Friday, February 15, 2013

A closer look at Marlon Byrd

It seems like all day, all we've heard is Byrd could end up the starting right fielder, so it seems only fitting to take a closer look at his career.  In discussing Byrd most reference his All Star year in Chicago but I was curious to find out whether he was a one hit wonder.

Byrd had been a top prospect in the Phillies organization when he broke into the majors in 2002, appearing in 10 games.  The next season he appeared in 135 games in which he hit .302 and came in 4th for the Rockie of the year award.  It looks like he had a sophomore slump hitting only .228 in 106 games.

For the second year in a row he struggled, which resulted in Philly trading him to Washington for Endy Chavez. In 2005 the Nats eventually sent him down after hitting .264 in 74 games, the next season he hit .223 in 78 games for Washington.

In 2007 he would sign with the Texas Rangers as a free agent and then spend the next three years there as an arbitration eligible player.  He thrived in Texas playing in 377 games and hitting .295 from 2007-2009.

After the 2009 season the Cubs would sign him to a three year 15M deal and for the first two years the contract would work out as he hit .284 in 271 games.  In April of 2012 Byrd was traded to the Red Sox for pitcher Michael Bowden, in 34 games for Boston he would hit .270.  In a roster crunch he was designated for assignment but then tested positive for PED, even though he did not play again in Boston he severed his 50 games on the restricted list.

His defense has never been questioned, he's always played a decent center field but can he produce offensively.  I'll take .270 from a center fielder and Byrd has achieved that or better in 7 of 11 seasons and 2 other seasons he hit over .265,  to be fair he has hit in the .220s in two other seasons...


But Collins challenged those assumptions. “We’ve come into camp saying, ‘Well, we’re looking to platoon here, we’re looking to platoon there,’ ” Collins said. “If Marlon Byrd is the same offensive player that he’s capable of being, we don’t need to platoon. We’ve got that guy.” source NY Times

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