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    Default Tabata

    Pirates' Tabata yearns to honor Clemente
    By Rob Biertempfel, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    If only for one game, Jose Tabata would like to play right field at PNC Park wearing No. 21 on the back of his Pirates jersey.

    "That's my dream," Tabata said Wednesday.

    No Pirates player has worn 21 since Hall of Fame right fielder Roberto Clemente. The team retired the number at the start of the 1973 season, four months after Clemente was killed in a plane crash while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

    As Tabata begins the process of becoming at least a part-time right fielder playing in front of the 21-foot-high Clemente Wall at PNC Park he wants to honor the man who was his childhood idol.

    "My wish is to one day ask (the Clemente) family if I can wear that number for at least one day," Tabata said through interpreter Luis Silverio. "I am so proud to play the same position as my hero."

    Tabata was born in Venezuela 15 years after Clemente's death. Like thousands of other Latin American children before and since, Tabata grew up eagerly listening to stories about Clemente.

    "My father told me about Clemente when I was 7 years old," Tabata said. "I heard about the type of person he was on and off the field, the way he played the game, the way he respected the game, and how he died trying to help others. That's what made him my hero."

    Clemente remains among the most revered players in Pittsburgh sports history. Tabata said his hope to wear No. 21 is not intended as a slight at Clemente's legacy.

    "There is only one Roberto. I realize that," Tabata said. "He's my inspiration to keep working hard. At the end of my career, my numbers won't be the same as Clemente's, but at least I was able to do something for the Pittsburgh Pirates."

    Tabata made his first major league start in right field Wednesday. He has played 158 games in left field and 15 in center in his career.

    "I want to play (in right)," Tabata said. "It's where the team wants me to play, and I will honor that."

    Tabata figures to get a lot more time in right, especially when Alex Presley comes off the disabled list.

    "Presley is better suited to the gap (in left-center)," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Jose still has the range to go get the ball (in left), but his throwing arm is strong enough for right field."

    Hurdle also is impressed that Tabata wants to patrol right field because of Clemente.

    "It's very refreshing to see a kid like Jose, who's tied to it the heritage, the history, the position, all of it," Hurdle said. "It's old school. He wants to play in front of the Clemente Wall."

    Read more: Pirates' Tabata yearns to honor Clemente - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1VNmsIK20
    I remember when he was first acquired the issue he had with his wife and some of the criticism about his maturity. Doesn't sound like it now reading this article. I think it would be cool for him to get to do this and I can't imagine Clemente's family having any objections. Hell, I'd be honored to do the same thing.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    I know everyone is skeptical about Presley and I get that. But with outfielders on the way like Hernandez, Marte, and Grossman, that's a lot of speed. I like that approach in the outfield even though it lacks the type of power you get from your corner outfielders. With Walker having better than average power at second, it's paramount to have true power guys at 1st and 3rd.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    I think MLB would honor Clemente more by by allowing Latin players to wear number #21 than by retiring the number. Obviously it would mean alot to Tabata and he isn't even from Puerto Rico. Alot of Latinos have worn the #21 just to honor Clemente.

    By the way, today would be the great one's 77th birthday.


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    Default Re: Tabata

    I know I like Tabata, he has decent speed and has played good defense and has some power potential. Overall this has been a strange year for the Buccos and I really believe Tabata is closer to what he showed last year than what we've seen this year. The positive is the Buccos have gotten to see what alot of young guys can do and I certainly expect Tabata to be a big part of a bright future.
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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    I know everyone is skeptical about Presley and I get that. But with outfielders on the way like Hernandez, Marte, and Grossman, that's a lot of speed. I like that approach in the outfield even though it lacks the type of power you get from your corner outfielders. With Walker having better than average power at second, it's paramount to have true power guys at 1st and 3rd.
    Not trying to turn this into a Presley thread, but he had a really short trial in the bigs. Plus, that finger issue could be more problematic than you might think. In my own baseball experience, I broke the middle finger on my right hand, and it took me over a year to fully recover from that. I couldn't grip the bat and throw right . We really need to see how he is when he comes back, not only because of the injury, but because of his very short time in the majors.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    I know I like Tabata, he has decent speed and has played good defense and has some power potential. Overall this has been a strange year for the Buccos and I really believe Tabata is closer to what he showed last year than what we've seen this year. The positive is the Buccos have gotten to see what alot of young guys can do and I certainly expect Tabata to be a big part of a bright future.
    I just don't get the love for Jose. He has little power and nothing suggests he will grow into a 20 HR guy. His value will likely fluctuate widely year to year because he relies upon BA (he is not a big OBP guy). He is a solid player, but hardly a cornerstone (or corner outfielder really). I am not trying to dump on him, but he, Presley, Sterling, and even Gorkys I guess all strike me as roughly equivalent. Not a bad idea to have a bunch and play the hot hand, but I would not be giving Tabata a scholarship.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    I just don't get the love for Jose. He has little power and nothing suggests he will grow into a 20 HR guy. His value will likely fluctuate widely year to year because he relies upon BA (he is not a big OBP guy). He is a solid player, but hardly a cornerstone (or corner outfielder really). I am not trying to dump on him, but he, Presley, Sterling, and even Gorkys I guess all strike me as roughly equivalent. Not a bad idea to have a bunch and play the hot hand, but I would not be giving Tabata a scholarship.
    That's why I'm anxious to see what an outfield of Presley/McCutchen/Tabata can do over an extended stretch of time. If one don't pan out, we have Hernandez and Marte coming up behind them.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    I know everyone is skeptical about Presley and I get that. But with outfielders on the way like Hernandez, Marte, and Grossman, that's a lot of speed. I like that approach in the outfield even though it lacks the type of power you get from your corner outfielders. With Walker having better than average power at second, it's paramount to have true power guys at 1st and 3rd.
    Marte probably has the best corner OF potential of those guys and the best all around bat.

    Walker isn't really plus power right now at 2B. I'd say he's likely got average 2B power.

    Dan Uggla - 27
    Robinson Cano - 21
    Ben Zobrist - 15
    Rickie Weeks - 19
    Ian Kinsler -18
    Kelly Johnson - 18
    Danny Espinosa - 17
    Dustin Pedroia - 16
    Brandon Phillips - 11
    Chase Utley - (8). Was injured generally a 20+ guy
    Ryan Raburn - 11
    Walker - 10

    I wouldn't use Walker to offset a lack of power in the OF but I do think Walker has more power in his bat than he's shown this year and without injuries, a more stable lineup and production is more of a mid teens home run hitter at this stage

    Quote Originally Posted by PE1 View Post
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    I just don't get the love for Jose. He has little power and nothing suggests he will grow into a 20 HR guy. His value will likely fluctuate widely year to year because he relies upon BA (he is not a big OBP guy). He is a solid player, but hardly a cornerstone (or corner outfielder really). I am not trying to dump on him, but he, Presley, Sterling, and even Gorkys I guess all strike me as roughly equivalent. Not a bad idea to have a bunch and play the hot hand, but I would not be giving Tabata a scholarship.
    I don't see Tabata growing into a 20HR hitter either and could never figure out for the life of me what the hell scouts saw that suggested he would be. He has a gap swing, not a power swing. He might touch 20 in his career but I can't see him ever being a consistent 20 homer guy

    That said, we can carry a gap hitting corner outfielder NP, at least right now since we get more power from catcher with Doumit/Snyder than most teams to offset it and probably in the future too. With the Pirates, in the future our strength is going to be Pitching and Defense, and having speed and arms in the OF is important.

    also about Tabata, he's already matched his HR total from last year in 30 less games and minus the injury would've likely doubled it so, there's a glimmer of power improvement. Guy just turned 23 too.

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    That's why I'm anxious to see what an outfield of Presley/McCutchen/Tabata can do over an extended stretch of time. If one don't pan out, we have Hernandez and Marte coming up behind them.
    I'm not a big believer in Alex Presley, although, who wouldn't like to be wrong in underrating a player?

    I look at future upside and with Presley already being 26 and having a lot of other similar, more upside type players that are younger behind him, I don't see much long term potential. I also really can't see us carrying 2 corner outfielders that are under powered on the corners. 1 Yes, but not 2 and I don't think Neal Huntington envisions it either since he did get Ryan Ludwick at the Trade Deadline. Granted Presley and Tabata were injured, but he's mentioned a few times about needing to add power to the corner spots.

    So call me pessimistic.

    I'd like to see if Presley can find any of that minor league power. He never had a ton of it but at the MLB level he's been a singles and 3B hitter with an unusually high amount of 3B's in a short span driving up his SLG and OPS numbers. That is really difficult to sustain long term at the MLB level. In the minors he showed good gap and decent power combined, ao it's there.

    I could see the Pirates potentially going next year with an OF of Tabata - Cutch and Presley and if it doesn't pan out, hitting the Trade Deadline for an upgrade. Uless he comes across a player in the Offseason where the price is right and the fit is right, then you'd have to be bonkers not to go for it.

    Here's options :

    First basemen
    Lance Berkman (36)
    Russell Branyan (36)
    Jorge Cantu (30)
    Michael Cuddyer (33)
    Prince Fielder (28)
    Ross Gload (36)
    Brad Hawpe (33)
    Eric Hinske (34) - $1.5MM club option with a $100K buyout
    Nick Johnson (33)
    Casey Kotchman (29)
    Mark Kotsay (36)
    Derrek Lee (36)
    Xavier Nady (33)
    Lyle Overbay (35)
    Carlos Pena (34)
    Wily Mo Pena (30)
    Albert Pujols (32)

    Left fielders
    Pat Burrell (35)
    Jack Cust (33)
    Johnny Damon (37)
    Mark DeRosa (37)
    Jonny Gomes (31)
    Carlos Guillen (36)
    Scott Hairston (32)
    Willie Harris (34)
    Jeremy Hermida (28)
    Eric Hinske (34) - $1.5MM club option with a $100K buyout
    Raul Ibanez (40)
    Joe Inglett (34)
    Conor Jackson (30)
    Reed Johnson (35)
    Austin Kearns (32)
    Ryan Ludwick (33)
    Jason Michaels (36)
    Laynce Nix (31)
    Juan Pierre (34)
    Scott Podsednik (36)
    Juan Rivera (33)
    Matt Stairs (44)
    Marcus Thames (35)
    Josh Willingham (33)

    Center fielders
    Rick Ankiel (32)
    Carlos Beltran (35)
    Willie Bloomquist (34) - $1.1MM mutual option with a $150K buyout
    Mike Cameron (39)
    Coco Crisp (32)
    David DeJesus (32)
    Scott Hairston (32)
    Andruw Jones (35)
    Nate McLouth (30) - $10.65MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout
    Corey Patterson (32)
    Cody Ross (31)
    Grady Sizemore (29) - $8.5MM club option with a $500K buyout

    Right fielders
    Bobby Abreu (38) - $9MM club option with a $1MM buyout; vests with 433 PAs in 2011
    Lance Berkman (36)
    Willie Bloomquist (34) - $1.1MM mutual option with a $150K buyout
    Milton Bradley (34)
    Michael Cuddyer (33)
    David DeJesus (32)
    J.D. Drew (36)
    Jeff Francoeur (28) - $3MM mutual option
    Kosuke Fukudome (35)
    Willie Harris (34)
    Brad Hawpe (33)
    Jeremy Hermida (28)
    Joe Inglett (34)
    Austin Kearns (32)
    Jason Kubel (29)
    Ryan Ludwick (33)
    Xavier Nady (33)
    Magglio Ordonez (38)
    Cody Ross (31)
    Nick Swisher (31) - $10.25MM club option with a $1MM buyout
    Josh Willingham (33)

    I included all OF spots since I see them as all being interchangeable anyways. Let me just say what everyone has to be thinking when looking at that list... "That is a big list of old guys"
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    Default Re: Tabata

    An outfield of Pressly-Cutch-Tabata would be fine if we actually had power coming from 9rd and 1st.

    Unless Pedro does a 180 and Santa Claus leaves a 30-35 HR hitting 1st baseman under Hurdle's tree it ain't happening anytime soon.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Wily Mo Pena (30)
    Who was the poster on the Trib board who ALWAYS brought his name up when discussing trades?

    Was it that fyung guy or maybe Benny? Or was it someone else?

    Anybody remember that?

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    Who was the poster on the Trib board who ALWAYS brought his name up when discussing trades?

    Was it that fyung guy or maybe Benny? Or was it someone else?

    Anybody remember that?
    Yeah, it was fyug. He also thought Lillibridge was a future all star!

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    Default Re: Tabata

    One of the big knocks on Tabata is his lack of power. Clemente hit 7 or fewer HRs his first five seasons in the majors.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    One of the big knocks on Tabata is his lack of power. Clemente hit 7 or fewer HRs his first five seasons in the majors.
    I was thinking the same thing, watching that clemente video. Clemente never had a ton of power from a corner outfield spot, but no one's ever questioned his ability to play a corner. Power doesn't solely lie in the ability to hit home runs, I'll take a guy like Walker hitting 10 to 15 and the ability to drive in close to 100 runs, which he'll do sooner than later. This team needs a legit 4 hole hitter so the rest of the guys fall in place.

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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    One of the big knocks on Tabata is his lack of power. Clemente hit 7 or fewer HRs his first five seasons in the majors.
    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    I was thinking the same thing, watching that clemente video. Clemente never had a ton of power from a corner outfield spot, but no one's ever questioned his ability to play a corner. Power doesn't solely lie in the ability to hit home runs, I'll take a guy like Walker hitting 10 to 15 and the ability to drive in close to 100 runs, which he'll do sooner than later. This team needs a legit 4 hole hitter so the rest of the guys fall in place.
    Great points. I had to go look up Clemente's numbers. You remember the 29 or 23 homers in a season he hit but until you look at his numbers do you realize that wasn't the norm for him, that was the ezxception. In his entire career, Clemente only hit 20+ homers 3 times, the rest were teens or single digits early on like Tocchet said.

    So tough to categorize Clemente's power though, since Forbes Field was a tough home run park and more of a gap hitters park and Clemente's numbers showed him to be a good gap hitter... but guys like Stargell, KIiner were able to kill balls at Forbes Field. Stargell didn't hit 40 homers until we moved into 3RS but he still had good power at Forbes
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    Default Re: Tabata

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Great points. I had to go look up Clemente's numbers. You remember the 29 or 23 homers in a season he hit but until you look at his numbers do you realize that wasn't the norm for him, that was the ezxception. In his entire career, Clemente only hit 20+ homers 3 times, the rest were teens or single digits early on like Tocchet said.

    So tough to categorize Clemente's power though, since Forbes Field was a tough home run park and more of a gap hitters park and Clemente's numbers showed him to be a good gap hitter... but guys like Stargell, KIiner were able to kill balls at Forbes Field. Stargell didn't hit 40 homers until we moved into 3RS but he still had good power at Forbes
    As much as Mark Reynolds has no idea what that leather thing on his left hand is for, I'd trade for him as a corner infielder despite all the baggage he possesses. He shouldn't cost much to trade for and I think he only has a couple of years left on his contract. Plus, as a right handed power hitter, he can hit it out of any park.

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