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Current Affairs: David Ortiz had surgery November 6th to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. Apparently he is almost back to 100%. For more conformation here’s a picture of Ortiz at spring training. It doesn’t even look like him. He looks trim.
Offense: Grade A+
Ortiz is still one of the most feared hitters in baseball. Even though he lost a lot of his power last year, because of his legs, he still was able to create fear in other ways. He batted a career high .332, a full .031 points over his other full time career high. He also got his OBP up to .445, a full .032 points higher. And while he wasn’t hitting many home-runs, he hit 52 doubles instead, 23 more than he hit in the previous year.
So even though he didn’t hit 52 home-runs like he did the year before, he remained just as productive. The only difference in 2008 will be Ortiz will have his power back. So he’ll tone down his average and on-base to swing for the fence. Driving up his RBI total from 2007. More Big Papi to come.
Defense: Grade NA/C
Non existent to all right. Ortiz is a DH by the Red Sox decision and it will stay that way. Big Papi is a big boy and doesn’t have the mobility at the 1st base bag.
Kevin Youkilis could pick up a hot shot bare handed across his body before Ortiz’s gravity could bring him to Earth. Ortiz will see time in the field against the NL but thats it.
From what I’ve seen he is smooth enough over at 1st but he has had limited exposure. If playing Ortiz at 1st is the only way to get him into the game you got to do it.
Baserunning: Grade C+
Ortiz is huge and he runs like fat guy pushed down the stairs. But its amazing to see how much better than Manny he runs. You can see the hustle in Ortiz’s gallop. When Ortiz hits into a gap he is off to the races right from the start. When he is in scoring position he takes as big a lead as he can and will run his ass off to get home. But, Ortiz isn’t the fastest guy around. So for that reason he gets a C+.
Now last year he had three steals. Unbelievable. So this year if he does it again, I’ll donate $100 to the Jimmy Fund.
Clubhouse Presence: Grade A+
Ortiz is one of the best players in the game, on the field and off. He handles the press well, has fun with the players, works hard and appears to be a clubhouse motivator. Jason Varitek may lead by example but Ortiz leads by being the man. He has got to be one of the best clubhouse presences you can have in baseball. For that he gets the highest grade possible, A+.
2008 Player Projection:
Tags: David Ortiz