Sunday, September 25, 2016

One-Card Wonder Pt. 34: Casey Kotchman

Casey Kotchman was once one of the hottest prospects in baseball.  He was the 13th overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Angels and made his Major League debut in 2004.  Unfortunately, he never quite lived up to those expectations.  He had some decent seasons, but took a few years before he became a regular player.  He did hit .296/.372/.476 with 11 home runs and 68 RBIs for the Angels in his first full season in the Majors.  He was having a decent season in 2008 before he was traded to the Braves in the deal that brought Mark Teixeira to the Los Angeles.

He started the 2009 season with the Braves and was hitting .282/.354/.409 with six home runs when he was traded to the Red Sox in a deadline deal for Adam LaRoche, who Boston had just acquired the week before.  Boston had been suffering from some injury problems, particularly to third-baseman Mike Lowell.  The Red Sox had to move Kevin Youkilis to third and get creative at first base.  They used rookie Jeff Bailey there, but needed a more permanent solution.  So, first they acquired LaRoche, and then flipped him for Kotchman.

Kotchman did not produce much with the bat in his short stint with the Red Sox, but he was a good defensive first-baseman, as per his reputation.  He only hit .218/.284/.287 with just one home run and seven RBIs in 39 games.  Kotchman's playing time started getting squeezed by Victor Martinez and Mark Kotsay.  He was on the postseason roster, but was used primarily as a defensive replacement.  He had just one at-bat and was hitless.

After the season, Kotchman was on the move yet again, this time traded to the Mariners in exchange for utility man Bill Hall.  The Mariners also helped pay Hall's contract.  It was a trade that worked out well for the Red Sox.  Kotchman continued to bounce from team to team.

Kotchman's only card with the Red Sox is from the Topps Update set in 2009, a set that has been quite good to Boston players over the years.

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