Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2011 Position Preview: Right Field

I consider myself a pretty big-time sports fan, and watch somewhere around 80% of the Boston sports teams games. I can safely say that I have never been more frustrated with an athlete than I have been with JD Drew. Drew is one of the most talented players in the MLB, and yet has just been a nice hitter in the five or six spot for a good team his entire career. In college, Drew set 17 school and conference records, and he also became just the third college player of all time to have 100 hits, 100 runs and 100 RBI. Then, he signed with super agent Scott Boras. He was then drafted by the Cardinal 5th overall in 1998 (after being selected by the Phillies 2nd overall the year before, but failed to agree on a contract). He signed a big rookie contract and shot through the minors. Once in the majors, he grew into the JD we  know and love (except, not really). Tony La Russa said at the time that Drew decided to settle for 75% of his talent, probably because of the contract. I couldn't have said better myself, Tony.

The thing that infuriates most people about Drew is his lack of emotion. I couldn't care less about that. Some people just don't wear their emotions on their sleeve, and I can accept that. However, what I can't accept is how often Drew strikes out looking. It doesn't matter the situation, Drew will not swing with two strikes unless it is a pitch he can definitely drive. 

Looking at his numbers during his tenure in Boston, then numbers would not look how one may think they would considering the amount of criticism there is. He's basically a .270 hitter and good for about 20 HR and 65 RBI. While these aren't terrible numbers, they also aren't numbers worthy of a 14 million dollar contract. Thankfully this is the last year of that ludicrous deal.

Since it is a contract year, some people may think that could mean a big year for Drew. I am not in that camp. Obviously, I don't personally know Drew, but he strikes me as someone who doesn't really care about getting another contract. He's smart enough to realize that another team will sign him to a pretty decent deal no matter what, and he will be fine for the next two years, at least. Even if he isn't, I don't think that would bother him. Remember, he told WEEI that he has been contemplating retirement after his contract runs out. So clearly, he isn't too concerned with his next deal. Here are my predictions for JD Drew.

.265 BA, 15 HR, 64 RBI, 74 R, .764 OPS, 2.2 WAR

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