Prior to the demise of Twinsgeek.com there was plenty of talk on how the Twins have failed to develop hitters, especially hitters with any power. Many bloggers also noted that the A's, with their emphasis on high OBP and SLG, were a franchise worth emulating. Can we test this?
Take the case of Doug Deeds and Nick Swisher. Both Deeds and Swisher entered THE Ohio State University in 2000. Swisher, possibly because he was the son of former major leaguer Steve Swisher, played immediately and was the Big Ten freshman of the year. Deeds redshirted in 2000, but in 2001 he matched Swisher's feat as the Big Ten's best rookie. Over their college careers, Deeds actually outslugged Swisher, .628 to .613, and their OBPs were almost identical (.452 and .447).
Deeds and Swisher are either "versatile" or positionless, as both logged time at DH, 1B and the OF in their careers at Ohio St. But in pro ball both have settled into the OF.
Physically, they are almost identical:
Deeds L/L 6'1" 185 06/02/1981
Swisher S/L 6'0" 195 1/25/1980
Yet last year, Swisher was on the Big Club while Deeds was in New Britain:
Swisher (with the A's): .236/.322/.436
Deeds (with RockCats): .304/.382/.479
and just for further comparison, Swisher hit a paltry .230/.324/.380 at AA Midland (287 ab) in 2003.
Yet Swisher is being mentioned as one of the A's good young sluggers, while Deeds is a footnote in the Twins' plans. Is something amiss here?
Deeds did have a short year in 2003 (5 games and 15 at-bats), did an injury knock him off the Twins board?
Swisher was a first round pick, while Deeds was a ninth rounder. So do the A's expect more from Swisher? Deeds may have slipped because he was just a redshirt sophomore with leverage, while Swisher was a junior who had proved himself.
Home Runs: Ah, yes, the long ball. Swisher had 29 of them in Sacramento in 2004. Deeds had only 16 last year in New Britain. But who doesn't hit bombs in the Pacific Coast League?