Can this be a thing? Can we set aside the rest of February 23rd, 2013 to say really nice things about Craig Gentry?
I only ask because I stumbled across an out-of-date article about how the Rangers should spend fifty million dollars on Michael Bourn. Well, technically it wasn't really about that. It was about the MLB win curve, and how teams fighting for playoff spots can add wins around the margins.
The most likely suitor might end being Texas. The Rangers figure to be in another dogfight in the AL West, with the Angels much improved and the young A's well positioned to contend again. Even with the signings of A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman, the lineup's diminished, with Hamilton and Mike Napoli (as well as the fading Michael Young) gone. Projected starting center fielder Leonys Martin is untested as an everyday player, Berkman's a soon-to-be-37-year-old injury risk, and David Murphy's big 2012 season runs counter to the five years of prior evidence that suggest he's a below-average player who shouldn't be starting in a corner outfield spot for a World Series contender. The Rangers could be the best fit for Bourn, though they'd likely benefit far more from his speed and defense than from his bat; ZiPS pegs Bourn at .272/.334/.367 if he lands in Texas.
Now, I pretty much ignored the whole "Texas really should go after Bourn" meme that flared up just before he signed with Cleveland because I figured it was being promoted by people who didn't know who Craig Gentry is, and didn't understand that he basically is Michael Bourn, only right-handed and about twenty times cheaper. But for some reason this one annoyed me. Maybe it was the fact that the writer was using ZiPS projections to back up his points. The same projections, by the way that have Gentry leading the majors in Defensive Runs Saved (+15) and posting a slash line of .260/.321/.349, which is about two doubles away from matching the twelve-million-dollar man up there. Or the fact that Gentry himself isn't mentioned at all, only "projected starter" (against right-handers) Leonys Martin and David Murphy, who's previous five years of solidly above average play is apparently proof that he's below average.
But we're talking about Craig Gentry here. A guy who, in 422 plate appearances over the last two seasons, has posted a WAR of 4.6 (per FanGraphs) with 31 steals. For a completely non-biased comparison, Josh Hamilton posted 4.4 WAR over 636 PAs last season. Craig Gentry, who's spent the last two seasons smacking left handed pitching around pretty good, and now will get a chance to do it on a fairly consistent basis.
Craig Gentry, who always says please and thank you, and calls his mother every Sunday.
Craig Gentry, who took the number 23 because he wanted to show Michael Jordan how it's done.
Craig Gentry, who refuses to hit his homers out of the park because the ball might hit a child.
Happy Craig Gentry Day, people!