It's good to know that somebody's actually paying attention to the stuff I dash off with little but a quick thought ...
- Rob, in your chat today someone commented on Andres Torres that he wasn't a "late bloomer" and it was just two hot months (more or less). Your resoponse was mostly agreeable, noting that even Luis Gonzalez had some good years in his late 20s (and he did; good, but not great).
Anyway, it isn't a big deal, but Torres is basically having the same year he did last year (smallish sample sizes both, with last year's value more OBP-driven and this year's more SLG), and he raked the ball in '08 in AAA (and was very good, at age 29 in 2007 in AA-AAA). so yeah, he was a bit of a mess (and injury prone) in his mid 20s, but he started coming on at age 29, really. So maybe a bit later than Gonzo's age 25-30 "good" phase (due to injury, lack of opportunity, or having just not "figured it out" yet...).
Will Torres keep it going at age 32? Impossible to say, of course, but given his track record over several years (not just a couple of months), he may have this type of production in him for a couple more years at least.
Good point. Torres was pretty good at 29 in Triple-A, and even better at 30. And since joining the Giants at 31, he's been effective in his 353 plate appearances. So that's (roughly) three pretty good seasons, and what's most interesting about Torres' career is that he spent most of his 20s doing absolutely nothing to suggest that he belonged in the major leagues. When he finally did start hitting, it would have been easy to figure him as a Four-A player, old enough to have figured out Triple-A pitchers but too old to figure out the big boys.
But occasionally, very occasionally they'll fool you, and the Giants deserve some credit for grabbing Torres after a good Triple-A season for the Cubs in 2008 and for giving him a chance against the big boys in 2009.