More thoughts on the Desmond deal. 126 comments

Ian Desmond’s month long tutorial on how to play left field began on Friday. He got in some work on his turn-around-and-watch-a-ball-go-over-the-fence move, and he got to field a ground ball single. In a show of respect, no fly balls were hit his way.

He also hit a bullet for a double that nearly cleared the wall. But his hitting isn’t important in spring because this spring isn’t about that. For him it’s about learning a new position.

Surprisingly fans, and writers, are still reacting negatively about this signing on blogs and newspapers within the last few days.

Tim Cowlishaw in The Dallas Morning News had an article a couple of days ago, nearly a week after the fact, decrying the fact that the nineteenth pick was much too much to give up for guy who hit .233.

He pointed out all the great nineteenth picks of the recent past like Michael Wacha, Andrew Cashner, and Shelby Miller, and lamented how much he would much rather have the futures of these good pitchers as opposed to one year of Desmond.

But it’s not fair to compare the best nineteenth picks with the worst year of Desmond’s career.

Why not do the opposite?

Which would you rather have on the Rangers roster in 2016? Ian Desmond, a left fielder who drives in 94 runs. Or Brett Sinkbell, a pitcher who gives you a 13.50 ERA, as he did for the Marlins in 2010.

Which would you rather have this year in left field? Ian Desmond, a guy who hits you 25 home runs, puts up a .292 average, and an .845 OPS. Or John Mayberry, a guy who hits .164 with an OPS of .545, which is what he did for the Mets in 2015.

This is the great thing about baseball arguments. While numbers don’t lie, stats can deceive.

So, is one year of Ian Desmond worth giving up the future of a nineteenth pick for? Below is every nineteenth draft pick since 2000. You decide.

2000   Sean Burnett
2001   Mike Fontenot
2002   James Loney
2003   Conor Jackson
2004   Chris Lambert
2005   John Mayberry (picked by the Rangers)
2006   Brett Sinkbell
2007   Joe Savery
2008   Andrew Cashner
2009   Shelby Miller
2010   Mike Foltynewicz
2011   Matt Barnes
2012   Michael Wacha
2013   Marco Gonzales
2014   Nick Howard
2015   Kevin Newman

Now, let me ask this question: Is one year of Ian Desmond leading the Rangers to a World Series worth giving up Mike Folynewicz and his 5.64 lifetime ERA?


That’s why the Desmond deal made so much sense.

I’d pick going to the World Series any time over Mike Folynewicz or Brett Sinkbell or John Mayberry or Conor Jackson or Chris Lambert.

Let the learning of outfield routes begin.