Assessing the players: Carlos Pena
Another day, another assessment and this time we look at fan favorite Carlos Pena. The veteran slugger is no longer with the Rays and has now signed with the Chicago Cubs, good luck with that one up there. Carlos was a constant force at 1st base, displaying a great glove. He had solid power numbers, but his batting average began to slide and strike outs went up this season, showing he is beginning to decline. Let’s take a look at Pena’s numbers.
Pena finished the 2010 season with a batting average of .196, 28 homeruns (led team), 84 RBIs, and 64 runs scored (5 stolen bases as well). He had 87 walks, 158 strikeouts, an OBP of .325, and a slugging percentage of .407.
Pena at the plate is still a powerful left handed hitter. He not does not go to opposite field at all and often hits into the shift. As he ages, his swing is slowing down. He has gotten to the point of either a homerun with a swing or a strikeout. Over a long season, Pena will drive in runs and will produce, but his batting average will remain low.
Pena’s glove is still rock solid though. He is a sure gloved defender, able to extend off of 1st to catch runners and help turn double plays as well. He had a foot injury this season that limited his playing time and range of motion, but if he is healthy, he will be able to start at first, but should be allowed to DH as well if he goes to an AL club.
I like Pena and so do the Tampa fans. It is a shame the veteran hitter joined the Cubbies after so many years here in Tampa, but we wish him nothing but the best wherever he ends up playing next season (hopefully not against us of course). Final grade: C