I realize that Grant Green at the moment is not quite ready for the bigs. I’m guessing he’s about a season or so away. The question I ask is more about the future of the A’s. Who is the long term short stop for the A’s? Both players bring a different style to the game and both have their pluses and their minuses.
Let’s discuss the man who will be starting this season for the A’s at shortstop. Last season was Pennington’s first as a full time shortstop. I was braced for the worst. What I got though was a very pleasant surprise. His hitting was average, which I expected, but his defense was fantastic. He reminded me of a young Walt Weiss. He was lightning quick and very mechanical. He made very few errors for the position, especially being a rookie, and help turn the Pennington to Ellis double play combo to one of the best in the land. If he can improve on his hitting this season I don’t think the A’s could ask much more from him.
Grant Green is one of the A’s new up and comers. Baseball America rated him the A’s third best prospect and he is only in A ball. He is very different from Cliff Pennington. His defense is average but getting better however this kid can flat out hit. He can hit for average and has some power in his bat. I hate to bring money into this discussion but his agent is Scott Boras so he had a nice little pay day when he signed with the A’s. So I don’t think the A’s want to let this kid sit in the minors for too long.
So what do you do when Grant Green is ready to come up? If Cliff Pennington improves his offense it is going to be difficult to top that but the A’s sure could use Green’s power. My feeling is you go with the guy with the bigger upside and that is Grant Green. If you lose some defense from him but gain homeruns and rbis, something Pennington won’t give you much even if his offense improves, the A’s have to go with that. But fear not because I think the A’s should keep both. After this season the A’s will probably part ways with Mark Ellis and I don’t see why Pennington can’t take his place. I know the A’s have Weeks in the minors who is moving up fast but I don’t see him doing things Pennington can’t. The nice thing is no matter what they choose there is no doubt the A’s system is stocked with enough good talent that they can use those players for trade when necessary. This blogger’s final decision is to make Green our long term shortstop and make Pennington our long term second baseman.
For all of you out there that don’t know much about Grant Green keep an eye on him this spring and make sure to follow him in the minors. Then you will understand how quickly this question of Pennington or Green is approaching the A’s front office.