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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Justice: Bourn offers cornucopia of skills on open market

As Horrible Horace once said: “We are just statistics. Bourne, to consume resources.”

If that was all Bourn brought to the table, it would be plenty. In the last four seasons, he has averaged 93 runs, 54 stolen bases and a .348 on-base percentage. Still, in Bourn’s case, there’s much more.

He has one of those happy, infectious personalities that wears well during the grind of a baseball season. If Bourn has ever had a bad day, he has never let anyone know it.

He shows up with a smile and believes in the old-fashioned ideas of working hard and never taking anything for granted. Branch Rickey once said it’s impossible to really know a player until you have him on your team. That’s how it is with Bourn. Some team is going to get a first-rate player, but it’s going to get an even better man.

... At 29, he’s not as good as he believes he can be. He hasn’t said that, but I know him well enough to know that there’s some part of his game—bunting, throwing, running, something—that he’s committed to improving this offseason.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, Bourn’s 6.0 Wins Above Replacement number was tied with Chase Headley for sixth-best in the National League, just 1.2 points behind leader Buster Posey.

Whether you buy that number or not, there’s no question some team is going to do a really smart thing in the next few weeks when it signs Bourn. That team is going to know it’s getting a good player, but that’s just going to be the beginning of what it’ll be getting.

Repoz Posted: November 24, 2012 at 09:27 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

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   1. Boxkutter Posted: November 25, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4309035)
I'd love to see a team like Washington sign Bourn. Let LaRoche go in free agency (will he get them a compensation pick?), move Morse back to 1B, Werth to LF and start Harper in RF. The team has a lot of RH bats, so adding a LH like Bourn will help. And that team needs a good OBP lead-off hitter.

Bourn-CF-L
Desmond-SS-R
Zimmerman-3B-R
Morse-1B-R
Harper-RF-L
Werth-LF-R
Espinosa-2B-S
Ramos-C-R
PITCHER
   2. valuearbitrageur Posted: November 25, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4309046)
Harper should hit 3rd or 2nd.
   3. shoelesjoe Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4309075)
I don't understand the Michael Bourne love fest this off season. A 29 year old who's spent he bulk of his playing time in Houston's bandbox yet has a career SLG of .365, and not once has cracked an .800 OPS? He looks like a 4th outfielder to me, no matter how good his glove plays.
   4. Tricky Dick Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4309079)
I don't understand the Michael Bourne love fest this off season. A 29 year old who's spent he bulk of his playing time in Houston's bandbox yet has a career SLG of .365, and not once has cracked an .800 OPS? He looks like a 4th outfielder to me, no matter how good his glove plays.


People have a misconception that Minute Maid Park is a high run scoring environment, which is not true. In 2012, MMP was the 11th lowest run scoring ballpark in the majors, with a park factor of 0.937. MMP has a high HR factor for the short LF wall, but that is offset by a very large and deep CF and an average distance to RF. Bourn is a LHB and, therefore, his slugging wasn't helped by the LF distance. Bourn has hit as many as 34 doubles in a year and as many as 12 triples in a year. Combine that with his base stealing ability, and his offensive value is pretty good for CF.
   5. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4309086)
Bourn's value is in his legs. Completely and 100% in his legs. Base-running and defense. He'll slug a little to open the season, but fade into slap hitting to close it. His OBP is decent but nothing great by any means. He's an excellent defender and an excellent base-runner, but if his legs age poorly, he's meat.
   6. BDC Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4309109)
Still, in Bourn’s case, there’s much more


Sounds like it should be followed by "two sets of steak knives and a sixteen-piece measuring cup set."
   7. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4309111)
Sounds like it should be followed by "two sets of steak knives and a sixteen-piece measuring cup set."


This does seem to be the most obvious "Bourn's agent is paying for my drinks all year" sort of hackery.
   8. bobm Posted: November 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4309148)
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bournmi01.shtml

Agents: Scott Boras, previously: SFX
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4309304)
Bourn's value is in his legs. Completely and 100% in his legs. Base-running and defense. He'll slug a little to open the season, but fade into slap hitting to close it. His OBP is decent but nothing great by any means. He's an excellent defender and an excellent base-runner, but if his legs age poorly, he's meat


Carl Crawford...c'mon on down! I'm pretty much in agreement with #3. As a CF he provides more value then Crawford ever did, but I think the lovefest is overkill and he will be overpaid this off season.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4309324)
7 - If that were the case, it would be Heyman's byline. Bourn was always popular in Houston; he's also an excellent defensive CF who's only 29.
   11. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4309369)
Desmond doesn't have the patience to bat 2nd behind Bourn, he's blossomed as a #6 hitter. They would probably have Bourn/Werth/Harper/Zimmerman/Morse/Desmond/Espinosa/Suzuki to start the season until Ramos was ok. That would also keep the Werth/Harper pairing that worked down the stretch. I think if they don't re-sign LaRoche, their emphasis would probably be on pitching rather than Bourn, unless his price tag was surprisingly low. Harper handled center much better as the season progressed, to the point where no move really needs to be made beyond the preference for another left-handed hitter being in the lineup.

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