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Ryan Goleski Profile

Goleski is another player I've talked about previously. He's a power-hitting right fielder who was a draft steal out of Eastern Michigan.

It's full disclosure time. I should mention that annually I do a "Shadow Draft" similar to what John Sickels does  and lately what I believe Jim Callis does at Baseball America. I make picks for my favorite team (the Royals) and follow the players I take. Goleski is one of the players I drafted back in 2003 when I took him in the 12th round and Cleveland took him 12 rounds after me. As a result, he's been a personal favorite of mine.

Those were very nice totals and a very nice rebound from his disastrous 2005 where he hit a mere .212/.276/.382. Word has it that he improved by learning not to swing at sliders in the dirt and curve balls 3 feet out of the zone. That sounds very plausible especially since he struck out 134 times in 458 at bats in '05 and "only" 117 times in a very similar number of at bats this season. I put quotes on the only part primarily because that's still a pretty brisk rate for a 24 year old in HiA and AA ball.

He has some clear strengths and weaknesses in his game. He can crush a hanging curve or a misplaced fastball but he'll also strike out more than you'd like. On defense he has a nice arm but only passable mobility and athleticism. He's a 24 year old outfielder with old player skills. I think he'll be alright, but he strikes me as a guy who will have several learning curves in the AL next season as advanced pitchers exploit weaknesses in his approach, he closes those holes, and they find another hole and the process begins all over again. He's a good fit for the A's who need some right handed pop.

The upside here is an average righty corner outfielder with pop, maybe Jose Guillen with less athleticism and more plate discipline or a really poor man's Jay Buhner. The downside is Mike Restovich or Ryan Ludwick.

On a trivial note, I'm kind of glad Goleski's leaving the Indians organization so I don't have to try and keep Goleski and Ryan Garko straight in my head. In the rest past I've had a nightmare of a time remembering which one was Francisco Cruceta and which one was Fernando Cabrera, and let's not even mention the Billy Traber/Brian Tallett soft-tossing lefty pair. I hope I'm not the only one who has these problems.