Friday, August 01, 2008

Prospect Face-Off!

Up until now, it was merely necessary to argue that LaRoche was, at this point in time, the superior player. Now, we have a Dodgers' franchise apparently claiming it would rather have DeWitt in the future. DeWitt was born 23 months and 7 days after LaRoche.

At 20, DeWitt hit .268/.339/.442 in 478 FSL PA (league: .255/.326/.375) and .183/.241/.221 in 112 Southern League PA (.249/.322/.368). LaRoche hit .283/.359/.525 in ~280 SAL PA (.261/.329/.400) and .233/.288/.429 in ~240 FSL PA (.256/.323/.374). Overall, that makes each about average hitters for the high A level at that age.

At 21, DeWitt hit .298/.338/.466 in 361 California League PA (league: .271/.344/.426) and .281/.306/.466 in 187 Southern League PA (.259/.334/.392). LaRoche hit .333/.380/.651 in 274 FSL PA (.261/.329/.386) and .273/.367/.445 in 266 Southern League PA (.266/.339/.394). LaRoche shows himself to be ahead of the curve in high A and well above average in AA; DeWitt shows himself to be well above average in high A and perhaps average in AA.

At 22, DeWitt has hit .257/.324/.364 in 309 NL PA (.260/.330/.413) and .5/.6/1 in 25 PCL PA. LaRoche hit .309/.419/.483 in 277 Southern League PA (.249/.322/.368) and .322/.400/.550 in 230 PCL PA (.271/.341/.416). DeWitt looks like he's a solid AAA player as of now, whereas LaRoche looked like a top AAA hitter or an average major league hitter.

In LaRoche's injury-impacted 2007-8, he has hit .304/.417/.541 in 477 PCL PA (league of about .278/.346/.439) and .217/.348/.316 in 184 NL PA (league of about .264/.332/.420). So, his numbers suggest his hitting has been above average relative to major leaguers.

So, I am interested in what DeWitt will eventually do, but the gap between the performance of the two is still substantial. DeWitt may have a defensive edge, but let's not go jumping to any such conclusions yet.

From DeWitt, assuming he is able to claim the 3B job next season, the Dodgers will get 2009 and 2010 for the minimum and then a super-2 year and three arbitration years through 2014. LaRoche will be with the Pirates for the minimum from now through 2010 and then for arbitration money in 2011-2013. It seems improbable that DeWitt will end up the better value, but I suppose time will provide an answer.


At 4:45 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Perhaps, hearkening to your most recent post, this is a product of White wanting validate his choices. LaRoche he lucked into at pick number 1171. DeWitt he confidently selected in the first round as pick number 28.


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