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Roberto Petagine

Roberto Petagine, 1B: Petagine has played since 1999 in Japan, and his last two seasons were affected by injuries. Petagine is a stat head favorite, and I am kind of excited about signing him if only because he is a good hitter. Will he be as good as his prime in Japan? Of course not, he's past his prime. But he was signed dirt cheap and is still capable of producing effectively when healthy. His stat line from Japan:

1999 134 .325 .469 .677 23 44 116 91
2000 136 .316 .432 .601 30 36 97 116
2001 138 .322 .466 .633 27 39 120 89
2002 131 .322 .438 .649 23 41 85 106
2003 100 .323 .457 .683 17 34 77 72
2004 117 .290 .409 .560 17 29 75 76

The walks are making me druel. According to Clay Davenport's translated statistics, players coming from Japan seem to lose out on their power while other stats such as average and on-base seem to stay pretty consistent. So if Petagine is healthy, he is capable of producing greatly for the Sox. I also saw a comparison of Petagine's numbers to Hideiki Matsui's in Japan and they were very similar. Granted Petagine is older so he will not have the same success as Matsui in America, but it just shows what he is/was capable of. A shame no one gave him a real chance beforehand.

I wrote that back on February 23rd, before Roberto Petagine went in for his knee surgery that shelved him for a few months. Right now he is back and playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox though, but I think the Sox might recall The Ghost of John Olerud (who is killing the ball in extended spring training from what I've heard) instead of Petagine. I do not really agree with this decision, since the idea behind Olerud is having a great defensive first basemen to back up Millar. Oddly enough, Millar is not really a bad first basemen:

FRAA: -4


Olerud is much better (7 FRAA and 15 FRAR last year) but his bat leaves alot to be desired at this point in his career.

Olerud 2005 PECOTA
MLVr: -0.014
EqA: .276

Petagine 2005 PECOTA
MLVr: .045
EqA: .282

Olerud defensively would be a better pick, but I feel like Petagine can contribute a tad more than shown by his PECOTA projection.

Petagine 2005 60th percentile PECOTA
MLVr: .079
EqA: .287

I like the looks of that a little better for Petagine. Right now he is hitting with power in Pawtucket, but not for average (though it has improved from .192 earlier in the week):

Petagine 2005 Pawtucket Red Sox
HR: 4
2B: 2
BB: 4
SecAvg: .556
Iso: .444

Obviously Petagine is not going to put up these Ruthian numbers in the sabermetrics department in his time with the Red Sox, or maybe even his duration of time with the PawSox. What I like about having Petagine on the team rather than Olerud is that he has played the outfield, can pinch hit, and can play first base on occasion. If Millar goes cold you aren't forced to hope Olerud can hit that week or not;  you can slot Petagine into the lineup and let him put up his .275/.360/.440 line, or something around there. You might think maybe Petagine's numbers will fall after coming back to American from Japan, but he had a .313 EqA in 2002, and .303 EqA in 2003, and during an injury plagued 2004 still put up a .269 EqA, which he should best with playing time this year.

I'd just like to echo once again, a shame no one gave Petagine a chance beforehand. Maybe I'll induct him into the Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall of Fame when he retires as an honorary member. He probably deserves it from his Japanese statistics, but we'll see.