Carlos Pena – Rays get a Steal
After reading that the Rays signed Carlos Pena to a one year deal wroth $7.5 million I thought that it was a pretty decent signing for both parties involved. Pena gets to play everyday and the Rays get a guy the fans love. But after I went back and looked at Pena’s last five years in which he hit 28 or more home runs each season, it was hands down a steal for the Rays, whose main clean-up hitter in 2011, Ben Zobrist, finished with a .425 slugging percentage in 2011. For those of you counting, that is 80 points lower than Pena’s .505 slugging percentage over the past five years.
Everyone seems to poke at his career .239avg but fail to mention his career .350 on-base-percentage, or his .366 average over the past five seasons. If you think those 95 walks per year arent going to convert to some runs with Upton or Longoria batting behind him in the lineup, you have another thing coming to you.
And no offense to Casey Kotchman, who was the Rays primary first basemen this past season becuase you know how I love defensive players that can hit for a decent average once in a while but it was the first time he hit above .300 in his 8 year career. He is a career .268 hitter with a career obp of 336. Just as I argue in Ryan Howard’s defense I dont want my clean-up guy hitting singles. So, I dont care if he hits .200 as long as he finishes with 30 home runs and a decent on-base-percentage. The only numbers I care about my clean-up hitter (2007-2011)… .366obp, .505slg, 34hr.