Carlos Quentin, an old pal from my broadcasting days back at Stanford, has finally made it to the big leagues with the Diamondbacks this past week. I say finally, because despite the fact that he has long had nothing left to prove in the minors, he has been trapped behind the outfield logjam of “experienced veterans” Shawn Green, Eric Byrnes, and Luis Gonzalez, despite the fact that, frankly, he is probably already better than all of them at this stage in their careers.
Take a moment and check out Quentin’s career numbers in the minor leagues and college. As you can see, his lowest OPS at any level of the minors or college was .912 way back when he was only a sophomore at Stanford. In fact, Quentin’s numbers in the minors were considered to be so good, that Snakes manager Bob Melvin had to despell a rumor that Luis Gonzalez was going to be permanently benched when Quentin was called up.
Sure enough, Quentin has gotten off to a booming start, sluggin 3 homeruns in his first 6 games and compiling a 1.478 OPS. And yet, the D-Backs are only fitting Quentin into the lineup every other day. To be sure, Quentin is not going to maintain these numbers for a whole season, but surely he should be in the lineup every day, given the alternatives–a Shawn Green who is a pale, pale shadow of his once 40-homer self, an always entertaining but inadequate Eric Byrns, and a tired old Luis “could he possibly have hit 57 homers that year?” Gonzalez, who’s once prodigous power has almost completely evaporated now that he has gone off the juice.