Goatriders of the Apocalypse

2009 Player Previews - Joey Gathright

Joey Gathright

Let me start off this preview by officially welcoming The Human YouTube Reel to the North Side. Yes, I’ve decided to nick name Mr. Joey Gathright “The Human YouTube Reel” because he has all the physical abilities to be a “Human Highlight Reel” except for the lack of any actual statistical production.

Watch him jump over a car!

Watch him jump over an Asian person!

Watch him get a not-so-exciting bunt single while playing for a minor league team, err, the Kansas City Royals!

Whatever you do though, don’t look at his stats.

While he has been having a decent spring with the Cubs (6 hits in 18 at-bats, 2 RBI, 2 SB), his career numbers are a bit more underwhelming:

.263 BA, .328 OBP, .304 SLG, 1 HR, 96 RBI (through 408 MLB games and 1145 AB)

Although the numbers aren’t awesome in comparison to his impressive physical abilities, they aren’t as awful as one might expect from a guy who has failed to live up to his early career hype.

Speaking of physical abilities, Gathright is a freak. The guy can flat out run. Word on the street is that he ran a 60-yard dash in 6.1 seconds. Daaaaaaaaaaaaang. And this is exactly why I like him.

Unlike any other player who is sitting on the roster bubble, I think Gathright can make the club in spite of his weak bat. He’s got some killer speed on the base paths and he can serve as a solid outfield defensive replacement for late-game situations...areas the Cubs both have needs in.

While the odds are stacked against him, I’m rooting for Gathright. He might not get much PT with the big club, but I can see Lou bringing him in to steal second and get into scoring position or to replace Fonsie/Bradley when the Cubs are holding onto a small lead late in a game. Basically, he brings versatility to areas other than the plate, and I like it very much.

Anyway, it’s good to have a player in the organization who as all the athletic ability of the young players of yesteryear (Corey Patterson, Felix Pie) without any of the expectations...thus making his eventual failure so much easier to handle.

Cheetah Joey

I like Gathright on the team alot as well. When you're talking about one of the bench guys, those players don't have to fill up the stat books or be 5-tool guys - each guy simply needs to bring one solid dimension to the team off of the bench. Gathright brings incredible speed, basestealing ability, a solid outfield glove at all three positions, and he brings excitement to the roster. He has his deficiencies hitting, but he can surely provide a lift to the team off of the bench and spell a starter in the OF when needed. In my opinion he's a great guy to have on your team when healthy; he's a special-type of player that you watch to see what he is going to do because its a sight to see a cheetah hit a triple or a one-man outfield not let a ball drop to the grass. As far as the playing time issue goes, I have heard Lou say that he intends to use players like Gathright, small-ball speed guys, in cold-weather games early in the season and during games in which the wind is howling in at Wrigley Field. I think this strategy is incredible, and it adds another dimension to the cubs offense, which will allow them to compete more efficiently with small-ball tactics when needed. I think it would be awesome if Lou and MLB gave Gathright a pass and allowed him to wear his jersey untucked and unbuttoned so that when he gets running full speed his jersey would look like a cape, now that would be sweet.

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