Courtesy of Baseball America’s website, there is a feature story on former Yankee prospect Jose Tabata. Among other things, Tabata talks about his (and his father’s) idol, Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. As a big Clemente fan myself, I can definitely relate.
Besides talking of his hero, the article quoted Indianapolis (AAA) Indians manager Frank Kremblas on Tabata’s developing game:
“He has an above-average throwing arm. He can play any of the outfield spots, but I think he’s most comfortable in right. And his speed is above average – he’s a lot faster than people think.”
More importantly, Kremblas said he hasn’t seen any of the negatives that cropped up for Tabata at the end of his time with the Yankees.
“He always plays hard – there’s never a time when he doesn’t play hard,” Kremblas said.
The one thing Kremblas said Tabata needs to continue to improve is more opportunities to play.
“Defensively, he needs more repetitions in the outfield,” Kremblas said. “He needs to learn positioning against certain players and situations, and you can’t get those things any other way except by repetitions. And he needs as many at-bats as he can get.
“But I think he’s capable of being an everyday big league player. I think his power will come with time, and he’ll become a 25-30 home run guy if he remains healthy and plays every day.”
Nady and Marte and a failed run at the 2008 playoffs or a potentially bright future with Tabata. I know what I would’ve picked. There’s obviously no way of knowing if Tabata will develop the way his Triple-A manager thinks he will. But it sure would’ve been nice to find out.
-Posted by MJ