Saturday, March 5, 2011
30 A's in 30 Days: Landon Powell
Acquired: Drafted in first round (2004).
Contract: Signed through 2011 (eligible for arbitration after 2011).
Position: Reserve catcher; full-time yo-yo.
2011 Projected BA/OBP/SLG: .221/.317/.368
2010 Season: After showing some decent platoon potential -- in an admittedly microscopic sample size -- during his rookie season in 2009 (.267/.324/.505 in 111 plate appearances vs. RHP), Powell spent the first ten weeks of the 2010 season driving back and forth from Oakland to AAA-Sacramento. The A's created their own roster crunch after acquiring Jake Fox -- who was out of minor-league options -- from the Cubs. Fox was named the back-up catcher to start the season, while Powell was sent down to the minors or called back up to the A's eight times between early April and mid-June before regaining his spot on the Major League roster. His final numbers (.214/.305/.304) weren't much to look at, but he achieved "Do Not Erase" status on my DVR by catching Dallas Braden's Mother's Day perfect game.
2011 Over/Under: A's manager Bob Geren has announced that Powell will be in competition with Josh Donaldson for the coveted 100-plate-appearances-per-season gig as Kurt Suzuki's caddie/back-up catcher. Powell's comic book body does him no favors, nor does his well-established injury history at the minor league level. Nevertheless, if the A's just left Powell alone, gave him one start a week behind the plate and another at DH to spell 37-year-old Hideki Matsui; there's no reason why he couldn't at least repeat his rookie numbers. How likely will the A's leave him alone, though? Take the UNDER. Enjoy Interstate 80, Landon.
By the Numbers: 15 – The number of pounds reportedly dropped by both Powell and Donaldson during the offseason. It's a dead heat! Who wants it more?!
Surefire 2011 Prediction: Starting catcher Kurt Suzuki has averaged 142 games played over the past three seasons. No matter who "wins" the back-up job out of camp, he won't get much playing time in Oakland. Look for the Opening Day back-up catcher to be demoted to Triple-A no later than the end of May, while the Spring Training "loser" gets called up. Several weeks later, Powell and Donaldson will trade places...and so it will go all season. The two will finish 2011 within 15 MLB plate appearances of each other.
Old School Rap Track for the Season: Please Listen to My Demo, EPMD