Neal Huntington: Tabata’s ‘not thirty’

Good catch by Charlie and his readers over the weekend: On Rocco DeMaro’s broadcast from Piratefest yesterday, he asked Neal Huntington about Jose Tabata’s age and Huntington, while acknowledging that both their records and the Yankees’ records indicate that he’s 21 as he says, responded, “He’s not thirty,” and “If he’s 24, he’s still a young player with great upside.”

I’ve listened to the comments a couple times (first link, about 39:00 in) and I honestly can’t tell if Huntington is saying, “Look, we think he’s 21 and so did the Yankees, but people have been wrong about this sort of thing before and what exactly are we supposed to do about it if he is older than we think?” or “Yeah, he’s probably 24.” It obviously is a big deal if Tabata’s 24 (22 is probably OK, 23 is pretty iffy, 24 means that suddenly he’s been age appropriate the whole time in the minors and that makes the whole “We’re moving him along and he’ll develop power when he gets older” thing almost completely null), I’m just not sure if that’s the conclusion we’re supposed to infer from that statement.

A similar thing happened earlier in the weekend when Huntington was asked about Bryce Harper and made comments that I read as, “If we draft him it’ll be because we scouted him and we liked him, not because of what someone else thinks,” and others read as “He’s not even in our top ten right now.” I guess having such a candid GM can be a drawback sometimes.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.