Mark DeRosa

Seems to be in the same position as Adam LaRoche and Johnny Estrada — he’ll have to play his way out of a job. Of course, unlike the other two, he’s a veteran Bobby is already comfortable with. On the other hand, his window of opportunity is short, with one of the best prospects in baseball coming up behind him. He lacks LaRoche’s offensive potential, and he isn’t at a position — or a good enough third baseman — where you’d sacrifice offense to get his glove in.

Mark set career highs in plate appearances and games last year. He was used more off of the bench and less to start games than in the past, largely because the regulars were relatively healthy and slump-free. And he didn’t play very well, hitting .263/.316/.383. Some of it’s just singles that didn’t fall, but the signs of plate discipline he’d showed prior to 2002 are still missing and he doesn’t have enough power to compensate. If he doesn’t do better, he’d be a below-average third baseman, and the Braves don’t have the luxury of too many below-average players. DeRosa almost has to hit over .280 with 20 homers to contribute at all.

I have no evidence for this, but I don’t think that the Braves really want DeRosa to be the third baseman. He’s the default candidate, but they’re having Eli Marrero practice at the position, they brought in Russ Branyan as a minor league free agent, and they’ve talked up Wilson Betemit. Meanwhile, they didn’t bring in a quality utility infielder. If DeRosa is the third baseman, we’re staring Jesse Garcia in the face. If someone else is there, DeRosa can handle his usual utility role and the Braves’ bench is far stronger.

Mark DeRosa Statistics –

7 thoughts on “Mark DeRosa”

  1. I’m thinking it might be wise to make DeRosa the #2 hitter and making Giles the #6 hitter. That would help DeRosa see some good pitches and contribute and Giles could help protect Drew. Tell me what you guys think.

  2. Marcus is probably the Braves’ best hitter. Moving him to sixth is a waste. If you move him down, bat him third… LaRoche would probably be a better #2 hitter than DeRosa, and Julio definitely would when he’s in the lineup.

    I think they’re reluctant to mess with the planned lineup because Chipper’s been better hitting third, and Andruw much better cleanup. If Marcus hits second, you have all your best hitters in a row without a weak bat in the middle.

  3. True, but Lopez hit seventh most of last year and look what he did. I think you make some good points and you’re definitely right about LaRoche. I just think the lineup is better with some more power in the lower half. I’m not too excited about DeRosa, Estrada, and LaRoche hitting consecutively.

  4. I think DeRose will show a better afverage with more plate appearances. Considering how irregular his playing time was, .263 wasn’t all that bad. He could easily hit .280-.290 this year, in my opinion.

  5. DeRosa would have been fine at third in last year’s lineup. You could take his soft .270-.280 and mediocre feilding with the way the rest of the order was bashing. This year the lower part of the order needs one more bat, because most decent pitchers will cruise through our current 6 thru 9. Frankly, one more year of Vinny would have been enough to get us to Marte.

    I like Hessman also. I don’t think Branyan makes the roster. The player who seems to be clogging up the roster is Eddie Perez. Is Marrero done as a catcher? Wouldn’t we have more options without Perez?

  6. Keep in mind in all of your line-up shuffling that bunching your best hitters produces more runs than scattering them. This way you have three run homers instead of solo homers. A one hit inning is usually worthless, you probably need at least 2 to start scoring runs. Pack the debris at the end of the lineup and expect little from them and be happily surprised when they deliver. Also over the course of a year one line-up spot equals 18 additional plate appearances. Move Marcus from 2nd to 6th and you have subtracted 72 plate appearances from your 2nd best hitter (Chipper is the best, and Andrew, and Drew when healthy might be better-but note that Giles is my favorite player on the team now that we are in the AM (After-Maddux) era).

  7. Mac refers to signs of plate discipline prior to 2002 for DeRosa. I’m not sure if that was int he minors, but the plate discipline he showed in the majors in 2001 was largely illusory – of his 12 walks, 6 were intentional. So that leaves only 6 unintentional BB in the remaining 178 PA. His career OBP factoring out the IBB is only .321.

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