For reasons I can't exactly determine I've decided to do a Baseball Prospectus style assortment of our big league position players. Okay, only half of that previous statement is correct, I know very well why I did it, but that's irrelevant. Let me pre-face this post by saying that it took the longest of any of my posts ever have - hopefully that translates over into its quality, if not I'm clearly awful. The entire post after the jump.
The sky is blue, fire is hot, Rocco is hurt. A horrible year was somewhat mercifully ended early, but that Joey Devine, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Yunel Escobar deal looks pretty good right about now. Perhaps Rocco can regain that 2006 form and catapult that into a move elsewhere. If not you just feel bad for Baldelli who wasted his first - and possibly last - chance to get paid. I'll stop now before this turns into another sappy Rocco post.
We keep waiting for Carl's power to show but it doesn't happen until his wrist acts up. He's not as good as everyone seems to think he is, but with a contract that screams early 2000's that may well make up the difference to any team. As for next year, let's hope that power shines through, or at least the ability to draw some more walks otherwise that wacky BABIP could suggest a collapse if / when the speed goes.
At this point who knows where Dukes will be playing in 2007. An extremely unlucky BABIP contributed to a sub-Mendoza line batting average; but he walked and hit homeruns like advertised. I won't go into the whole game of "ifs" but it would be nice if he could just find himself a home in our designated hitter role.
Gomes wasn't as bad as I thought, but I stick by the jokes that either he needs glasses or he's a fan of pre-destination. At times he looks really good at the plate, and then sometimes he looks like he does in the field - completely and utterly lost.
A very nice surprise; he's going to become Joe Maddon's Chone Figgins in namesake only as they're two very different players. Assuming he can keep his BABIP right on par with his line drive rate he'll be very valuable off the bench; and to think we only paid cash for him.
Another nice surprise, Iwamura sliding to second will only help his value. Perhaps the most misleading of stats is his low runs batted in total, he wasn't Manny Ramirez, but he wasn't Enzo Hernandez for crying out loud. It will be very interesting to see if the range he displayed in his only game at second carries over - if so our pitchers might be buying him an alligator skin jacket or wristband.
Pudgito seemingly regressed during the first half, but came on strong late. If he just hits like he did in 2005 he'll be fine; assuming his defense remains the same and he does some extra work this off-season to get in better shape; losing some of his delightful plumpness.
Another guy I didn't think did as well as he apparently did - not saying that I want him back, because he adds no defensive value and we really don't have room for a sub-.700 OPS designated hitter - and that's seemingly where Norty - Norty! - is headed.
He won't be back next season, and for good reason - he's awful. I'd love to just talk to Josh about his book, but as for his playing career, meh. I just hope that he continues to grow the porn 'stache, but shaves it off and includes a piece in each copy of his book - or perhaps just review copies, whatever - you know where to find me Josh...
I've assumed Pena's batting average would drop next year, but his BABIP wasn't really off the charts; hopefully he can maintain that sweet stroke and not have pitchers find that hole in his swing.
The new movie "There Will Be Blood" is inspired by Upton Sinclair's book, Oil! Perhaps B.J.'s 2007 season was also inspired by it; he seemingly struck black gold by showing at the major league level what he'd shown throughout the minors and in our dreams since he was drafted second overall in 2003. His average will likely drop, but playing in more games will only help his counting stats. Apropos, 2008 will mark his first full year in centerfield; likely ending any hope of him starting an All-Star game anytime soon.
Wasn't overly horrible early on, but he shouldn't be on the 40-man roster come April. In fact he shouldn't be on anyone's 40-man; but Nick Punto may be starting in Minnesota, and I suppose there's only one Auggie Ojeda.
Very disappointing season, perhaps we were expecting too much, but his strike zone discipline is perhaps the worst I've ever seen - minus Jared Sandberg who I have an unhealthy obsession with - his defense didn't disappoint in right field, although watching him or Dukes in center was simply brutal.