Earlier today, the Tigers released All-Star, Gold glove winning, perennial MVP candidate RF Brennan Boesch in a questionable, baffling move in an off season full of them.
I couldn’t even type that with a straight face. Sorry.
Is this move really worthy of an entire blog post? Maybe, maybe not. Who cares? It’s the internet, man. We got a new Pope today. The Lions signed, like, 15 free agents including Tom Brady and Brett Favre. The world moves on with or without an outfielder who very rarely dazzled you and often frustrated you with his inability to consistently do anything except suck.
It’s blunt, but hey, no apologies. Brennan Boesch wasn’t successful here, outside of a few hot streaks in the middle of dreadful seasons (or, Chris Sheltons) his full career in Detroit looked like this:
Batting average: .259
On base percentage: .315
Slugging percentage: .414
On base + slugging (OPS): .729
Home runs: 42
Runs batted in: 175
At bats: 1,362
In 2012, Boesch hit .240/.286/.372 with 12 HR and 54 in 470 at bats. That’s…bad. Yeah, 12 homers isn’t terrible and 54 RBI is okay, I guess, if you’re judging players on how much they aren’t terrible rather than how good they are. Delmon Young was better than Boesch, and everybody wanted him gone. Especially me, and Delmon was a beast in the playoffs last year.
Boesch went through his problems in Detroit. He was vilified by Detroit fans for much of the year (rightfully) due to his bad play. Boesch cannot play defense even at a replacement level. He’s below replacement level offensively. OPS+ in 2012? 76. 100 is league average.
Brennan Boesch, especially considering the $2m he would have earned this season, is completely worthless. He cannot field, he cannot hit, and Leyland suggested to the media last year that Boesch doesn’t take criticism well and is hard to coach. Not a good combination for a 27-year-old outfielder barely scraping by.
Is there optimism for Boesch? If forced to be positive…he has the ability to hit the ball pretty far when he makes contact. People have raved about his “power”, but when you hit 42 HR in 1362 AB, you don’t have much power to speak of at all. Brennan’s a bad fielding outfielder with a gigantic hole in his swing. He doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of the strike zone at all. His plate discipline is very poor.
Boesch can improve. He’s still on the right side of 30. Perhaps a situation exists, somewhere out there, where Boesch finds the right coaches who get through to him.
Unfortunately for Boesch, that’s unlikely. As mentioned, there’s not one net positive about his game. He does nothing well. He’s also slow.
This move doesn’t really make much difference in the plans of the team, though. Odds are, a bad outfielder will still see a lot of at bats in 2013 for the Tigers. But at least Quintin Berry is fast!