No Astros news this past week. The Yanks hogged the team-out-of-the-playoffs-spotlight with the Joe Torre drama. So back to checking on the free agents.
Part 1 looked at free agent CF.
Now, let’s take a look at free agent RF and at out own OF on our 40 man:
Right fielders (and 2 guys who could play right)
Bobby Abreu, age 34 -Yanks have a 16 mill club option. As for fielding, well, he has a very bad rep, which he doesn’t totally deserve with a RF of 2.15 (high is 2.68) and a ZR of .858, which, I admit is not quite as good – high is .971 (among guys who played at least 400 innings in right – 11th of 16, and, in fact, Jack Cust had a better rating – yikes!!!) Offensively, he’s definitely on the downslide of his career. He steals between 22-35 bases a year and usually hits 20 homers, but his walk rate and slugging rate dropped considerably this year. He has a career OPS of .908 and he slid to .814 this year. Of course he won’t get any 16 mill on the open market, but I wouldn’t be surprised if SOMEone will give him a multi year deal, which I sure wouldn’t.
Shawn Green, age 35 – Mets have a 10 mill club option. Dude can NOT field and he can’t hit lefties at all and barely hits rightys. Ummmm, no.
Jose Guillen, age 32 – Mariners have 9 mill club option. Good hitter, and I will be absolutely stunned if the Mariners don’t keep him. He has the reputation of, uh, whatever the Latin is for uppity, so much so that his team, the Angels, chose to bench him at the cost of losing the playoffs. As for fielding, he has the reputation of being good, but I was surprised to see that his numbers are below those of Bobby Abreu with a RF of 1.96 and a ZR of .796 – interesting that Bobby has the rep of being a totally lead glove and Guillen of being a totally golden one. Neither one deserves it.
Geoff Jenkins, age 33, who really can’t hit lefties very well any more. Had a VERY good glove most of his career, but had fallen the past few years. He’s still got a good RF – 2.30 (5th of 15†NL fielders with over 500 innings. You DID guess correctly that Carlos Lard was dead last with 1.77) and a decent ZR of .889 (again, 5th of 15 and guess who is last)†
Luis Gonzalez, age 41 should consider himself lucky that he got a contract THIS year. He’s been cooked for several years. He is only a part-timer at best and these days, he can’t even hold a candle to Luke Scott with either bat or glove.
Reggie Sanders, age 40. Has been hurt for almost 2 years straight and it is most DEFINITELY time to retire. I always liked Reggie and he had a very nice career and it’s a shame he never played for us – he hit like Barry Lamar 2001 in the Box.
Shannon Stewart, age 34. Has that nice high average low power sort of stats that Stros fans clamor for. Bats around .295 with a .390 SLG. Few Ks, few BB, 13-15 GIDP a year. Thing is, he’s been playing left for the past 6 years and at his age, I doubt he could move to center and do well – he’s about a league average fielder in left. Needless to say, with an 88, 88 and 96 OPS+ over the past 3 years, yes I know, in the AL, he certainly isn’t better than Luke Scott, who hits for power.
Brad Wilkerson, age 31 – only had 320 AB this year and 358 last because of injuries. He’s lifetime .250/354/451/804, but since the Expos left Montreal, he’s declined. This year, he’s walked 43 times and K’d 107. That, my friends, is a higher rate than the King of K Preston Wilson. He only played 275 innings in left, which is really not the best sample size, but he had a ZR of .880. However, last year, he played 664 innings in left and had a ZR of .814, which is seeping dangerously down to Carlos territory. He has spent very little of his career playing right, and the sample size over the past 6 years is only 356 innings.
Our OF (not including Carlos Lee, who is cemented – hahahaha – in left)
Luke Scott, age 29 – not sure exactly what he did to earn the enmity of the Organization, but here is a guy who hits a homer every 20 AB. His seasonal average in the ML is 36 doubles, 9 triples, 20 homers, 65 BB, 112 K and 74 RBIs. And as I’ve said before, Luke’s glove in right is excellent – 4th best among regular RF in the NL. AND he’ll earn a salary barely above league minimum.
Hunter Pence, age 25. Will of course be paid barely above minimum. In 484 PA, he hit 30 doubles, 9 triples, 17 HR, 26 BB (kept em low, didn’t he) 95 K, 10 GIDP, 11 SB, 5 CS. Hit hitting line .322/.360/.539/.899. VERY good for a CF, in fact, first among CF with at least 400 AB. His glove wasn’t bad either – RF of 2.83 (believe it or not, Jason Lane was better at 2.85, but Ryan Church was best among fielders with >300 innings at 3.02) and a ZR of .866 (and again, Jason Lane was better with .876 and Hunter was 15th among CF with >300 innings.) And Willy Taveras, so terribly missed by so many Stros fans, had a RF of 2.76 and a ZR of .823 – so much for Willy’s “incredible” defense.
Reggie Abercrombie, age 27. Claimed off waivers from the Marlins in spite of the fact that he, uh, well, um, got some, uh, flava to him and he hits worse than Jason Lane. In 2006 in 225 AB, he hit .211/.271/.333/.604. He was even worse this year – in 76 AB, he hit .197/.238/.316/.554. His minor league numbers aren’t exactly outstanding – in almost 3000 AB, he hit .266/.310/.438/.748. I don’t have minor league fielding stats such as zone rating and range factor, but in 716 innings in the majors (104 games) he has a 2.90 RF and a .909 ZR, both good, but VERY small sample size. Of course, he’d get the ML minimum, but unlike Josh Anderson, he’s a righty. Not sure exactly why we bothered to get him except to show that the Astros aren’t opposed to having brothas on the team.
Josh Anderson, age 25. Would earn ML minimum, of course. Had only 67 AB in the majors – 21 singles, 3 doubles, 5 BB, 2 HBP, 6 K, no GIDP – hit .358/.413/.403/.816. He’s essentially a singles hitter who doesn’t walk much, just like Willy T. His line is .290/.342/.373/.715 over his minor league career.
And there you have it.
Unless we TRADE for someone, and let’s be honest here, we really have almost nobody to trade, best to stick with who we have.