Defending Austin

Austin Kearns is just about the most overpaid player in baseball, and I have heard many calls for him to be released lately, but he is not without positive value for this team. So I am arguing we should just let him ride out his contract on the bench. I went out and looked at fangraphs data today and right now Kearns has generated more value than Dukes for this franchise this season in fewer at bats. How is this possible? Well Kearns actually does two very important, but highly underrated things, well: avoid outs and play his position. Kearns has an above average onbase percentage of .336 (Dukes ,314). That ranks better than 9 AL franchises and 11 NL franchises. His UZR/150 as a RF in fan graphs is a positive 4.1 and it is his worst year ever for that stat. Zero is completely average. Dukes is 1.0 thus far in RF. Kearns also is an intelligent baserunner who lacks speed. Which is to say he rarely makes mistakes on the basepaths unlike Dukes (fast and stupid). Kearn's big, huge, epic, beyond belief weakness is an absolute total lack of power (slg .306). Which, granted, is huge. Nonetheless I do not think he deserves to be outright cut, but rather be a bench player who can avoid outs and play a good defense in right field until his contract runs out. You could do alot worse on your bench.

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