boesch headshot.jpgESPN.com’s Rob Neyer fields this question today on his SweetSpot blog: “Can [Brennan] Boesch be considered a real long-term threat, comparable to [Braves rookie Jason] Heyward?”:

Here’s how Rob sees it:

… [I]n almost every way they’re not particularly comparable. Boesch is not a particularly good left fielder; by most accounts Heyward is a fine right fielder (or will be). Boesch was an afterthought this spring, and didn’t join the big club until a few weeks into the season; Heyward was one of the biggest stories in spring training.

Which gets at the biggest point of comparison … Boesch is four years older than Heyward, which makes a monumental difference when rating two players’ long-term prospects.

So let’s forget about Heyward, and answer the interesting question: Is Brennan Boesch anywhere near this good, really? Historically, Boesch has never been much of a prospect, advancing one level every season despite generally unimpressive numbers. Last year in Double-A, he slugged .510 but also posted a .318 on-base percentage. There’s simply nothing in Boesch’s statistical record suggesting that he’s good enough to play everyday in the majors. Let alone rank among the league leaders for an entire season.

Which doesn’t mean he won’t. Human beings have this odd way of surprising us. It’s just not the smart way to bet.

Discuss.