Friday, September 18, 2009

Free Agent Market: Left Fielders

Left Field is one of the most important offensive positions. This offseason clubs looking to fill a hole will choose from options that offer a good balance of offense and defense and also some affordable veterans.

OBP leaders: After a couple of sub-standard seasons, Lloyd Ross returned to form as an OBP machine (.428). Emmanuel Castillo (.386- mutual option), Carl Saturria (.352), Freddy Feller (.349 in 149 ab), and Bobby Farr (.341) comprise the rest of the top 5.

SLG leaders: Emmanuel Castillo posted a healthy .509, in part by launching 27 HR. Carl Saturria (.478), Lloyd Ross (.448), Freddy Feller (.435) and Bobby Farr (.415) are the other slugging leaders.

Defense. Lloyd Ross is the reigning AL Gold Glove, and Emmanuel Castillo is nearly as good a fielder.

Clubs looking for inexpensive options in LF may consider extending a spring training invitation to Carlos Gomez (career .303/ .371/ .489) or AJ Buck (career .289/ .353/ .447) . Richard Davis (career .298/ .386 /.408- may already have 3000 hits) is an option for a team looking for a veteran off the bench.

Two to watch: Lloyd Ross led all full-time AL LFs in rc 27, while Emmanuel Castillo finished 2nd among NL LFs. Ross will attract a lot of attention because he is probably not a Type A or B free agent. Castillo must decide whether to decline his mutual option and cash in on a huge Season 13 or return to a Sioux Falls team that missed the playoffs by one win.

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