Kevin Goldstein is a friend of Getting Blanked and the Internet as a whole. He does the Lord’s scouting work, including inventive pieces like the one he ran yesterday, polling GMs in a game of “Would You Rather?” between Youtube prospect Yoenis Cespedes and established big league center fielders.
One of the choices (the least popular choice, according to these front office types) was Colby Rasmus of the Toronto Blue Jays. Seems there isn’t a great deal of faith in Rasmus among big league executives (none of which, it should be noted, were able to acquire Rasmus for two relief pitchers and a minor league arm).
Some comments had merit. One was extremely peculiar and, in many ways, ridiculous.
If you take issue with Colby Rasmus’ swing and work ethic, fine. Tell him you don’t appreciate his haircut or his love of killing cloven-hoofed ungulates. All in play. Just don’t, in an attempt to justify the bad taste he leaves in your mouth, do this (emphasis mine):
“I just don’t think he’s as good as maybe he should be,” said an AL scouting executive. “I don’t like the swing, and there’s something about the J.D. Drew way he goes about things.”
As stated above: don’t like the swing? Legitimate concern. Don’t think he’s as good as he should be? Fair enough, those two thoughts are closely related. Don’t want him to end up like J.D. Drew? Whoops. That’s crazy.
Getting Blanked covered J.D. Drew just a few weeks ago, noting how well he compares to the outfielders of his generation. J.D. Drew rates very well, thank you very much.
As Getting Blanked nemesis/commenter North York Jays noted in the DJF comments, J.D. posted a .287/.391/.513 slash line prior to hitting free agency. He smacked 127 home runs, sported 131 OPS+, and racked up 27 rWAR before cashing in (and continuing to contribute.) Which is to say: you could do a hell of a lot worse.
J.D. Drew also played on 8 different playoff teams (with four different outfits) and posted a .741 postseason OPS. Somehow, in spite of his lackadaisical attitude and minimal effort, J.D. Drew’s teams won and won and won. He played on good teams, surely, but I find it highly dubious to suggest all eight times these teams succeeded with this noted cancer eating away at them from the inside.
Thanks to a still active “Rocco Baldelli” Google alert, J.D. Drew’s name popped up in a typically despairing Bleacher Report “article” entitled J.D. Drew and the 30 biggest busts of all time. You see, because J.D. Drew was simply very good for a long period of time instead of a Hall of Fame singularity, his career is a disappointment. Which is insane.
J.D. Drew had the kind of career hundreds of people would kill for. That he didn’t reach the heights some grafted on to him is patently unfair to a player with 6000 plate appearances and $108 million dollars to his name. If any prospect, ANY PROSPECT, can put together half the career of J.D. Drew, they are an unqualified success.
Grant Brisbee of SB Nation showed that the average number one overall pick in the baseball entry draft average 19.5 rWAR per major leaguer. Less than half Drew’s career total.
A given person’s opinion about J.D. Drew is a great way to form an opinion on that very person. If you hear the words “lazy”, “overrated”, or “unclutch bum” (career high-leverage wOBA? .369.); you can safely excuse yourself from the conversation and do whatever you can to never talk with that person again.
If Colby Rasmus, Anthony Gose, Jake Marisnick, hell even Bryce Harper or Mike Trout can put together comparable careers to J.D. Drew, they are way, way ahead of the game. They will be very lucky and made the most of their considerable skills. No matter what so-called talent evaluators think they believe.