Jamey Carroll can be a useful player off the bench, with his ability to hold his own defensively at both second and third, and also has mixed in some time here and there at shortstop and the corner outfield spots. In a pinch, that kind of versatility is an asset. Throw in the fact that he has posted on-base percentages of .355 in each of the past two years and you have a good player on your hands.
The curious part of signing Carroll was that he got a two-year contract (albeit at a relatively modest $3.85 million guaranteed) when so many middle infielders signed one-year pacts this offseason, including Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, Orlando Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, and our own Ronnie Belliard, to name a few.
As I wrote back in December, I like Jamey Carroll, but he reminds me of a signing last winter:
Still, I can't shake the feeling that if you squint hard enough, Carroll looks an awful lot like Mark Loretta, signed by the Dodgers last season:
Player Years Ages BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ Jamey Carroll
2008-09 34-35 .276/.355/.343 89 2007-08 .35-36 .284/.352/.376 91
Loretta, you may remember, struggled to the tune of .232/.309/.276 last season (but had a great final act). Carroll figures to see time backing up second and third base, and perhaps even shortstop, which would alleviate the need to carry a designated (no-hit) backup shortstop.
Carroll is one of two active major leaguers with a career OBP of .350 or higher and a slugging percentage lower than his OBP (minimum 1,000 PA), along with Luis Castillo
Under contract through 2011:
2010: $1.35 million
2011: $2.5 million
Carroll can earn up to $525,000 annually in incentives based on plate appearances from 275 to 550.
|2010 Projections - Age 36 Season|
Thanks to Fangraphs for much of the data. Carroll is projected to have a drop off after back-to-back years with a .355 on-base percentage, which is understandable since most projection systems aren't kind to players entering their age 36 season (just ask Casey Blake). However, Carroll's predicted OPS, or prOPS (available at The Hardball Times) , the last two years was better than his actual OPS (.293/.369/.379 in 2008, .279/.356/.371 in 2009). For 2010, I expect something near that range from Carroll. I'll guess .281/.358/.372, with 26 starts at second base.
What are your predictions for Jamey Carroll (BA/OBP/SLG)? Be sure to also guess the number of starts at second base for Carroll, too.