Commenter Rob brought up a point in our post about Melky. The quote was that we are “setting [ourselves] up for an embarrassing fall should Melky prove to be legit.” I considered responding directly to that comment, but I wanted to clear the air with everyone.
We don’t wish Melky ill. He wears pinstripes; therefore, we hope for the best. But from what we’ve seen, it doesn’t appear that he’ll live up to those PECOTA comparisons to Bernie Williams and Carlos Beltran.
This is the entire point of our posts on Melky. Mike, Ben, and I have come to a consensus that Melky is likely best served as a fourth outfielder. Many decry this position, citing his defense (which we’re not completely sold on, though there’s no denying his arm) and relative success at a young age as an indication that he’ll improve and become an average or above-average center fielder.
I will not argue with that position. If we think it’s likely that Melky is a 4th outfielder in a long-term sense, then it’s entirely possible that he ends up being a bit better than that and can serve as a league-average centerfielder.
I’ve made clear my position that the Yankees should be focusing on superior talent at the premium positions. That is, second base, shortstop, catcher, and center field. I don’t think Melky represents superior talent, hence I’m not so hot on him. But he does have some value as a league average CFer.
So, in short, we believe that Melky will be a slightly below average center fielder. Some people think he can be average or slightly above, and I’m not going to argue with them. It’s possible, but I like seeing superior talent in those premium positions, hence my dislike of Melky. At this point, I think that seeing Melky as the next Bernie or Beltran is seeing things with rose-colored glasses.
And that really encompasses at least my position on Melky. Until something happens — that is, we see the results on the field — I don’t think there’s much more to say on the issue.