The 50 AB Sample Size

I've heard repeatedly that Botts didn't "do anything with his chance."

Well, here's a couple of other people who didn't "do anything with their chances" either in a 50 AB stint when they were first able to accumulate 50 AB in a year, so obviously, they must suck, too:

Player A: .216/.293/.431 in 51 AB

Player B: .220/.317/.360 in 50 AB

Player C: .220/.291/.360 in 50 AB

Player D: .160/.236/.320 in 50 AB

Player E: .180/.196/.360 in 50 AB

-Player A was a 23-year old Adrian Gonzalez who was starting in 3 game spurts in April, July, and August.

-Player B was a 25-year old Jason Botts who was starting sporadically between May and July.

-Player C was a 25-year old Travis Hafner who was starting nearly everyday in an August callup.

-Player D was a 23-year old Mark Teixeira who was starting everyday at the start of the season.

-Player E was a 24-year old Alfonso Soriano who was starting in 3 game spurts in April, May, and September.

All pretty comparable with some slight differences in age. But all doing very badly in their 50 AB "trial."

Not only that, all the rest were starting somewhat regularly while Botts, who occasionally had 2 starts back-to-back, was usually starting every 5th day.

And on top of that, just remove his last 2 games, and you'll find that Botts was doing pretty well hitting .250/.358/.409.

This illustrates the problem with having such a small sample size: TWO bad games can make it seem like you "didn't do anything with your chances."

Am I arguing that Botts would be as successful as the other players he's listed with? No. But I AM arguing that 50 AB is way too small to doing any judging and concluding. Especially acting like 50 AB gives us a definitive handle on whether a player can play in the majors or not.

Frankly, Botts has not had a reasonable shot until last year where he was atrocious in August, but improving and decent in September:

August: .207/.288/.304 in 92 AB

September: .280/.372/.373 in 75 AB

Of course, this doesn't excuse his remarks that he made after being sent down this year. But frankly, if I were in the same situation as he is, in which I'd shown I had nothing to prove in AAA, and still I wasn't being allowed to get a real shot to play in the majors, I'd have probably made similar types of remarks.

in AAA

2005: .286/.375/.522 in 510 AB

2006: .309/.398/.582 in 220 AB

2007: .320/.436/.545 in 369 AB

In 2006, when we were 10 games out in 3rd place by September 1st, that should have been the time we were seeing what Botts could do. Not trying to give playing time to DeRosa to secure his next contract.

In 2007, when we were 16 games out in 4th place by June 5th or at least by July, we should have been seeing what Botts could do in the majors. Not playing players like Wilkerson, Hairston, and Sosa who were doing nothing whatsoever and wouldn't be part of the future.

In 2008 in a rebuilding year, we should have been trotting Botts out there every day and see if he could carry over his progress from September 2007 and spring 2008. Not bringing in a spare in Broussard who we know won't help out the team in the future.

Is Botts a major-league worthy bat? I don't know.

But the reason I don't know is because of the way the Rangers have been screwing with his development the past 3 years.

Not particularly because of what Botts has or hasn't done, though it is true that he hasn't lit the world on fire.

Think Showalter would have played Hafner over Palmeiro to see if he could hack it as a 26 year old DH? Given the Rangers' track record with Botts, I severely doubt it.

And that's over 300 games worth of data. NOT 50 ABs.


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