clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Request

Nay, a mandate.

Could we drop the whole "Jeff Clement bat speed" thing? Forever?

The whole issue took on a life of its own that has persisted to this day. What started as "a scout thinks Jeff Clement has a slower bat than he used to" turned into "a scout thinks Jeff Clement sucks" which turned into "Dave Cameron thinks Jeff Clement sucks" which turned into "Dave Cameron and Jeff Sullivan think Jeff Clement sucks".  I don't even know what the current incarnation of the story is now but I imagine it probably has something to do with Dave sending anthrax to congressmen and me designing an engine that runs on the blood of kittens and infants.

Look, I get that there are two factors in play here. One, most people can't read. And two, most people lack the ability to understand the subtleties and nuances of an argument and prefer instead to stick to extremes. But still, read these articles. I mean really read them. Look at the points. Look at the qualifiers. Look at the evidence. And most of all, look at the conclusion (which I will copy and paste right here for those who're too lazy to click a link):

Now, I’m not presenting this post as any kind of reason to jump off the Jeff Clement bandwagon. He was the #3 pick in the draft two years ago, so this isn’t some guy who scouts universally hated. He hit at USC, he hit in the Texas League, and now he’s hitting in the PCL. There’s too much history that says Jeff Clement can hit for me to buy the idea that he’s just a guy with marginal batspeed and his success won’t translate to the majors.

But I do find the entire conversation extremely interesting. I think it’s relevant information that Clement is loading up on Triple-A junkballers and struggling against pitchers with major league fastballs. I’m not sure what it means, but I don’t think it’s something we should ignore.

So, to be honest, I don’t know what to think about Jeff Clement. The numbers say I should be a fan - he’s a power and patience left-handed guy that looks like a perfect fit for Safeco Field, and after a long struggle, no one has been able to get him out for the last month and a half. But, traditional scouting can still see a lot of things that statistical analysis cannot, and in this case, there’s valid evidence of the scouting claim.

Is Jeff Clement going to hit in the majors? I don’t know. I think so, but I’ll be a lot more confident if he starts whacking the ball against some high velocity right-handers.

Do you understand what's being said? Do you understand that Dave was simply passing along the opinion of a scout (that is, an opinion that wasn't Dave's) that he found to be interesting? If you don't, congratulations, you're stupid. I'm surprised you made it this far.

And if you do, awesome. Now may this please be the last time this ever comes up.