FanShot

Stat guy: Aviles is example of gems available at Class AAA

So while Aviles’ minor-league performance indicated a guy that could produce, what about this season’s figures? Do players ever sustain higher plateaus in performance reached at a relatively advanced age? Sometimes. There have always been players who suddenly just plain got better at an age when you would have thought their development was capped. Former NL MVP Terry Pendleton is the prototypical example of this. Another perhaps more pertinent example is Florida second baseman Dan Uggla. Uggla has the fourth-highest OPS (.995) in the National League and is tied for the NL lead with 23 home runs. Uggla did not reach the major leagues until he was 26. He’s stepped right in and has been one of the underrated stars of the game ever since. Can Aviles be a player like that? Uggla’s batting line in the minors was .276/.341/.442, and he had two seasons with more than 20 home runs. Nothing that would indicate the Jeff Kent numbers he’s produced in the majors, but a solid record of performance for a middle infielder. The lesson: Minor-league statistics do matter.
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