Keith Law is to stat geeks what Gene Roddenberry was to Trekkies, but when it comes to evaluating young Braves he’s been anything but (wait for it) logical.
Not that he’ll admit it when he’s off. For instance, he continues to insist Evan Gattis is nothing more than Corky Miller with pop.
From his Thursday ESPN.com chat:
Q: Has Gattis done enough to be the full time starting catcher next year if the Braves let McCann walk in free agency?
Law: Seems like they’re planning that, but I wouldn’t. Play him every day and his inability to get on base gets exposed.
Q: Is Evan Gattis = John Buck (in terms of a career path) a fair statement, Keith? And that’s not an insult as some might take it… I mean Buck’s going to have a decently long career when all is said and done and has shown bursts of power.
Law: I don’t think that’s a crazy projection, although I’d still bet the under on that.
He’s using a small sample size to judge Gattis’ “inability to get on base.” In 74 games last year, Evan posted a .389 OBP, and in 832 minor league ABs his OBP was .374.
Law was previously way off about Mike Minor. Granted, he wasn’t alone, but Klaw treated him as if he was a poor man’s Mark Redman. Minor didn’t even place in Law’s ranking of the 60 best potential picks prior to the ’09 draft.
A back-end starter at best, he said about the Braves’ ace, who has followed up last season’s 1.154 WHIP with one south of 1.000.
Law was not as cold on Freddie Freeman, but has consistently rated him below Brandon Belt, who has a .760 OPS in 741 big league AB’s. The gap with Freddie (.786) isn’t as wide as I assumed, and this year they are separated by .001 point. But that’s with Freddie hitting only 2 homers, a number sure to rise.
I doubt you’d find a big league GM who’d trade Freddie for Belt.
Look, talent evaluators are often wrong. But I’ll take the Braves’ track record over Keith Law’s.
Barves RT @richardjustice Braves have developed more of the players on 2013 All-Star Game ballot than any other organization.
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) May 24, 2013