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Greg Halman Is Major League Ready

So far in the WBC, Halman has seen 40 pitches over 11 at bats against the likes of Edinson Volquez, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Marmol, Ian Snell, Damaso Marte, Carlos Silva, Fernando Cabrera, and Giancarlo Alvarado. The results of those 40 pitches:

32 strikes
8 balls
22 swings
16 swinging strikes
9 called strikes
1 foul bunt

16 misses on 22 swings is a contact rate of 27%. The Major League average is 81%, and the worst mark of any non-pitcher last year to collect at least 50 at bats was Reggie Abercrombie, at 60%.

Clearly there are sample size issues here out the wazoo, but this is just a numerical way of illustrating what should be blatantly obvious to anyone who's been watching the Netherlands so far: Greg Halman is in way over his head against high-level competition. Hell, just today he struck out swinging twice against Silva on seven total pitches. Pitchers haven't been particularly kind to him, and he's seemed perfectly content to get himself out.

Is this a giant red flag? Not really - we've always known that Halman has discipline and contact issues, and we wouldn't expect him to excel in this kind of competition. Rather, I'm just pointing it out as a reminder that, while Halman has all kinds of talent and physical gifts, he's got enormous bust potential, and there remain miles and miles of development ahead of him if he wants to make it as a regular in the big leagues.

Greg Halman is an awesome talent, but he's a long ways away. And while it's fun to watch prospects get better (and Halman has gotten a lot better), the impatient among you may want to start getting excited about Michael Saunders instead. Unless something goes tragically wrong, he's likely to show up and stick long before Halman ever does.