Friday, November 12, 2004

Meet the Nats: Second Base

Introducing three-time All-Star, Jose Vidro. Vidro, until his recent knee injuries, has been a steadily consistent doubles machine for the Expos, nailing 35-50 a year. Nap Lajoie, he ain’t, but we’ll take him.

Even in an off-year, the 29-year old, hit .294/ .367/ .454, but has hit .304/ .367/ .470 for his career. With age, injuries, and the typically early decline of second basemen, we probably can’t expect a return to his huge numbers of earlier years. But when you’re excellent to begin with, when you decline, you’re still useful.

Baseball Prospectus tabbed last year at a .278 EQA. His previous four years ranged from .287-.299--excellent performance from a middle infielder.

Defensively, he’s well above average. Diamond Mind, using play-by-play analysis, rated him as very good. His range factors, yes a problematic stat, are all above average, at least until last year and the knee injury. Given the knee problems, and his age, I’d suspect we’ve seen the best of him as a defensive player. I don’t expect he’ll immediately fold into becoming the second coming of Mariano Duncan, but his defense will not longer be an asset.

Vidro should still be excellent for the next few years. His hitting, assuming last year was a fluke, should remain above average for a middle infielder. Last year, he signed a 4-year, $30MM extension that will keep him in a Nats uniform through 2008. The team’ll probably get their money’s worth for the first two years of that contract, but by 2008, they might be regretting it. Hopefully the team will be a cash cow by then and we won’t have to worry about it. (And hopefully I’ll have the patent for my perpetual motion machine too.)