Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Revisiting the Coste-Ruiz Affair


If the below is a decent sampling -- and I believe that it is -- I might not be traveling to Philadelphia anytime soon. From the ol' mailbag: And then there's this, even more to the point ... There were some choice comments below the original post, too. What brought on all this disdain? OK, you got me: I goofed.

PECOTA's preseason 2009 projection for Coste: .247/.297/.373.

PECOTA's preseason 2009 projection for Ruiz: .250/.331/.357.

ZiPS for rest of season, Coste: .254/.310/.394.

ZiPS for rest of season, Ruiz: .257/.345/.394.

It's Ruiz who has established himself as the superior hitter, almost solely because we expect him to draw more walks than Coste. Yes, Coste does have superior stats as a major leaguer, and it's surprising to me that his performance in the majors doesn't carry the day. But he is 36, and with a couple of exceptions he's not fared all that well in the high minors. Meanwhile, Ruis is six years younger and he's been relatively impressive in the high minors.

Thus, I shall throw myself at the mercy of the court, with the suggestion that I might be excused for neglecting to check the minor-league stats (and, less excusably, the projections) of two catchers north of 30 who each have logged well more than 200 games in the majors.

You want another Really? for the Phillies? Well, Jamie Moyer and Brad Lidge haven't exactly found their 2008 form yet. But as Phil Sheridan notes, it's too early to give up on them (and especially considering their salaries).