Monday, March 8, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Mark Ellis
Acquired: Traded as part of a 3-team trade (including Tampa Bay Devil Rays) by the Kansas City Royals (January 8, 2001).
Contract: Two years ($11M, total) with 2011 team option ($6M).
Position: Starting Second Baseman
Projected BA/OBP/SLG: (.248/.312/.386)
Over/Under: Mark Ellis epitomizes everything – good and not-so-good – about the Oakland A's. Like the franchise he's played for his whole career, Ellis has been mostly anonymous on a national level. His jaw-dropping defense is common knowledge among A's fans, but – like a lot of things about this team – needs the kind of complicated acronyms fancied by our boy-genius GM for those who don't follow the A's to appreciate.
And, like most of the A's teams of recent vintage, he's got the personality of tap water. I'm not saying you need charisma to hit a curveball, but it is hard to market the lunch pail throwbacks who've hit .247/.314/.387 over the past two seasons. Those numbers fall right in line with his projection, but I'm taking the UNDER. Ellis turns 33 this year and he's been unable to stay on the field for a full season since 2007.
By the Numbers: 78 – Career home runs by Ellis as a second baseman, which makes him the all-time Oakland A's leader at the position. Players behind Ellis include Dick Green, Tony Phillips, Scott Speizio and Davey Lopes. Quite a rich legacy, no?
Surefire 2010 Prediction: In a mild surprise, the A's will pick up Ellis' $6M option for 2011. Top 2B prospect Jemile Weeks is so raw on defense that the team is considering a move to the outfield. 2B/3B prospect Adrian Cardenas didn't impress management with a .689 OPS at Triple-A (in 207 PAs) in 2009. Better the Devil You Know, I s'pose.
Tupac Track for the Season: Soldier Like Me