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May 23, 2006

Botts Up, Meyer Down, Nevin...?

Texas recalled 1B/OF JASON BOTTS from AAA Oklahoma and sent IF DREW MEYER to AAA.

Botts batted .318/.373/.615 in his second tour of duty in AAA. The ten homers in forty games speak to his potential, as does striking out once per 3.4 at-bats. Botts turns 26 in a couple of months and needs to exploit this opportunity lest he receive the Adrian Gonzalez treatment. As you may recall, Gonzalez hit lights-out during Spring Training in 2005 and earned a roster spot, only to play sparingly and hit poorly in a two-week trial, whereupon he was dumped back into the minors. Botts’ situation isn’t a perfect analogy, but there is the fear that Texas could settle too soon for the dull certainty of Nevin’s underachievement rather than ride out a slow start by Botts.

Since the start of 2005, Nevin has 596 plate appearances and a line of .234/.299/.388, roughly comparable to the immortal Neifi Perez. This season, Nevin has all but twelve of the team’s cleanup plate appearances and all but five from the DH slot. To what end?

Phil Nevin, 2006
Relative to the AL
Relative to other DHs
Relative to other cleanup hitters

Texas has received better cleanup production than only two teams (Kansas City and Seattle) and better DH production than three (KC, Los Angeles, and Minnesota). Nevin’s 2006 performance thus far should strike a familiar chord for Ranger fans:

Phil Nevin (2006)
Brad Fullmer (2004)
Andres Galaragga (2001)
Ken Caminiti (2001)

Only the 40-year-old Galaragga had any gas left in the tank after leaving Texas, lasting another three reasonably productive years.

Posted by Lucas at May 23, 2006 06:23 PM