Brian McCann is on a downward spiral that is somewhat alarming. His ABs have dropped each of the past four years, and with good reason. Last year he posted career lows in RBI, Batting average, and he posted his first SLG under .400. In addition, his OPS, hits, and doubles has dropped each of the past four seasons. He also had his lowest HR total since 2007. McCann can still be a major force, but the trends suggest that his best days are behind him.
Projection: 11HR 56 RBI .249 avg
Ryan Hanigan had a career high in AB last season. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he posted a career low in HR, And he posted a meager .338 SLG. But not all hope is lost. Hanigan has a great eye and walks (.370 career OBP) and he makes contact. He may never be a feared slugger, but he could be worth a late pickup as your number two catcher. Interesting stat: In 6 years he has not attempted a SB.
Projection: 7 HR 39 RBI .287 avg
Here’s an interesting stat: Ryan Doumit hit 18HR 75RBI and hit .275 last year. While those stats surprised many, they should not have. Doumit’s 162 game average is 18HR 74RBI and a .272 average…meaning he did exactly what he normally does: produce. Granted, injuries have hurt his production, but even when he was healthy, Clint Hurdle (the worst manager in baseball) sat Doumit for much of the time. Doumit’s SLG and OPS was actually better last year with the Pirates. What does that tell you? The guy can hit. If he can get some at-bats as a DH, he could put up great numbers.
Projection: 22HR 71RBI .284 avg
Russell Martin is not a great option for 2013. He has been in the majors for seven years, but he has yet to have a SLG percentage and OPS close to what he achieved his first two years in the league…this despite a career high last year in HR. His BA has dropped in each of the past five years. He has failed to collect 100 hits in his last three seasons. At a week position, you could do worse than Martin, but don’t expect huge numbers, especially with a Pirates team that doesn’t have the talent that the Yankees had.
Projection: 14HR 59RBI .222 avg
There are many reasons to believe that A.J. Ellis 2012 season was a fluke. He’s 32 years old, and hit 13HR last year. That is more HR than he hit in his 9 seasons in the minors. However, there is one thing Ellis does very well, and that is get on base. He had a high OBP in the minors, and it has carried over into his Dodger career. Despite being in the minors for nine seasons, he hit over .300 in three of his last four minor league seasons, and he had a career OBP of .406. That makes him a decent option. No one LA brought into camp will beat Ellis out for the job.
Projection: 16HR 68RBI .280 avg