by Daniel Gettinger
First off, I apologize for not posting much recently. A new school season has begun, and musing about a last place team has taken a back seat to classes, catching up with friends, and the post graduation job search.
While my blogging production has not been consistent in recent weeks, I have noticed that Kevin Kouzmanoff’s 2009 season is remarkably consistent with his performances in each of the two previous years.
In 2007, Kouz posted a WAR of 2.6. In 2008, he was worth 2.7 wins above replacement. This season: 2.4 WAR with a little under one month to go. While not all-star level production, Kouz has established himself as a solid everyday third baseman; essentially an average player.
What I find funny is Kouz has developed an anecdotal reputation for being somewhat streaky, or at the very least, a slow starter. In 2007, led by a horrific April, Kouzmanoff had a pre-allstar game OPS of 0.674 compared to 0.890 after the break. Kouz also stumbled out of the gate last season, posting a 0.646 OPS in April. This year, on May 15, Tim Sullivan, felt Kouzmanoff was playing so terribly that he advocated sending Kouz to AAA.
Kouzmanoff may actually be a slow starter. More likely though, one months worth of at bats is just not enough to jump to any conclusions.* As he once again proved this season, Kouz is who he is: an average third baseman, who when all is said and done, will provide adequate and consistent value to his club.
*I was watching Office Space the other day…Next year, when some Padre player has a rough first month and a half, and people begin to overreact, I really should order and send out as gifts a few of the “jump to conclusions mats”, proposed as a great invention idea by “Tom Smykowski.”