Frandsen or Burriss. Period.

Posted By on February 19, 2009 1:15 pm

I find it interesting that the stories about the Giants’ competition at second base continue to refer to it as a three-way battle(or even a four-way battle if you include Juan Uribe). Seems to me that Kevin Frandsen and Emmannuel Burriss are the only serious┬ácandidates here.

Does anyone really believe that Eugenio Velez has a chance to be the Giants everyday second baseman?

Here’s what Velez does well. He can…

  • Run.
  • Run really fast.
  • Run really really fast.

I suppose it’s also possible that he might become a threat with the bat, but I think he strikes out too much and walks too little to really be much of a contributor. I am certain, however, that he’s not going to be an above average middle infielder. Can the Giants afford to put him out there in an infield with Pablo Sandoval and Edgar Renteria? Velez just does too many fundamental things wrong for a team that needs to do every little thing right.

Between Frandsen and Burriss, I think each provide enough defense and enough offense, to varying degrees, to be everyday players. Unless one of them really stands above the other in spring training, my inclination would be to go with Frandsen because he’s older and more experienced than Burriss and because he’s got a chance to hit a little more. Meanwhile, I’d have Burriss play every day at Fresno. If it’s not working six or seven weeks into the season, I’d bring up Burriss.


21 Responses to “Frandsen or Burriss. Period.”

  1. Nat Busichio says:

    I’ve never really understood why Frandsen is so highly thought of as a promising prospect. I’m not intimating that you are based on this post, he likely is the best of the 3, each of whom have their own shortcomings. Frandsen has hit for a good average in the minors but has done next to nothing at the Major League level. Also he offers little to no power (though his stats indicate he’s a decent doubles hitter), doesn’t walk (or strikeout much), is not a threat to steal a base and is coming off a significant injury. I can’t speak to his defensive (in)abilities, but his offense thus for and projected over a full season at AT&T doesn’t warrant him earning a starting position in the Majors.

    Burress isn’t much better, in fact he’s much worse as a hitter considering he’s got absolutely zero power. 8 XBHs in 274 PAs is staggeringly bad. On the positive side (and yes, I’m reaching here) he can steal a base as evident by his 105 SBs in the minors and he’s 5 years younger than Frandsen. Also I have to assume his range is a bit better than Frandsen’s basedly purely on his SB numbers.

    Velez is just frustrating. He can hit a bit, has shown decent power numbers for his size (likely a bit misleading since his speed allows him to stretch singles into doubles & doubles into triples) and is faster than Bengie Molina is to the post-game spread, but his defense is horrible and he doesn’t walk much. If he was able to somehow figure out that he might be a bit more valuable if he was able to work his way on base via the walk rather than swinging at everything, I’d be very willing to accept his poor defense for what he would offer offensively. Until that day comes, which it likely never will, we’ll have to enjoy the borderline mediocrity of either Burriss or, more likely, Frandsen as the Giants’ opening day starter.

    Giants Baseball – Enjoy the Mediocrity!

  2. Josh says:

    I do not think that we have seen enough of Frandsen know what kind of major league hitter he is going to be. So I think the jury is still out as to whether he can be the second baseman of the present. I say give him a decent shot.

    Velez is hard to watch in the field, frustrating to watch with a bat in his hand, and utterly disappointing as a base runner. It’s unfortunate that a guy with that much speed cannot or will not develop an approach that compliments it.


  3. Dave says:

    Jeff, agreed that Velez probably has little to no shot, especially with a weak offense that cannot afford to give up runs because of errors. There was mention of him being put in the outfield, but there is a logjam there too. Any chance the Giants get rid of Roberts bad contract, I hate to see him hold back Schierholtz, or another bat that is acquired for another one of Sabean’s brilliant acquisitions.

  4. Ross says:

    I have to disagree with Nat. Frandsen has shown that he can put up numbers at the major league level. In ’07 it was painful to watch him get benched for 2 weeks after an 0-4 and then pinch hit in the 9th against closers for months. It was no surprise he never hit stride. Once he played everyday, he put up Pablo Sandoval numbers. That is not an overstatement. Check out his September from that year. Also, the last time he was in AAA, he absolutely killed, maintaining a .400 average for a month. He’s the guy. Let him play everyday and we’ll have a reliable second baseman again.

  5. BHF says:

    I really like the defense and range that Burris gives the Giants and his bat came a long way last year. He’s a far better prospect than Frandsen. Agree with Jeff on Velez, he’s just not a baseball player and he’d have to hit .350 to make up for his defensive bone head plays.

  6. Ryan says:

    Where do you put Velez then? He has zero depth perception in the outfield. So he either gets cut, or stays at utility infielder. With Roberts possibly not making the team, I would think Velez’s speed would be significant enough to make the team as a utility player.

  7. Vo says:

    You put Velez back in the farm system where he belongs to learn plate discipline (although not sure the Giants farm system teaches this) and glove work. That guy is a huge liability with his glove. Whenever he was on the field last year I was constantly praying “don’t hit it to Velez, don’t hit it to Velez…”

  8. Nat Busichio says:


    Not to belabor this, but hitting .400 in the hitter-friendly PCL for a span of 67 ABs is nice, but it’s hardly enough to validate him being awarded the 2B position. I could be wrong here, but didn’t Pete Happy nearly win the PCL triple crown at one time? That didn’t turn out to well for the Giants.

    To your point, he did hit .400 in the month of September, but again that was over a span of 9 games and 35 ABs so I wouldn’t put rely upon that as an indicator of future success. During that 9 game window he also hit an underwhelming 2 XBHs (1 HR & 1 2B). Also it’s not like he was facing top-tier Major League starters with one exception. The murderers row of the opponents’ starters the Giants faced during those 9 games include Matt Belisle, Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, Chris Young, Brett Tomko, the svelte David Wells, Chad Billingsley & Eric Stults. He had a 5 hit game against Belisle which spiked his BA for the month, and had an 0fer against the only top starter among that bunch, Chris Young.

    Ok, I did belabor it this issue. My whole contention was that I didn’t see why everyone’s overly high on Frandsen and I still don’t.

  9. Mason Storm says:

    Get a life. He’s a gamer and a local SJS product.

  10. Brad Jensen says:

    I guess the question I have is what has any of these guys done that would lead you to not letting all of them duke it out in spring training for a spot?

    I don’t think it hurts anything to let them all get a shot, especially with an expanded spring training this year. They all have something to prove. Let them do it.

  11. Kyle says:


    I think it would only be fair to include stats from August of that year as well, since that’s when he started getting regular playing time. I seem to remember his stats trending upward all month, and peaking in September. Considering the guy’s sterling minor league track record, lack of consistent major league playing time, and great performance in the AFL, I’m surprised you aren’t at least interested in what the guy can do with a little job security.

    Also, considering the fact that we have absolutely zero depth at SS in the minors, it would great to be able to stash Burriss there for a bit. He still has some things to learn on offense and defense, I think.

  12. Duddley Dawson says:


    We get the point….you have read money ball and probably played your fair share of Strato-matic baseball. Simply fact (as depressing as it is) is these are our choices and Frandsen is the best available option at this point. Things may change during spring training, but it looks like our dream infield of 4 four free swingers who don’t walk, hit for power, are slow and are below average fielders is almost complete!

    Hummmmm Baby!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Jeremy says:

    I gotta believe, if healthy, it’s Frandsen’s job to lose. Burriss is the more effective player off the bench as he can be used as a pinch runner, defensive replacement, and he switch hits.

    In the end, I don’t think this decision will have much effect on the way their season goes. Renteria replacing Vizquel, a full season of Sandoval, and an improved bullpen should make them at least a .500 team…. and in the NL West that may put them in contention if Manny stays away from the division. Otherwise the West is going to the winner (loser?) of the Manny sweepstakes.

  14. Nat Busichio says:


    Since I practice the insane habit of checking stats before qualifying things as being “sterling” as you labeled Frandsen’s minor league performance, here are a couple of things to consider:

    In 2005 Frandsen ranked 27th in OPS in the Single A California league, he didn’t have enough plate appearances at any other level that year to qualify among the league leaders. This put him nearly at the same level of the Travis Ishikawa who ranked 22nd that year.

    In 2006 Frandsen ranked 91st in OPS in the PCL with a whopping .825 OPS. To put this in perspective, this put him 18 spots behind the slugger we know and love, Cody Ransom (.824 OPS), 22 spots behind Fred Lewis (.828 OPS) and 25 spots behind Todd Linden(!) (.834).

    As for the AZ Fall League, in 2005 Frandsen ranked 38th in OPS with a paltry total of .693. He did, however, have a very good fall league in 2006 while ranking 2nd in the league with a 1.068 OPS. So if we were to ignore his minor leagues stats in 2005 & 2006 as well as those for the ’05 Fall League, then I would agree with you that he has a “sterling” resume from which to build. Unfortunately that’s not possible, so I would categorize his performance thus far as decent/mediocre.

    And since you mentioned it, in 2007 his batting averages at the beginning of the last months of that season were:

    Jul 1: .255
    Aug 1: .248
    Sep 1: .237

    He was still hitting .249 up until the last 9 games of the season when he went on his 9 game “terror” hitting .400 during that time. It was actually only a 1 game terror since he went 5 for 5 in one of those games and hit .300 during the other 8.

  15. Nat Busichio says:

    Correction – his OPS in ’06 was .798 not .825, but he was ranked 91st that year.

  16. Reed Rothchild says:

    Okay, time to come to Nat’s aid, the only logical one here. Listen… when was the last time a hitter came up in the Giants’ farm system that actually helped their team? Matt Williams? Will Clark? So what would make any of you possibly think these “prospects” will be good? The prospects above being discussed are GARBAGE and will always be GARBAGE!!! They hurt your team more than they help your team so why bother discussing them? Good Defense does not = WS Rings. Speed does not = WS rings, so never try to sell someone by saying they’re “fast” or “good on the base paths.” Pitching and OPS wins championships, period. Just check history is you don’t believe me. See Phillies of 2008. And the Giants/Sabian avoid OPS like the plague. The Giants should never draft a hitter, they have no idea what makes a good major league hitter, we’ve witnessed this over the last 20 years as they’ve had no success with anybody in their farm system since the Humm Baby days. And don’t say Pedro Feliz. You’d think they’d get lucky once, but no. They should stick to drafting pitchers or trading their picks.

    I seriously can’t believe you guys are discussing which of these scrub players should play. Barry Bonds is gone. Sabian can no longer be bailed out by him carrying the team. As long as Sabian is around, the Giants will never have success cause Sabian has no clue at what makes a good hitter unless it’s the Babe Ruth of the 20th Century, like Bonds was.

  17. Kyle says:

    Which of these two players would you rather have as the frontrunner in your 2B battle?

    And as far as Frandsen’s 2007 totals, he only had 264 AB’s. It’s no wonder his batting average fluctuated widly. I don’t think looking at his batting average at the beginning of each month tells a complete story.

    Reed, sounds like the upcoming season is going to be a lot of fun for you.

  18. Dudley Dawson says:

    Wasn’t Babe Ruth the Babe Ruth of the 20th Century?

  19. Dudley Dawson says:

    ….and this particular discussion has 0 to do with Sabian and his inability to draft/develop hitters. There is little need to discuss, as that is fairly obvious.

    The topic at hand is which of the three crappy choices at 2B is best best to essentially fill a hole. The answer, unfortunately, is Frandsen.

    Piss, or get of the pott Reed……

  20. Reed Rothchild says:

    Frandsen is HORRIBLE. He will never help your team more than he hurts it.

    Garbage doesn’t fill holes, it just creates greater ones. Cut all three of them, play a young unknown prospect that weighs more that 180 pounds soaking wet, who takes a pitch and just prey he develops into someone that walks and hits the ball farther than 300 feet. If he doesn’t, cut him and try again. See the Marlins… they win a WS every 7 years doing this strategy with no money. The Red Sox win every other year doing this strategy with money. The Giants are somewhere in between but are the opposite of that strategy.

  21. Ross says:

    Well, I guess I just hope Franny can make everyone eat their words. Here is my prediction (based solely on intuition): if they play him everyday (that being the most unlikely part of this) – 12+HRs, 30+doubles, .290+average, lots of HBP, 20SB. My Burriss intuition meter says, 1HR, 15doubles, .240ish avg, 30-40SB, and lots of slap/chop infield singles. Also, having grown up with the likes of Clark, Williams, and Thompson, it seems clear that Frandsen is cut from the same cloth.

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