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On the offensive: #2 spot in the lineup

February 12, 2008

Slick Rick Ankiel

so, who’s hitting second?

you guessed it, it’s the one and only comeback kid, rick ankiel.

I think we all know that tony will definitely hit rick 2nd. rick is very similar to duncan a season ago; except that duncan was injured for the last month and a half and did not produce much and was in and out of the lineup which I hope doesn’t happen to Ank.

both rick and chris are lefthanded hitters that have great power potential. we all know that tlr likes some “pop” in the 2 hole of the lineup and rick provides that. he is coming off of a great offensive showing in the 2nd half of last season; granted he did tale off the last month of the season.

tony did play rick almost everyday if I remember correctly. he also let him hit against a lot of left handers. so, no question that rick will be a starting everyday outfielder; the question is what position will he play, cf or rf?

of course, I don’t expect rick to to put up a whole season’s stats comparable to what he did the 2nd half of last season. he does have great power potential, but he strikes out a lot. here is his stat line from last year (G/AB/AVG/HR/RBI/SO/BB/OBP): 47/172/.285/11/39/70/19/.328. that comes out to be 3.66 at bats per game; so, when he started tlr usually let him play the whole game and hit against lefty relievers which means he is going to get about 450-500 ab bats this season.

his obp is decent, but I would like for him to raise that a little more; say, .340ish or higher? you are hitting in front of albert pujols; so, you need to get on base so the big man can drive you in. we all know he is going to strike out a lot, but he really needs to raise his walk totals by having a better batter’s eye. just take some walks when they give them to you and learn to recognize pitches. I’m guessing some of that stuff comes naturally while other stuff slick rick is going to have to work on. also, he has .32 walks per strikeout, that is not a good total; again, he needs to increase his walk rate if he wants to be a good hitter and even things out with his SOs.

I don’t look for Ank to steal many bases because of the man batting behind him. you want to give albert as many chances to drive people in as possible. there is one problem that I have with rick hitting 2nd; that is it is a potential problem: if rick does keep at his power hitting pace (relatively), that is going to leave he bases empty for pujols, glaus and duncan. that might mean that pujols and or other guys will not get pitched to; that is, they might be pitched around.

so, here is my statline guesstimation for slick rick if all goes well (G/AB/AVG/HR/RBI/SO/BB/OBP): 140/488/.272/27/82/98/67/.345…….or something like that; just don’t quote me on that. just a prediction straight from the gut; that is, if all goes well and rick is healthy and progresses as a hitter which I’m counting on him to do.

so, if everything goes as planned (I know what you are thinking: nothing has gone “as planned” for rick ankiel, but from now on hopefully it will), I see rick blossoming into a very productive major league power hitter; an major league above average regular defensively and offensively.

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