Old Sneakers wrote:I wanted to expand on what I had above. When I look at Nate McLouth's career numbers I just do not see a lead off type hitter. I do not know if L.J. Hoes is or not but he did look to at least be solid this past season in AAA. Honestly, I would rather go with a platoon at LF next year with Hoes, Reimold and one other each pushing each other for playing time. Also see more money go into starting pitching than LF. I feel its a position much easier to fill.
I do not really care about power for the lead off hitter. Doubles and being a run producing machine matter a great deal more.
I'd like to see McLouth come next year with a contract in the 2M range as a BASE and incentives that could add another 2M based on playing time. It may be the best deal he can get and it allows him to double his money based on his productivity. He should be smart enough to know that Buck is biased towards Veterans and he will get every opportunity to play as long as he produces.
If Nick Markakis
could play today I would put him at lead off and I bat McLouth second against at least RHers. This isn't a knock on JJ Hardy, but McL's OBA numbers are much better than his.
I still feel that Hoes and Avery will be productive MLers, but I don't see either of them as a better PLAYER than McLouth at this point, or next season. Hoes' bat will probably be the equal of McLouth's at some point, but there's no guarantee that it will be next year. McLouth's glove is much better than Hoes, as is his speed. If Riemold can't play the field next year then Hoes may get the chance to be the fourth OF and play against some tough LHers.
IMO Avery needs to rediscover what caused the team to call him up this season. He has a plus glove and blazing speed, but I wouldn't want to count on him being ready for even a fourth OFer spot coming out of ST next year.