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Rick Ankiel's First Year as an Outfielder


Migrant Redbird

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Rick just completed his first year in the majors as an outfielder last Thursday. He's been riding the bench since July 29th with a "lower abdominal strain" which limits his running, but he's been pinch hitting rather than go on the DL, with 2 hits and a walk in 8 plate appearances. La Russa inserted Rick back in the starting lineup last night, but in left field to limit the amount of ground he'd need to cover.

Rick's numbers for a full year:

G 148

PA 587

AB 529

H 151

R 88

2B 29

3B 3

HR 33

RBI 100

BB 47

K 124

BA .285

OBP .347

SLG% .539

OPS .886

OPS+ (somewhere around) 128

TB 285

GDP 9

Assists 10

Errors 10

162 game averages of 36 HRs, 110 RBIs, 96 R, 51 BB and 136 Ks.

Rick was 2 for 3 last night, plus a walk, a run, and an RBI. He also committed an error fielding a single by Hanley Ramirez and made another error on the throw, giving the Marlins a runner on third with none out in the bottom of the 8th, with the Cardinals clinging to a 3-2 lead. However, Kyle McClellan stranded Ramirez on 3rd and the Cards picked up an insurance run in the top of the 9th with a pinch hit home run by "Joey Bombs" Mather, his 7th in just 116 plate appearances.

Barring future injuries, I guess that Ankiel's conversion to an outfielder has to be counted as a success.... Heck of a pitcher we lost, but a nice consolation prize, if we can keep him in St. Louis. (Rick's agent is Scott Boras.)

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Rick just completed his first year in the majors as an outfielder last Thursday. He's been riding the bench since July 29th with a "lower abdominal strain" which limits his running, but he's been pinch hitting rather than go on the DL, with 2 hits and a walk in 8 plate appearances. La Russa inserted Rick back in the starting lineup last night, but in left field to limit the amount of ground he'd need to cover.

Rick's numbers for a full year:

G 148

PA 587

AB 529

H 151

R 88

2B 29

3B 3

HR 33

RBI 100

BB 47

K 124

BA .285

OBP .347

SLG% .539

OPS .886

OPS+ (somewhere around) 128

TB 285

GDP 9

Assists 10

Errors 10

162 game averages of 36 HRs, 110 RBIs, 96 R, 51 BB and 136 Ks.

Rick was 2 for 3 last night, plus a walk, a run, and an RBI. He also committed an error fielding a single by Hanley Ramirez and made another error on the throw, giving the Marlins a runner on third with none out in the bottom of the 8th, with the Cardinals clinging to a 3-2 lead. However, Kyle McClellan stranded Ramirez on 3rd and the Cards picked up an insurance run in the top of the 9th with a pinch hit home run by "Joey Bombs" Mather, his 7th in just 116 plate appearances.

Barring future injuries, I guess that Ankiel's conversion to an outfielder has to be counted as a success.... Heck of a pitcher we lost, but a nice consolation prize, if we can keep him in St. Louis. (Rick's agent is Scott Boras.)

How much is he making and how long is he signed for? 36HR and 110RBI's is awesome; His K's seem a little high, but I'd say you guys definitely got a one in a million. I could only hope Adam Loewen has the ability to come anywhere near that.

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How much is he making and how long is he signed for? 36HR and 110RBI's is awesome; His K's seem a little high, but I'd say you guys definitely got a one in a million. I hope Adam Loewen can come anything close to it.

Rick is in kind of an unusual situation. He had over 4 years of major league service after the 2007 season, but most of that time was accumulated as a pitcher. An .863 OPS for 2007 might normally garner a pretty high award in arbitration, but only two months of those four years were as a position player.

Rather than go through arbitration, the Cards and Boras agreed upon a 2008 salary of $900K, plus plate appearance incentives (which he'll hit) that raise it to a flat $1M.

2009 is Rick's last year of arbitration eligibility, so this winter might be the last time to lock him up into a long term contract before he hits free agency. With Boras as his agent, I think the odds are against him being in St. Louis after next season if he doesn't get a multi-year contract this winter.

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Rick is in kind of an unusual situation. He had over 4 years of major league service after the 2007 season, but most of that time was accumulated as a pitcher. An .863 OPS for 2007 might normally garner a pretty high award in arbitration, but only two months of those four years were as a position player.

Rather than go through arbitration, the Cards and Boras agreed upon a 2008 salary of $900K, plus plate appearance incentives (which he'll hit) that raise it to a flat $1M.

2009 is Rick's last year of arbitration eligibility, so this winter might be the last time to lock him up into a long term contract before he hits free agency. With Boras as his agent, I think the odds are against him being in St. Louis after next season if he doesn't get a multi-year contract this winter.

Boras as anyone's agent smells foul; St. Louis better leave some money aside for him if they hope to retain him. Good luck! :D

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Rick is in kind of an unusual situation. He had over 4 years of major league service after the 2007 season, but most of that time was accumulated as a pitcher. An .863 OPS for 2007 might normally garner a pretty high award in arbitration, but only two months of those four years were as a position player.

Rather than go through arbitration, the Cards and Boras agreed upon a 2008 salary of $900K, plus plate appearance incentives (which he'll hit) that raise it to a flat $1M.

2009 is Rick's last year of arbitration eligibility, so this winter might be the last time to lock him up into a long term contract before he hits free agency. With Boras as his agent, I think the odds are against him being in St. Louis after next season if he doesn't get a multi-year contract this winter.

Here's to hoping he wise's up and either dumps Boras or puts him in his place like Arod did. The Cardinals have put an extreme amount of time, money and care into his development when most teams would have just sent him packing for a PTBNL or just outright released him. I'd hate to see such a great comeback story like Ankiel's end with him leaving St. Louis just for money.

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Boras actually cooperated with Walt Jocketty in the conversion of Ankiel to a position player. When Rick made the decision to stop pitching and try to make it back to the majors as an outfielder, the Cardinals were out of options on him and had to pass him through waivers before they could assign him to their single A farm team. Boras put the word out among other GMs that anyone fancying taking a flier on claiming Rick on waivers was wasting their time and money, since there was no way that Rick was going to pitch for another organization. Anyone drafting him would have needed to keep him on their major league roster as a position player -- which appeared to be a real long shot at that time.

Rick has made it pretty clear that he has a special affinity for the Cardinals and would like to remain with the organization, but I doubt if that means much if he enters the free agent market. I think the Cardinals need to offer him a multi-year contract this winter that Boras deems acceptable, or lose him at the end of the 2009 season.

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