Friday, February 27, 2009

TPC Quick Comps: Taylor Teagarden

I've posted about Teagarden before, but I came across a very interesting comp for him that I thought I might pass on.

Teagarden was injured for the majority of 2008, but I think his performance level with Texas spoke volumes about his potential when healthy.  Anyways, once you take into consideration age and level, the strikeout and walk rates between Howard and Teagarden are fairly comparable.  The power numbers seem to be all over the place, but I think the important thing to realize is that on average they both displayed elite power potential in the minors and at the major league level.  

Given that Howard was 25 when he finally won a starting position with the Phillies and Teagarden will be 25 this year, I think it's very possible that Teagarden could match the production Howard posted when he first came up.  Reducing his strike out rate to 29% and bumping his walk rate up to 10% sounds very reasonable, and playing in Texas could help ensure that Teagarden keeps his ISOP and power totals on par with Howard.  Stretching Howard's rookie season totals out to 600 plate appearances, we get 38 home runs, 109 RBI, and 29 doubles, which sounds like a huge stretch for Teagarden, but he has the benefit of playing for a very potent offensive team in a very hitter friendly park, so it is definitely a possibility.  Even if his production level is somewhere around 75% of what Howard achieved he would still post close to 30 home runs and 80 RBI while playing as a very good defensive catcher.  

Of course, Teagarden could fizzle out and never reach his full potential, but the prospect of having a hitter like Ryan Howard playing stellar defense at catcher is a very exciting prospect.  All we can do is wait it out and see if the Rangers give Teagarden a chance.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia is listed as the Rangers starting catcher for now, but maybe Teagarden will have a good spring, or the Rangers can make a deal and send Salty somewhere else in exchange for some pitching.  


(Does anyone else think it's funny that on the show The Office, which takes place in Scranton, Pennsylvania one of the characters is named Ryan Howard?)
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