This offseason, Halo's fans bid farewell to their beloved Chone Figgins. Figgins spent the last 7 years in an Angels uniform while hitting leadoff. With the top spot in the order vacated, manager Mike Scioscia has appointed SS Erick Aybar as the leadoff guy. In last year's campaign Aybar posted a career high batting average of .312 in 137 games. Aybar is still young(26) and while he is not known for his speed on the base paths, could be a candidate for 20 or more base robberies in 2010. That is, if he gets on base.
Thus far, Aybar has yet to stake his claim as a viable Major League table setter. Obviously, it is only the first three games of the season, and it surely does not mean he wont eventually be a great leadoff man. He has started off just 2 for 13(.154) with his only hits being 2 singles. Furthermore, he has a whopping zero RBI, only four Runs scored and not a single stolen base. All this after a great spring where he had a .325 BA. On a positive note he's only struck out once and has walked 4 times, which is a good sign that he is most likely seeing the ball well. Its only a matter of time before he is finding those gaps and creating havoc on the bases. Well, atleast I hope so.
One side note Angels fans, Chone Figgins is not fairing much better as Seattle's 2 hole hitter. He's batting a blistering 3 for 15 (.200), with 4 K's, a meager 2 Runs scored, and a slim-fast OBP under .300. Could it be because the Mariners have the fearsome lifetime AAAA Casey Kotchman behind him? What do I know?
Should the Angels be worried? No. Not yet, however, I wouldnt be suprised to see ultra utility man Maicer Izturis on the field a few times in the next few days and possibly bumping Aybar down in the order a bit when Izturis starts at 3B for Wood.
Lets hope for the Halos sake, and for my fantasy team's sake, that Aybar gets it going this weekend and doesn't look back for the rest of the year.
What I think we'll see in 2010 from Aybar: .309 BA, 4 HR, 91 R, 65 RBI and 24 SB