Depressing Royals Story of the Day
Posted: December 23rd, 2009 | Filed under: Baseball | 89 Comments »
Well, the Kansas City Royals signed outfielder Brian Anderson for $700,000 plus incentives, making them the only team in baseball history so far to have BOTH Brian Andersons. So there is that.
This Brian Anderson can be called Brian N. Anderson — the N is for “Nikola” — and he has a career 69 OPS+ in 883 plate appearances. Much of that 69, to be fair, comes from his dreadful 2004 season when he hit .225/.290/.359. Since then, his OPS+ has been a more robust 75. And while he has no power, and has been caught stealing more times than he has been successful, and has a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 65-208, he does have a reputation as a good outfielder even though those rascally defensive numbers don’t show it.
Here’s the thing: Last year, there were seven players in baseball who qualified for the batting title with OPS+ of 80 or less. You got that number in mind? Seven.
– Two of those players — Yuniesky Betancourt and Jason Kendall — have been locked up by the Royals.
– Jose Guillen had an OPS+ of 80, but did not get enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title — he and his $13 million contract will be in the everyday lineup as either a DH or (gasp) a right fielder.
– Chris Getz, who had an OPS+ of 74 in 415 plate appearances (not enough to qualify) was acquired by the Royals and figures to be in the everyday lineup at second base.
– And now, Brian N. Anderson, with his career 69 OPS+ is the leading candidate to be the Opening Day centerfielder.
So — there were seven every day players in all of baseball last year with OPS+ of 80 or less. The Royals project to have FIVE IN THEIR OPENING DAY LINEUP. And that is assuming that Josh Fields, with his 68 OPS+ in 268 plate appearances last year, does not win a place in the lineup. And he could. The Royals like his bat.