The Brewers released utility man Bill Hall yesterday, as well as calling up Alcides Escobar and demoting JJ Hardy to the minor leagues. So, Bill Hall appears to be there for the taking now, but would he be a good fit with the Mariners? Well, let’s see.
Hall was a 4.9 win player just a few short years ago, and he’s still only 29.
Player’s don’t usually just fall apart in their late 20’s. So what’s gone wrong for him? For starters, he’s not hitting home runs. That’s mainly due to his HR/FB being the lowest it’s been since 2004, at 9.8%. His fly ball percentage is right where it’s always been, so that’s something that should regress, in a good way. Either that, or he’s inexplicably lost all of his power.
He’s not getting on base, either. He’s a career .250 hitter, so that .201 average in 2009 looks a little bit odd. He’s clearly getting some bad luck – his BABIP on the year is .272 (the league average is .302), and his line drive rate is only down a tiny bit from 2006, when he hit .270 with 35 home runs. It isn’t all bad luck though, he really hasn’t been very good – his 2009 wOBA is .270, and that’s awful. So for whatever reason, he’s not the hitter he was a few years ago, but he could still be a good fit with the Mariners.
He’s an above average defender at third base, shortstop, second base, and in the outfield, and he’s right handed. Because of those qualities, and the fact that he could be had for virtually nothing, he would be a perfect candidate for a backup infielder platoon split with Jack Hannahan. Due to the fact that he hasn’t been a real valuable player over the last three years and he was just released, it would cost hardly anything to sign him to a one or two year deal. He also fits in nicely with the defense first plan of Jack Zduriencik.
It’d be ridiculous to expect his 2006 numbers to come back, but I have a really hard time believing that he’s this bad. It’s definitely worth giving him a chance. Please grab him, Jack.
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