Quick Note on Kevin Kouzmanoff

After the way he finished last season, I think a lot of fans were expecting big things from Kouzmanoff.  Through 312 plate appearances this season, I think he’s left most of us disappointed.  He has hit .263/.311/.419 which doesn’t quite match his season line of .275/.329/.457 from last year.  It seemed like he got off to a better start this year in April though, so I decided to see where this year’s line compares to last year’s through the same number of plate appearances.

He’s actually doing better, which is a little surprising and even a little encouraging.  Through 312 PA in 2007, he was hitting only .230/.288/.401.  23 points of OBP and 18 points of SLG isn’t half bad.  Should he finish the year with those increases holding, he’d have an OBP/SLG of .352/.475 at the end.  I don’t necessarily expect that, but honestly I don’t know what to expect, so that doesn’t mean much.

Random Thoughts

A somewhat common refrain from Padre fans is that the Padres had opportunities to better their outfield this off-season, but elected not to. This strikes me as an example of merely looking at the roster now and assuming no effort was made to field a different one. The Padres attempted to re-sign Milton Bradley and Mike Cameron and also made a run at Kosuke Fukudome. That they were outbid for their services means just that. It also means that guys like Edmonds and Hairston were not their first choices. Hairston was ticketed for a role as fourth outfielder and the Padres traded for Edmonds as their fourth choice. I refuse to believe anyone honestly believes the front office’s Plan A was to start the season with Jim Edmonds and Scott Hairston as their starters in center and left field.

I’ve also heard people complaining about Kouzmanoff and some even going so far as to hope he can “bounce back next year.” Really? Through 48 games this year Kouzmanoff is hitting .274/.303/.398, which granted is not what you’d like to see, but through 48 games last year he was hitting .212/.285/.364. He finished with a line of .275/.329/.457 by hitting .303/.350/.498 over his final 97 games. Given that he had such a drastic split last season, can’t we all agree it’s a little ridiculous to write off this season when he’s actually performing better to this point than he was last season?

Another thing I keep seeing that I don’t get is crowing about wasting Headley’s bat by moving him from third base to left field. The positional adjustment from third to left is roughly five runs over a full 700 PA season. It’s not exactly moving from Catcher to Designated Hitter (which is more like a 25 run adjustment). Speaking of Headley, though, am I the only one bothered by his peripherals this year? The drop off in XBH% isn’t particularly troubling because it’s still solid, but the fact that his walk rate has basically collapsed while his strikeout rate has held steady is worrisome. I suppose it’s only 41 games, but his great AA campaign was only 121 games.

I’ve also heard calls for a new plan, one that won’t lead to 17-31 records. I think it’s worth noting that this same “plan” led to 89 wins last season and back-to-back division titles prior to that. Maybe it’s not so much the “plan” as this year’s execution of it.

I’ll post the full list tomorrow, but I wanted to mention it now.  I went through a list of all the players that have played in the Majors this year (through I believe Tuesday) and found which team drafted or signed them as amateurs.  The Padres were responsible for the fewest players and it wasn’t close as they accounted for only 16 while no other club fell below 20.

Not So Daily Links

There’s a nice little interview with Kevin Kouzmanoff at ESPN:

Kouzmanoff: It’s definitely a tough park to hit in, it is a pitchers’ park. Sometimes you get pull-happy, you dip the back shoulder and just try to get the ball out of the park, because it takes a lot to get it out of there. But I think it’s important to work on line drives, just staying up the middle of the field. Just trying to square up the ball and put the barrel of the bat on the ball.

I thought that was an interesting response from Kouzy with regard to PetCo. The idea that the park forces a hitter to be more disciplined and focus on hitting line drives is, well, interesting.

Friar Forecast’s Padman also posted his Weekly look at the Padres minor league system today. It’s always good to keep an eye on the future friars.

Filed under “so crazy, it just might work” is Pip’s post on the idea of the 6+ man rotation. The math says it’s worth roughly 20 runs or two wins per season, but the odds of anyone trying it any time soon are pretty slim. Still, it’s an engaging idea.

I almost forgot. It’s annual “not enough blacks in MLB” day. Apparently the fact that roughly 11.5% of the Americans in MLB are of African descent is troubling. You know, since that’s way under the 13.5% of the American population African Americans represent. It’s not like they’re being kept out. They’re choosing not to participate from an early age. Why does this bother anyone? No clue.