Oakland Athletics Sign 'Custy' 3B, McPherson, to Minor League Deal.

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Oakland Athletics Sign 'Custy' 3B, McPherson, to Minor League Deal.
Doug Benc/Getty Images

 

A's sign 3B McPherson.

On Sunday (11/22/09), the A's signed Dallas McPherson to a Minor League deal.

McPherson, if you remember, was a very highly touted Angels prospect who loomed dangerously among the league's top prospects until suddenly vanishing (from an A's fan's perspective). In my subsequent research I found out a lot about the player he was heralded to become, and how he fell so mightily.

McPherson's profile.

McPherson, as a hitter, is a lot like Jack Cust . He's like Jack Cust, but more like Jack Cust than Jack Cust, if you understand what I mean.

I'm including the minor league numbers because there's not a great sample size of McPherson's major league play.


Minors Majors

McPherson  Cust McPherson  Cust
At Bats 2273 3786 371 1533
Hits 673 1082 91 367
Home Runs 150 200 18 89
Walks 308 942 27 332
Strike Outs 708 1233 126 605
Strike Out % 27% 26% 32% 32%
Walk % 12% 20% 7% 18%
Hit % 26% 23% 23% 20%
% of Hits that are Home Runs 22% 19% 20% 24%
On Base Percentage 38% 43% 30% 38%
Number of At-Bats per Home Run 17 24 22 21

 

McPherson, like Cust, is a home run hitting strikeout machine. He'd be likely to hit for a slightly higher average than Cust (IF healthy) and might hit even more home runs, but he'd walk about half as often.

Also, McPherson, like Cust, is a bit of a defensive liability.

McPherson's Minor League fielding percentage at 3B 0.915 (477 games)

McPherson's Major League fielding percentage at 3B 0.955 (107 games)

So, basically, if Jack Cust were spry enough to perpetrate himself as a 3rd baseman, but didn't like to walk, the player you'd get would be a lot like Dallas McPherson. He's like Cust's impatient little brother:  a serious feast or famine power hitter who belts tons of home runs, strikes out roughly a third of the time, and has some pretty hard hands on defense .

McPherson's downfall

I remember hearing a lot about McPherson for a number of years. It seemed that every time the A's were visiting Anaheim, there'd be some mention of this bright young star who was likely to be a mainstay of the Angels infield for years to come .etc .etc. I presumed he'd flamed out at the Major League level, but it appears that his story is a bit more interesting.

Now, he never really did achieve much success in the parts of three seasons he spent with the Angels, but his aforementioned 'vanishing' was more the consequence of a major back surgery he received in 2007 which saw two of the vertebrae in his back fused together, and caused him to miss the entire 2007 season.

The Angels declined to offer McPherson a contract for 2008, and he signed with the Florida Marlins. While playing for their AAA affiliate, he hit 42 home runs as part of an impressive 08 campaign. Unfortunately for McPherson, he was rewarded with only a very short late-season call-up and was released in March of the 09 season.

Then, in April 09, the Giants signed McPherson, but it appears that he never played for that organization, and spent the whole of 09 out of the game.  Now the A's have decided to try their luck with him.

A's fan's perspective of signing.

I don't think it's a bad move as it represents virtually no risk, but I doubt it will garner very much reward either.

There's a lot of upside if McPherson breaks camp healthy and puts up the numbers that his minor league career suggests he's capable of.

On the downside, which I consider much more likely, he could break camp healthy, but sluggish on account of his year long hiatus, and then get hurt again before he gets back to form. In that case, this signing would be a distraction from actually nailing down a real solution for 3rd base.

This reminds me of someone... Oh yeah... Chavez.

Now we're going to have two 3rd basemen in spring training who've got a high upside but serious questions about their ability to hold down the position for 162.

I'd much rather get some mediocre veteran with a clean bill of health who we could actually depend on to do an average job for the whole season, while we wait for Wallace, rather than stuffing the roster with question-marks.

That reminds me of someone too. Oh yeah... Kennedy.

 

Go A's

 

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