"Well, at least things can't get worse." No phrase has more truth than that right there, especially when talking about Richie Sexson. His 2007 was just terrible; the worst season of his career. There are no analogies to use to emphasize just how bad he was, but you all should know that he was a Mendoza-line player in 2007.
His average was remarkably low: .205
His home runs were down: 21 (13 less than '06 and 18 less than '05)
His RBIs were down: 68 (44 less than '06 and 56 less than '05)
He was rarely on base: 29.5% of the time
Again, "Well, at least things can't get worse." - I'm starting to love that phrase the more I type. So, I'm asking myself, "What 2007 performance by a first baseman can we expect from Sexson in 2008?"
Carlos Peña (Tampa Bay Rays). In 2007, Carlos put up huge numbers. He hit 46 home runs and drove in 121 runs. His average, however, was out of Sexson's reach, at .282. Speaking of statistics that are out of Sexson's range, Pena drew 103 walks last year as opposed to Sexson's 51. He may have stuck out a little too much, 142 times, but his walks drawn are an impressive stat. I don't believe Sexson can hit that many home runs, hit for that high of average, and walk that much.
Not Probable, but Possible:
Lance Berkman (Houston Astros) went through a slow start in 2007, but bounced back and ended up with a very strong season line. His average is the only thing I believe Sexson cannot touch (.278), but other than that, his line is very realistic for Sexson. He hit 34 bombs and 102 RBIs. He struck out enough, 125 times, and walked quite a bit also, 94 times.
One Realistic Expectation:
Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins) put up Sexson numbers in 2007. His average, .271, isn't much higher than Sexson's career average of .263. He hit 31 home runs and drove in 111. He was on base 34% of the time, which is Sexson's average over his career as well. Morneau kept his K's under 100 and his walks above 50, which is something I think Sexson won't do, but I guess anything is possible. Who knows? I think his is a more realistic comparison and expectation.
Most Realistic Expectation:
Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox). Konerko, I believe, has the best 07 line that I believe Sexson will equal in 08. Konerko hit only .259, hit 31 home runs, and drove in only 90 runs. I don't believe that these numbers are too far out for Sexson. Konerko struck out 102 times and, while his walks are higher, they aren't too far out of reach for Sexson (78).
I see Sexson putting up Konerko like numbers. He hit around Sexson's average in home runs, and hit just under 100 guys home. I don't expect for Sexson to post a .275 average, 42+ home runs and drive in more than 120 runs. I think that would be expecting too much. I don't think that the Mariners are going to ask for that much either, especially after his terrible year last year.
I find myself thinking contradictory thoughts, however. I am scared that Sexson will put up huge numbers, since it is his contract year, and then he'll leave only to be successful somewhere else. If he puts up huge numbers, I could handle resigning him. Of course I will be thrilled if he puts up huge numbers though, because I believe that 2008 could/will be a playoff year for the Mariners and Sexson could be the one that propels them to the postseason or prevents them from making it.
Home Runs: 34
Walks Drawn: 75
Let's gets some feedback now, eh? You guys tell me which comparison will be most accurate, or tell me if you see another projection that is more accurate than mine. I only used 1st basemen. You guys can use anybody you want. Are my projections too lofty or are they just right?
I'm hoping that Sexson bounces back, and I'm sure you all are too.