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Let's Talk Outfield

Looking at my outfield list the other day, I realized that I definitely need a refresher course on who exactly is roaming the outfield in Spring Training, trying to secure a spot on the big-league club, so I thought I'd write a little bit of background about some of the players competing for the 2008 A's outfield positions.

From the 40-man roster:

Emil Brown:

Born: 12/29/1974. 6'2'' 210 lbs. Bats & Throws: Right
2007 Stats: 366 AB, .257 BA, 6 HR, 62 RBI, 12 SB

Formerly in the Oakland farm system, Brown has spent the past three seasons in Kansas City. Last year, he made 66 starts in left, 17 in right and seven as KC’s DH. In his career, he’s played center field 78 times.

Travis Buck:

Born: 11/18/1983 6'2'' 225 Bats: Left Throws: Right
2007 Stats: 285 ABs, ,288 BA, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 4 SB

After a blistering hot Spring Training last year, Buck forced the A's to call him up to start the season. Unfortunately, Buck battled injuries for a good portion of the year, and left many wondering what could have been. This year, he is back as an A’s outfield veteran, and hopes to be at 100% strength. You would assume that this is the one player who is assured of making the team as a starter.

Chris Denorfia:

Born: 07/15/1980 6'0''195 Bats & Throws: Right
No Major League Stats for 2007

The A's picked up Denorfia last year from the Reds while he was injured. He had 60 or so ABs with the Reds in 2005-2007, but I would think 'small sample size' applies to his .278 BA, .358 OBP. If he is indeed healthy, it will be interesting to see what he can do.

Jeff Fiorentino:

Born 4/14/1983 6'1'' 185 Bats: Left Throws: Right
No Major League Stats for 2007

Fiorentino did not get called up by the Reds last season, and the A's claimed him off waivers by taking Ruddy Lugo off the 40 man roster. He played a handful of games in the big leagues in 2006, but overall, it seems like his appeal has gone down in the last couple of years.

Carlos Gonzalez:

Born: 10/17/1985 6'1'' 200 Bats & Throws: Left
No Major League Stats

Acquired in the Haren trade, Gonzalez looks like the top prospect in the A's system right now. He hit .288 with 17 home runs last year, but is billed as the opposite of what the A's stand for; i.e. his walks/strikeout rate is certainly in need of improvement.

Javier Herrera:

Born 04/09/1985 5'10'' 205 Bats & Throws: Right
No Major League Stats

Herrera missed all of 2006 with a torn elbow ligament, but returned last year (high-A, I believe) with a decent, but not great, season. There is minimal information available on his progress since, and I imagine we will learn more as the season gets underway.

Richie Robnett:

Born: 09/17/1983 5'9'' 215 Bats & Throws: Left
No Major League Stats

Robnett spent most of last season in AA, hitting .267 with 18 HR, and 74 RBIs in 120 games before his promotion to Triple-A, where he played ten games.

Ryan Sweeney:

Born 02/20/1985 6'4'' 215 Bats & Throws: Left
2007 Stats: 45 ABs, .200 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Acquired from the White Sox in the Nick Swisher trade, Sweeney has had a couple of call-ups with the White Sox, but had very limited playing time to prove himself. In 105 games in Triple-A last year, Sweeney hit .270 with 10 HRs, 17 2Bs and 47 RBIs.

Who else do you think could make a Spring Training surge for a position? Who will start/platoon? And how will they do?