Thursday, February 01, 2007

Doug Melvin Chat at Bullfrogs Event: Part 2

I just wanted to finish up recapping some of the questions Melvin took during the Bullfrog's event last week. Not too much left to cover but a couple interesting points.

One questioner asked who Melvin considered the leader or leaders of the team, suggesting Geoff Jenkins as a possible leader. Melvin's answer was short and sweet. "Prince Fielder will be the leader of this team." Hard for me to argue with that. Fielder appears poised for a breakout season this year. He also seems to be a nice guy and a fierce competitor. Sounds like a perfect leader to me.

Another question prompted Melvin to talk about "confidence" for quite some time. The questioner asked if Yovani Gallardo was ready for the big leagues. Melvin said that while he feels Yo could compete, he'd probably also take some lumps. For that reason, Melvin said that he'd rather him build up confidence in the minors before being brought up. He went on to stress how important confidence is for younger players. He explained that he didn't have to worry about Prince, since he felt Fielder was prepared from being around major league parks and players his whole life. He mentioned Ryan Braun as a guy who has a lot of confidence, to the point of being "a little cocky." Based on that and other comments he made during the talk, I think it’s a forgone conclusion that Braun will be up sometime this year (just not right away).

He used Ben Hendrickson as an example of a guy who he feels currently lacks confidence. He pointed out that while Hendrickson has dominated AAA, that hasn't yet translated into any kind of success in the majors. Melvin stated, "He lacks confidence.... he can't get over the hump." Not exactly a ringing endorsement but it does suggest that Melvin might be willing to give him another shot in the near future? Perhaps as the longman/mop up guy this year? Personally, I'd like to see it but he also might be a candidate to be traded before spring training. Time will tell.

I’d recommend to any Brewer fan to go see Melvin speak in public sometime. He’s a knowledgeable guy (duh) who’s more than willing to interact with the fans. I know I look forward to the next time I can see him. Maybe next time I’ll have the nerve to strike up a sabermetric conversation with him. :)

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