Debate: Taylor Green Vs. Casey McGehee

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by Andrew Coughlin

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask: Taylor Green or Casey McGehee?

Can we do this?  I mean can we really have this debate being so very close to post-season play?  If former Brewer Manager Ned Yost can get replaced by current Hitting Coach Dale Sveum with two weeks left in the 2008 MLB season, then yes! Absolutely, we may have this debate.  In fact, it is our duty to have this debate; with winning comes regal standards and high expectations.

So, let's take a look, shall we?

I think it was Bill Schroeder who pointed this out in a recent broadcast of a Brewers game.  He stated that Taylor Green's Minor league stats were eerily similar to Ryan Braun's minor league stats, so I looked them up.

The statement is a little deceiving because, although they are similar, the two played in different minor league levels when their stat lines matched up.  In 2006, Braun split time equally at Brevard County single A and Huntsville AA having played in 118 games (59 games in each league).  The following year Braun only played in 34 games at Nashville AAA before being called up by the Brewers, having a superb season and winning Rookie-of-the-Year honors.  Braun's AAA stats are a very small sample size, but it would have been safe to say he would have kept or surpassed his torrent pace.  However, I will compare Braun's 2006 minor league stats to Green's 2011 AAA stats.

 

Player G AB H R HR

RBI

AVG OBP SLG
Green 2011 AAA 120 420 141 74 22 88 .336 .413 .583
Braun 2006 A & AA 118 457 132 76 22 77 .289 .357 .514

 Here is Braun's stat line in 2007 when he played in only 34 games for Nashville AAA.

Player G AB H R HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
Braun 2007 AAA 34 117 40 28 10 22 .342 .418 .701

 

The big difference we can see between Braun and Green's AAA stats is the slugging percentage.  Odds are Braun would not have kept that .701 SLG% pace for 120+ games in AAA.  His SLG% this year is currently .584.

I am comparing Braun and Green's stats from the minors because the club did not hesitate to bring Braun up to the big leagues when he was tearing up those lesser leagues.  Now, the stakes are a little higher for Green with the Brewers going to the post-season, but who knows, maybe that could be a good thing.  If Green doesn't know any better, the pressure could dribble off him like drops of water on a raincoat.

Besides, Casey McGehee doesn't have any post-season experience either.  Although, he definitely will be expected to produce come playoff time.  And fans better believe that teams will find ways to pitch around Braun and Prince Fielder.  Rickie Weeks will not be enough to shoulder the load of a playoff series that comes down to every pitch, every hit and every play.  Series are mini seasons, at-bats are small games and every pitch resonates one hundred fold throughout the ballpark.  And let's face it; McGehee's glove isn't any better than his bat right now.  It's not as if he's out at third base saving the Brewers a ton of runs with his stellar fielding.

 

Player G AB H R HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
Casey McGehee 2011 MLB 150 533 121 46 13 67 .227 284 .351
Taylor Green 2011 MLB 16 31 8 2 0 1 .258 .258 .355

I am not saying McGehee deserves to get benched or completely taken out of the picture.  He had 104 RBI last season and his batting average the past two seasons have been .301 and .285.  But are we waiting for him to find some sort of groove?  Fans are going to very skeptical and frightened as he comes to the plate in the ninth with two on, two out and down by one.

The solution?  Let Green and McGehee split time.  Maybe not exactly down the middle or even situational.  McGehee's numbers against left-handers are worse than they are against right-handers, so that doesn't make much sense.  All 13 HRs this season are against right-handed pitchers.  To alleviate some pressure from McGehee and also to get Green some big-time playing experience, Roenicke should find time to get both these guys some playing time.  But, I am a novice, Roenicke is the expert and I would not want the responsibility of making any of these playoff decisions.

 

 

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