Article: The Rundown: Welcome to the Fuld
Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:22 AM
"He can play anywhere in the outfield, he's a leadoff-type guy, ..."
Fuld can play anywhere in the outfielder, that much is true. He had a strong defensive season in left field in 2011 for the Rays. In just more than 1,000 innings for his career in left field, Fuld has racked up 16 Defensive Runs Saved, according to FanGraphs. In roughly 500 innings in center, he has a -6 DRS, and in right he's a -6 DRS in just about 300 defensive innings. That makes him a passable defensive outfielder, but outside that 2011 season (+11 DRS), he's never done anything extraordinary.
He certainly is not a "leadoff-type" guy, however.
Fuld is a career .233/.312/.334 hitter, including .199/.270/.267 in 200 plate appearances last season. He has more career plate appearances batting leadoff than any other spot in the order, but outside of 115 plate appearances in 2009, he's never gotten on base at a respectable clip, which is a requirement of a leadoff hitter. Not that this matters, but his OBP from the leadoff spot in 297 plate appearances is .307.
Let's move on to the next part of the quote.
"...he can fly, he can steal bases," Gardenhire said.
Fuld might be fast, but he's swiped just 38 bags in his career, and that includes 20 in 2011, by far his best season in the Majors. Those 38 steals have come in 51 attempts, which is a decent success rate but doesn't constitute all that many tries.
"He's one of those little guys who's a tough out and plays hard."
As noted, his career OBP of .312 (and .270 OBP last season) makes him anything but a "tough out." Outfielders collectively got on base at a .323 clip last season, so he's actually a considerably easy out compared to his peers.
Posted 23 April 2014 - 04:44 PM
After listening to Gardy and guys like Dan Gladden and Roy Smalley, I've decided to just accept the fact that these old school guys dont appreciate OBP and never will.
Dan Gladden's career OBP with the Twins (as a lead-off hitter nevertheless) : .318
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Posted 23 April 2014 - 07:56 PM
I don't care what anyone says. This team's CF problem is MUCH worse than its SS problem. Fuld is a downgrade from Mastroianni and either has a fair shot to outproduce Hicks this year.
Please rise quickly, Byron.
I agree there is a problem with the CF depth in the organization, but I'd argue that the SS problem is worse. A Fuld/Hicks platoon isn't something to get excited about, but finding a scrap heap CF for an organization is an easier move than finding a competent SS. Florimon/Escobar/Nunez and on and on, they're all the same, and none of them worth an everyday lineup spot and there's no hope in the high minors. Danny Santana, you say? Maybe for 2015, but his defense needs to be more consistent, and he has to keep hitting. I think help at SS is more likely coming from lower in the system and more years away, Goodrum, Polanco.
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