Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Striking thoughts about Kyle Russell and Billy Ashley

Because of his strikeout reputation, I got curious to see how Dodger prospect Kyle Russell compared to the swingingest Dodger prospect of a previous generation, Billy Ashley. They’re significantly different players in other ways, but I figured on an idle Friday I might just take a look.

Last year, at age 25, Russell had a .343 on-base percentage, .488 slugging percentage, 23 homers, 53 walks and 144 strikeouts in 493 plate appearances, spent mostly at Double-A.

Ashley spent his age-25 year in the majors as a part-time player, with a .320 on-base percentage, .372 slugging, eight homers, 25 walks and 88 strikeouts in 244 plate appearances. The following year, Ashley had nine homers and an .813 OPS in only 113 plate appearances.

The 6-foot-7 Ashley graduated from Double-A by age 22 after (or despite) having more homers than walks for San Antonio in 1992. He went .317/.534, 24 homers, 16 walks and 111 strikeouts in 404 plate appearances. Those are some extreme numbers, but it’s safe to assume that he’d have been a whole lot better in Double-A at age 25.

Ashley finished his career with 28 homers and 236 strikeouts in the majors and 172 homers and 1,005 strikeouts in the minors. Then, later, he became one of the Househusbands of Hollywood. And now you know the rest of the story …


Focus on Stan Conte


The shaky bet on Chris Capuano


  1. Responding to Artieboy, who wrote: “What I can’t fathom is why would you want to purchase a
    structure (DS) without the land on which it sits. I asked yesterday if
    such a situation currently exists…but I didn’t see a response.”I would be surprised if there weren’t many baseball owners who don’t own the land surrounding their stadiums. Just look around at all the downtown parks, like in S.F. — it’s not as if the Giants’ owners own the surrounding land.

  2. Anonymous

    Does Russell field better than Ashley did? That isn’t the highest bar to clear however.

  3. Anonymous

    The SI article to which Jon provided a link,, mentions Loney’s first and second halves i.e. before and after the All Star break. Breaking Loney’s stats at those dates gives the wrong impression.
     Loney from March 31 to April 17 went 150/175/217/391, 2 XBH in 60 AB. But, for the remainder of the first half he hit for average going 294/341/370/711, 14 XBH in 265 AB. Then, now we’re in the second half, he was terrible once again. He was started in only 20 of the next 32 games. He hit 194/277/264/541, 3 XBH in 72 AB from July 15 to August 20. For the rest of the season while the Dodgers went 25-11 and lost the 1 game in which Loney did not appear ( a 112 wins per season pace) he was MVP caliber (August 21 to September 28) hitting 388/438/679/1117, 24 XBH including 7 of his season’s 12 HR in 134 AB.   

  4. Test! – Ah hah! (wiping off my sneakers on the new DT doormat on the way inside)
    Been busy with things around here… Finally made it over to your new home Jon…
    I wasn’t sure exactly when DT bloggers are required to “report to camp” here in 2012…. :-)
    Congrats on the new site Jon. 

  5.  PS – I feel naked in here without my “TAFKAJ” designation….
    How do I hook that up?

  6. Anonymous

    The cover story of the magazine that has Molly Knight’s profile on Conte has some nonsense, some interesting stuff, pictures of a gorgeous wife and is worth reading:

  7. Anonymous

    I remember one game in which Ashley hit 2 (or was it 3?) dingers in Chicago one faithful day…

  8. Landon Kelt

    First post here at the new home… I like it much better than the LAT and ESPN and I wish you all the best Jon.

    I am sickened by the news that McCourt is playing hardball with the parking lots.  Can you believe the gall of this man?  Actually at this point I suppose it is to be expected.  Does anyone know if he retains the parking lots, does he get the lease revenue (14mm per year) AND the revenue from parking fees?  If so you have to expect that to be a serious dent in the asking price for what is for sale – stadium and team, especially if it is true that the lease is through 2030. 18 years * ~ $20mm (not including structured increases in rent) = close to $400 million.  I just don’t see how anyone can let him get away with that.. You would have to be a fool to give him that control, especially given his history.

    I am going on the record that if this does happen, true Dodger fans should take a shuttle, cab or bike to the games… or park outside the lots like many already do.  It probably wouldn’t do any good since his likely goal is development of the land, but I’ll be damned if I give that guy another dollar.

    • When a restaraunt owner leases a building from someone, who gets the money from beer sales? This seems like such an obvious answer to me but people continue to ask it, sometimes in the same comment threads.

      Frank would lease the lot to the Dodgers for 14mil and the Dodgers would charge whatever they want to charge and they would earn any revenue. Seems to me that the situation won’t change much for McCourt, since he was already using the parking lot to funnel the teams money to his personal bank account.

    • Anonymous

      At $14 million per year and if the price stays at $15 per car (buses pay more), the Dodgers would need 11,522 cars per game come in to cover the cost.

  9. Anonymous

    Isotopes Park can’t be a very conducive environment for trying to learn to cut down a bit on the K’s.

  10. Anonymous

    I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Frank Howard in this context. While I was glad the Dodgers got Claude Osteen, I was always disappointed Big Frank had to leave LA.

    • Anonymous

      Compared to these guys, Hondo wasn’t such a big swinger, K-ing about 20% of the time in the minors, as well in his 16-year career in the Bigs.  These guys are in another league!

      • Anonymous

         I hadn’t checked the numbers, but I would have guessed his K figures were higher.

        • Anonymous

          I guess its relative. Quick crunching shows that in 1962, he was second in the NL at 108 Ks (Hubbs at 129 led).  In 2011 Stubbs had 205, and Kemp at 159 placed seventh.

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