2013 Season Review: INF Alberti Chavez Thomas Felsmaier December 17, 2013 20 Comments Alberti Chavez made his first appearance stateside in the 2013 season at just league age 17. He saw time at all infield positions except first base as well as time at left and center in the outfield. Chavez would start his season on June 20th with a double and RBI against the Indians. He hit safely in 6 of 7 games for the month but had only one multi-hit game. While his season did not start off cold, it also was nothing to write home about. He hit to a .233/.273/.267 line where his only extra base hit was in his first game. His on-base skills were weak as one walk and 7 strikeouts would indicate, but once he was on the base paths, he swiped 5 bases in as many attempts. When July 1st rolled around, Chavez was sent to Bakersfield for a week to fill in while others got healthy. In five games, he was able to hold his own and go 4-14 with just one strikeout. His best game was 3-4 night on the 3rd against Lancaster and he also scored once and stole one base. Returning to Arizona on the 10th, Chavez would impress with a 3-6 day against the Royals. He accumulated a double, run, RBI, and a walk too. The rest of the month was very rough. In 13 games, he hit just 3 singles in 50 at bats. In total, July saw a dismal .143/.178/.157 line plus only 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. August picked up where July left off. The first three games yielded 0-4 games and a net of 5 strikeouts. Then, on the 7th against the Giants, he would start a 10 game hit streak. Over the two week period, he garnered a 16-40 mark with 3 doubles. During the streak, on the 13th, he went 2-5 against the Angels and both hits were doubles. Aside from a 3-5 night against the Dodgers on the 28th, Chavez would struggle once again to produce hits. At the end of the month, he would go back to Bakersfield but went hitless in two games. Taking the good and the bad, August brought about a .250/.284/.298 line. He would manage just 4 walks and strikeout a season high 20 times. The month of September consisted of just two games for Chavez. 0-4 and 1-4 games plus 3 more strikeouts in Bakersfield would bring a close to the season. Season Stats Team PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB K AVG OBP SLG OPS AZL Reds 175 163 34 6 0 0 9 8 1 7 29 .209 .249 .245 .494 Bakersfield 29 29 5 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 8 .172 .172 .172 .345 Total 204 192 39 6 0 0 10 9 3 7 37 .203 .238 .234 .472 Overall Thoughts Chavez was brought stateside at an age where the Reds have brought very few players over, showing plenty of confidence that he could handle the move and showed even more confidence when they sent him to Bakersfield as a short term fill in. He struggled to find consistency throughout the season at the plate, which isn’t surprising for a player at his age. Look for him to be back in rookie ball, likely playing all around the field once again. 20 Responses Alan Horn December 17, 2013 I apologize for not being Chavez related, but a topic has come up I was wondering how everyone felt about. That is eliminating home plate collisions. I am fully in agreement with one stipulation. The catcher is not allowed to block home plate. This is the root cause for the collisions. I dealt with that all the way back to little league. My league had a rule that you had to slide but didn’t have a rule about the catcher or basemen blocking home plate or the base. One opposing coach taught his catcher to block home plate. The opposing team would slide but couldn’t reach home plate doing so and were usually tagged out even if the catcher drops the ball. There is a art to blocking home plate. Johnny Bench was very skilled at #2. One method is setting up on the 3rd base side of HP(which causes most of the collisions.) The other is the glancing block where the catcher throws his shinguards/ knee into the side of the slider’s ankle/lower leg after he slides and glances the runner away from home plate. Both tactics by the catcher should be deemed interference if you adopt the no collision rule. What does the board think? Doug Gray December 17, 2013 I am glad to see that they are doing something to try and get rid of home plate collisions. It never made an ounce of sense to me that you were allowed to block the plate with your body, whether you had the ball or not. If a fielder is in the way of a runner in the baseline at any other base, the player gets the base. Why not at home? It always sounded crazy to me. From the rumblings that are out there, catchers won’t be allowed to block the plate with or without the ball anymore, which is a step in the right direction. Baseball is not a contact sport, nor should it be. Alan Horn December 17, 2013 I agree 100%. It shouldn’t be allowed(all of what you mentioned) in any baseball league all the way down to the very lowest youth league. Alan Horn December 17, 2013 Doug, I would add to that the tactic of taking out the SS or 2B on a double play. The runner should just slide into 2B. i.e. not slide a body’s length out of the basepath to take out the defender. Doug Gray December 17, 2013 Agreed completely. MK December 17, 2013 As a retired high school coach I lived with the proposed new rules for years. High schoolers are not allowed to take any base by force and runners can not use a pop-up slide. They were to be called out and ejected. There was good and bad with it. As long as catchers have shin guards however they can catch the ball off the plate and come down with a tag and drop that shin guard on them and make it look unintentional. It makes the runner very vulnerable. Maybe the rule can be similar to football that the runner can not hit the catcher above the waist. This should eliminate many of the head related problems. The Posey leg injury is a really rare thing. If the same injury had happened to Corky Miller nothing would have been said about it. The next issue to come forward will be sliding head first. There are probably more head, neck, hand and wrist issues from head first slides than catchers at home. terry m December 17, 2013 Yanks sign Roberts.1 yr. deal babull December 17, 2013 I, generally, like the new rule. If it is applied evenly and consistently it will not be controversial. I am concerned that they don’t go too far and turn MLB into what the NFL has become. Sports involve physicality and, therefore, injuries are inevitable. Doug Gray December 18, 2013 Baseball does not, nor should it involve physicality between players. babull December 18, 2013 I am using ‘physicality’ in the defined use of the word – having a physical aspect or quality. I never meant to imply that to mean involving contact between players on the field. Incidental contact (outfielders colliding, etc.) is inevitable. An action that ‘forces’ contact to be made is another thing altogether. It is sad to think of the damage that occured in the mind of Ryan Freel. The damage that he suffered was catostrophic. He played the way the game hard and all-out. He had no regard for his body – or mind. Guys like him (and Pete) are fun to watch but, they extract a heavy toll on their bodies. MK December 18, 2013 Come on Doug. If there is no “physicality between players” then lets just have computer generated games. One of top players of all time Ty Cobb with a reputation built on “physicality”. Or Hall of Famers Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale, known for their reputation of drilling a hitter when they felt he needed it. I can’t stand to watch games where a runner gets out of the way rather than sliding hard into second dumping the middle infielder to break up a double play. You can certainly have “physicality” between players without playing dirty or maliciously creating injuries. But people playing the game correctly are going to make contact with each other and people are going to get hurt. Alan Horn December 18, 2013 I agree Mk. Blocking home plate, running over the catcher(as a result) and sliding well out of the base path (taking out 2B or SS on a DP) need to go. A hard slid straight in is ok with me. Speaking of Ty Cobb, I read where he sharpened his cleats with a file in the dugout(before the game) so the opposing players could see it. He and Rose were very similar. Played the game harder than most anyone else. They weren’t model citizens however(which most ball players aren’t if the truth is known). Ty Cobb was called the Georgia Peach and was one of the greatest players to play the game despite some issues he had. Alan Horn December 18, 2013 I might add that throwing at a hitter to move them off the plate is ok as long as they don’t throw near the head. Then it is life threatening. It is difficult to determine when a bean ball is intentional or just one that got away. My nephew lost most of his sight in one eye due to a bean ball in college. My neighbor played for the opposing coach and told me he instructed his pitchers to throw at the batter’s heads. That coach should be barred from coaching(he is now retired). Doug Gray December 18, 2013 I don’t agree here, because guys simply can’t control their pitches enough. One small mistake while throwing at the ribs means you are now throwing at the head. Alan Horn December 18, 2013 Likewise, one small mistake while throwing at the middle of the plate can be throwing at the head. Balls get away no matter where they are intended to be thrown. The harder the pitcher throws, the more dangerous it is. Some pitchers have better control than others. Doug Gray December 18, 2013 One is an accident though. One, you were trying to hit him either way. That is a big difference in my opinion. To bean a guy in the head instead of the back requires you to just miss up. To bean a guy in the head instead of throwing down the middle of the plate requires you to miss both way up and way in. One is more likely than the other. Alan Horn December 18, 2013 Intentionally trying to bean the batter is different than pitching to the inside corner or moving him off the plate. If you throw at the waist or lower level, I think it is ok. Still, it is a fine line in determining whether a pitch is a bean ball or a accident. Sometimes in a retaliation situation, it gets called and it may not be. It’s just a tough call to make. Also, the case of a fastball quickly breaking into the batter is sometimes hard to get out of the way of(especially when the ball is traveling a good better than 90 MPH ). I remember catching a friend who was a very good pitcher. He threw a real hard knuckleball. We were just playing catch. I reached out on my left side (glove hand) and the ball broke very sharply(and I mean very) and hit me on my right wrist. Needless to say, he couldn’t make it do that with any regularity which is why he didn’t throw the knuckleball in a game. He also had a hopping fastball. Doug Gray December 18, 2013 I don’t believe in “moving a guy off of the plate”. IF he doesn’t move, that pitch is going to hit him, meaning you were throwing at him. If someone is that much on top of the plate, inside corner of the knees is impossible to hit. Pound the ball right there and they have no shot. Alan Horn December 18, 2013 Reply to below. Depends on which way the pitcher is throwing. I batted LH and loved a RH pitcher throwing me inside at the knees(fastball or curveball). It was my favorite pitch to hit. Just fall back some on pound the pitch. A LH fastball would usually also be riding in which made it more difficult to hit. Doug Gray December 18, 2013 Baseball is a game built upon skill, not physicality. A runner doesn’t have to get out of the way, but he shouldn’t be allowed to take out the fielder either. This isn’t football.