All Things Baseball

Free Agent Profile: Carlos Lee

Carlos Lee

Carlos Lee may be the best hitter on the free agent market, and that’s including Alfonso Soriano and Frank Thomas.  He has immense power, a sweet swing, solid speed for a power-hitter, and a good eye at the plate.  In other words, if Carlos Lee is up to bat, he can hurt the opponents in many, many ways.  I think Carlos Lee will have the best 2007 of all of this year’s free agents, and the team that signs him will find Lee to be a terrific centerpiece to build a lineup around. 

To prove why I think so, here are Carlos Lee’s stats for 2006, which he split between the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers…

  • Batting Average: .300
  • On-Base Percentage: .355
  • Slugging Percentage: .540
  • OPS: .895
  • Doubles: 37
  • Triples: 1
  • Homeruns: 37
  • RBI: 116
  • Runs: 102
  • Stolen Bases/Caught Stealing: 19/2 — terrific percentage
  • Walks: 58
  • Strikeouts: 65 — excellent for a power-hitter with over 620 at-bats

Is there anything Carlos Lee can’t do at the plate?  He has top-tier numbers in each of his base statistics.  Let’s check his “situational” stats to make sure those aren’t a fluke…

  • Bases Empty: .307/.355/.564 — if you’re a pitcher, you don’t want him leading off an inning…
  • Runners On: .291/.356/.509
  • RISP: .331/.398/.544 — …or maybe you do
  • RISP w/2 outs: .286/.419/.471
  • Bases Loaded: .200/.154/.200 — that’s one flaw…maybe…

If anything, you should be more impressed after seeing Lee’s situational statistics.  His .331 batting average with RISP is ridiculous, just ridiculous, in the best possible way.  Yes, he only hit .200 with the bases loaded, but Lee only had 10 AB’s in that situation this season, which may or may not say something negative about the Rangers’ offense.  Need any more evidence of Lee’s greatness?  Well, I’ll give it to you anyway, here are his “split stats”…

  • Vs. Lefties: .313/.354/.490
  • Vs. Righties: .296/.356/.556
  • Home (Ameriquest Field — hitters’ park): .310/.374/.537 — he took full advantage of his time in Texas
  • Away: .291/.338/.542 — and his time on the road
  • Day Games: .260/.326/.495 — is he nocturnal?
  • Night Games: .317/.369/.560 — …probably

Lee does almost equally well against lefties and righties.  He does considerably better at home than on the road, which is to be expected, because Ameriquest Field is a severe hitters’ park.  Lee’s road numbers weren’t too shabby either, so don’t just think he’s great because the stadium helped him out.  The one concern is Lee’s struggles in day games, but most games are nightcaps, so I don’t think that’s anything to worry about. 

To finish off the stats on Lee, here are some more of his “situational statistics”; these are phenomenal…

  • Leading off an inning: .333/.380/.653 — leadoff man on
  • Runner on 3rd (0-1 out): .560/.463/.920 — just let him steal home
  • First pitch of an AB: .400/.390/.680 — I’d reconsider throwing first pitch strikes

Those numbers speak for themselves.  There’s not much I can say to embellish them; Lee has already done that and a whole lot more in putting them together. 

I’m not done discussing Carlos Lee’s terrific 2006 just yet.  Lee also stole 19 bases in 2006, a rare statistics for power hitters; his only competitor in that department in the free agent market is Alfonso Soriano.  Lee is surprisingly quick and swift on his feet for a 6’2″ 240lb power hitter.  And that speed seems to disappear in the outfield, where Carlos Lee does a lax job of manning the corners.  He’s valuable in nearly every way, and one team will be very lucky to get Carlos Lee in the next few months.   The only recommendation I’d offer that team: be sure to have a small corner outfield spot where Lee can’t hurt you. 

Where’s Carlos Lee going?

There’s one perfect fit for Carlos Lee among this season’s likely free agent suitors.  There’s a team that needs to add a big bat to its lineup.  The same team has an opening in rightfield, and it’s a Pesky one.  That team is also looking to add some speed to its lineup.  And, of huge importance, that team has plenty of money to use on Lee.  You can probably guess the team by now, can’t you?  If you can’t, it’s the Boston Red Sox.  The BoSox would be a perfect fit for Carlos Lee, and I’ll be shocked if the two don’t at least have some serious discussions about bringing Lee into Red Sox Nation.  Other teams that are likely to inquire about Lee: Giants, Padres, Orioles, Mets, and possibly the Yankees.  Even more teams could enter the mix, but Lee is great, and thus he’s likely to be very expensive. 

My prediction: Lee signs a 5year deal with the Red Sox worth 80million. 

Stats prediction: Lee will hit about .290-.300 in 2007, with 35-40HR and 115-125RBI, while scoring 105-115 runs and stealing 15-20 bases. 

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Tomorrow’s Profile: Daisuke Matsuzaka


Trivia Time!

Yesterday’s question (see — Free Agent Profile: Barry Zito) was…

Barry Zito was drafted by the Oakland A’s with the 9th overall pick in the 1999 draft.  Which college was he drafted from?

The correct answer…

USC.  Zito transferred to USC from UC Santa Barbara during his collegiate career. 

Today’s question is…

Carlos Lee was the first ever player to get a hit at which MLB stadium?

Hint: think stadiums that were just recently built


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