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February 4, 2011

BP Unfiltered

PECOTA looks at Jimmy Ballgame

by Colin Wyers

Jim Edmonds, you may have heard, signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals. This annoys me, mostly because I was really hoping he was going to end up playing for every NL Central team at some point in his career and he's really cut down the odds this ever happens.

It's a homecoming, of sorts—he did not return to his first franchise, the Angels. (Although you have to wonder—did the Angels at least ask if he was game, before deciding to trade away a power-hitting catcher for the Vernon Wells contract?) Instead, he returned to the franchise where he played the most. Does Edmonds have enough to make the team—and contribute once he's there? I decided to ask PECOTA:

JIM EDMONDS CF Born: 6/27/1970   Age: 41 Bats: L   Throws: L   Height: 6' 1"   Weight: 190  
Breakout: 0%   Improve: 20%   Collapse: 12%   Attrition: 19%   MLB: 68%   Comparables: Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Mike Schmidt (71)
YEAR TEAM LVL AGE PA R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG_OBP_SLG TAv BABIP BRR FRAA WARP
2011 SLN MLB 41 375 43 17 1 12 42 40 80 2 1 .238/.319/.404 .260 .274 -0.1 CF 2, RF 0 1.1

That's a useful player, although his value to the Cards will likely depend less on his own production and more on how often LaRussa is letting him steal playing time away from Colby Rasmus. (And PECOTA seems to like his range in center field still, which the Cardinals will hope is true if they are putting him out there at the same time as the Lance Berkman, Right Fielder experiment.)

This isn't the sort of thing that will make or break a team. (Like, say, taking on four years of Vernon Wells' contract.) But Edmonds is the sort of guy who can still help a ballclub, and on a minor-league deal this looks like a no brainer for the Cardinals. (Unlike, say... okay, I'll stop.)

Colin Wyers is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Colin's other articles. You can contact Colin by clicking here

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