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Esteban German and Todd Linden

I've been checking the Spring Training statistics every couple days via the link at the top of this page. When I did so this morning, I was pleased to see the AB leader, Esteban German, had 39 ABs. At this point, the stats are becoming more useful. ABs can now be used to see which players are getting very serious looks by the major league clubs. German is set to play 2B full-time until Gold Glover Mark Grudzalaniek returns from minor knee surgery. With multiple position (2B/3B/OF) eligibility, a .422 OBP in 2006 (40 BBs with 279 ABs) and excellent minor league SB numbers (93 for 109 in past three AAA seasons), German may finally blossom into the sleeper I expected for years.

However, German is only leading in ABs due to an alphabetical sort. San Francisco Giant's OF Todd Linden has also had 39 ABs this spring, and he has impressed much more than German. With a line .436/.532/.692 in the same 39 ABs and 8 BBs versus 6 Ks, I see Linden on the same level of sleeper status as German. Linden doesn't have a temporary starting position in the OF, but he does have the good fortune of being the back-up OFer to Barry Bonds, Dave Roberts and Randy Winn. (At 27, he qualifies as part of the anticipated 2008 youth movement.)

Because the first half of Spring Training is dominated by inferior competition, a case can be made that Linden is only producing against the same level of competition he has come to dominate in his five years in AAA, and, frankly, I cannot dispute that. Or better said, strongly dispute with the certainty of someone who isn't playing Devil's advocate.

However, I separated his professional career by minor and major league production. There is obvious growth in his AAA numbers. Is his hot spring a sign of the growth to come in his major league ones?

Click Read more to view his professional stats.

Year Team Lg Age Org. Level Pos G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO XBH AVG OBP SLG OPS
2002 Shreveport Tex 22 Sf AA of 111 392 64 123 26 2 12 52 9 61 101 40 0.314 0.419 0.482 901
Year Team Lg Age Org. Level Pos G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO XBH AVG OBP SLG OPS
2002 Fresno PCL 22 Sf AAA of 29 100 18 25 2 1 3 10 2 20 35 6 0.250 0.380 0.380 760
2003 Fresno PCL 23 Sf AAA of 125 471 75 131 24 3 11 56 14 40 105 38 0.278 0.356 0.412 768
2004 Fresno PCL 24 Sf AAA of 130 489 93 127 28 2 23 75 8 63 149 53 0.260 0.349 0.466 815
2005 Fresno PCL 25 Sf AAA of 95 340 81 109 25 4 30 80 6 62 97 59 0.321 0.437 0.682 1119
2006 Fresno PCL 26 Sf AAA of 52 187 31 52 11 3 5 23 5 29 44 19 0.278 0.385 0.449 834
Year Team Lg Age Org. Level Pos G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO XBH AVG OBP SLG OPS
2003 SF Giants MLB 23 Sf MLB lf-rf 18 38 2 8 1 0 1 6 0 1 8 2 0.211 0.231 0.316 547
2004 SF Giants MLB 24 Sf MLB lf 16 32 6 5 1 0 0 1 0 5 7 1 0.156 0.289 0.188 477
2005 SF Giants MLB 25 Sf MLB rf-lf 60 171 20 37 8 0 4 13 3 10 54 12 0.216 0.280 0.333 613
2006 SF Giants MLB 26 Sf MLB 61 77 15 21 4 2 2 5 1 9 20 8 0.273 0.356 0.455 811
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