Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Chris "$Moneybags$" Shelton

Is this dashing young man ready to become the face of the Detroit Tigers?

Chris Shelton was easily the biggest surprise of the 2005 Tigers. Selected By Dave Dombrowski in the Rule V draft, this former catcher was known as an outstanding pure hitter and defensively as a catcher, he was as polished as Dmitri Young playing outfield. But Big Red's hitting more then made up for his piss-poor catching and he was on the team. It was extremely important to find any way possible to get Shelton somewhere in the line-up.

With Karlos Pena struggling and Dmitri Young being too fat to play baseball effectively (I didn't even know that was possible), the Red Bull was able to take over 1st base. He basically was learning on the job, and amazingly did an admirable job. His defense wasn't on par with Karlos', but he rapidly improved and was not a burden defensively for this team.

The most remarkable thing about Shelton's season was how quickly and effectively he adjusted to major league pitching. His best asset as a hitter is his ability to hit with power to all parts of the park. With Comerica Park being “bigger then a mug,” he was able to hit a whopping three triples. Three triples isn't very much, but Chris Shelton is no Speedy Sanchez, so that’s pretty impressive. Shelton hit around .330 for most of the year before struggling at the end of the season and finished hitting .299 for the season. His 18 homeruns were also a welcome addition to the power-deficient Tiger line-up.

My biggest worry is that Shelton might struggle next year. His dip in batting average probably had a lot to do with AL pitchers becoming more aware of Shelton's tendencies as a hitter and studying film of him. Although, it has been noted that Big Red is a "student of the game" and is always working at getting better and adjusting to the nuances of the pitchers he faces. One drunken 50 year old woman at copa last year told me that Chris Shelton as a hitter reminded her of "Tony Gwynn." And who am I to argue with a 50 year old drunken woman. She obviously knows her baseball. $MoneyBags$ right now is our starting 1B for next year and for us to even have a chance of winning the World Series, its my opinion that he must hit at least .480 with 80 Hr's and 220 Rbi's and an OBP of at least .800.

Also, Shelton is from Utah. So that’s just pretty funny in itself. That must have been quite the culture shock coming from a very culturally diverse state such as Utah and moving to Detroit.

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