Saturday, April 04, 2009

Batters up - outfield edition

Hey, welcome back Joe!

Now, let's take a look at the Tigers' outfield.

LF - Carlos Guillen: Batted .286/.376/.436 in 489 PAs last year. Interestingly, the AL averages for third basemen (where Guillen saw most of his time last season) and left fielders is identical. Guillen's BA and OBP exceed the averages substantially while the slugging is modestly better, too. Hopefully, playing LF will help Guillen's back woes. And, hopefully, he can play the position without incident.

CF - Curtis Granderson: Batted .280/.365/.494 in 629 PAs last season. Scored 112 R in 141 games. Led the AL in triples for the second consecutive year. Walked 19 times more than in 2007 and struck out 30 times less. Keep in mind, he led the AL in whiffs in 2006, so he's made great strides. He could move into elite status this season.

RF - Magglio Ordonez: Batted .317/.376/.494 in 623 PAs last year. He is to the outfield what Placido Polanco is to the infield when it comes to consistency. The dude is a .312 lifetime hitter. Throw out his first full season in 1998 and two seasons that saw his playing time limited because of injuries, and Maggs has driven in 100+ runs in 7 of the remaining 8 seasons (and he had 99 RBI in the other!). Age will become a concern, like Polly, but there's no reason to believe he will not produce at his usual level. If the Tigs fall out of the race, he most likely will end the season with a contender.

DH - Marcus Thames: Batted .241/.292/.516 in 342 PAs last year. Marcus Markley Thames should exceed 400 PAs for the first time in his career now that Gary Sheffield is in Flushing. Thames doesn't walk or get on base with frequency. He hits homers. He could top 40 this season.

Bench - Josh Anderson: Batted .294/.338/.426 in 146 PAs for the Braves last season. He stole 10 bases in 11 attempts. I don't know much about him, but Baseball Prospectus says he's a fifth outfielder. So, as long as none of the regulars is injured, it seems Anderson is well cast.

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