Odd Outfielder Out

Ned Yost & Co. are still trying to assess the outfield corp…under new hitting coach Jim Skaalen, veterans get a chance to revive their career, while prospects need to reprove themselves.
Assuming that Bill Hall and Corey Hart are roster locks, the remaining four leading candidates for the last 3 roster spots are making a race of it:
Geoff Jenkins: 13-for-30, .433; 0 HR’s, 9 RBI’s, 0 SB’s, 4 K’s, 2 BB’s
Kevin Mench: 11-for-28, .393; 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 0 SB’s, 0 K’s, 4 BB’s
…the two leading candidates, who, as far as I know, have been platooned for the most part in Cactus League, have both put up decent stats, at least by regular season standards. Neither can be considered power-hitters or base stealing threats…Jenkins slightly better BA is offset by Mench’s lower strikeout rate; Mench’s walks, however, bring him and Jenkins tied in OBP at .469.
Brady Clark: 9-for-33, .273; 0 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, 1 SB, 4 K’s, 2 BB’s…Clark’s .314 OBP puts him way behind Jenkins and Mench, with no upgrade for power and only a slight upgrade for speed.
Gabe Gross: 4-for-9, .444; 0 HR’s, 0 RBI’s, 0 SB’s, 3 K’s, 2 BB’s…Gross’s early injury has cost him AB’s, and his current high proportion of K’s and BB’s to PA’s mean that he’s not swinging freely and/or not making contact. If Gross has any minor league options left, there is now a very good chance he’ll start the season in Nashville, if only to get playing time.
David Hannes
Copyright 2007

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