2012 Dodgers Player Profile: Adam Kennedy, Proven Vet Or Aging Vet?

Mar 10, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Adam Kennedy (3) fields ground balls prior to a game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the sixth organization in the last five years for Adam Kennedy, who has seen his career evolve from Major League starting second baseman to journeyman utility infielder. However, the product of North High School (Riverside) and Cal State Northridge, managed to find his way to playing time anyway, averaging 128 games and 438 plate appearances over the past four seasons.

2012 Dodgers Player Profiles
This continues our series of 2012 player profiles, where we will analyze one player per day, between now and the end of spring training. This is also the spot for our community projections, so be sure to give us your predictions for each player for this season in the comments section.

This spring Kennedy has the security of a guaranteed major league contract, a better position than he found himself in 2009 when he didn't make the Tampa Bay Ray's 25-man roster while on a minor-league contract, but he was eventually traded to the Oakland A's where he found playing time in the Show once again.

It appears that the Dodgers expectation is that Kennedy will fill the role held last year by Aaron Miles to be a veteran backup option at second and third base, and in Kennedy's case first base as well. Given that in his 30s Kennedy has batted .261 / .319 / .364, 82 OPS+ in 2559 PAs, and, outside of 2009, in a steady decline, offensive production at Miles' level might be the most that can be expected in 2012 for Kennedy's age-36 season.

Kennedy was originally the 20th overall draft pick in 1997 of the St. Louis Cardinals before being part of a trade with the Anaheim Angels for center-fielder Jim Edmonds. In his third season with the Angels, he won a World Series ring, but the Angels - in 2002 and 2005 - are the only postseason team he's been a member of.

Trivia:

His first major league hit was against Orel Hershiser of the New York Mets.

One of seven players, and the only middle infielder, to hit three home runs in a post-season game, achieving the feat in Game Two of the American League Championship Series for the eventual World Champion Anaheim Angels. The other six men to accomplish this are Babe Ruth, Bob Robertson, Reggie Jackson, George Brett, Adrian Beltre, and Albert Pujols.

Contract Status:

Per the True Blue LA Dodgers Payroll Worksheet (big props to Eric), Kennedy has a one-year contract that guarantees him $800,000, with a possible $150,000 in plate appearance incentives, starting at 325 PA.

Previous Dodgers Player Profiles:

None

Stats:

Year Age PA HR
Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
2009 (Oakland)
33 587 11
65
63
.289 .348 .410 .337 104
2010 (Washington)
34 389 3
43
31
.249 .327 .327 .303 85
2011 (Seattle)
35 409 7 36
38
.234 .277 .355 .278 74
2012 Projections - Age 36 Season



System PA HR
Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
Bill James 240 3
24 22
.251 .313 .350 .289
Marcel 443
7
44
41
.248 .305 .357
.296
ZiPS 429 6
45 42
.258 .307 .362 .297
(Photo by Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE)

2012 Outlook:

Kennedy is an aging veteran who has managed a 79 OPS+ each of the last two years and played nearly as much first base as second base last season. I am guessing that he hits .181 / .204 / .271 before his July release.

What is your prediction for Adam Kennedy in 2012? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, and anything else you wish to guess.

Thanks to baseball-reference.com and fangraphs.com for the statistics.

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