Let’s continue to look at layers who are making their mark and evaluate whether they are good long-terms bets or not.
George Sherrill was acquired from Seattle in the Erik Bedard deal. Sherrill had a good 2007 as a setup man, but hadn’t received the chance to be a team’s closer until now. He’s 26 for 29 in save opps in Baltimore, which means he’s getting the job done, but he has a very high walk rate (5+ per 9 IP) and a very high fly ball rate (64% of balls put into play). Both of these lead one to believe Sherrill has been more lucky than good. Since Sherrill is 31 years old, he’s probably not a good long term bet and might not even be a good bet for the remainder of 2008. If you can get a good return on him in a trade, you might want to take that opportunity.
Skip Schumaker is finally getting a chance to play in St. Louis as he has already accumulated more AB’s in 2008 than he has in his entire MLB career. He’s making the most of his opportunity with a .304Avg/6HR/30RBi/6SB line so far. Since the 28-year old seems locked into a starting job for the remainder of 2008, he should continue to produce. But his long term prospects don’t look as good with Colby Rasmus on his way to St. Louis to claim the center field job and Rick Ankiel destined for right field. That would leave Schumaker to battle it out with Ryan Ludwick for the left field job, which could end in a platoon and not allow either player to accumulate significant numbers.
Mike Aviles has found his way into the Kansas City lineup and is making the most of it. If he continues to produce at this rate, he’ll go .321Avg/12HR/56RBi/8SB in 2008 after playing the first two months in the minors. He flashed a little pop in the minors, so look for his power to develop into 15-20 HR’s per season. With little to block his efforts in the Kansas City lineup, Aviles should stay at shortstop until Mike Moustakas claims the job in a few years and pushes Aviles over to second base. Long term, the 27-year old looks like a solid producer with lots of playing time. He won’t be a superstar, but he’ll be a good middle infielder for the next half dozen seasons.