Pena had arguably the best four-year power stretch in Rays history from 2007 to 2010, posting a .238/.368/.516 line with 144 homers along with 96 doubles. However, his batting average and OBP declined every season he spent in St. Petersburg. The Rays let him leave to the Chicago Cubs on a one-year deal and despite moving to more of a hitter’s park, Pena didn’t have more than a solid overall season by his standards, posting a .225/.357/.462 line with 27 doubles, 28 homers, and 80 RBI. His walk rate came in at 16.7%, his highest mark since his ridiculous 2007 season, and his HR/FB% (percentage of home runs among flyballs to the outfield) was 15.3%, his lowest for a full season since 2004 with the Detroit Tigers, indicating some amount of bad luck. From August 3rd to the end of the season, Pena’s luck shifted (he may have shortened up his swing a little bit) and he finished off the season very strongly, posting a .245/.405/.536 line with 16 doubles, 8 homers, and 27 RBI in his final 48 games. Casey Kotchman had 10 homers the entire season as the Rays’ first baseman. Pena has his flaws- he strikes out way too much and he’ll be lucky to hit .250 in 2011- but he has some nice strengths in his power, walk rate, and his very good defense at first base. The Rays needed another big bat in their lineup, and Pena gives them exactly that.
Tags: Carlos Pena