When Eric Chavez went down for a third straight year in 2009, the A’s were faced with the reality that Chavez would never be able to return as an everyday player. Chavez has been limited to 121 games over the past three seasons, and as a result, he hasn’t lived up to the six-year, $66 million contract he signed in 2004.
This spring, Chavez is attempting another comeback bid. He is currently hitting .286 with 2 HR and 4 RBIs. Obviously, it is good news to see Chavez swinging the bat well, but the fact is no matter how good he feels, he’s never going to be a full-time player again.
Step in Kevin Kouzmanoff. Kouzmanoff, or “Kouz” for for short, was acquired this offseason in a trade with the San Diego Padres. Last season with Padres, Kouzmanoff hit .255/.302/.420 with 18 HR and 88 RBIs. The year before that, Kouzmanoff managed to hit .260/.299/.433 with 23 HR and 84 RBIs.
Kouzmanoff will assume the duties of thirdbase, meaning Chavez will see the bulk of his playing time either at first or DH. Kouzmanoff brings with him a career .965 FPCT (37 errors in 3,717 innings). He also brings along his 62 career homers as well as his .261 career batting average. In 2010, Kouzmanoff should provide some homerun potential, since he did manage to hit 18 HR last season (9 of them at PETCO Park). However, filling in the shoes of the once great, Eric Chavez, will be a difficult task. Here’s a look at Chavez’s career numbers vs. Kouzmanoff’s (not a fair fight, but I thought it’d be interesting to see):
Despite the daunting task to fill the shoes of Eric Chavez, Kouzmanoff should be able to supply some much needed power and should make a few web-gems over at the hotcorner. Without a doubt, A’s fans will soon be chanting Kouzmanoff’s name at the Coliseum whenever he comes up to bat.
Here’s my PREDICTION/PROJECTION for Kevin Kouzmanoff in 2010:
.263/.302/.452, 21 HR and 80 RBIs