Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lastings Milledge Isn't Darryl Strawberry

I feel a little bad for Lastings Milledge. Sure, he's only played one major-league game, and already he's got a legion of adoring Mets fans to go with a big fat signing bonus, but he's also only played one major league game and has already been unfairly compared to the most accomplished offensive player the Mets have developed from within to date: Darryl Strawberry.

The similarities are there, sure - a highly touted first round draft pick with a ton of potential, brought up at the tender age of 21 to play right field for the New York Mets. But the similarities end somewhere around that point. Lastings is a very different type of player. Just look at Darryl Strawberry's minor league stats: (click to enlarge):

Darryl was an offensive force. even at a young age. An OPS over 1000 and a slugging percentage over .600 in 129 AA at bats. Meanwhile, Milledge's slugging percentage is under .500 and his on base percentage is much lower than Strawberry's as well. This is not a knock on Milledge at all. Milledge has hit for a higher average than Straw did in the minors, and seems to strike out less too. Milledge is also better defensively and even though scouts expect him to develop his power swing, he is much, much more likely become the Mets leadoff hitter at some point, rather than their cleanup hitter.

So let's try and do our best to stop mentioning Milledge and Strawberry in the same breath. To be fair to the kid, a much better comparison is Ty Cobb.

Or maybe Marquis Grisson.

1 comment:

Len said...

Amen brother, I agree wholeheartedly. I think the kid is good enough to be his own player. Only time will tell if Milledge ends up being a great.