Key Stats: Casey McGehee? Yep. Not much was expected of him last season, and maybe we were not giving the guy enough credit to being with. After all, in 2009 he did hit 16 home runs from June 14 on or one every 18.4 at-bats. And although his name doesn’t get the respect of any of his bashing teammates, McGehee finished the season ranked 81st by Yahoo. He was also extremely consistent along the way. His OPS was only 9 thousandths different in the first half than it was the second. He turned 28 a month ago and will be in the same lineup next season, so anyone claiming last season was a fluke should learn from history.
Skeptics Say: Last season was a fluke. McGehee never hit more than 12 home runs in the minors, and he was there up until the age of 25. After hitting one home run every 18.4 at-bats during that stretch in 2009 when he essentially became an everyday player, McGehee hit one every 25 at-bats in the first half of last year and slowed down even more to a pace of one every 28.5 at-bats in the second half.
McGehee played 22 games at second base in 2009. He played 0 there in 2010, and thus will not be eligible at that position next season.
Peer Comparison: Gordon Beckham received much more attention heading into last season’s drafts. That has changed this year. In the average mock draft at MDC, Beckham is going 41 picks after McGehee. That is interesting considering the second halves of both players in 2010:
Beckham – .380 OBP, .497 SLG, .310 AVG
McGehee – .332 OBP, .474 SLG .298 AVG
Beckham is a former first round pick that is four years younger than McGehee a former tenth round pick. Seeing that last year was only his second full year in the big leagues, we could chalk up the first half struggles to development. According to the pedigrees, Beckham might have just hit his stride in the second half and McGehee might be ready to go all Morgan Ensberg (former 9th round pick) on us and fall off the face of the earth.
All that being said, I still like McGehee about forty picks in front of Beckham. For 149 games last season, McGehee was the Brewers number five hitter which enabled him to drive in more than 100 runs. Beckham hit 9th in 81 of the White Sox game enabling him to do virtually nothing. Splitting the seasons into halves and assuming that the more recent half is one way to interpret the numbers, but other people would argue that the full body of work is what counts. In that case, McGehee should be taken 400 picks ahead of Beckham. Given that it’s good to use a weighted average of where you put your emphasis 40 players apart seems about right.
Lineup Outlook: The Brewers had a slightly above average offense last year relative to the rest of baseball despite below average seasons from their best two hitters. Prince Fielder will be the subject of a rumor or two over the next couple of weeks, but the Brewers probably won’t move him given that the NL Central was won by a team that started Edinson Volquez in Game 1 of the playoffs. Assuming Prince stays in Milwaukee, he’s got about 180 million reasons to have a big year hitting in front of McGehee. One hundred RBIs isn’t out of the question for a second straight season.
What They’re Saying: Yahoo: #12 Third Baseman & #106 Overall; CBS Sportsline: #11 Third Baseman; Mock Draft Central ADP: #141 Overall; Couch Managers: #75 Overall; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #9 Third Baseman
Projection: Part of the reason McGehee was not more respected on Draft Day 2010 was because of Mat Gamel. Apparently at-bats won’t be an issue this season with Gamel getting work as an outfielder and first baseman.
72 R 21 HR 97 RBI 0 SB .280 AVG .815 OPS
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