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2009 Projection: Miguel Cairo

Miguel Cairo, INF (RHB)
Age: 34 (35, May 4)

2008: 250 AB / 34 R / 0 HR / 23 RBI / 18 BB / 32 SO / 5 SB / .249 AVG / .316 OBP / .330 SLG

Summary: Miguel Cairo has somewhat slid into the perfect 25th man role, showing little to no power (no professional home runs since 2005), average speed (capability for 10 SB) and light contact (settling into the .240-.250 range). Last season he earned over 200 at bats as a utility man for the Mariners, starting off extremely cold (0-for-14) and not hitting his stride until late July. He slugged almost 100 points higher against left-handed pitching, which is a much greater disparity than in years past. He did raise his line drives to 20 percent of his at bats, up from 14 percent in 2007. He also, however, lost more ability to hit breaking pitches.

Career Level: Descent (Year 1)

Green Flags: Cairo had his best contact season for fastballs (68.4 percent), but it still reads low. … His walk rate climbed to 7.5, almost the best percentage of his career. … All counting numbers rose with the increased playing time, while averages rose slightly.

Red Flags: Cairo had his post-prime bump season in 2007 (age 32/33), then quickly experienced a downward trend indicative of his 2006 levels in 2008. This doesn’t bode well for 2009. … Cairo had his worst contact rates for curveballs, sliders and changeups in some time. … His K rate rose to nearly its highest level yet (14.5 percent).

Prognostication: 2007 was successful for Cairo because he played a bit over the time he spent out there. In 2008 Cairo crashed back to Earth somewhat, despite having some of his more prominent numbers of his career. The power won’t be there in 2009; the contact offense won’t be abundant, either. Still, Cairo should be as good as Bruntlett, but with a tad more speed and a tad less power. He won’t play as much, either.

2009 Projection: 97 AB / 9 R / 1 HR / 5 RBI / 5 BB / 15 SO / 2 SB / .247 AVG / .310 OBP / .322 SLG

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