2013 Dodgers player profile: Alfredo Amezaga, room for one more utility man?

USA TODAY Sports

With Hairston, Schumaker, Punto and Uribe already likely to be on the Opening Day roster, do the Dodgers have space for Alfredo Amezaga?

Alfredo Amezaga didn't play in the majors in 2012 as he spent all of last year on the Cubs AAA team. But after that season he played in the Mexican League where he led the league with a .344 average.

Amezaga believes that playing winter ball was a reason why he felt sharper when he first faced live pitching when camp started, "I felt good. When we faced live pitching I was aggressive, because I just got done like a week before we came here, Amezaga said, "most of the hitters take pitches their first few times, but I was hacking because I felt pretty good."

Amezaga was in Glendale with the Dodgers in 2010 but an injury stopped short that year (1 game in Chattanooga). Mattingly remembered that saying "the last time he was with us in camp, I was excited to see him with us." Amezaga noticed changes from his previous spring with the Dodgers, "there are a great group of staff and players here. It's way different [2010], says Amezaga, I feel very happy, happy to be back. I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity."

Amezaga turned down an invitation to play for Mexico in this year's WBC. While the decision was difficult, Amezaga knows that he had to choose on what would be best for him, "this decision was really hard. At [35], I have the good combination of experience and feeling good physically. It's a good time to not be too busy, and prove to the Dodgers that I'm healthy."

Mattingly likes what he has seen so far, "he looks healthy, he's swinging the bat good," said Mattingly, "I think he has had a good camp."

Amezaga prefers the infield, particularly shortstop because it keeps him involved in the game but he has played all over this spring for the Dodgers and that versatility has not gone unnoticed. Mattingly has put him everywhere, "he's playing all over the field for us," Mattingly said, "so I am trying to see him at different positions."

Amezaga doesn't know what would happen but he likes what he sees and how he fits in the clubhouse, "I love the group of guys that we have, said Amezaga, "this is the first team that I've been with a lot of big names, and those guys have been talking to me like they've known me forever."

Trivia

Drafted and signed by the Anaheim Angels, Amezaga was on their 2004 post-season roster and went 0-2 with 2 strikeouts and a sacrifice hit.

Contract Status

Amezaga was signed to a minor league contract in January 2013.

Stats

Year Age PA HR
Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
2011 (CO AAA)
33 277 4 49 41 .305 .385 .444 .371
2011 (CO and FL) 33 87 0 6 4 .182 .247 .195 .208
2012 (Iowa AAA) 34 439 6 65 42 .274 .336 .372 .320
2013 Projections - Age 35 Season
Year PA HR
Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
Oliver 481 5 48 40 .241 .298 .328 .278
Pecota 250 3 25 18 .231 ---- ---- ----
ZiPS 284 3 29 28 .234 .288 .310 .265

2013 Outlook

You probably can have too many utility players on your roster and the Dodgers are currently carrying 4 (if you count Uribe) so it is likely that Amezaga will spend most of the year in Albuquerque unless an injury or trade makes a trip to LA necessary.

What is your guess for Amezaga? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, starts at second base and the outfield, and any other thing you wish to guess.

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