(Proper Noun) is a fine player to have in the right situation, but he’s miscast as a featured part of the Giants’ offense.
Randy Winn hit in the middle of the Giants’ order last year. That still makes my eye twitch. It’s not like Winn was a useless player, though. He just needed to play was with a team that had so much offense, they could afford to play Winn for his defense. Like, oh, the Yankees. You can lather, rinse, and repeat for all sorts of players from the past five years. Ryan Garko is a fine player to have in the right situation…. Michael Tucker is…. Dave Roberts is… Aaron Rowand is…
Mark DeRosa is a fine player to have in the right situation, but he’s miscast as a featured part of the Giants’ offense. He plays several positions competently, and his newfangled ability to hit 20 homers is welcome on a team that struggles to hit 100 collective home runs in a season. He has average plate discipline, which when run through the MLB-to-Giants translator on Babelfish, seems like astounding plate discipline. Good player. He can start on a good team without anyone questioning the decision.
DeRosa is probably going to be the #5 hitter, though. And if he hits as many home runs as he did last year, he should have the second-highest total on the Giants this year. Those two sentences aren’t DeRosa’s fault, but they’re good clues as to why it’s hard to really get excited about him. As a player, he’s welcome. As a solution, he’s underwhelming.
And this is assuming that DeRosa is the same player that he was for the past few years, ignoring his second-half collapse. There are some good reasons why he might not have hit as well – low BABIP and a wrist injury – and they don’t necessarily have to do with age. But DeRosa will be 35, and wrist injuries are no joke. There are no guarantees that he’ll find what was lost in the second half last year.
I do like DeRosa’s versatility. With Freddy Sanchez out, for example, DeRosa slides over to second, with John Bowker getting a chance in lef…wait, that’s not the plan? Juan Uribe? But he’s playing short now that Renteria is on waivers, and…wait, now I’m confusing my roster in Baseball Mogul with reality. Regardless, I like DeRosa’s versatility, even if only in theory.
Bill James: .260/.335/.418, 507 AB, 17 HR
CHONE: .262/.343/.415, 484 AB, 16 HR
PECOTA: .272/.353/.446, 433 AB, 15 HR
ZiPS: .273/.345/.434, 433 AB, 14 HR
I’ll give DeRosa the benefit of the doubt and agree with PECOTA and ZiPS that DeRosa has some production left in him, wrist injury or no.