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Community Projection: Javy Lopez

There's still a Kris Benson thread open a couple posts down if you haven't gotten to that one and would like to.

Javy Lopez came to us two years ago as a free agent from Atlanta, the organization with which he had spent his entire professional career after being signed by the Braves in 1987, when he was 17 years old. He was also coming off of his career year, a little peculiar for a 32-year old catcher. Javy's 2002 season was one of the greatest offensive seasons by a catcher in the history of baseball. Frankly, Javy is one of the most productive catchers to ever play baseball, a career .290/.340/.498 hitter with 252 homers and 829 RBI.

At 35, Javy is again in a contract year, but he's not the No. 1 catcher anymore, and he's not happy about it. He wants to be traded, I guess, but reports are no one's interested. The plan for now is apparently to rotate him between DH, first base and occasionally putting him behind the plate to spell Ramon Hernandez.

Javy complained in 2004 that he caught too much. He caught 132 games that year after catching 120 the year before. 132 was just under his career high of 135, which he did in 1996, when he was 25 years old and had much healthier knees and back and all the things that bother catchers when they started getting grey hair in their ears. He also saw most of his days off from catching in the DH role that year, and while he was productive, Lopez played in 150 games and had 579 at-bats that season, both by far career highs. A hand injury limited him in 2005.

Anyway, here are his last four years, which are a little weird thanks to that career year coming right after his worst season:

       AB    AVG    OBP    SLG   HR   RBI
2002 ATL   347   .233   .299   .372   11    52
2003 ATL   457   .328   .378   .687   43   109
2004 BAL   579   .316   .370   .503   23    86
2005 BAL   395   .278   .322   .458   15    49

Javy's aging, maybe a little unhappy, and is going to be adjusting to not catching so much. That could be good or bad. He may still get traded but I think it's unlikely to happen before Opening Day.

The line: AB, AVG, OBP, SLG, HR, RBI. Also, for fun, How many games will he play at first base, and how many will he catch?