Monday, March 2, 2009
30 A's in 30 Days – Kurt Suzuki
Acquired: Drafted in 2nd round, 2004.
Contract: One year thru 2009. Eligible for arbitration after 2010.
Position: Starting Catcher
Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.261/.337/.374)
Over/Under: Suzuki's projection is virtually indistinguishable from his 2008 stats, but I think he takes a step forward – especially, if the A's don't grind him into ceremonial sumo salt with another 148 games played. Last year, his OPS stood at .746 on July 31. In August and September, Suzuki hit .243/.333/.320(!). I like the OVER – as long as he's not worn out before Grandparents' Day.
By the Numbers: 8 – The number Suzuki will wear this year after giving up #24 for the embarrassingly overdue retirement of Rickey Henderson's old number. You know how some teams that actually celebrate their history won't assign a great player's number to anyone before the club retires it? Not, Oakland! A few legends who've worn #24 since Rickey left the A's: Brian Lesher, Buddy Groom, Doug Jones and 2003 Jermaine Dye.
Surefire '09 Prediction: If the A's get off to a strong start, there will be no less than three analysis-free articles written each week giving too much credit to Suzuki for his game-calling skillz. If the A's pitchers struggle, there won't be one word written about it possibly being Suzuki's fault.