Evaluating the Talent: Tyler Colvin

It seems like just yesterday I was really believing/hoping/wishing that Ian Stewart would get another chance at third base. I won’t go into all my explanations for that again, because he’s gone and now we must all move on. But certainly if you had asked me whether trading Stewart this offseason was a good idea or not, I would have said no. His own personal playing aside, I don’t think last season made him look like much in the eyes of another team, which gives him limited trade value.

So what does Dan O’Dowd do? Goes out and finds the Ian Stewart equivalent on another team. So it’s a risk for a risk. If Stewart turns out to be completely valueless as a player, at least the Cubs, who now own him, know that Tyler Colvin could very likely be completely without value himself.

It’s tough to say whether that will happen. But Stew has both better career numbers than Colvin and, I think, more potential to be great. So what will we get from Colvin, now that we’re stuck with him? His best season of three was 2010, when he hit 20 homers and struck out about once every 4 times he came to the plate. So power, and lots of swings and misses. In other words, Stew.

Defensively, Colvin has played the most games in right field. Wait, don’t we already have a right fielder, you say? Why yes, we do. After jawing about how he couldn’t move Carlos Gonzalez out of left last season because he thought it would be “disrespectful,” Jim Tracy did in fact move him to center, and then to right, and now back to left to make room for Michael Cuddyer, who will start in right field. Third base is also not really an open anymore, with Casey Blake waiting in the wings to take over there. Colvin does have Ty Wigginton-esque mediocrity at a variety of positions, so Tracy can plug him in when somebody else needs a day off.

On the other hand, don’t be shocked if the front office acquired Colvin simply to send him somewhere else. It’s not out of the question. But rumors about a deal for Martin Prado are fading, and I’m not aware of any other clubs that would take Colvin and say, Seth Smith, for a veteran starter. Who knows, though? By opening day 2012, this post could be completely irrelevant.

Where should Colvin be in 2012? Chicago.

Where will Colvin be in 2012? No idea.

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