How many projected fifth outfielders get a player write-up? I felt obligated to do so after I saw he did not even have a projection listed on Fangraphs, and after listening to how awesome he is on Jonah Keri’s podcast earlier this week.
Given how little most prognosticators believe Fuld will play in 2011, here are his numbers from the minor leagues as well as his combined experience in the major leagues which spans across three different cups of coffee.
Fuld is a heavy favorite to make the Rays roster because he is out of options and the Rays would not have had him included in the trade if they did not plan on using him. He is much like the player he was traded for, Fernando Perez, in a few ways. Both lack power, but both run very well, both are braniacs (Perez – Columbia, Fuld – Stanford) and can cover a lot of ground in the outfield. How much ground you ask?
What else do they have in common? An understanding of the Spanish language!
Fuld is also a very patient hitter at the plate who works counts much like Rays fans saw Brett Gardner drive pitchers nuts last season. Fuld has gap power, at best, which prohibits him from being an everyday player at the major league level. Fuld’s role in the 2011 season should mainly be as a defensive replacement and late inning base-running specialist who could see the occasional start on getaway days and what not.
For the last few years, Rays fans have enjoyed the very cerebral and well-spoken Fernando Perez, Carlos Pena, and Gabe Kapler in interviews and what not. That hat now becomes Fuld’s to wear. After all, a player that gets a Bill James Abstract for his ninth birthday is a player after my own heart. The next goal should bet to get him on Twitter as Perez is (@outfieldrambler).