Rays Sign Casey Kotchman to Minor League Deal | The Process Report

Rays Sign Casey Kotchman to Minor League Deal


Casey Kotchman turns 28 in late February. He bats and throws lefty and spent last season with the Seattle Mariners. Thankfully, the deal is of the minor league variety.

Kotchman has racked up over 1,000 plate appearances since leaving the Angels in mid-2008 and tallied WAR totals of 0.0 (B-Ref) and -0.1 (FanGraphs). He is the definition of a replacement level player. There are connections to Joe Maddon and the area, so guess which narratives will lead the discussion. He’s also been around the game forever thanks to his father, a longtime member of the Angels’ organization. Yet, there is not much to like about Kotchman the ballplayer.

He had a nice 2007 season and once had prospect status, but .254/.316/.378 since 2008 is retched. Travis Lee, the closest the Rays have had to Kotchman, hit .261/.333/.424 for his career and everyone couldn’t wait to dump him in favor of the first thing that moved. The composite line mostly tells the story with Kotchman, but he is a groundball heavy hitter (over 50% for his career) with a well below average BABIP (.268). Hitting for power is beyond Kotchman (his ISO over the last two years is near .115, abysmal for a first baseman) as is walking enough to make up for his faults.

In a perfect world, the Rays can morph Kotchman back into his doubles-hitting self from 2007. In a more likely scenario, he helps in Triple-A by staying out of the way of players who can legitimately help the ballclub.

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