Monday, March 1, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Kevin Kouzmanoff
Acquired: Traded from San Diego (with 2B Eric Sogard) for OF Scott Hairston and OF Aaron Cunningham (January 15, 2010).
Contract: One year thru 2010, eligible for arbitration after the season.
Position: Starting 3B
Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.256/.306/.431)
Over/Under: On the one hand, Kouzmanoff's OPS has dipped precipitously in each of the last two seasons (.732, .722) from his 2007 career-high of .786. On the other hand, he's spent the past three years playing half his games in one of the worst hitters' parks in the game. In 858 career plate appearances in San Diego's Petco Park, he's hit .239/.290/.394. In every other park in North America he's hit .285/.327/.474.
I hung my hat on home/road splits to support my contempt for last year's Matt Holliday acquisition, so I suppose I should be consistent and take the OVER. Here in San Diego, the locals had nicknamed Kouzmanoff "The Crushin' Russian". 25 years ago, this moniker would've led to a corny poster with Kouz wearing stereotypical Soviet garb and wielding a hammer and sickle. Don't believe me?
By the Numbers: 1998 – This was the last year the A's entered Spring Training without penciling in Eric Chavez's name as the Opening Day third baseman – regardless of whether or not Chavez actually made it to Opening Day. Dave Magadan beat out Mike Blowers for the job in '98. Ed Sprague was added to the hot corner mix later that season. Hard to believe they only won 74 games.
Surefire 2010 Prediction: Through the magic of MLB's Extra Innings package, I'll spend most of the season listening to opposing broadcasters point out Kouzmanoff's career .308 OBP and declaring that he's not the type of "Moneyball" player the organization usually covets.
Tupac Track for the Season: Changes