Re: Napoli..................do you sign him next year?
posted at 10/18/2013 9:15 PM EDT
In response to dustcover's comment:
You are absolutely correct. Power numbers or naught, contact hitter is first priority when considering candidates for DH. League-leading-strikeouts does not cut it.
Furthermore, the Sox should begin strategizing and shopping for a power-hitter who consistently makes contact, either for 1B or LF with Nava/Carp platooning at 1B.
Thank you Mike Napoli for what you have contributed thus far to the Sox and what you may yet contribute to the Sox quest for a World Series Championship, but get your luggage ready because the Sox will be moving forward in 2014 without your services. Thanks again and Adios.
And for those who inevitably will ask, 'who do you see as his replacement?', I would certainly take a close look at Paul Konerko. Yes, he did have a 'down' year in 2013, and yes he is 37 years-old, but if you look at his numbers for 2010, 2011, and 2012, you might wonder if, in spite of 2013, he might have enough left in the tank to have one last 'hurrah' year at Fenway. And Konerko loves to hit at Fenway, which his numbers at Fenway throughout his career support. With the signing of Abreu by the White Sox, Konerko who is a FA is certainly not resigning with Chicago.
Here are some career averages.
Napoli strikes out 161 per year or 31% of his at bats, Konerko 96 SO per year or 16% of his at bats.,
BA, Napoli .259, Konerko .281,
RBI, Napoli 88, Konerko 99
HR ave, Napoli 32, Konerko 31,
OBP, Napoli .357, Konerko .356
SLG, Napoli .502, Konerko .491
I'm not saying the Sox should rush out and sign Konerko, but I am saying that there are optional choices that are worth scrutinizing before signing Napoli to a $12M/year deal for 2 or 3 years.
Compare these career numbers for Mike Napoli and Paul Konerko (Konerko is 5 1/2 years older than Napoli):
MN 3231 PA, .259/.357/.502/.859, SO 26.6%, OPS+ 127
PK 9281 PA, .281/.356/.491/.847, SO 14.4%, OPS+ 119
Strikeouts frustrate the common fan but should be viewed in the larger context of offensive contributions.