Tuesday, March 10, 2009

30 A's in 30 Days – Travis Buck

Acquired: Drafted in 1st round, 2005.
Contract: One year thru 2009. Eligible for arbitration after 2010.
Position: Starting RF (Really?)

Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.262/.343/.417)

Over/Under: I generally take anything I read on the A's official website with a grain of salt. Paraphrasing Lisa Simpson: I think their site is a flimsy hodgepodge of merchandise, inert analysis and Larry King Barry Bloom. Still, I was surprised to see Buck listed on the team's Spring Training depth chart as the starting RF. In 2008, he got off to an 0 for 21 start, before getting busted down to…"buck private" (HAW~!) with a demotion to Triple-A. In the Minors, Buck endured a concussion and battled vertigo, but came back to the A's in mid-September. He hit .367/.415/.673 in his last 49 at-bats to raise his '08 line to: .226/.291/.432. If he's really going to get that much '09 playing time, take the UNDER.

By the Numbers: 5 – The age of my son, Jalen. Y'see, he's got two favorite Oakland A's: (1) Whoever happens to be wearing the jersey number that matches his age and (2) Bobby Crosby(!). Last year, when he was four, I had to watch more Eric Patterson video-on-demand highlights off of mlb.com than I'd care to remember. (There were, like, three, and we'd just watch 'em over and over.) At least I get more than a full calendar year before my son's world stops for #6 Travis Buck and his regular groundouts to SS.

Surefire '09 Prediction: Suppose I should go out on a limb at least once, so here goes: this'll be Buck's last season in Oakland. The A's have Ryan Sweeney who brings Buck's exact same skill set plus the ability to play a passable CF. Meanwhile, OF prospect Aaron Cunningham is on the horizon. He's got more pop than Buck and benefits of being a right-handed option in the A's lefty-leaning line-up. Damn liberals.

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