2) Brett Eibner
Eibner has played a total of eight games for the KC Royals, which is almost statistically insignificant. Conventional wisdom suggests there’s little we can tell about Brett Eibner as a major league player given such limited exposure.
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Of course, his eight games have been pretty damn good. Overall, Eibner is slashing .310/.355/.552 with 4 doubles, 1 home run, and 6 RBIs. He put his jersey in the Kansas City Royals Hall-Of-Fame in his second game by stroking a game-winning RBI single to finish off a franchise record seven-run ninth inning comeback to pull off an emotional 8-7 win.
Eibner has also flashed good range in the outfield, speed on the base paths, and pop at the plate in his short stay with the KC Royals. We haven’t really seen him show off his outfield arm, but many teams wanted him to become a pitcher rather than a position player before the 2010 draft. I suspect he’s not a good guy to run on.
Aside from his athleticism, his BABIP is simply unsustainable at an outrageous .421. Eibner is hitting the ball quite hard, with a 33.3% hard hit rate, 47.1% medium rate, and 19.0% soft hit rate. Steamer projects him to slash a much more humble .243/.310/.393, while ZiPs sees him hitting .221/.279/.369.
If these projections based on Eibner’s minor league numbers are close to reality, he’s really a backup outfielder. Notice that I didn’t mention either projection system with respect to Whit Merrifield. I didn’t consider them reliable given the clear effect from his recent adjustments.
Of course, Dayton Moore has six more weeks to observe Eibner, and he’ll have a lot more data to make a decision. But, as of now, the Kansas City Royals can’t really expect him to hold down a starting spot in the lineup.
Next: Paulo Orlando