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When Will They Learn?

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Maybe Brian Sabean doesn't know much about baseball players who aren't close to collecting Social Security payments. Maybe he likes to live on the wild side, and throw darts at player names on a dartboard and say something cool like, "that there is my man!", and then sign that player. Maybe he's clinically insane. Or maybe he doesn't read my anti-Sanchez columns (ding ding, winner!). In any case, Alex Sanchez just became the newest member of the San Francisco Giants. To give you an idea of how often he will be used:

"We saw a guy out there available who can hit and run," Alou said. "He has very good tools. ... We're giving a guy a chance to play baseball who has been good at times."

Ugh...I think what Alou means is he knows a guy whose friend was at a game once, and Sanchez had 2 RBI's. To keep my head from exploding, that is what I need to think. I know Sanchez did alright in like 6 weeks of games for Tampa Bay, but we don't gauge players on their six weeks or even on one fluky season here. Adrian Beltre 2004 anyone? Think the Mariners will hand out a contract like that this offseason? Let's check up on who Sanchez will be taking playing time away from, youngun Jason Ellison.

Ellison 2005
.311/.372/.464
AB: 196
HR: 4
2B: 14
3B: 2
SB: 8/11
BB: 16
SecAvg: .260
Iso: .153
EqA: .286
VORP: 13.8
Rate (CF): 103
FRAR: 8
FRAA: -1

Alex Sanchez 2005
.346/.379/.466
AB: 133
HR: 2
2B: 8
SB: 6/9
BB: 7
SecAvg: .195
Iso: .120
EqA: .292
VORP: 11.7
Rate (CF): 82
FRAR: -2
FRAA: -6

Ellison is cleary the better defensive player, and steals bases at a better clip as well. His success with the bat is untested at the major league level, but he's had as much success as Sanchez in much less time as you can see. Let's take a look at their career rates. We'll use Ellison's minor league statistics so you can gauge his numbers fairly, and we'll use Sanchez's major league ones so you can see what he does normally.

Ellison (2000-2004 MILB)
.297/.364/.409
AB: 2278
HR: 31
2B: 128
3B: 17
SB: 105/142 (74% success)
BB: 225
SecAvg: .241
Iso: .112

It should also be noted that his last year in the minors saw a change in his statistics from his established level of performance:

2004 Fresno
.315/.368/.459
AB: 505
HR: 9
2B: 32
3B: 7
SB: 27/39
BB: 40
SecAvg: .251
Iso: .144

Alex Sanchez (2001-2005)
.297/.331/.373
AB: 1484
HR: 6
2B: 53
3B: 21
SB: 120/176 (68% success)
BB: 75
SecAvg: .170
Iso: .076

Spread out over 1484 at bats, Alex Sanchez has 80 career XBH. To put that into perspective, David Ortiz had 91 XBH in 2004 alone, and has 40 this season. Jason Ellison has 20 so far this year. I understand the reasons why the Giants say they need Alex Sanchez, but I don't understand the reasoning itself. I think teams get rid of him because he isn't that good; not because of the ugly past that Alou talks about not being so bad. He sure does have an ugly past, but I'm not talking about his steroid usage like they are.