I'm sure a ton of casual Rays fans are asking themselves - although not this guy, he actually wrote the Yanks a letter - and it figures this will go up after Weber hit a homer in today's game. From what I hear Weber represents the model baseball player off of the field, on the field however, he's not prone to success - although his minor league teams have won something like the last six of seven championships, that's nuts, but it's not because of him.
Take a look either here. I'd like to point to the 2006 season.. Note the OPS first, his best in AAA since 2004, now turn your attention to the league and team he played for: the Pacific Coast League and Tucson. Now look at the other ballparks he's played in with success; Las Vegas, Bakersfield, and even slightly at Durham.
Despite not putting up world beater numbers the only times he's looked like a competent high minors player is in hitter's ballparks. Below are some of the park factors on runs per game compared to average.
Las Vegas 1.16
While he did perform well in Bakersfield, and it is a pitcher's park, he did so against much younger competition at presumably lower talent levels. What those numbers mean in terms of Weber's performances is quite simple, a player is what his environment lets him be. If you put Weber in an environment where runs are higher than average of course he'll raise his performance. At the same time placing him in an average hitter's park/league or even a pitcher's park/league would lower his performance substantially.
To tie the connection together, Tropicana Field is a pitcher's park by quite a bit, and while Weber might not play everyday at this point, for this team, he's clearly not the best possible option. We've considered Barry Bonds - Cork Gaines at Rays Index even contacted Chone Smith to run a projection through CHONE with Bonds, the Rays would win approximately 92 games - Kenny Lofton, Weber, John Rodriguez, and numerous trade options, which is why if somehow Weber is on the team opening day I'll be highly curious and a bit peeved; we can do better than an average product of friendly environments.