Ken Rosenthal Insists You Know the Real Bonifacio

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First off, a hat tip to Tim Dierkes and company at MLB Rumors. It's a great place to find bullet points of what everyone is writing about and all speculative trade rumors as well. It is through this site that I have noticed that Ken Rosenthal is really insistent on telling us Emilio Bonifacio won't be good.

In his April 8th column for Fox Sports he tears down Lastings Milledge for a few things, most notably his misplays in centerfield against the Marlins and specifically the balls Bonifacio hit. At the end of that section he throws in a nugget about what one scout thinks of Emilio which ends with, "he's just a guy." Okay, thanks for the warning Ken. Only a few days into the season it was understandable that people might get carried away with his hot start and it's nice of you to notch us down a peg on the enthusiasm.

Today I clicked over to Rosenthal's April 14th column and he again tries to cool everyone's high about Bonifacio. I was interested to see what new scouting report or quotes he had, but there was none. It was the same exact quote. Read the columns for yourself. This time Ken prefaces it by saying, "Hate to be a spoilsport."

Look, I myself still have doubts about Bonifacio and whether he can stay consistent and do what he's doing, especially because it's tougher to hide hitting leadoff than it is if he were hitting seventh or eighth. But as it has been pointed out by Marlins broadcasters and other reporters, speed shows up every day. Last night's infield hit was a good example of how those types of plays will keep his batting avergae and on base percentage up. That was a routine play up the middle but because Escobar was playing a little in and he had a very slight double clutch on the throw, Bonifacio beat it easily. I'd be real surprised if his batting average dipped towards that .240% mark.

As for his fielding, they may be right but some of his errors are offset by web gems we have seen that not many third basemen would make, specifically fielding bunts. Plus, I think as Marlins fans we have become well acustomed to the fact that we will make many errors at third base. It doesn't faze us. By the way, I have a prediction that I won't disclose yet that would involve Bonifacio moving from third base to a new position with the primary reason not being poor defensive play. More on that at another time.

Once again, I don't mind Ken playing devil's advocate and trying to warn us, and if he and the scout end up being dead on, I'll give a big tip of the cap and a slow cap to them. But, for each warning there should be new information or more quotes from different scouts to make the points more vaild and believable.

2 comments:

David April 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

I don't mind Rosenthal making caveats about Emilio, but given the Marlins' front office's reputation for unearthing decent everyday players from the scrap heap (Amezega, Ross, etc.) I'll still give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. Besides, if Bonifacio can't keep it up, the team has plenty of other options, including Amezega, or moving Cantu back to third and promoting Gaby Sanchez...

Bote Man April 16, 2009 at 5:41 AM  

Being saddled with a dual loyalty, both to the local Marlins and my hometown Nationals, I saw Bonifacio last year more closely than most Marlins fans. The knock on him was that his speed was not worth much because he couldn't get on base to employ it. His OPS+ was 70 (that's bad).

Clearly, Boney-face has had some serious hitting instruction, plus a little help from the Nats' abysmal defense in that opening series.

His defense is still suspect: On Opening Day in the late innings I watched him stand pretty much dead still while a scorched ball seemed to burn its way right through his glove. I have no idea how he missed that hit. This brought back bad memories of last season and does not bode well for the future unless he can clean up his defensive play.

I don't subscribe to the notion that Marlins fans are accustomed to clumsy third basemen and are, therefore, numb to their errors. That's like the guy who hits himself on the head with a hammer because it feels so good when he stops.

It can be a real rally-killer to have a one-run lead in the late innings squandered by a costly error. I would hate to see B-face squander his good political capital because of errors, he's just too much fun to watch otherwise.

Those are my fears, and I surely hope that they are unfounded. I am excited by this Marlins club and hope they don't return to the mean; Bonifacio is a big component of that excitement thus far.

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