Monday, November 08, 2010

Kershaw vs. Lincecum: What If?

You all remember the great Marvel series, "What If?" (which, before the days of "Elseworlds", was a pretty simple device). Well, Kevin Goldstein over at Baseball Prospectus posted a piece about Tim Lincecum, predicting what the reality might have been if other teams had taken Timmah instead. The short story is, with Clayton Kershaw in the mix, the Dodgers aren't in much worse shape:

It's easy to forget who or what a Tim Lincecum was in the spring of 2006. The righty was more novelty act than elite prospect going into his junior year at the University of Washington, and he didn't garner much serious top-10 pick consideration until the last weeks leading up to the draft. Lincecum inspired trepidation in teams for good reason; while he had just as much (if not more) swing-and-miss stuff during his college years, it came with an even more exaggerated delivery than he employs now, leading to 214 walks in his 341 college innings (and, of course, the 491 strikeouts). In the end, the combination of a one-of-a-kind delivery, extremely slight frame, and command problems scared nine teams off of the player whom scouts at the time nicknamed “Seabiscuit.” "Scared" might not be the best term to use here, since many teams genuinely (and often justifiably) felt at the time that the player they chose was superior. Still, with no baseball going on and the Giants sitting around with a World Series title, it's as good a time as any to play the "what if" game and try to figure out what might have happened had the nine teams with single-digit picks taken Lincecum, and gotten his 21.6 (and counting) career WARP in return. [...]

7. Los Angeles Dodgers

Whom They Took: Clayton Kershaw (Career WARP: 7.3). Under the guidance of Logan White, the Dodgers often identified high-ceiling pitchers with early picks, and they found the best one in the draft with Kershaw.

And if They Took Lincecum: Lincecum in the rotation makes the Dodgers more dangerous in the 2008 and 2009 League Championship Series, both of which they lost in five games, but what about the future? Kershaw was arguably the better pitcher this year, and which pitcher would you rather have over the next five years? I don't think either answer is a slam dunk.

Kershaw vs. Lincecum is an interesting scenario to play out (I for one am a loyal guy so I'd take the non-pot-smoking Minotaur on my squad). It is not, however, as interesting as some other fantasy scenarios...

15 comments:

rbnlaw said...

Super-freaky, now.

Mr. Customer said...

RICK JAMES SMASH!

Josh S. said...

WHAT HULK FIVE FINGERS SAY TO FACE?

"KA-DOW!"

(YEAH, HULK NO GET IT EITHER. GAMMA RAYS HELL OF A DRUG.)

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

LET US CELEBRATE IN THE STREETS NAKED WITH SALMON, FOR JOE MORGAN HAS BEEN FIRED.

MR. F said...

We make party!

Josh S. said...

Any reaction from Ken Tremendous yet?

Mr. Customer said...

SWEET MOTHER OF CHRIST, OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS FINALLY OVER!

Josh S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh S. said...

I had to delete that. It was too horrifying a thought to even joke about.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Now we have to work on McCarver.

Spanky said...

BOTH MILLER AND MORGAN ARE GONE.IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE IN NOVEMBER.

(cries) Tears of Fucking Joy!

MR. F said...

IT'S A MUHAMMAD IQBAL'S DAY MIRACLE!!!!

Josh S. said...

In this "What if" scenario, would alt-Dusty still implore Timmeh to wash his hair?

Paul said...

Wait does that mean Kershaw would be a giant?

Either way broxton still gets lit up by the Phillies.

Timmah would probably have manny dreds.

Dusty Baker said...

Wash yer hair, Timmeh!!!!!