Transaction Analysis

On August 19th, in the wake of more and more injury troubles with the Giants position players, Brian Sabean pulled off a waiver wire deal and got Second Baseman Eric Young for minor league pitcher Greg Bruso. Take a closer look at the players involved, and the expected impact this move will make.

What We Got:

Eric Young, 2B, 35 years old.

Year Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS ABG OBP SLG
1992 LA 49 132 9 34 1 0 1 11 8 9 6 1 .258 .300 .288
1993 Col 144 490 82 132 16 8 3 42 63 41 42 19 .269 .355 .353
1994 Col 90 228 37 62 13 1 7 30 38 17 18 7 .272 .378 .430
1995 Col 120 366 68 116 21 9 6 36 49 29 35 12 .317 .404 .473
1996 Col 141 568 113 184 23 4 8 74 47 31 53 19 .324 .393 .421
1997 Col 118 468 78 132 29 6 6 45 57 37 32 12 .282 .363 .408
1997 LA 37 154 28 42 4 2 2 16 14 17 13 2 .273 .347 .364
1997 TOTAL 155 622 106 174 33 8 8 61 71 54 45 14 .280 .359 .397
1998 LA 117 452 78 129 24 1 8 43 45 32 42 13 .285 .355 .396
1999 LA 119 456 73 128 24 2 2 41 63 26 51 22 .281 .371 .355
2000 ChC 153 607 98 180 40 2 6 47 36 39 54 7 .297 .367 .399
2001 ChC 149 603 98 168 43 4 6 42 42 45 31 14 .279 .333 .393
2002 Mil 138 496 57 139 29 3 3 28 39 38 31 11 .280 .338 .369
2003 Mil 109 404 71 105 18 1 15 31 48 34 25 7 .260 .344 .421
TOTAL --- 1484 5424 890 1551 285 43 73 486 576 395 433 146 .286 .361 .395

Eric Young is a well-traveled veteran table setter, with the Giants becoming his fifth team over his 12 year career. He started his career in Los Angeles in '92, but became a full time starter with Colorado through '97, at which point he went back to Los Angeles to be a part of their futile playoff run (thanks to the Giants.) He stayed with LA before going to the Cubs in 2000, and then moving on to Milwaukee in 2002.

Eric Young is a career .286 hitter. He buoys his average with plenty of walks to keep his on-base percentage high, which is why he excels as a leadoff hitter. He also hits a good number of doubles and triples, and makes good use of his speed, having stolen 50+ bases in a year three times and 30+ nine times. He is having a down year this year, batting .260 (his lowest as a regular player), but his OBP is still fairly high and he's getting his share of steals.

The big difference for Young this year is that he's turned into a home run hitter, with 15 roundtrippers this year, having hit no more than 8 in any year before. He's hit 8 of those homers on the road, which means that this power surge isn't just from hitting in Miller Park, one of the league's smaller parks. Part of this is attributed to working with Barry Bonds in the offseason, and the two are still friends. One of Young's home runs was in Pac Bell this year.

Young is being paid $2 million this year (we will pay a pro-rated portion of it for his time with us), and has a team option for $3 million next year, or a $1 million buyout.

What we gave up:

Greg Bruso, RHP, 23 years old

Year Team Level W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
2002 SLK A (Short) 4-3 1.99 14 13 81.1 58 23 18 5 17 78
2003 SJO A (Low) 7-5 3.11 14 14 84.0 69 34 29 5 11 77
2003 Nor AA 5-4 3.42 11 11 76.1 72 32 29 6 11 45

Greg Bruso was a 16th round selection in the 2002 draft out of UC Davis, and moved straight into Salem Keizer and threw extremely well in his rookie campaign. Bruso's control is impeccable, as can be noted by his walk rate at each level of the minors. More impressive, until his call up to AA, he had kept a WHIP (Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched) under one, which is extraordinary. He also has an extraordinary K-to-BB ratio, which many scouts consider the best indicator of a pitcher's ability in the future.

Bruso was one of the higher level pitching prospects left in the Giants system after the injury problems of this season emptied the more experienced prospects the Giants had. However, he was not the top performing pitcher from his draft class, as that would be San Diego surfer Kevin Correia, who is currently with the big league team. With Correia's rise ahead of him, and the incredible performance of single A pitcher Merkin Valdez behind him, Bruso became expendable.

The Impact:

This trade was made partially because of the inept offense on this week's 0-6 roadtrip, but was more a product of the slow recovery of Ray Durham. Brian Sabean stated that Durham was only 50-50 for his projected return this Friday, and they want to be extra careful with him. Also, despite Young's age, he's still a capable athlete, and has played in the outfield before. Although Durham is the superior second baseman both offensively and defensively, Young provides better offensive depth than Neifi Perez, and it's also very possible that Eric Young can play short as well if Richie does not pick up right where he left off before his appendectomy. Young also deepens the bench, which has been a little too green as of late. It should also be noted that Young's 15 home runs would tie him for third on the team with Marquis Grissom, behind Cruz (16) and Bonds (37).

After this season, Young throws an interesting wrinkle into the opening the Giants have at SS, and Young may be an option at $3 million a year over Perez, or signing Aurilia or others for a higher price. Bruso is likely to become a major league pitcher, but as with any minor leaguer, it's hard to predict what he'll do. Overall, this is a good trade for the Giants to win now, and should provide a boost going into this week of matchups against playoff teams and the stretch run next year.



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