Melvin Mora is our third baseman, and that's not going to change if he so much as duplicates what he did last season, which wasn't up to his previous performance levels. Basically, Melvin went from being one of the most productive third basemen in baseball to a middle-of-the-road guy, pretty much as soon as he got a contract extension. Oh, timing.
I love Melvin Mora because he was a bright spot during dark days. I am rooting like hell for him to come back strong in 2007. Let's look at his last three years:
AB AVG OBP SLG 2B HR RBI 2004 BAL 550 .340 .419 .562 41 27 104 2005 BAL 593 .283 .348 .474 30 27 88 2006 BAL 624 .274 .342 .391 25 16 83
Everything dropped in '06, after everything had already dropped in '05. Melvin turns 35 in just a couple of weeks, and his goofy career pattern gives many the idea that Melvin Mora is going to continue this fall off the cliff, and that there's probably nothing that can be done to stop it. As it is, Mora is currently what you'd politely call "serviceable" -- he won't kill you, but he's not going to help. You can win with a few of these players on a team, but you need key ingredients to balance them out, like pitching (jury's out, at best) and hitters that can pick up the slack of someone with Mora's 2006 production. Unfortunately, he was one of the team's main men last year, and on paper, he's still expected to be that type of hitter, although it's clearly no longer about Miggy and Melvin.
Does Mora bounce back this season with a solid year? Does he continue to decline?
The line: AB, AVG, OBP, SLG, 2B, HR, RBI