MLB Free Agency: 10 Most Complete Players on the Market
In the anemic 2012 MLB free agent market, there are very few complete players. There are several players who are very talented in a few aspects of the game, but only a select group of three can even potentially be considered consummate.
Nonetheless, this isn't a list of 10 complete players. It's a list of the 10 most complete players on the market.
10. Coco Crisp, CF
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By traditional statistics, Coco Crisp had a tremendous season in center field, posting a .997 fielding percentage. His UZR dipped to a career-low -5.5, but it had been at 7.3 in 2010.
While Crisp hit just .264, he also knocked 27 doubles and stole 49 bases, which led the league.
9. Ramon Hernandez, C
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Ramon Hernandez hasn't appeared in more than 100 games since 2008 and doesn't have the power he had in his prime, but he hit .290 between 2010 and 2011.
Perhaps making him even more valuable, Hernandez gunned 37 percent of attempted base stealers in 2011.
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
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Casey Kotchman doesn't have speed or much power—he ranked No. 25 among first basemen in home runs in 2011.
However, his lefty stroke produced a .306 average while his familiarity with the strike zone resulted in a 0.73 BB/K ratio, the seventh-best among first basemen.
In the field, Kotchman posted a 1.6 UZR, which is far from phenomenal but still reliable. The former first-round draft pick ranks second among first basemen in UZR from 2007-2011. Albert Pujols is No. 1.
7. David DeJesus, Outfield
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David DeJesus might have hit .240 in 2011, but he is a career .284 hitter.
The Oakland Athletics' outfielder suffered from misfortune, evidenced by his .274 BABIP. Generally, a player can be expected to return closer to his career BABIP after an atypically high or low year. DeJesus has a .316 career BABIP.
DeJesus isn't a good base-stealer, but he is an adept right fielder, posting a 10.1 UZR at his primary position.
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
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Michael Cuddyer is an average fielder but he's versatile. Registering over 100 innings at second base, first base and right field, his primary position. Heck, he even pitched a scoreless inning.
At the plate, Cuddyer is very reliable. The All-Star hit .284 with 20 homers and 70 RBI in 2011.
While Cuddyer isn't the fastest option on the market, he is very efficient at stealing bases. He swiped 11-of-12 this season.
5. Prince Fielder, 1B
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Although Prince Fielder is well-below average with the glove—evidenced by his -5.2 UZR—his hitting ability and the dearth of talent on the market make him one of the most complete free agents.
Fielder hit .299 with 38 homers and 120 RBI in 2011. He also doubled 36 times and reached base at a .415 clip.
4. Jimmy Rollins, SS
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Jimmy Rollins might not be as effective as he was in his prime, but he is still above-average in several aspects of the game.
Rollins still has decent power for a shortstop, ranking No. 5 at the position with 16 home runs in 2011. His .268 batting average was low, but his 30 stolen bases proved he still has some steam in his legs.
The three-time gold glove winner has always been an above-average fielder. This season, his 2.9 UZR was respectable, though it was his lowest mark since 2007.
3. Grady Sizemore, CF
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Grady Sizemore has struggled with injuries to his elbow and knees over the past three seasons, but he hit .279 with 85 home runs, 126 doubles, 21 triples and 93 stolen bases between 2006-2008. Not surprisingly, the center fielder was named to the All-Star team in each of those three seasons.
He also earned gold gloves in 2007 and 2008.
So, yes, when he's healthy, Grady Sizemore is an elite center fielder. When injured, Sizemore is seriously hampered.
2. Jose Reyes, SS
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When Jose Reyes is healthy, he's one of the best shortstops in baseball.
The 2011 NL batting champion hit .337, struck out just 41 times and led the majors with 16 triples. Additionally, Reyes is a menace on the bases—he swiped 39 bags in 46 tries, and his threatening speed forces pitchers to alter their approach.
Yes, his -3.1 UZR is somewhat disconcerting, but the shortstop has an absolute cannon, making him valuable in the field.
1. Albert Pujols, 1B
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For the first time in his 11-year career, Albert Pujols failed to hit at least .300 with 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBI. Instead, he hit .299 with 37 blasts and 99 RBI, so don't fuss over the streak.
We all know Pujols is one of baseball's premier sluggers, but his baserunning ability is an underrated aspect of his game. Pujols has stolen 39 bases in 48 attempts since 2009. He might not have blazing speed, but he's smart and efficient.
In the field, Pujols' UZR peaked in 2007. However, he's still saving runs at first base.