Ryan Raburn was downright terrible in 2008. Look it up, he was. That being said, as bad as he was in 2008, he was terrific in 2009. The 28 year old Raburn, set several career highs for the club last season and continued to be a valuable defensive player due to his versatility.
With all of that being said, what kind of player will Raburn be in 2010? As the roster stands right now, Raburn should get some extra at bats in 2010. He is not a great defensive player, but he’s probably currently the team’s best option in left field. Carlos Guillein, if healthy, should still out hit Raburn next year, but Raburn is a bit smoother on his feet in the outfield.
Raburn slugged 16 homers last season in only 261 at bats. If you make him a full-time player and assume he goes deep at about the same rate, Raburn slugged at least at a 30 HR pace. Here is his 2009 home run rate compared to some other Tigers players:
- Raburn: 1 home run every 16.3 at-bats
- Miguel Cabrera: 1 : 17.9 at bats
- Brandon Inge: 1 : 20.8 at bats
Not bad, right? I don’t think it’s fair to assume that Ryan Raburn will give the Tigers 30 home runs last year and make us all forget about Curtis Granderson, but I also think he deserves a bit more pub (and I’m usually super-critical).
Speaking of Granderson, I think Raburn deserves a shot at the lead off spot. He posted on on-base percentage of .357 last season which is downright respectable. He also hit .278 against lefties while hitting over .300 against right-handed pitchers. Granderson was an easy out for left handers and Raburn would present no such weakness. Just something to think about.