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2009 Projection: Matt Stairs

Matt Stairs, OF (LHB)
Age: 41

2008: 337 AB / 46 R / 13 HR / 49 RBI / 42 BB / 90 SO / 1 SB / .252 AVG / .341 OBP / .409 SLG

Summary: The 40-year-old Stairs remained pretty consistent with much of his numbers in 2008, swatting home runs, driving in runs, striking out a bit, walking somewhat, keeping an average in the .240-.260 range. One number, however, that did drop was his slugging percentage, which fell from .549 in 2007 to .409 in 2008, his lowest total since 1995.

Career Level: Descent (Year 4)

Green Flags: His power stats have flatlined, so you almost know what you’re expecting, especially as he claims he guns for the fences. … He hits .286 in late-and-close situations. … His line drive rates rose to 20 percent in 2008, up from 17 percent in both ’06 and ’07.

Red Flags: Pitchers are throwing him fewer fastballs, in 2007 they threw him 58 percent, where as in 2005 and ’06 he saw them more than 60 percent of the time. … Stairs’ strikeout rate was at its highest ever in 2008: 26.7 percent of the time. … That low slugging percentage also sticks out.

Prognostication: How many at bats does Stairs collect? He’ll be a pinch hitter, rarely a fielder. So expect somewhere close to 100, if he remains with the team all season. His power should show, as should his on-base prowess, but don’t expect numbers to be high at all. He has slowly declined into a player ready to hang up the shoes.

2009 Projection: 89 AB / 17 R / 5 HR / 19 RBI / 19 BB / 25 SO / 0 SB / .269 AVG / .371 OBP / .417 SLG

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