Baseball America, in their current issue, had some potentially concerning information on Jose Tabata that I found eye-catching. First their scouting report on Jose:
Though a thumb injury cost him most of the second half, Tabata’s offensive prowess was quite evident. He models his game after Manny Ramirez, and that’s the name scouts and managers bring up most when discussing Tabata’s potential.
He has an extremely advanced hitting approach with a swing geared to drive the ball to right-center field. He possesses a sound two-strike plan and his strikeout-walk ratio improved every month. Though he hit just five home runs, scouts see 30-homer potential.
With arm strength and speed that are both a tick above average, Tabata profiles perfectly in right field. He sometimes has problems coming in to field grounders and his routes on fly balls need improvement. There are some mild concerns about his body language on the field, but it has yet to affect his performance.
Next was a mention on Tabata in a feature on young players this season in the Sally League:
Opposing managers, who tabbed Tabata as the league’s best batting prospect in Baseball America’s Best Tools survey, raved about the right fielder’s approach at the plate as well as his arm strength. Yet while his strike-zone discipline exceeded his experience, a few skippers were not enamored with the occasional cockiness Tabata displayed on the field, a trait the Yankees believe is more representative of his age than his demeanor.
Here are the parts that jump out at me:
“There are some mild concerns about his body language on the field, but it has yet to affect his performance.”
“…a few skippers were not enamored with the occasional cockiness Tabata displayed on the field, a trait the Yankees believe is more representative of his age than his demeanor.”
Tabata “models his game after Manny Ramirez.” As a hitter, that would be great. But, in terms of in-game conduct, that could be an issue.
I hope someone can get Jose’s attention over the next year or two and get him to realize that there’s a right-way and a wrong-way to go about your business on the field – regardless of your talent level.
I know that some will say that I’m just being an old-timer on this – and that attitude doesn’t matter when the talent is great.
To that, I have a two word answer: Ruben Rivera.