Stop The Brandon Moss Meme!

I'm not sure why this bothers me so much, but I'm also not sure why the local media keeps advancing the Brandon Moss Magically Improved meme. Here's the Trib:

... Moss knew that long-term it would be best to go down and work out his swing troubles. He ended up hitting .266 with a team-leading 32 doubles, 22 home runs and 96 RBI in 136 games with Indianapolis and was named team MVP. He came up as part of this week's promotions. "I'm excited," said Moss, who spent all of 2009 with the Pirates. "I didn't think I was going to have this opportunity and had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was going home. For some reason this season, the way I was playing in Triple-A, made me really see that I belong here and that I can be a really good major league baseball player. To have the opportunity to be here, when you didn't think you were going to have it, it just feels great."

At least in this case the Trib is simply quoting Moss rather than presenting his opinions as their own, but his opinions are baseless, and the Trib simply lets them through.

Here's a list of the International League's 2010 OPS leaders. 16 full-time players had OPSes higher than Moss'. Certainly a few of them, like Jesus Montero and Freddie Freeman, are very good prospects, but all those guys are young. Of all the ones who are older than 24, which would you be willing to argue would be "really good major league baseball players"? How about league leader Dan Johnson, who was sold to Japan in 2008? Or first-round draft flameouts Michael Aubrey and Russ Adams? Or Moss' own Indianapolis teammate Kevin Melillo, who many Pirates fans have never even heard of? 

Again, there hasn't been anything special about Moss' AAA performance this year. It doesn't suggest he can hit major league pitching now. In fact, it doesn't even show that's he's improved. He went to Class AAA and put up bigger numbers because it's easier to hit down there. 

I learned my lesson here, people. In 2004, right around the time when I started blogging, I was freaking out because the Pirates were ignoring J.J. Davis, who had just had a much more impressive AAA season than the one Brandon Moss just had, and at a younger age to boot. Davis flamed out in part because the Pirates seemed to do everything possible to make sure that he did, but also probably because he showed about the same symptoms Moss is showing now: good power, not quite enough OBP and trouble controlling the strike zone. 

I'm fine with the Pirates calling up Moss now that rosters have expanded. I also agree that there's still some chance he breaks through and posts a couple of good big-league seasons. But I just don't see any evidence that's particularly likely, and I don't understand why it's now taken for granted that Moss put together this spectacular Class AAA season. He didn't. He put up a season that was good ... for a minor leaguer.

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