Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.
While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.
My question is why? With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.
David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)
The Yankees have used a multitude of different players in the last 20 years, however it was one they had specific players for the slot, that they raked in World Series.
So who will be next up to have a 10 year career from the position?
I guess that only one of the 2 Angels could do that now, but there is a huge advantage to seeing any of these former MVP candidates rake ungodly numbers from the position.
The Boston Red Sox worst years from 2004 – 2013 include David Ortiz either struggling at the plate, or being significantly hurt for durations of the campaigns.
I would argue the Rangers should also have Prince Fielder switch to DH ASAP. I will go one further and say that Detroit should make Miguel Cabrera their permanent DH this year once Victor Martinez leaves.
It is an unfair advantage that all the low 30′s Free Agents all filter over to the AL – with the caveat of having the players eventually move to DH role in their mid 30′s.
Why not jump the gun on this a little.
If Bryce Harper was on an AL team, I would love to see him come up and just rake- and not be hurt be playing defense.
I am not a baseball purist – so I actually like the DH position, however it has turned out to be anemic position for most clubs in recent years. Lets take a look at projected teams players for the slot next year.
I maybe wrong to value offense far more than defense in today’s MLB game, but I would rather see the best hitters of baseball be healthy for 600 AB per year.
Yes they could be hurt in the act of being a DH, but it far reduces the chances if the player is not fielding a position.
New York: A combination of Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran is a great tandem to use. One could say these 2 individuals will post a great cumulative total for 2014. I would not use Derek Jeter in the role.
Toronto: Adam Lind: He is okay at the spot, but he has a couple of bad years in the last 3. This club should place Joey Bats in this slot for the next 3 years, and have found another OF to play at Skydome.
Edwin Encarnacion could also be moved to the Designated Hitter role if the club could spend some money on another 1B. Nothing likely to happen until after next season.
Joe Maddon will still play the splits. This franchise would never dole out the kind of cash needed for a perennial awesome DH anyway.
Detroit: Victor Martinez. While the Tigers squad lost Prince Fielder, maybe having a full year of a healthy V-Mart will equal that out He was on fire in the second half and the playoffs.
I am not sure if the Motown Boys can pay him past 2014. Again, I would use the position for Miggy Cabrera.
Kansas City: It is pretty cool if you are Royals fan. When Billy Butler is on, he is one of the best DH’s in the game currently. Now only if other positional players can follow suit.
Chicago White Sox: A heavy dose of Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko will be implemented for the 2014.
If the White Sox were smart, they would trade the “Big Donkey” at the Trade Deadline if they are not in contention.
In future years, look for Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams to secure another great player for the spot. The track record of the franchise has been great with this philosophy tracking back to even Harold Baines.
Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana is actually a decent full time candidate to take the reins for this club. Jason Giambi is okay, but at 42, what more can he give you?
Minnesota Twins: Josh Willingham has been said to be the leader for AB in 2014 AB for the Twinkies. This is a good move.
Oakland: I would use Yoenis Cespedes in the role. I think the more he plays in the field, the more likelihood of nagging injuries.
Seattle: Right now it looks like Corey Hart may be the guy. If the club spends some money – they could also bring back Morales.
Franklin Gutierrez is too good defensively (when he isn’t injured) to not see time in the outfield, so don’t expect him to find AB here.
Of course, there is also the incumbent Jesus Montero, fresh off a horrible year – with a PED suspension added to it.
LA Angels: I believe this is the year Raul Ibanez slows down ( I hope I am wrong because I love the guy).
The good news is there should be a fight at the bat rack for this position between Pujols, Hamilton and maybe David Freese all battling various injury ailments for the last several seasons.
Houston Astros: I think Chris Carter should be given every chance to win the DH role.
He has quietly been casting bombs over the fences the last few years – while his defense is less than stellar.
I think the guy could develop into a great DH.
That brings me to Nelson Cruz. This guy must be put into the role for any team he signs with, both in the interest of self-preservation to an injury-riddled player, and because his defense is sub-par.
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Posted on January 2, 2014, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @MLBreports on twitter, adam dunn, adam lind, al central, AL West, albert pujols, alfonso soriano, all AL clubs Designated hitters MLB, billy butler, carlos beltran, carlos santana, cecil fielder, chili daivs, chili davis, chris carter, coco crisp, craig gentry, darryl strawberry, david Dejesus, david freese, david justice, david ortiz, derek jeter, detroit tigers, edgar martinez, edwin encarnacion, frank thomas, franklin gutierrez, harold baines, hideki matsui, jason giambi, jesus montero, jim thome, joe mauer, josh hamilton, josh reddick, josh willingham, kendrys morales, matthew joyce, nate freiman, nelson cruz, Nolan Reimold, paul molitor, prince fielder, raul ibanez, sean rodriguez, steve pearce, victor martinez. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.