I admit it. I brought you here under false pretenses. Here you thought you were going to read about players or prospects that had the proverbial five tools like running, throwing, power, high batting average and character. But that is not what this post is about. I’ll leave such tool worship to the scouts and prospect writers who are good at what they do. Instead this post is about players whose names come from tools. There are five of them.
The first is named after a garden instrument. You have all heard of the common garden hoe. They are great for taking care of weeds that always seem to grow better than your vegetables or flowers do. If you have more than one hoe, you have hoes. That’s where L.J. Hoes comes in. He was drafted by the Orioles in the third round of the 2008 draft and was part of the deal that sent Bud Norris to the Orioles from Houston in 2013. Hoes has seen limited duty in parts of three seasons and is currently in the minors. His real first name is Jerome.
With the terrible fashion statement today of men having scruffy faces and beards, it’s doubtful that many are going to barbers these days to get a shave. But if they did, they would see the barber with a piece of leather hanging near his equipment. That leather thing is called a strop and helps him/her keep the blade sharp.
Pedro Strop currently pitches for the Chicago Cubs. Strop also has ties to the Baltimore Orioles as he pitched there for a few seasons. He was originally signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2002 out of the Dominican Republic and has also pitched for the Rangers. He has had two very fine seasons for the Cubs in 2013 and 2014.
A thatcher is also called a de-thatcher, which makes little sense. Both are correct, but that’s kind of like flammable and inflammable. Why do we need two words that mean the same thing? Anyway, the tool is designed to thin out your lawn so that the plants that make up your lawn have more room to breathe and grow freely. I want to buy one for my lawnmower, but you have to get cinder blocks to put on top of it to keep it thatching. Why wouldn’t they design a product that could stay down in the first place?
Joe Thatcher is a relief pitcher that you cannot keep down either. He has pitched parts of eight seasons with significant relief appearances since 2010. He was recently acquired by the Angels from the Diamondbacks so Joe must not be one of those rah-rah types. He hasn’t pitched well for the Angels so far, but he is a good relief pitcher with a proven track record. He currently makes $3.75 million which means that he could afford a lot of cinder blocks.
The fourth one is my least favorite examples because it is kind of a blah tool. But we all need them to run our cars, lawnmowers and engines of all sorts. They also keep our pants up. I am talking of the belt.
Brandon Belt was drafted by the Giants so he is a home grown guy. He had sort of a break out season a year ago as he took over first base. But things haven’t worked out this year and it’s been pretty much a lost year for him. He still seems to have a bright future and can keep the Giants’ offensive motor running for years to come.
The fifth is my favorite. It is the peavy. A peavy is a logging tool and has a broom like handle with a metal spike on the end and a metal hook. It was invented to help move logs that were stuck in log drives that jammed up in rivers. They are simply useful in maneuvering logs. The reason I like it so much is that it was invented right here in Maine by Joseph Peavy of Upper Stillwater, Maine and the Peavy Manufacturing Company is still making variations today.
Jake Peavy is in the business of trying to separate wood from batters. As a pitcher, he tries to out-maneuver them so they either strikeout or hit the ball weakly for an out. Peavy is a former star who lost favor in Boston and was traded to the Giants. He is doing better for that team and seems to have a big of his swagger back.
I apologize that you did not find any information about five-tool players. But I hope you enjoyed this little bit of nonsense in the midst of a overly-serious baseball world.