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Rick Ankiel Has Another Shot To Stay In The MLB: The New York Mets Claimed Him

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Tuesday May.14/2013

Rick Ankiel had a dubious beginning as a Met last night, misreading a baseball and having it bounce in and out of his borrowed glove (Jon Nieses's) hit by Ty Wigginton that led to 3 runs. Ankiel went 0 - 3 with a walk in St. Louis.  Despite the poor game, I like the move and it should enable Ankiel to be a starting Outfielder for a stretch.  If he can hit, he may be a good late season defensive acquisition/Pinch Hitter for a contending ball club

Rick Ankiel had a dubious beginning as a Met last night, misreading a baseball and having it bounce in and out of his borrowed glove (Jon Nieses’s) hit by Ty Wigginton that led to 3 runs. Ankiel went 0 – 3 with a walk in St. Louis. Despite the poor game, I like the move and it should enable Ankiel to be a starting Outfielder for a stretch. If he can hit, he may be a good late season defensive acquisition/Pinch Hitter for a contending ball club.  Rick Ankiel hit for a 3 Slash Line of .194/.231/.715 with the Astros this year prior to being Designated For Assignment on May 5th.  The former Astro did have 5 HRs and 11 RBI in just 62 AB.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

There are certain players in the MLB that you cheer for more than others.  For me, Rick Ankiel exemplifies this.

I always check for his stats in the boxscores early into my perusal of any baseball website.

His story is one of inspiration and dedication to the game of baseball.

I was disappointed when he was released by the Houston Astros – but completely understood why the change had to occur,

The Mets have the weakest Outfield in the Major Leagues and are actually one of the teams I suggested for Ankiel as a landing spot in my post 2012 year write-ups.

It is obvious that the Wilpon’s continue to look for cheap alternative options to patrol their grass.

Rick Ankiel has hit for 74 HRs and a Slash Line of .242/.304/.727 in 1858 Career At-Bats.  Ankiel is the 1st player to win at least 10 Games a Pitcher and hit 50 HRs in the Major Leagues since Babe Ruth

Rick Ankiel has hit for 74 HRs and a Slash Line of .242/.304/.727 in 1858 Career At-Bats. Ankiel is the 1st player to win at least 10 Games a Pitcher and hit 50 HRs in the Major Leagues since Babe Ruth.

Rick Ankiel is probably the 2nd best OF on the team as it is and I like this move for him.  Terry Collins should play the hell out of the guy out of the gate.  If he has any value at all, he could really be a nice piece on the club.

Chances are that Ankiel has no business as a Starter anymore, however he has shown a penchant for clubbing HRs.  His defense is also pretty good – and he is amazing to watch when throwing  in laser cannons to the INFIELD.

At 33 Years of Age, you would have to say that the man from Fort Pierce, FL does not have many more kicks at the can here.  I really hope he can stick with the Mets.

Ankiel has shown that he has a flair for the dramatic.  Much like new teammate Jordany Valdespin, he is a great Sub hitter.  In 142 At-Bats as a Substitute, Ankiel has 9 HRs and 20 RBI – for a .812 OPS.  As a PH, the numbers are even better – with 6 HRs, 14 RBI and an OPS of .852 in 76 At-Bats.

I can see Ankiel being a great defensive replacement/Pinch Hitter on a contending club this fall.  I would think a team like the Reds might even be interested as they don’t have a great defensive CF on their current Roster.  The coach could simply PH for a the Pitcher as part of a double – switch – and then have the Veteran take the field.

At Age 19, Ankiel finished 2nd in ROY voting, 7th in strikeouts and ERA, 2nd in K's/Per 9 IP and Hits/Per 9 IP in 2000. He threw 94-97 MPH, however a mental block plagued him to the point where he changed in an OF. His best year as a pro was 2008 - where he hit for a 3 Slash Line of .264/.337/.843 with 25 HRs and 71 RBI in just 413 AB.  If you combined his 1st 2 years of ABs as a positional player, he had 585 AB and had cracked 36 HRs and driven in 110 RBI, scored 96 Runs and clubbed 37 Doubles.

At Age 19, Ankiel finished 2nd in ROY voting, 7th in Strikeouts and ERA, 2nd in K’s/Per 9 IP and Hits/Per 9 IP in 2000. He threw 94-97 MPH, however a mental block plagued him to the point where he changed into an OF. His best year as a pro was 2008 – where he hit for a 3 Slash Line of .264/.337/.843 with 25 HRs and 71 RBI in just 413 AB. If you combined his 1st 2 years of ABs as a positional player, he had 585 AB and had cracked 36 HRs and driven in 110 RBI, scored 96 Runs and clubbed 37 Doubles.

Ankiel would be better served to remain in the NL permanently to do such roles.

In the past few years we have seen players like Jason Giambi and Matt Stairs thrive in Pinch hit duties.  I think Ankiel could stick around for a few more years by taking on such a role.

The former Pitcher has proven that he can come up with big hits at times for contenders.  He has been part of pennant races with the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves in years past.  I even think he sort of received a raw deal by the Nationals last season.  I guess Davey Johnson is happy with having Chad Tracy PH for him all of the time.

As a Pinch – Hitter, managers are looking for that one lucky strike that may alter the course of the game.  It is okay to carry a low Batting Average – as long as you carry the pop to smack a Roundtripper once in a while.

What us great about Ankiel, is that he has played in the MLB as a position player and a Pitcher.  It is almost like having another coach on the field.

Atlanta Braves by the end of 2010 for their playoff push.  In San Francisco during game 2 of the 2010 NLDS, Ankiel crushed a home run into McCovey’s cove for his first ever postseason HR.  Only Barry Bonds and he hold that distinction of a ‘COVE HIT’ ever in AT&T Park Post Season History! He posted similar regular season numbers in 2010 as he had in 2009, with 6 HRs and 24 RBI in 211 AB.

Rick Ankiel was acquired by the Atlanta Braves in 2010 for their playoff push. In San Francisco during game 2 of the 2010 NLDS, Ankiel crushed a home run into McCovey’s cove for his first ever postseason HR. Only Barry Bonds and he hold that distinction of a ‘COVE HIT’ ever in AT&T Park Post Season History! He posted similar regular season numbers in 2010 as he had in 2009, with 6 HRs and 24 RBI in 211 AB.

Ankiel has inspired other former pitchers to try their luck as a hitter like Adam Loewen (a former 1st Round Draft Pick of the Baltimore Orioles 9 – 8 Record as a Starting Pitcher with a 5.38 ERA in 29 GS from 2006 – 2008 before chronic injuries forced him to retire as a chucker.  Loewen is in the Minors for the Toronto Blue Jays currently – and did hit 1 HR for the Canadian franchise during the 2011 year.)

I sincerely hope the day that this man retires – that he is given his full due credit for accomplishing such a rare feat in the Majors for both being a Rookie of the Year candidate as a Starting Pitcher – to a Major League Hitter that has stuck around in the game for 11 years plus!

Ankiel could be used in any of the Outfield Positions as a PH/defensive replacement even if he is not in the starting lineup, Ankiel would help just about any MLB Team. Ankiel only batted .236/.292/.377 with the Nats in 2 years but was slugged .411 in the 2012 year - with 17 XBH (5 HRs, 10-2B and 2 3B ) in just 158 AB. Injuries plagued him from 2009-2010. At age 34, does he have any baseball left?

Ankiel could be used in any of the Outfield Positions as a PH/defensive replacement even if he is not in the starting lineup, Ankiel would help just about any MLB Team. Ankiel only batted .236/.292/.377 with the Nats in 2 years but was slugged .411 in the 2012 year – with 17 XBH (5 HRs, 10-2B and 2 3B ) in just 158 AB. Injuries plagued him from 2009-2010. At age 34, does he have any baseball left?

Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:   To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .

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a  a chuck booth

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

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