In his first full MLB season, Casey McGehee exceeded all expectations.  Considering his minor league track record, it didn’t necessarily take much.  Hitting primarily in the fifth spot in the lineup, he posted the following line:

  • 610 At Bats
  • .285 Batting Average (174 Hits)
  • 23 Home Runs
  • 104 RBI
  • 70 Runs
  • One Stolen Base
  • .337 On Base Percentage
  • .464 Slugging Percentage
  • .306 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Generally, hitting behind Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder would not generate so many RBI opportunities.  However, 2010 was no ordinary year.  With runners in scoring position, Fielder hit just .233 with two HR and 47 RBI (in comparison, he hit .296 with 13 HR and 93 RBI in 2009).  In fact, he managed just 83 RBI after having at least 102 in each of the previous three seasons (and 141 in 2009).

In other words, there were certainly extra opportunities for McGehee that, under normal circumstances, we should not expect.  It’s impossible to expect Fielder to struggle as badly in 2011, meaning there could be a dramatic fall coming in McGehee’s most endearing statistic.  It’s impossible to think otherwise.

In regards to his power, there is nothing unrealistic in his peripheral numbers, with a 35.7 percent fly ball rate and a 12.5 percent HR/FB.  At 28 years old, it’s not necessarily a surprise that he developed his power of late, but there is really nothing in his minor league track record to support another 20+ home run season.

In 2008, he had 497 AB in the Pacific Coast League, hitting just 12 HR.  In 2006 in the PCL, he hit 11 HR in 497 AB.  It’s a league that notoriously is very homer happy (as a comparison, in 2010 there were six players with at least 29 HR including Mike Carp, who had 29 HR in 409 AB), yet in nearly 1,000 AB he had just 23, the same number he hit in 610 AB in 2010.

His average is solid and repeatable, with a very realistic BABIP and a good ability to consistently make contact (16.7 percent strikeout rate).  Still, there doesn’t seem much hope that he improves on the average significantly, barring a lot of luck falling in his favor.  In 2,577 minor league AB, he hit .279.

The runs are not an awe inspiring number, and hitting behind the big guns in the lineup, it’s not too likely that he improves upon it.  He doesn’t have a big OBP, and without a big bat behind him, he’s just not going to score enough.

Of course, he is eligible at one of the shallowest positions in baseball, helping him a little bit.  Of course, in 2010 there were 12 third baseman with more runs scored, and that doesn’t include names like Aramis Ramirez or Pedro Alvarez.

There are definitely numerous reasons to plan on avoiding McGehee on draft day.  Even with his impressive 2010 campaign and playing a shallow position, I’d look towards him as a depth option, at best.

There just isn’t enough upside to justify using him.  In fact, the deck appears stacked for him to suffer a major regression.

What are your thoughts on McGehee?  Can he replicate his 2010 success?  If not, how far do you think he’s going to regress?

Make sure to check back on Tuesday, as the Rotoprofessor Roundtable will weigh in with their projections on McGehee.

Make sure to check out some of our other 2011 projections:


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