O’s spring training: The 25 who will make it (#14)

March 10, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Time for me to go out on a limb.

Enough with profiling B-Rob, Wieters, Markakis, etc.

Let’s find someone that MIGHT be a late March casualty and take our chances, shall we?

I say Ty Wigginton is coming north with the team in April.

And I say he deserves to come north.  I say, in fact, “he better come north” (especially after I’ve written this).

Odds he’ll be on the roster at the start of the season: 100%

Odds he’ll be on the roster at the end of the season: 50%

Odds he’ll be an effective contributor in 2010:  70%

Odds his name will be mentioned at the trade deadline in late July:  30%

Summary: OK, let’s get it started.  Ty Wigginton is a good player.  He’s not a great player.  He can be replaced.  He’s not a guy some team will come calling for in late July, which is why I listed him as “30%” in the trade-mention probability above.  Are you a Ty Wigginton fan?  I am.  I think he adds a lot to the team. He’s definitely not a starter — unless injuries dictate it — but he’s a valuable commodity defensively and when he plays regularly, is OK with the bat.  Notice I wrote “OK” with the bat. He’s not a .300 hitter.  He’s not going to hit 3 HR’s in a 4-game series against anyone.  But he’s a good man to have on your team. How many different positions did he play last year?  3?  No.  4?  Nope.  5?  You’re getting closer. Wigginton played SIX different positions last year…five defensively and one (DH) at the plate.  How many errors did he commit in the 98 games he played in the field in ’09?  A grand total of four.  Ty Wigginton is better than you think he is.  At the plate, he is what is.  He’s a .270 hitter with limited power (11 HR) and he strikes out way more than he walks, for sure.  He’s not necessarily the guy you want coming up in the 8th inning when you’re trailing 4-2 with 2 outs and you have runners on 2nd and 3rd.  But he MIGHT be the guy you want to come up in the 8th inning when you’re trailing 4-1 and you need someone to get a hit to start your rally.  He’s that kind of player.  He’s an under-the-radar kind of dude.

I think his playing role will be reduced in 2010 with the additions of Tejada and Atkins, hence the reduction in production that you will note below.  That said, someone always gets hurt and Wigginton can fill in just about anywhere in the infield, albeit for a short time only, and even in the outfield if called upon.

He better come north in April.

Drew’s projections for Wigginton in 2010:

* .263 average

* 8 HR

* 30 RBI

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