As Ryan Ludwick goes for his sixth straight game with a home run I thought it would be a good time to take a look at this years group of players who would have drawn a few smirks at your local roto draft if they had been offered up. Some of these are good players who are just have having great years (Nady, Huff ) but most these guys are "are you kidding me".
Quite a few of these guys have been career utility players. Ramon Vazquez, Mike Fontenot, Jerry Hairston, and Omar Infante are all players who have spent significant time in the major leagues and never tasted success like this. Then we have guys like Aviles who was on nobody's radar in the KC organization and boom, this guy has the highest OPS+ for an AL SS. We got Berroa they promoted Aviles.
Ludwick who is the star of this group was once a decent prospect in the Indian orgranaztion but man that was years ago. Injuries derailed his career but he kept at it and has helped keep the Cardinals in the pennant race. Gabe Kapler was retired and has come back to hit better then our best players prior to the Manny deal.
For all the praise we heap on our young kids it is interesting to see this motley crew of rejects kicking our butts in production. There are some kids on the list who once showed promise like Lind but the list is also populated with players that we would have been very unhappy if Ned had acquired. Huff, Vazquez, Spilborghs, Fontenot, Tatis, Hairston, Casey, Hinske, Wigginton, Blake, Gerut, Kapler, Hairston, Cantu, and Infante. Yet all of them have outhit our best hitter.
Our only guys in the top 100 OPS+ (100 Rank) with over 150 at bats this year is a player who hasn't played in months(Furcal) and the guys we just acquired in deadline deals(Manny, Blake). We all expected Kemp, Martin, and Loney to be somewhere in the mix, but they aren't .
It would have been nice to have at least one surprise, one guy who did something we didn't expect on the positive side instead of guys who did something we didn't expect on the negative side(Jones, Kent).