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Scott Sizemore struggled in initial MLB role

Every weekday between now and mid-November, we'll be looking closer at a Tigers player. For more information on the series, including a schedule, please check this post out.

I'm almost wondering why I included Scott Sizemore in the grading process. But when you get right down to it: He started the season with the Tigers. He concluded the season with the Tigers. He will be competing for the starting second base role next year for the Tigers. So I'm grading him.

An incomplete.

That's because he has just 126 plate appearances in his major league career. So it's hard to really assign any letter grade to the work he produced during the 2010 season.

What we can say about him: Coming off an Arizona Fall League injury that resulted in a fractured bone in his ankle, Sizemore struggled to start his MLB career. He made memorably bad plays in the field, including a lapse of concentration when the game suddenly sped up on him that resulted in a walk-off victory. At the plate, he failed to even get on base 30 percent of the time for the season, and also failed to display any power his first time up with the team.

Still, despite a forgettable season, Sizemore's talent remains enough to earn him another attempt next spring.

At the plate:
Home 23 20 80 70 11 15 4 0 1 5 0 0 7 18 .214 .282 .314 .596
Away 25 21 83 73 8 17 3 0 2 9 0 0 8 22 .233 .309 .356 .665
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/28/2010.

I chose to display Sizemore's splits rather than his entire 2010 season. Despite a successful season in the minor leagues, Sizemore kind of reverted when he returned to Detroit. He posted a poor batting average and failed to show much power, either.

In the field:

Sizemore played in part of 46 games, mainly at second base but also for a short audition at third. His Ultimate Zone Rating reflects the fans' opinion of his fielding: He was below average.

At TangoTiger's 2010 Scouting Report, he earned a 37 on a scale of 0-100. Fans saw him as below-average across the board.

What 2010 tells us about 2011:

Honestly -- and this is the thing fans sometimes have a hard time wrapping their mind around -- not a lot. For Sizemore's sake, it's best to hope it was just a false start to his career and he'll do better the next time around when he is more relaxed and familiar with his surroundings. It really seems like a case of the game speeding up way more than he was ready for, and he never got untracked because of it.

Three out of five seasons, his minor league OPS was above .800. The other two, it was above .750. He's got a track record of being able to hit. Now he just has to do it at the major league level.

Of course, not every prospect is able to translate their minor-league success to the major leagues. Maybe Sizemore will fall through the cracks. But we haven't seen enough of him to proclaim that yet.


I used Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs and the 2010 Scouting Report.