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Saturday, January 23, 2010
Rick Ankiel joins the Kansas City RoyalsPosted by Tommy Rancel at 8:27am
In a rare transaction that I actually like from Dayton Moore, the Royals have signed outfielder Rick Ankiel to a one-year contract worth $3 million dollars with a mutual $6 million dollar option for 2011. The move keeps Ankiel as a resident of Missouri as he trades in his St. Louis red for Kansas City blue. It's a move that further explains (or not at all) Moore's "process." Ankiel, a potential 2.5-3 WAR player will make the same salary as new teammate, Jason Kendall.
Jokes aside about him also being the second most talented pitcher on the staff, Ankiel stands a good chance to bounce back from an awful 2009 season. Since becoming a major league hitter in 2007, he has flashed above average power and been a solid defensive outfielder especially in the corners. Of course, Kansas City plans to play him in center field where he has been below average.
In 2007 and 2008 he posted ISO numbers near .250; however, that dipped all the way down to .150 this past season. He battled a variety of injuries in 2009, but if healthy, I would put him closer to those previous seasons than the latter. Also take note of his regression worthy 8.9% HR/FB which should like be nearly double that figure.
With David DeJesus, and the recently added Scott Podsednik in the mix, it seems that Ankiel will man an outfield position to be named later on most days. This pushes Jose Guillen to the designated hitter spot. Health is a concern, and you never know what the Royals are actually going to do, but I could easily see 20-25 home runs for Ankiel with some opportunties to drive in runs. Remember, it was only two years ago when Guillen drove in 97 runs while hitting .264/.300/.438 for KC. He is worth a shot in an AL only league or a deep mixed league if you're looking for some cheap power and some extra RBI.
Tommy Rancel is the Editor-In-Chief of DRaysBay as well as a contributor at Beyond the Box Score
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