Monday, April 25, 2005

Memory Lane

More thoughtful comments on Red Sox past. John Valentin had a breakout season in 1995 which landed him megabucks. Unfortunately he never again achieved the same proficiency, although he did have a terrific ALDS and solid ALCS in 1999.

My recollection of Valentin was as a solid but unspectacular defensive player, but as I recall he moved (pretty much kicking and screaming) to third base to make way for Nomar Garciaparra.

In some ways, I wonder if Bill James would consider him a prototypical player, peaking not far from age 27 and declining steadily from there. Serious knee injuries contributed to his decline, but isn't that a part of sports, too (ability and durability - the Patriots Way).


Chris "Action" Powell said...

It's true Valentin got a boost in pay from the 1995 season but it was pretty much deserved considering he got like 2.5 million for a .300+ batting avg, 20+ homeruns, and 20+ steals... pretty deserving at the time. He was supposed to be the up-and-coming young guy that was suppose to take the red sox on his back(much like nomar).

His 99 season was a pretty decent one considering he could no longer steal bases and hustle out some ground balls due to his knees(avg drop to .250), but got the power(23 HR). The reason i wouldn't lump him into with Greenwell is because he never complained or acted the way Greenwell did(Did argue moving to third base, but hey you play one position your entire career and you get moved. no one likes that). I saw Valentin as more of a leader and role model especially during the later parts of his career.

Personally i always felt bad for him when he got hit by the line drive that pretty much ruined his knee and his career. Mostly because he was a Red Sox pretty much his entire career.

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