Wednesday, March 4, 2009
30 A's in 30 Days – Mark Ellis
Acquired: Traded as part of a three-team trade (incl. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) by the Kansas City Royals to the Oakland A's (January 8, 2001).
Contract: Two years ($11M, total) with 2011 team option ($6M).
Position: Starting Second Baseman
Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.257/.332/.399)
Over/Under: Oh, I'm 'bout to get all esoteric on that ass! Last year, Ellis was hampered by two things: (1) Bringing a home run swing to nearly every at-bat, in an attempt to recreate his fluke 2005 season and cash in as a free agent. (2) An exceptionally unlucky .249 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Ellis had never posted a BABIP less than .280 before last year. Worst case scenario is ye olde dead cat bounce. Take the OVER.
By the Numbers: 0 – Number of Gold Gloves that Ellis has won in his career. He's been the best fielding second baseman in the AL for the past five years, yet his work remains mostly anonymous to fans and media east of Oakland. Dustin Pedroia's GG win in 2008 was tantamount to grand theft AND what Michael Vick did to those dogs. I'm not exaggerating.
Surefire '09 Prediction: Ellis is coming off of shoulder surgery that ended his '08 campaign early and won't be cleared to play the field in live games until the end of March. Assuming he's healthy, this will be the last full season he plays everyday with the A's. The team has a pair of intriguing prospects (2008 first round pick Jemile Weeks and Adrian Cardenas, acquired in the Fat Joe Blanton trade) who could be ready for the show after the 2010 All Star break.