Skeptics Say: Hopefully the .186 average in September is just a bad month and not a player getting worn down. Victorino will be 31 this season, so it's unlikely he's getting worn down. What is likely to happen though is that he will start to see a decline in his stolen base attempts. Victorino attempted only 22 steals last season compared to 40 in 2010.
Peer Comparison: On the point of his steals being down, I would take Brett Gardner over Victorino next season. Gardner has been ranked in the top 100 in each of the last two seasons, so he's no slouch either as far as consistent performance is concerned. What's to like?
- Durability. Gardner played in 27 more games last year and is about three years younger.
- Dominance in one category. Gardner is of only a few people in the game capable of swiping 50 bases.
- Gardner's batting average. It has to come up next year. His BABIP was below his career BABIP, his strikeouts were down, and his line drive rate was up last year.
- The lineup. True Gardner won't always be at the top of the lineup like Victorino should be, but the depth of the aging Yankees is better than that of the aging Phillies.
What They're Saying: CBS Sportsline: #9 Outfielder; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #18 Outfielder & #60 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #17 Outfielder & #59 Overall; RotoChamp: #112 Overall
Projection: As bad as the lineup looks right now, I doubt it continues to get worse this season as far as Utley goes. Victorino should finish with numbers pretty similar to last year.
88 R 16 HR 63 RBI 17 SB .279 AVG .350 OBP .849 OPS