FriarBall: 2008 Previews: Third Base

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2008 Previews: Third Base

Kevin Towers traded for Kevin Kouzmanoff before last season, giving up on what fans thought was another talented prospect (and who could still be a good talent despite his struggles last season) in Josh Barfield.

In April, it looked like we got hosed as Kouzmanoff struggled to adjust to being a full time major leaguer but by June Towers once again looked like a genius. Given that Kouzmanoff should be better adjusted this season, he should easily surpass last year's numbers and I think he even approaches a .300 BA, 25 HR and 95 RBI. Not too much of a stretch but considering his second half last season it could be too modest.

Like the rest of the infield, last year's super utility man Geoff Blum traded one super sized state for another, meaning the Kouzmanoff's days off will most likely be handled by "3B of the future?" Chase Headley, provided Headley isn't the permanent fixture in LF.

Looking at the complete infield picture, I applaud what Towers has us sending out on a game-to-game basis, even if Tadahito Iguchi is just a rental until Matt Antonelli is ready. If Kouzmanoff's bat continues to get better, he could provide much of the pop that missing out of last year's lineup (not that he didn't provide pop in the first place, we just needed more).

Now if only the OF was as complete looking as the infield, we would be the team to beat in the NL hands down. But that is another topic for another couple of days.

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