Dick Weeks. A CH favorite. Hey everyone...do you realize that the 2009 MLB Season will be Dick's 5th (!) major league season. Amazing how the time flies.
If there is one "whipping boy" for this team the last couple years overall...I would say ol' Rickie would qualify. The man has to live up to ungodly expectations (as a result of his high draft status and the fact that everybody continually predictions breakout years for him) but has been painfully average and inconsistent thus far in his career. The predictions for his breakout year in 2008 now look comical. Here's a small sample of some of those said predictions.
Obviously 2008 wasn't a "breakout" year for Dick. Again it was another "just your basic" year. He ended last year with a line of .234/.342/.398. Not exactly mind-blowing. For his 4 year career: his line looks like .245/.352/.406. He has also never played more than 129 games and his defense is mediocre at best. If you compare him to the other Brewer "stars" (ie...JJ, Braun, Prince, & Hart), if you ignore the last 6 weeks of 2007, Rickie has never made a considerable "jump" in productivity. JJ responded with 2 injury riddled campaigns to be an all-star and a consistent player the last 2 years. Ryan Braun is a slugging jew with an attitude and his signing was the best thing to happen to Milwaukee baseball since Ben McDonald. Prince Fielder has hit 100 home runs since he's been up here. If you ignore Corey Hart's 2008 last 2 month tank-job he's proven he's a legitimate star as well. Rickie, who was drafted higher then all these guys and was supposed to have a higher ceiling (depending on who you talk too), currently can't hold any of their jockstraps.
But how bad is he really? Can he be labeled a "bust?" I've crucified him on this blog before numerous times, because his inconsistency is the one thing you can always slam on. He's always the guy that makes the bad throw...that can't turn a crucial double play...that swings at the first pitch with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs in the 7th and grounds out weakly to the pitcher.
Lets compare his to the other guys in his draft. You find some interesting data here. About a third of the guys drafted in 2003 have NEVER sniffed the big leagues. You want to talk busts? Then start with those clowns. Only a handful of the guys in the first round you could also label as bonafide MLB players or stars. Carlos Quentin, Conor Jackson, Chad Billingsley, Chad Cordero, Paul Maholm...maybe a few more.
Where am I going with this? You decide Rickie's value based on all the data presented here. Here's my official stance on him:
He's not a bust. The guys that get drafted in the first round and never make The Show are busts. But he was just over-hyped coming out of college due to some insane offensive numbers he put up. He's a JAG. He'll have a 11-13 year MLB career, maybe having some bright years where he pumps his OBP close to .400 and he'll be effective. He'll never hit more then 25 home runs. Basically, he'll be what he has shown to be the last 4 years: Painfully average at the plate and remarkably inconsistent in the field. He'll never be an all-star.
And yes, he'll cause a lot of cursing and a lot of blog posts during the season. That's Dick.