Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Mike Fontenot Report

Mike Fontenot, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
Drafted 19th Overall, 2001 Draft, LSU
Bats L/Throws R
24 YO, 5'8", 160 lbs

After a disappointing pro debut, he got contacts and started hitting in 2003. In the Eastern League, he hit .325/.399/.481. This season, he regressed a bit, hitting .279/.346/.420 with 30 doubles, 10 triples, 8 homers, 48 walks, and 111 K's in 524 at bats. The plexiglass effect that Bill James talked about generally deals with teams that make a large improvement in their win total from one season to the next. But maybe there's a parallel for players. You see this sometimes, where a player makes a large step forward, then the next season, falls back to a more maintainable pace. Clearly he's better than the .264/.333/.364 he put up in A ball, but was probably playing over his head in 2003.

His speed is nothing to get worked up over. He stole 14 bases this season, but got caught 7 times. His defense is a work in progress, but he's no butcher.

Overall, I think he's a replacement level player who will float around on the fringes of major league rosters for most of his career, but like Marco Scutaro and Mark Ellis, he could potentially fill in competently at second base for a team where he can hit at the bottom of the order and not draw attention to himself. The Orioles already have a couple of second basemen in Jerry Hairston Jr (who they're turning into a utility player) and Brian Roberts.

ETA: 2005
2 Stars

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