Dear Mr. Wilson,
I was never really a fan of your play. Some may say that I was obstructed by what you had done previously to objectively judge what contributions you made to both 2009 and 2010 Seattle Mariners organization.
I will admit that there was some biast in the fact that I didn’t think you were a very good ball player. But part of that came when you were brought in to pitch and lost the game for the Padres/Diamond backs. (I mean who throws a 1-2 fastball down the middle of the plate??)
I was annoyed at times that you were playing short and became even more so when other people started leading a charge that you could perhaps be something more than “just” a utility player. You are a nice guy and seem to be an average glove but I never felt weren’t anything more than that.
Yes, you may have had a hot hitting streak here and there. But, your walk rate was just absloutely horrible and your strike outs were worse. I wanted to root for you but your fans made the increasingly difficult, next to impossible and when I got so beyond hearing your name and started shouting you would do something to make me look like an idiot.
I would say “He sucks at defense” … and then out of no where you would make a back handed save and whip it to Branyan at first for an out.
I would say “He doesn’t walk” … and you would work a two-out walk to start the 9th.
I would say “He strikes out too much” … and then you would drive in a run on an 2-strike pitch.
You made me look like an idiot. But through 500 plate appereances over two years with an OPS+ of barely above 60 and to top it off the General Manager I love gave you a gaurenteed contract. Why? Look, I don’t hate you. I want you to succeed. But you just can’t hack it with the stick.
Well everyone says your a shortstop and should lay off your hitting abilities. That’s fine. I mean with your sharp plays and everything you ended the season with 239 possible plays at short. Out of that you finished with a -2 UZR. Oh I know, I know you don’t believe in “advanced metrics”. That’s fine because in 50-60 less games you still nearly lead all shorstops in errors.
I’m not a big fan of errors because everyone makes them including me but lets face it you could have been much more efficent at your job.
I feel like I’m kicking you while your down and that isn’t cool and it certainly isn’t my intention. Heck, if I got fired from my job the last thing I want is some guy on the internet write about all the things I did wrong to get fired. So let’s turn this into something more productive.
Things Josh needs to do to be more successful at his next job.
- Make more contact at the plate
You’re a middle infield guy. You have limited power and that’s okay. It’s just a fact don’t hate on it. Use it as a part of your strength and stop working counts like you’re a power hitter. If you see a pitch in the zone put it in play.
- Take more walks
This may seem like a contradiction but it’s not. Learn and understand the difference between a pitch “in the zone” and a pitch out of the zone. You took some nasty hacks at pitches that weren’t going to help you get on base. Do you know how many teams are interested in a guy that can walk 10% of the time and play average defense? Heck, I wouldn’t mind having you back if you could do that.
- In defense it’s all about position
While I say you are an average defender and UZR says you are below average there is also TotalZone (invented by Sean Smith…plug!) who says you are above average defensively. I suggest that maybe you have limited range but do well when you are presented with an opportunity within your range. My suggestion is that you cheat a bit more.
When you have a right handed pull hitter cheat more to third base and play deeper in the hole. When you have a guy that hits well to opposite field play him more pronounced and near that bag at second. I’m just coming with ideas I’m sure you understand more of what you need to do.
These are suggestions made in the hope to see you become a better ball player. I don’t really hate you and I certainly don’t relish in the fact that you were released. But I think you would’ve been and could still be a better major league ball player if you just changed a few things in your approach.