Why Jose Guillen Shouldn't Be Royals' DH
Trey Hillman needs to find the right combination of outfielders. He has Rick Ankiel, David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, Brian Anderson, Jose Guillen and Mitch Maier to choose from. Josh Fields also can play in the corners.
In an interview after the Ankiel acquisition, GM Dayton Moore said the starting outfield is Podsednik in Left, Ankiel in Center, and DeJesus in Right. That would mean the Royals would use Jose Guillen as their designated hitter.
Given each players' history, that might seem like the right lineup. But I do not believe so. Guillen has only been dead weight since the Royals acquired him. For example, he only played in 81 games last year, and still made $12 million.
Looking at almost all his stats, Guillen is regressing very quickly in the hitting department. Most projections this year have him hitting somewhere in the .250-.265 range with 13-15 home runs and right around 60 RBI. Those stats aren't what you are looking for out of your DH. Guillen also has little to no upside. He is on the downside of his career and it isn't likely he will suddenly explode and hit .280-30-100. Instead of playing Guillen at DH, I have another suggestion.
The Royals should rotate Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Josh Fields between the first base, third base, and DH spots. Butler and Gordon are returning starters, but Fields is a real wild card. In 2007, Fields burst onto the scene with 23 home runs a White Sox rookie.
After that season, Fields spent almost all 2008 in the minor leagues as the White Sox stuck with Joe Crede. In 2009, Fields returned to the majors and posted a .222 average with 7 HRs in 239 ABs. The weird thing is that Fields' advance hitting stats mirrored his 2007 season.
His walk percentage (bases on balls) was 9.3 percent compared to 8.4 percent in 2007. His strikeout percentage dropped from 33.5 percent in 2007 to 31.8 percent last year. The only thing that really changed was the amount of home runs he hit. His HR/FB percent (Home Run/Fly Ball) was 22.3 percent in 2007 and was only 10.8 percent last year.
The Royals likely are not going to make the playoffs this year. So why would they play a no upside player in Jose Guillen, especially when they have more attractive, younger, options? The Royals are moving forward, and Jose Guillen does not need to be a part of that.
(All Statistical Information was obtained from FanGraphs.com)
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