On Wednesday, 28-year old OF-Jason Bourgeois was designated for assignment by the Houston Astros to make room for Brett Myers. Now that he is fresh on the market, does he fit into the present or future of the Kansas City Royals? Let’s take a look to find out.
OF-Jason Bourgeois was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 2nd round of the 2000 draft. Since then he has played for four other organizations including the Brewers, Braves, Mariners, and White Sox. As we all know, the latter three are Dayton’s favorites to acquire players from so no one should be shocked if Bourgeois gets a minor league contract out of the Kansas City Royals. He was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee by the Astros on October 26th, but stuck with Houston for just under three months and never appeared in a game for them.
The Chicago White Sox gave him his first taste of major league action in 2008. He appeared in 6 games, but only got 3 at bats during that time. His first, and only hit in 2008 was a 9th inning double off of Yankees reliever Chris Britton on September 18th. Last year he got into 24 games for the Milwaukee Brewers and hit 0.189/.250/.300 in 37 at bats.
In 10 minor league seasons he has hit 0.279/.340/.386 with 51 HR, 237 SB, 346 BB, and 588 SO in 4,601 plate appearances. Bourgeois spent 2009 playing for the Nashville Sounds in Triple-A and hit 0.316/.354/.401 with 2 HR, 36 SB, 22 BB, and 40 SO. It was his best season since 2003 when he was playing for the Stockton Ports in High-A.
Defensively he has spent time at 2B (541 games), SS (119), CF (150), LF (95), RF (38), and 3B (6). He hasn’t played SS since 2006, and hasn’t played a significant number of games there since 2002. He has a UZR/150 of 60.6 as an outfielder but that is based on only 48.0 innings played in the majors making it all but irrelevant due to the small sample size. Even so the limited minor league data available also indicates that he is an excellent defensive player.
As far as projections go, CHONE projects him to hit 0.281/.326/.399 with a 1.5 WAR in 2010. That projection strikes me as a best case scenario since it isn’t often that a player can improve their 10 year minor league SLG by 0.013 while facing more advanced competition. If Jason Bourgeois can find a way to meet the CHONE projection he could be a valuable role player in the majors, assuming someone gives him a chance. His glove alone could make him a reasonable option as a 5th OF or utility player if a team believe he could be serviceable at 2B in addition to being able to play all three OF spots.
The question on the table is whether or not he fits into the present or future of the Kansas City Royals, and the answer is a definitive no. If there is something this organization doesn’t need, it’s a late 20s, no power, fast, defensively solid CF. He is basically Brian Anderson with less experience and less power while being the same age. That means he will most likely pass through waivers and remain in the Astros organization, but crazier things have happened. After all, the Washington Nationals signed Horacio Ramirez after the Royals DFA’d him last June.