All about the Braves and baseball events.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Next Best Thing?

Position: Left Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 190 lbs.
2009 Age: 37

Unsatisfied with their lot in the outfield and still smarting from being spurned by Ken Griffey, Jr., the Braves signed former Angel Garrett Anderson to a one-year deal.

Anderson is a professional batter at this point in his career. He has never been one to take a free pass (his career high in walks is 38), and he has only struck out more than 90 times in a season two times; therefore, he's a man who puts the ball in play. One may say he's what Juan Pierre would be if he could hit some doubles and homers. I'm spinning that as being a compliment as much as I possibly can.

BABIP TELLS ALL: Anderson's BABIP (batting average with balls in play) the last three seasons:

2006: .308
2007: .306
2008: .314

This means that it's a good bet that Anderson will bat in the high .280s to low .290s for the Braves in 2009 given the same amount of playing time and good health.

GOOD WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE: Anderson's Late & Close stats were exemplary last season, including his walk totals:

102 PA, .371/.441/.528, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 12 BB

About 41% of his walks came in Late & Close situations.

My Outlook: Anderson gives the Braves the veteran outfield bat they coveted, but can he keep up his batting average and remain slump-free in a new organization and league? If he still has something left in the tank, he should. I don't know whether he'll continue to regress in the power department, but I do believe he'll keep his batting average from .280-.295 most of the year.

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