. Enjoy.
Another interesting article on Canzler, who is from Berwick/Hazelton, PA, is here.
“Canzler’s here, how about it?” Maddon said. “We’re going to try to work him in as (best) as we can. .. while we try to stay in the middle of a pennant race. He’s earned the right to be here based on what he did in the minor leagues this year. He had a tremendous year, obviously. He can really hit a fastball from what I understand.
It’s not my decision (who gets) called up and who doesn’t. Our front office and minor league people tell me what they think because they see these guys all year, so that process is out of my hands. Our minor league people do their jobs and we do ours here.”
We think it would have been cool for Hague to send a few texts. Read more: