A few years ago, I found myself in a heated argument about former Sox prospect Abe Alvarez.
After the second-round pick was named Pitcher of the Year for the Sea Dogs back in ’04, I figgered he’d eventually prove a useful left-handed cog in the machine, most likely at the back of the rotation. The other gentleman politely disagreed, claiming Honest Abe was a soft-tosser destined to unravel in the big show. Fueled by the demon alcohol, our disagreement quickly got out of hand.
Needless to say, I ended up killing the other guy with a crude weapon fashioned from a broken Schlitz bottle and plutonium. But I still carry the lesson of that day: Prospects are prospects, and no matter what the stat sheets and minor league reports tell you, you’re never quite sure what they’re going to give you on the main stage.
It’s a point that the great Chad Finn hammers home in his insightful piece on what it’s gonna take for the Sox to pry Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego.
Simply put, it’s gonna take prospects. Lots of them. And with Jed Hoyer’s intimate knowledge of our farm system, you can safely bet he’ll be weeding the contenders from the pretenders. As Chad notes:
If Theo has to part with Casey Kelly (is he closer to the next Frankie Rodriguez or closer to the next Zack Greinke?) or Ryan Westmoreland (are the injuries officially a concern?) or frankly, anyone in the organization with legitimate aspirations of playing in Fenway Park someday, he must do it, unless and only unless he’s covertly hoarding his chips for a possible Felix Hernandez sweepstakes.
Otherwise, he’s got to go get Gonzo. He won’t be 28 until May, he’s a terrific defender with a pair of Gold Gloves (for what those are worth), and he’s coming off a monster season (40 homers, 119 walks, .958 OPS; 28 homers and 1.045 OPS away from the Petco Canyon) while anchoring a lineup that featured no one else more venerable than Will Venable.
I not only concur, I’ll even bring the argument down a few notches by offering another, more sordid reason to deplete the farm for A-Gon. Have you seen his wife, Betsy?
Together, Mr. and Mrs. G front the Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation, which helps underprivileged youth. And I have to say, having another
hot charitable wife in the stands never hurts.
In fact, it’ll almost be enough to help us overlook the unstoppable barrage of “Yo, Adrian” headlines.