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October 11, 2006

Just Tabata Being Tabata?

Baseball America, in their current issue, had some potentially concerning information on Jose Tabata that I found eye-catching. First their scouting report on Jose:

Though a thumb injury cost him most of the second half, Tabata's offensive prowess was quite evident. He models his game after Manny Ramirez, and that's the name scouts and managers bring up most when discussing Tabata's potential.

He has an extremely advanced hitting approach with a swing geared to drive the ball to right-center field. He possesses a sound two-strike plan and his strikeout-walk ratio improved every month. Though he hit just five home runs, scouts see 30-homer potential.

With arm strength and speed that are both a tick above average, Tabata profiles perfectly in right field. He sometimes has problems coming in to field grounders and his routes on fly balls need improvement. There are some mild concerns about his body language on the field, but it has yet to affect his performance.

Next was a mention on Tabata in a feature on young players this season in the Sally League:

Opposing managers, who tabbed Tabata as the league's best batting prospect in Baseball America's Best Tools survey, raved about the right fielder's approach at the plate as well as his arm strength. Yet while his strike-zone discipline exceeded his experience, a few skippers were not enamored with the occasional cockiness Tabata displayed on the field, a trait the Yankees believe is more representative of his age than his demeanor.

Here are the parts that jump out at me:

"There are some mild concerns about his body language on the field, but it has yet to affect his performance."

"...a few skippers were not enamored with the occasional cockiness Tabata displayed on the field, a trait the Yankees believe is more representative of his age than his demeanor."

Tabata "models his game after Manny Ramirez." As a hitter, that would be great. But, in terms of in-game conduct, that could be an issue.

I hope someone can get Jose's attention over the next year or two and get him to realize that there's a right-way and a wrong-way to go about your business on the field - regardless of your talent level.

I know that some will say that I'm just being an old-timer on this - and that attitude doesn't matter when the talent is great.

To that, I have a two word answer: Ruben Rivera.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at October 11, 2006 09:50 AM

Comments

The year I was born in is not followed with the letters "B.C" - like you, Steve. :) I wouldn't call myself an "old timer" and you don't have to be one to appreciate someone who plays the game with respect and dignity. I agree with you 100%. I'd rather see Tabata lead by example than be made an example of.

I guess some people don't get the fact that it's not wrong to do the right thing.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 10:34 AM

~~~The year I was born in is not followed with the letters "B.C" - like you, Steve.~~~

LOL. Do you mean "Before Clarke" - as in Horace Clarke?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 10:41 AM

A lot of people tend to confuse cockiness with confidence. I wouldn't be suprised if this were the case as well.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 10:42 AM

Thankfully there was no mention whether he had a tatoo or not. Everyone knows that's a sure sign of trouble to come.

Body language on the field but it hasn't yet affected his performance? Would it be better if he had excellent body language but stunk?

Nothing like unnamed sources, ask Bill Madden. So begins the echo chamber of whispers. 6 months from now someone will recall "Yeah, I heard something about poor body language".

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 01:08 PM

He's just 18 for god's sake.

Posted by: 98Yanks [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 01:35 PM

Manny was 18 once too.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 02:11 PM

"Manny was 18 once too."

And so was every single player currently in the major leagues. Who is the curent player you think is the epitome of ability and character? He was once 18.

If you only look for weeds you'll miss some flowers along the way.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2006 02:40 PM