A Shortstop Named Ozzie


So now your head’s filled with images of a tiny, acrobatic man, performing Olympic gymnastics in order to get his body in front of a baseball going 95 mph.

Not to put a lot of unwarranted pressure on Ozzie Chavez.  Who does actually has a full name of Ozzie Smith Chavez.

But we’re going to go ahead and make some comparisons anyway.

Ozzie’s not an offensive SS; his career path in the minors has never significantly led him to a batting average cracking .300.  But he is coming off his best year yet in Reading.  Unfortunately, that best was .259.  A Brewers site scouting report said the 26-year-old “… may be a surprise in a couple of years.”

Oh god.  So is he going to hide in Charlie Manuel’s office in a clown suit with the lights off a few years down the road? These defensive shortstops are flexible, they can fit anywhere (despite being an average 6′ 1″, 177 lbs.)

Just saying.  If that’s a scouting report for a team that’s actually desperate for an infielder capable of setting his shoes on fire, I would pass on account of “pointless ambiguity.”

But that’d be before I’d cast an eye over his fielding stats.  I’m the last guy to sit here and barf numbers on you, unless somebody opens the whiskey, then god only knows what’s going to come out of my mouth, but remember, I’m a big time professional, sexy major league scout in this scenario, so, keep up.  Please.

Anyway, the most errors Ozzie’s got in the minors was 29 in 128 games (.950 FPG).  But there’s another significant number in this equation:  18.  It’s how old he was the season of his career high fielding screw-up total.  If you want to live in the present, or… recent past, I guess… Ozzie’s 2009 season in Reading saw him make 13 errors in 96 games, for a .966 FPG.  He also played 15 more games at 2B, where he made one error.  (That’s a .976 FPG for the year).

For a guy that’s been bounced around the Minors like a pinball, he’s been able to adapt to new surroundings quickly and maintain numbers high enough for teams to keep him around.  But it may be a sign of the slightly more… used… Phillies farm system that Ozzie received an invite to the party in Clearwater, given he has been playing ball in the minors since he was 17 and has remained consistently slate grey mediocre.