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2012 MLB Offseason: Rating the Top 15 Right Fielders According to TPR

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 24:  Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media as the American League recipient of the 2011 Hank Aaron Award presented by MLB commissioner Bud Selig prior to Game Five of the MLB World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Scott BarzillaContributor IIIDecember 4, 2016

Someone wise once said that there is nothing quite as bad as the memory of a great player.

We want to remember our favorite players as they were when they were great. That is sometimes hard to do when they are pushing 40. We lash out against those that would say they aren't good anymore. We fret when management talks about getting rid of them.

As we move to the end of the position portion of total player ratings (TPR), I'd like to remind you that I am putting players in the position where they finish; I have no axe grind or agenda to push. To prove this, I have had only one full-time Astro in the top fifteen at his position, and he likely won't be an Astro for much longer. The scores are what they are.

 

15. Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers

Fielding: -1.4

Hitting: 46.6

Base Running: -13.0

Total Player Rating: 32.2

It was a down year for Ethier this past season. If the Dodgers ever get his best, along with Matt Kemp's best, they would be dangerous. But both are vastly overrated as fielders, and Ethier struggled on the base paths. Yet he can still hit better than most in the outfield.

 

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Torii Hunter #48 and Bobby Abreu #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate as both score on Hunter's two run home run in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning on September 24, 2011 at Ange
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

14. Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels

Fielding: -2.3

Hitting: 37.8

Base Running: -0.7

Total Player Rating: 34.8

The future is coming in the person of Mike Trout. The Angels will fit him in somewhere, and it might be in right field. Hunter is in the last year of his contract in 2012, and he has performed ably while in an Angels uniform.

 

13. Josh Reddick, Boston Red Sox

Fielding: 22.8

Hitting: 13.3

Base Running: -0.6

Total Player Rating: 35.1

Call me crazy, but I wouldn't sign Carlos Beltran or Grady Sizemore if I were the Red Sox. I would go with what you have in-house and spend the money on more pitching. It was the pitching that failed them down the stretch, and Reddick is definitely good enough to hold down the fort.

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 21:   Jeff Francoeur #21 of the Kansas City Royals hits a RBI double in the first inning during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 21, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Imag
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

 

12. Jeff Francouer, Kansas City Royals

Fielding: 4.5

Hitting: 47.3

Base Running: -5.2

Total Player Rating: 46.6

I'm not a big Francouer fan, but he is useful for the right price. The Royals are bringing him back for two more seasons. I probably wouldn't have done that, but it won't kill the payroll. Too much of his value is tied into batting average for my liking, but he is a plus defender, so it isn't all bad.

 

11. Michael Cuddyer, Free Agent

Fielding: -5.8

Hitting: 54.1

Base Running: 0.0

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 14: Carlos Quentin #20 of the Chicago White Sox hits a run-scoring double in the 1st inning against the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field on August 19, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Total Player Rating: 48.3

The Phillies keep flirting with him, and that makes a lot of sense. He can fill holes at first base and left field for the time being. He can't play any position particularly well, but he can play a lot of them well enough to pass for short bursts. 

 

10. Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox

Fielding: 3.1

Hitting: 51.9

Base Running: -4.0

Total Player Rating: 51.0

The White Sox may want to deal him, and that makes perfect sense coming from Kenny Williams. Quentin has been steady—if you ignore a sometimes low batting average. He provides consistent power and is better than you think in right field.

 

9. Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay Rays

Fielding: -9.8

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees reacts after he was stranded on first base when Nick Swisher #33 struck out with the bases loaded to end the bottom of the seventh inning during Game Five of the American League Champio
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Hitting: 64.1

Base Running: 4.7 

Total Player Rating: 59.0

Joyce was one of those understated pick-ups that has panned out for the Rays. Mitch Talbot wouldn't have a spot on this team, but Joyce is a regular. This is why Andrew Friedman is the best in the business.

 

8. Nick Swisher, New York Yankees

Fielding: 21.7

Hitting: 55.7

Base Running: -6.7

Total Player Rating: 70.7

The fact that some Yankees fans would suggest finding someone better than Swisher shows you how hard it is to play in that town. Are there better right fielders out there? Sure, there are seven of them. Most teams would be satisfied with a top ten right fielder.

 

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Carlos Beltran #15 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after falling as he ran to first base during the sixth inning of the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 23, 2011 in Pho
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

7. Corey Hart, Milwaukee Brewers

Fielding: 13.5

Hitting: 65.9

Base Running: -2.6

Total Player Rating: 76.8

Hart was off to a slow start when Ron Roenicke made an unusual change—e moved Hart to the leadoff spot. The move seemingly gave his season a boost and brought him back to normal levels of production.

 

6. Carlos Beltran, Free Agent

Fielding: -21.6

Hitting: 110.6

Base Running: 1.6

Total Player Rating: 90.1

Whether it was Terry Collins or Sandy Alderson, whoever decided to flip-flop Angel Pagan and Beltran made a tragic mistake. Both turned in the worst fielding seasons of their career and the move was largely responsible for the Mets finishing last in most sabermetric fielding statistics.

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with the World Series trophy after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game Seven of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Phot
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

 

5. Hunter Pence, Philadelphia Phillies

Fielding: -10.3

Hitting: 99.1

Base Running: 6.0

Total Player Rating: 94.8

Everyone that watches Pence play falls in love with him. He is one of those maximum effort guys that reminds fans of times gone by. He looks like he should be a star, but lack of plate discipline is holding him back.

 

4. Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals

Fielding: -28.2

Hitting: 136.5

Base Running: -0.5

Total Player Rating: 107.8

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 21:  Mike Stanton #27 of the Florida Marlins drives a base hit against the Atlanta Brave at Sun Life Stadium on September 21, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

There is a compelling argument to be made that the Cardinals would be okay without Albert Pujols. Berkman is average at worst as a first baseman (meaning the fielding numbers would go to zero), and Allen Craig appears ready to be a full-time player. This doesn't even mention what else they could spend the money on. Of course, suggesting that in St. Louis would be harmful to your health.

 

3. Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks

Fielding: 4.0

Hitting: 96.5

Base Running: 8.7

Total Player Rating: 109.2

You never know when young players will come of age. Sometimes they come into the league dominating, and sometimes it takes them a few years. The real Justin Upton showed up this past season. Everyone knew he would come, but no one knew when. This Upton led the Dbacks to the playoffs.

 

2. Mike Stanton, Miami Marlins

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 26:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners singles in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on September 26, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Fielding: 34.9

Hitting: 84.2

Base Running: -8.7

Total Player Rating: 110.4

Everyone knew about the hitting. That will only get better as he moves into a more favorable park and gains more experience. The fielding is the shocker. The mark above was the highest among right fielders by a huge margin. I suppose it could be an aberration, but I say he is for real.

 

1. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

Fielding: 9.5

Hitting: 203.8

Base Running: 4.0

Total Player Rating: 217.8

If he doesn't win the AL MVP, then the writers will have some 'splainin' to do. He has the highest total player rating in all of baseball. Who cares if his team was fourth? In statistics, value is easily defined. He won more games for his team than any other player. Therefore, he is the most valuable.

 

Bottom Feeders

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners

Fielding: -33.9

Hitting: -36.6

Base Running: 15.7

Total Player Rating: -54.8

Ah, the memory of a once-great player. I suspect the fielding problems were a glitch that will return to normal. The hitting is there to stay, I'm afraid. The end result is a negative impact player making outrageous dollars.

 

Kosuke Fukodome, Free Agent

Fielding: 10.8

Hitting: -7.0

Base Running: -8.7

Total Player Rating: -4.9

Fukodome actually wouldn't be a bad signing at the right price. Most reserve outfielders are below average by definition. He can play all of the spots well, and he normally gets on base at a pretty good clip. Just don't give him stupid dollars like the Cubs did. 

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