I figured what better topic to choose to wake you up on a Friday after a bunch of tryptophan-laced turkey and alcohol than probably one of the most controversial topics of all. Yep, I believe that Bobby Crosby will one day be a star. Maybe not to the extent that Peter Gammons and the dearly ESPN departed Harold Reynolds in that they thought he could possibly win the AL MVP this past year, but I think Crosby is going to soon be one of the best hitting shortstops in the American League.
Maybe it's foolish to believe that a guy who cracked a bone in his back swinging so hard trying to hit a home run will ever mature enough to be an impact player. Not only that, but Crosby hasn't proven that he has strong enough bones to last a season (three broken bones in the last two seasons). Someone get that boy some calcium, STAT!
At the same time, that stretch in 2005 when Crosby came back from his injuries when he hit like an MVP. It was a relatively short stretch, lasting a little over a month and half, but I like to think that a player who matures enough to realize what he did right can replicate it. The only question with me is Crosby's mental approach. If I was the A's hitting coach, I would lock Crosby in the video room and have him watch his at-bats from that stretch. I'd slip food under the door if need be until he repeats over and over, "I'll go the opposite way. I'll go the opposite way."
At the same time, there's a chance that Crosby may never learn to pick up the spin on an outside slider. He may never refine his approach. I know both Nico and baseballgirl tend to think that Crosby will never ascend to the heights projected for him. I just tend to think that a guy who is as motivated and has a father who played the game at the major league leavel...well, I tend to think he'll make those adjustments.
The major question for me more than whether or not Crosby will eventually grow up as a hitter is whether or not he'll ever be healthy enough to show that maturity.
The other thing that's completely underrated about Crosby is his defense. I saw several defensive stats this year that had Crosby in the top three defensive ratings for shortstops in the American League. Crosby had a higher zone rating than Michael Young, Tejada, Orlando Cabrera and the much overrated Derek Jeter. And we all know how important defense has become to the Oakland Athletics.
Any way, my point isn't to laud Crosby's defense, but to say that I do think he's going to be one of the better offensive shortstops in baseball before long. And if he doesn't, I don't think it won't be because he doesn't have the talent, it will be because he can't remain healthy.
Bobby, Got Milk? If you don't, go get some. Or at least take some supplements or something, buddy.