I was at a Double-A game between the Red Sox and Twins affiliates a few nights ago, and one thing that really stuck out to me was the poor defense. The two teams combined to make six errors, and there were at least three or four other misplays.
That got me thinking about what a difference it is between the minors and the majors defensively.
After all, in the minors, teams will give prospects every shot to stay at more difficult positions, whereas if it isn’t working by the time they’re on the doorstep of the majors, they finally get switched to a position they can succeed at.
Furthermore, there’s also the simple matter of getting more reps and defensive coaching bringing down the miscues.
I bring this up because it’s pretty staggering to look at the error totals as you move down the Padres affiliates.
Moving down to AA San Antonio, Andrew Parrino has 10 errors, Logan Forsythe eight (and he’s in his first year at second), and Beamer Weems eight as well. So, slightly more, but right around Portland’s level.
Things start getting sloppier in High-A Lake Elsinore, where Drew Cumberland made 17 errors and Vince Belnome 15. Belnome also has undergone a position switch this year, and Cumberland’s seen work at several spots. Nobody else there has over five errors, but Cumberland (who’s since been promoted) and Belnome stick out after all the low error totals in the upper minors.
This doesn’t make Rincon, Galvez, Cumberland, and Belnome all future Jack Cust types in the field–it just is something that happens naturally. They’re all being challenged to play difficult positions, and they simply haven’t gotten that many pro reps in to have defensive consistency.
So don’t get too worked up over the error totals. It’s just the sort of things that happen.