Drawing Player Comparisons for Brennan Boesch

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We all love comparisons. NBA fans talk about “the next Michael Jordan” and shifty running backs draw comparison to Barry Sanders. The labels and comparisons are often unfair to the player in question but they can often provide some thought provoking points.

The 2010 Detroit Tigers featured a number of young or unproven commodities in important roles. With just one season under their belts it is hard to know exactly how they will ultimately turn out as major leaguers although their playing time does give us something to go off of. With that being said, I decided to devote an off-season series of posts to comparing some of the young Tigers to established major leaguers.

I will get to some comparisons for Brennan Boesch shortly but I feel the need to lay some things out before we get there. For each player in the series I will make three comparisons: one at a hall of fame level (with full understanding that not every Tigers player to be profiled has HOF potential), one at a solid Major Leaguer level (think of this as a dependable player and boarderline All-Star), and one at a role player level (A guy who has been around the Majors but might not be a central part of his team or has bounced around a bit).

Some comparisons are made just because a particular player brings another player to mind while others are more like career projections or wishes. Some of you might rip this as a pointless exercise while others might find it interesting. If you are of the former, I apologize, if you are of the latter then please let me know your thoughts as I think this could generate some good discussion. Here we go…

Hall of Fame Comparison: Vladimir Guerrero

I know, I know. I’m going overboard already. Before I get blasted for trying to compare Brennan Boesch to one of the generation’s greatest hitters let’s take a step back and remember that the comparison is being made based on some common traits rather than any sort of prediction that Boesch is the next Vlad Guerrero.

The basis of the comparison is rooted in this: when Brennan Boesch was in the midst of his torrid start there wasn’t a pitch he couldn’t hit. He could take a ball a foot outside of the strike zone and drive it the other way for an extra base hit. Simply put, if he could reach it, he could hit it. The player that exemplifies this trait more than any other is Vladimir Guerrero. He is first (maybe only) player that comes to mind for which the strike zone doesn’t matter. I have seen him hit a home run from pitches everywhere between his shoe-tops and his neck.

Nowhere in my head or in my heart do I believe that Brennan Boesch will be a Hall of Famer but if I have to pick one that he can occasionally remind me of it is Vlad Guerrero. Brennan will have to develop more plate discipline to find consistent success but his ability to occasionally do good things with a bad pitch can’t be denied.