Approaching the July 31 trading deadline, and having already traded two members of their starting lineup in the past month, the rumors abound of the Pirates’ shopping second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Colorado and San Francisco are two teams mentioned to have an interest in the 31 year former batting champion, who will be making his third All-Star appearance this week.
One name mentioned possibly being sent Pittsburgh’s way is Colorado prospect Eric Young Jr, a 24 year old second baseman, now playing at Triple-A Colorado Springs. The trading strategy of Pirates’ GM Neil Huntington has been to exchange his multi-million dollar veterans for younger players with lots of upside. Looking at the raw statistics, Young appears to fill this template. Since hitting .264 in Rookie ball five years ago, Young has always posted batting averages between .290 and .301, with a career minor league on base percentage of .383. On Sunday, he thrilled the crowd in St. Louis with a long homerun to center in the Futures Game. Like his father, Young also deliver large numbers of stolen bases – 87 in 2006, 73 in 2007, and 48 little more than halfway through this season. However, looking at Young’s translated stats give a much different picture.
Despite climbing across four level in four years, my Oliver projections gives a very consistent representation of Young’s projected major league statistics.
Year Age Level BA OB SA wOBA AB H DO TR HR BB SO
2006 21 Low-A .251 .327 .355 .307 323 81 14 4 4 33 61
2007 22 High-A .251 .315 .361 .302 414 104 18 5 6 34 81
2008 23 Double-A .254 .325 .356 .307 414 105 19 4 5 39 84
2009 24 Triple-A .255 .326 .359 .308 384 98 17 4 5 35 76
I do not have any numbers for Young’s defense, and I expect him to be able to steal at least 50 bases in a major league season, but average BABIP, average walks, average strike outs, and 40% of the league average homerun rate make for a hitter who would struggle to be a starting major league second baseman.
I do not see the upside in Eric Young Jr’s batting stats, and would hope that the Pirates shop Freddy Sanchez elsewhere.