Mike Carp(e) Diem
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Wednesday June 19th, 2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): Follow @ryandana1
I knew I would be devoting an article to this player sooner or later, but what better time than now? From top prospect to not being good enough for The Seattle Mariners 40 man roster, Mike Carp has emerged as a steady contributor to the current 1st place team in the AL East, The Boston Red Sox .
The 6 FT 2, 210 LB OF has been perhaps the most underrated pick up of the past offseason for the Boston Red Sox. At the time there was speculation whether he would even make the team, but questioning his viability as a Major League hitter has been put to rest at this point.
As Spring Training rolled around, the Red Sox were looking for depth at 1st Base behind newly signed Mike Napoli. They got Lyle Overbay into camp to compete for the spot and started giving Daniel Nava reps at the position too.
Then, falling into the Sox laps, came Mike Carp via the Seattle Mariners, the solution to the Red Sox 1B depth. All that was asked in return is the famous ‘PTBNL’ or cash.
The Mariners had just signed Joe Saunders and needed to clear a spot on the 40 man roster for him. That spot was the one Carp used to hold. So why did the Mariners decide to give up on a player who had shown such great potential?
After a solid rookie campaign in 2011, Carp had an injury plagued 2012. Apparently the Mariners were so fed up with his injuries and lack of production after just 1 year of dealing with it, they decided to “upgrade” and bring in the always healthy, always productive Jason Bay to play in their outfield. (Stop momentarily for sarcasm here.)
So rather than give Carp another chance in 2013, the Mariners let him go to the Red Sox for cash considerations and let the likes of Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez take playing time that could have been his. The Mariners mistake has been the Red Sox gain.
Like I mentioned in the recent “2 And A Hook” podcast I was on, Carp basically beat out Lyle Overbay in a competition for one of the Red Sox final roster spots. Carp is younger (just 26 years of age), more versatile (can play 1B and the OF), and overall has more upside than Overbay (who did end up finding himself a home with the New York Yankees though.)
Carp’s upside has shown thru for Boston so far this year. The sample size man not be incredibly large, but in 42 games (105 ABs) Carp is hitting .324/.379/.686 with 10 Doubles, 2 Triples, 8 HRs, and 25 RBI.
Carp’s .686 Slugging% is 2nd best in the AL behind Chris Davis (.706) among players with at least 100 ABs. He’s also 2nd on the team in Batting Average.
Carp was off to an incredibly hot start to the season and the question was whether he could maintain his torrid pace. So far he has. What I am about to suggest may be foiled if he can’t keep up some level of success for the remainder of the year, but I honestly feel like he can.
Carp is no doubt a piece of 2013’s puzzle for the Boston Red Sox, but he could be an even larger part of the future. For starters, he is under team control until 2017.
Secondly, and I may have mentioned this before, Mike Napoli is only under contract for this season. He originally had a 3 year deal lined up, but the Red Sox worked it down to 1 with concerns about his hip’s health.
Does Napoli stick around after this year? I’m not sure, but if he doesn’t the Red Sox may have inadvertently found his replacement already in Mike Carp. I say inadvertently because I don’t even think the Red Sox were expecting Carp to perform as well as he has been.
The 2014 free agent market isn’t supposed to be overly great, and the Red Sox biggest weakness in their farm system has to be at First Base. So what can only be classified as the outright theft of Mike Carp from the Mariners may turn out to be an even better move than anyone could have hoped for.
Carp can play Outfield, but he is definitely much better defensively at First Base. He might never be an All-Star, then again he might, but I feel comfortable counting on him as a Major League starter going forward if such a spot opens up for him on the team. If not he is a phenomenal platoon or bench player at the least.
Mike Carp has really seized the opportunity to play for the Red Sox and is making the Mariners look really bad for letting him go. Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what a player needs and Fenway has treated the man well so far.
His numbers are slightly better at Home this year as he is hitting .333/.375/725 at Fenway and .315/.383/.648 Away. He is also killing it with RISP hitting at .429/.452/.786 with 17 RBI.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to our baseball writer Ryan Dana for preparing today’s featured article. Ryan is junior studying physical education with a concentration in coaching at Bridgewater State University. He has been playing baseball since he was 7 and coaching since he was 14.
Ryan wants to be a college baseball coach once he graduates. Ryan is, and always will be, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. Secondary to baseball, he is a big health and fitness enthusiast. You can find Ryan on Twitter . Follow @ryandana1
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Posted on June 19, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2 and a hook Podcast, @ryandana1 on twitter, AL East, boston, boston red sox, chris davis, daniel nava, fenway, franklin gutierrez, free agency, jason bay, jesus montero, joe suanders, jonny gomes, kendrys morales, lyle overbay, Michael Saunders, mike carp, Mike Morse, mike napoli, raul ibanez, red sox, ryan dana, seattle mariners. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.