Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/plugins/system/cdnforjoomla/helper.php on line 27
so-whos-this-kotchman-fellow-im-hearing-about | July | 2008 Articles

2008 Archives

A Look at Kotchman and Marek

on .

The past 48 hours have been filled with conflicting reports putting Mark Teixeira in Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and Arizona. It seemed that every beat writer had a different story and a source saying that the previous guy was wrong. Well, that was all settled today with the announcement that the Braves traded Teixeira to the Angels in exchange for first baseman Casey Kotchman and double-A right-hander Stephen Marek. The early analysis of this trade is positive for both sides. Teixeira arguably makes the Angels baseball’s best team, while the two-player package the Braves received and close to $4 million the team saves is worth significantly more than the two draft picks Atlanta would have received for letting Teixeira walk at the end of the season. Here’s a little more about the Kotchman and Marek: Casey Kotchman was rumored to be unavailable up until a few days ago but it seems that the pressure to get a deal done forced the hand of Angels GM Tony Reagins. The 25-year old first baseman is considered one of the game’s best defenders at his position and his bat has shown some of what made him one of baseball’s best prospects just a few years ago. Kotchman is now in his second full season after hitting .296/.372/.467 during 2007. This year has been a bit rougher for Kotchman, who is hitting .287/.327/.448 through 100 games. The most notable difference is a walk rate that has plummeted from 10.7% in ’07 to 4.6% this year. The ability of a player to take a walk rarely just disappears like that and throughout his career in the minors, Kotchman has shown fairly impressive on-base skills. Chances are the miniscule walk rate is just a fluke. During his time in the high minors as well as last season, Kotchman’s walk rate stayed around 10-12% and I’d expect it to return to that level. Playing a smaller role in his offensive decline is a slightly unlucky .281 BABIP (down from .308 in ’07). The bottom line is that he is young, cheap, team-controlled through 2011, and should be an above-average offensive first baseman once he starts walking. Kotchman is capable of hitting .290/.370/.470 with 20 home runs annually and I wouldn’t be at all concerned about the drop-off in performance this year. Those numbers along with his defense would make Kotchman one of the game’s better all-around first basemen. Stephen Marek is the lesser-known of the two but has a right arm that could bring significant value in the near future. The 24-year old was a 40th-round draft-and-follow out of San Jacinto JC in 2004, signing for $800,000. Marek has two plus pitches in his low-to-mid 90’s fastball and 11-5 curve, as well as a change that shows plus potential. Marek’s biggest weakness is that he has trouble repeating his mechanics. This leads to inconsistent command and if his arm slot is too high, a fastball that can flatten out and become hittable. The Angels moved Marek to the bullpen at the start of the season and he is now considered one of the minors’ best relief prospects with some going so far as to say that he could be a long-term closer. The question though, is whether or not Marek will stick in the bullpen. If the Brave are willing to delay his ascent to the majors and iron out his mechanics, Marek could end up as a middle-of-the-rotation starter down the road. I think the odds are that the Braves move him back to the rotation to keep their options open but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Warning: DOMDocument::load(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/modules/mod_xmlarticles/helper.php on line 19

Warning: DOMDocument::load(http://www.bloguinmedia.com/curation/maintop/articles.xml): failed to open stream: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/modules/mod_xmlarticles/helper.php on line 19

You Might Like...