Want to identify who is a Grade A prospect, "Grade A" in the sense that Roberto Alomar and Frank Thomas and Chipper Jones were? That is, with a 30% chance of becoming a big league star, and a 70% chance of becoming a quality big league player?
There's a Cereal Box 5-Cent Plastic Compass on it, thusly:
- Age 20, one of the best players in class A baseball
- Age 21, one of the best players in class AA baseball
- Age 22, one of the best players in class AAA baseball
That's assuming he was a high school player to start with. It implies that if he keeps moving up a plateau a year ... at age 24-25 he will be one of the best players at ? what ? level?
Shin-Soo Choo was a terrific player in class A at age 19, and then a superb player in AA at 21, and a great player in AAA at age 22-23. He was also a 5-tool player, very strong with a HIT tool, and he was also a strike zone master. We talked a lot at the time about him. A lot of people, such as Mike Hargrove, ignored the results. That's what sabermetrics is about: results, as opposed to the scouting eye.
Nick Franklin, as Gordon has pointed out, also looked great per this whole paradigm -- so, 30% chance of stardom, 70% chance of quality performance. He was later swapped even-steven* for a 3-4 WAR center fielder.
Jesus Montero was one of the best players in class A baseball at age --- > 18, and a great AA player at age --- > 19, and a great AAA player at age 20.
He blasted MLB pitching, in 60 at-bats, at age 21 ... while catching.
He ALSO is a certified Golden Boy per the scouting eye: there is no pitch he can't handle. Up, Down, Deep, Shallow, Either Side of the Plate. He doesn't walk, but he does have Carew-type contact ability with high PWR potential.
Jack Zduriencik comped him to Albert Pujols, back when Pujols owned baseball.
Watch Montero swing the bat, though, the last two years, and you'll see all the electricity and magic is gone. He's flatfooted, he's static, he doesn't accelerate the bat -- he's just up there armswinging. And is still a good AAA hitter and okay MLB hitter. While showing a complete lack of interest in the sport of baseball.
The talent's there. The will to win isn't.
He's lost 40 pounds. Is Montero motivated? DOES NOT MATTER.
Elliott Hulse, a champion strongman, is my choice for the most "together" life coach on the internet. (The only quibble is that his language is not safe for work.) Suffice it to say, in this quickie, that Hulse has the complete program, if you have any interest whatsoever in "Becoming the Strongest Version of Yourself." Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, he's got the whole Zen package.
Check this video, in which he explains why motivation does not matter. :- )
Say what? "Motivation," or getting excited, doesn't mean doodly. "I guarantee you" that in 3 days you won't be excited any more.
DISCIPLINE. COMMITMENT. a VISION. a METHOD. A why, and a how, that is what transforms people. Jesus Montero has been "babysat," by a personal trainer, into losing 40 lbs. Does it mean he's changed? It tells us zero about whether he's changed.
Hulse, in this other video, responds to a college baseball player "flamethrower82" who is (1) looking at millions of $$ on his contract, but (2) can't motivate himself to work out or train. Can't get into the mindset necessary for him to condition his body.
"That's a pretty *#5#$ big carrot, bro'. But you don't wanna train. You can't get excited about it? That's because you've been GIVEN everything you want already. Your daddy pays for your college and your girlfriend services you when you get home..."
Want to know how to break out of the rut? Catch the video.
Here's one more from Hulse: The Power of Doing Things You Hate. He responds to a teenager who is a 4.0 type student, who cruises through school with no effort ... but wants to drop out and dedicate himself to music.
Hulse reminds him that a pro musician has 9,000 things he has to do that he hates -- accounting, and sales, and yada yada yada.
How do you "psych yourself up" to do things you're dreading? You don't! You just go start doing it. No matter how painful it is.
Dr. D needs to get better at this. A lot of times, he starts his day by listening to this kind of shtick. It. Works. Most of you guys are overachievers; you know about this stuff, but maybe draw a smile out of the reminder?
Zduriencik can't get Jesus Montero to have a vision, the will to win. And McClendon can't, and the personal trainer can't, and of course you and I can't.
Alcoholics Anonymous counselors will tell you that the turnaround comes after a person hits bottom. See Hamilton, Josh. Then a man gets "motivated" short term, and in Hulse's world, that short-term motivation starts the engine on daily habits and routines. The vision arrives, and it's locked in, because the alternate world (of defeat and failure) arrives. The man starts taking failure seriously.
Did Montero have an "Aha!" moment, the point at which he really gained a fear of failure? Or has he just been babysat?
No idea. But if he ever has his Josh Hamilton moment, he's liable to become Mike Piazza.