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April 14, 2001

Not-in-Book Players

Players on Opening Day Rosters We Missed

by Baseball Prospectus

Each edition of the annual Baseball Prospectus covers more than 1,600 players, with full Davenport Translations and comments. Even with that kind of blanket coverage, every year players who miss the cut for the book make the cut in spring training, finding their way onto major-league rosters.

Our staff has collected DTs and player comments for just about everyone who made an Opening Day roster but wasn't in BP2K1. We've also included updated Wilton projections for hitters. Enjoy!

Chris Donnels 3B Bats L Age 35 (Los Angeles)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 ORX JpP 142 35 6 0 5 18 0 9 9 1 0 107 .246 .331 .394 .246 16
2000 Albuquer PCL 325 83 16 1 17 49 55 51 51 4 1 243 .255 .355 .468 .274 48 56-1B -1 24-3B -5
2000 LosAngls NL 35 10 4 0 4 5 7 8 9 0 0 25 .286 .375 .743 .335 8
2001 LosAngls NL 196 47 8 0 10 32 33 16 15 1 0 149 .240 .346 .434 .271 29

The journeyman made the Dodgers thanks to Adrian Beltre's post-appendectomy complications and Dave Hansen's subsequent injury. He's a serviceable bat off the bench and a lousy defender, and will lose his roster spot ten seconds before Hansen is ready, probably sometime in May.

Tony Fernandez 3B Bats B Age 39 (Milwaukee)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Toronto AL 484 163 34 2 11 44 46 72 74 12 8 329 .337 .403 .483 .295 78 77-2B 2 46-3B 2
1999 Toronto AL 478 161 26 0 12 72 55 70 78 6 7 324 .337 .433 .467 .304 83 116-3B -2
2000 SEI JpP 373 111 20 1 10 44 49 54 60 2 1 263 .298 .379 .437 .275 52
2001 Milwauk NL 327 93 10 0 7 57 42 42 41 4 2 236 .284 .391 .379 .271 45

Tony Fernandez spent the 2000 season in Japan after enjoying perhaps his best offensive season the year before. Now the Brewers have brought him back to be their leadoff hitter and third baseman; they need him to be the former and will tolerate him as the latter. Though he once was a standout defender at shortstop, he now has unimpressive range at third, and his arcing sidearm flips inspire little confidence. He'll be turning 39 at midseason, and his playing time may erode if he shows signs of wearing down in the midsummer heat.

Charles Gipson UT Bats R Age 28 (Seattle)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Tacoma PCL 279 62 13 2 0 23 48 32 10 11 9 226 .222 .290 .283 .192 18 38-CF -1 15-SS 0
1998 Seattle AL 51 13 1 0 0 5 8 11 2 2 1 39 .255 .332 .275 .214 4 14-OF 1
1999 Tacoma PCL 173 46 5 2 0 11 23 20 17 13 3 130 .266 .317 .318 .226 16 21-SS -9 13-CF 2
1999 Seattle AL 80 19 5 2 0 5 11 16 9 3 4 65 .237 .290 .350 .205 6 17-3B 5 11-OF 1
2000 Tacoma PCL 216 47 6 4 1 24 39 20 17 11 5 174 .218 .302 .296 .208 17 38-CF 3 13-3B 7
2000 Seattle AL 29 9 1 1 0 4 8 7 3 2 3 23 .310 .394 .414 .255 4
2001 Seattle AL 210 47 8 3 0 25 38 30 12 12 6 169 .224 .306 .290 .218 19

Charles Gipson has long been a tease, tempting the Mariners organization with his slick glovework at multiple positions, rifle arm and blazing speed. However, he still has trouble hitting the ball out of the infield and reading a pitcher's move to first, which makes him an ineffective base-stealer. Gipson has some late-inning strategic value, but his utter feebleness at the plate doesn't afford him much job security.

Shea Hillenbrand 3B/1B Bats R Age 25 (Boston)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Michigan Mid 503 144 24 2 15 12 51 59 63 6 4 363 .286 .309 .431 .243 53 83-C -18 10-1B 1
1999 Trenton Eas 285 68 10 0 7 8 27 34 30 4 4 221 .239 .264 .347 .196 19 51-C -13
2000 Trenton Eas 532 150 27 2 10 11 42 62 60 2 2 384 .282 .302 .397 .230 49 65-1B 4 35-3B -4
2001 Boston AL 469 132 23 1 13 16 42 58 56 5 3 340 .281 .305 .418 .239 47

Shea Hillenbrand has hit for high averages in his two full seasons in the pros, two years that bookended a 1999 season lost to a knee injury that probably ended his tenure as a catcher. Now a stone-gloved third baseman, Hillenbrand's empty .300 averages--he never walks and doesn't have much power--are even less valuable. His time in Boston will likely be short as major-league pitchers exploit his weak command of the strike zone.

Ryan Jackson 1B Bats L Age 28 (Detroit)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Charlott Int 49 16 2 0 2 3 14 4 9 1 0 33 .327 .365 .490 .286 7
1998 Florida NL 264 68 14 1 6 19 68 27 32 1 1 197 .258 .310 .386 .231 25 37-1B -7 23-RF -4
1999 Tacoma PCL 406 108 22 1 5 28 63 43 46 8 3 300 .266 .314 .362 .229 38 88-1B 1
1999 Seattle AL 68 17 3 0 0 5 17 4 10 3 3 54 .250 .310 .294 .201 5 18-1B 1
2000 Durham Int 506 137 28 2 14 37 121 56 66 4 3 372 .271 .320 .417 .245 55 131-1B 8
2001 Detroit AL 421 105 18 1 10 37 99 41 51 5 3 319 .249 .310 .368 .234 42

Things were looking up in Toledo, what with the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic, Muddy the Mudhen breaking ground for a new downtown ballpark and the Tigers' off-season signing of Triple-A stalwart Ryan Jackson for the beleaguered local nine. Then, Phil Garner threw a wrench in the works and broke camp with Jackson on the 25-man roster. Don't be alarmed, Toledoans; Jackson is already on his way.

Robin Jennings OF Bats L Age 29 (Oakland)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Iowa PCL 298 65 20 1 12 27 48 44 46 3 3 236 .218 .291 .413 .231 30 66-CF -7
1999 Iowa PCL 256 67 16 3 6 20 33 34 30 4 3 192 .262 .317 .418 .243 28 61-RF 1
2000 SaltLake PCL 337 83 25 3 7 24 48 47 39 2 1 255 .246 .300 .401 .232 33 60-OF -11
2000 Louisvil Int 121 38 8 1 4 6 16 14 20 0 1 84 .314 .354 .496 .276 17 29-LF -3
2001 Oakland AL 338 85 18 2 8 27 51 42 41 1 1 254 .251 .307 .388 .237 35

Robin Jennings has been handicapped by trying to work his way through the organization during Al Goldis's "let's get goofy" days as Larry Himes's player-development sidekick. His best shot was probably 1997, but Doug Glanville won the center-field job. The Cubs then went for broke in 1998, which basically left Jennings to make that uncomfortable transformation from prospect to minor-league veteran. He was always going to be a tweener, in that he's not a center fielder (his first step seems consistently late in coming), and not enough of a hitter to start regularly in either corner. He'll probably get demoted this week for fifth starter Cory Lidle.

Mark Little OF Bats R Age 28 (Colorado)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Memphis PCL 63 15 3 2 0 5 10 7 5 0 2 50 .238 .307 .349 .211 5 17-OF -1
1998 Oklahoma PCL 271 71 16 3 6 13 57 45 35 7 5 205 .262 .311 .410 .238 28 64-CF 8
1999 Memphis PCL 193 50 8 4 2 8 46 30 16 9 4 147 .259 .302 .373 .228 18 51-CF 0
2000 Memphis PCL 424 103 24 4 11 37 102 51 45 15 8 329 .243 .315 .396 .239 46 104-CF 2
2001 Colorado NL 380 107 22 4 11 34 93 73 48 17 6 279 .282 .341 .447 .238 39

Mark Little an awful lot in common with Robin Jennings, except that Little can handle center. He's not really a platoon player, so he doesn't have a tidy potential role as Todd Hollandsworth's platoon mate. Along with Hollandsworth, he gives Buddy Bell some nice flexibility in that he's got a pair of outfield backups who can handle all three positions. On an organizational level, if Dan O'Dowd had to pass Little through waivers he'd probably slip through, which isn't a bad quality in a fifth outfielder.

Jose Macias UT Bats B Age 27 (Detroit)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Jacksnvl Sou 512 131 23 6 9 30 48 59 48 4 5 386 .256 .300 .377 .223 45 127-2B -7
1999 Toledo Int 440 102 17 6 2 28 58 37 30 7 4 342 .232 .282 .311 .197 29 105-2B -2
2000 Toledo Int 132 30 4 0 0 13 17 17 7 2 2 104 .227 .300 .258 .187 8 20-CF -1
2000 Detroit AL 172 46 3 5 2 17 21 24 23 2 0 126 .267 .337 .378 .245 19 25-2B 1 17-3B 0
2001 Detroit AL 294 72 12 4 4 26 38 33 26 3 2 224 .245 .306 .354 .227 28

Jose Macias is your garden-variety utility man, not as annoyingly abundant as zucchini, but more palatable, like broccoli. The Tigers' predicament is that they're carrying two similar players in Shane Halter and Rule 5 selection Jermaine Clark. Now that Dean Palmer's shoulder has mended enough for him to come off the disabled list, Jermaine Clark has been designated for assignment, leaving the zucchini that is currently occupying third base.

Sandy Martinez C Bats L Age 28 (Montreal)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 ChiCubs NL 88 23 9 1 0 13 20 7 7 1 0 65 .261 .362 .386 .260 11 25-C -1
1999 Iowa PCL 124 26 4 0 2 4 28 7 15 1 0 98 .210 .234 .290 .161 5 31-C -1
2000 Calgary PCL 270 66 12 0 11 10 59 30 32 1 1 205 .244 .275 .411 .222 24 61-C -4
2001 Montreal NL 178 41 5 0 6 10 45 11 18 0 0 137 .230 .271 .360 .210 14

If you blinked, you missed Sandy Martinez's brief return to major-league baseball. He blew out his elbow making a throw in his first game, and should be done for the year. His lone claim to fame was a flirtation with being Kerry Wood's personal catcher during 1998. The nicest thing you can say about him as a player is that he threw well.

Donaldo Mendez SS Bats R Age 23 (San Diego)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1999 Auburn NYP 87 18 1 1 0 1 24 6 9 4 3 72 .207 .229 .241 .138 3 21-SS -6
2000 Michigan Mid 378 91 8 0 4 19 73 43 41 20 8 295 .241 .288 .294 .200 26 100-SS 10
2001 SanDiego NL 277 63 5 0 3 18 61 26 25 14 6 220 .227 .275 .278 .198 19

For the second straight season, the Padres intend to keep a Rule 5 pick with little minor-league experience on the roster all year. Donaldo Mendez, from the Houston farm system, is a shortstop with a good defensive reputation who hadn't played above low-A ball before this season. Chris Gomez has limited range at shortstop, and Santiago Perez's minor-league numbers look positively boot-tastic; Mendez has an opportunity to be a useful defensive replacement for either, while also doing on-the-job training in the outfield. He'll contribute nothing with his bat, of course.

David Newhan IF Bats R Age 27 (Philadelphia)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 Mobile Sou 496 111 22 2 9 44 116 63 31 16 6 391 .224 .289 .331 .210 40 110-2B -1
1999 LasVegas PCL 366 89 19 1 10 25 79 36 36 16 3 280 .243 .294 .383 .230 36 88-2B -15
2000 LasVegas PCL 242 53 4 1 4 28 62 30 25 6 2 191 .219 .300 .293 .204 18 54-2B -3
2000 Scran-WB Int 84 20 2 0 3 9 15 9 7 2 1 65 .238 .312 .369 .230 8 23-2B 2
2001 Philadel NL 370 85 14 1 9 44 94 48 29 11 3 288 .230 .312 .346 .226 35

David Newhan is primarily known for being the son of soon-to-be Hall of Fame Los Angeles Times sportswriter Ross Newhan. The son will have to buy a ticket to join his father there, because he's nothing more than a standard issue utility infielder. He's mildly useful to the Phillies, primarily because their bench is so awful.

Tim Raines OF/PH Bats B Age 41 (Montreal)

Year Team Lge AB H DB TP HR BB SO R RBI SB CS Out BA OBP SLG EQA EQR Defense
1998 NY_Yanks AL 321 101 13 1 6 55 42 55 50 7 3 223 .315
Related Content:  Defense,  10-year Projections,  Team Age,  Pcl,  OBP,  SLG

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