Just some stuff that’s been on my mind of late… stats are through July 22.
Nick Hundley, Ron Karkovice, Jason LaRue, Mike Macfarlane
In the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual, I compared Hundley to a couple of defense-first, swing-for-the-fences catchers. In the interest of accountability, I thought I’d see how these guys stack up at the same stage in their respective careers. I threw in Macfarlane as well, since I’d compared Hundley to him in the 2008 Annual. The following are through roughly 722 career plate appearances:
Player Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG Hundley 26 196 646 72 157 34 5 18 83 60 174 .243 .307 .395 Karkovice 26 255 644 78 141 30 2 18 73 46 210 .219 .273 .356 LaRue 28 219 650 71 152 35 2 21 77 49 186 .234 .306 .391 Macfarlane 26 230 662 66 173 41 3 10 93 45 110 .261 .314 .378
What does all this mean? No clue, but I find it interesting.
Chase Headley, Kevin Kouzmanoff
We were talking on Friarhood Radio earlier in the week about the perception that Headley has been a disappointment. It is my opinion that much of this perception is based on false expectations raised as a result of his monster 2007 campaign at San Antonio, as well as the fact that are no marquee bats to surround Adrian Gonzalez in the Padres lineup.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s pretty clear now — as it was at the time — that the Padres moved the right third baseman. For as much as I love Kouz, the fact is that Headley is younger, cheaper, and better. Here’s how both have fared so far in 2010:
Player Age $M PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ Fld% RF/9 WAR Headley 26 .4277 407 .271 .323 .381 100 .967 2.51 2.5 Kouzmanoff 28 3.1000 382 .270 .304 .398 90 .967 2.67 0.7
They’re basically the same player right now, but one costs a lot less and has upside. He’s the one still playing in San Diego.
Jerry Hairston Jr., Miguel Tejada
We also talked about rumors that the Padres might be looking to acquire Baltimore third baseman Miguel Tejada. I admitted that Tejada didn’t excite me much, mainly because he isn’t really a shortstop anymore and he isn’t really a hitter anymore. I noted that Tejada is having Hairston’s season and that such a comparison wasn’t a compliment.
Allow me to clarify for a moment: I love what Hairston has brought to the Padres. He’s done a fine job and helped pick up the club when Everth Cabrera couldn’t get it done at shortstop this year. That said, Hairston came here as a utility player. There were no illusions about what kind of player he was and is.
On the other hand, as we’ve seen with Headley (and many other guys), once you acquire a tag, it can be hard to shake. With Tejada, people may be tempted to think of him as a former MVP rather than as a badly fading star. The point in comparing him with Hairston is that you can (as the Padres did with Hairston) find players of that caliber without giving anything of value and it would be a mistake to pay much beyond, say, a Double-A reliever.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to disparage Hairston in my comments on Friarhood Radio. I just wanted to explain that Tejada, at this stage in his career, is not a difference maker. To the comparison:
Player Age $M PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ WAR Hairston 34 2.125 343 .253 .312 .360 91 0.9 Tejada 36 6.000 402 .271 .311 .370 83 -0.2
Add in the fact that Tejada has yet to play a single inning at shortstop this year, and I’m not sure I see the point in acquiring him. I understand that David Eckstein is hurt, but why not just bring back Lance Zawadzki? He’s not great, but neither is Tejada. One of those guys is cheap, already in the organization, and able to play the middle infield.