10 Year review: Left field

Today we look at the left fielders from the last 10 seasons.  Left field is one of the few positions where the Reds have been above average over the last 10 seasons and it's because they've had some pretty good hitters there.  Obviously there is Adam Dunn, but Dmitri Young and Greg Vaughn also spent some time in left as well.  Heck, even Chris Stynes had a pretty good year when he was the primary starter in 1997.  Here's an offensive rundown for each season compared to the league:

                                   REDS LF           ALL NL LF
Year  Opening Day  Starter |  AVG   OBP   SLG |  AVG   OBP   SLG
2006  Dunn         Dunn    | .241  .363  .480 | .277  .359  .478
2005  Dunn         Dunn    | .274  .394  .534 | .272  .349  .457
2004  Dunn         Dunn    | .263  .386  .552 | .277  .367  .484
2003  Dunn         Dunn    | .228  .329  .428 | .271  .361  .475
2002  Dunn         Dunn    | .258  .379  .486 | .280  .371  .478
2001  Young        Young   | .265  .336  .483 | .280  .368  .502
2000  Tucker       Young   | .310  .368  .529 | .284  .365  .498
1999  Vaughn       Vaughn  | .251  .351  .514 | .285  .365  .489
1998  Stynes       Young   | .285  .343  .442 | .268  .338  .447
1997  Sierra       Stynes  | .289  .343  .406 | .267  .344  .434

Even though most of the other teams in the league keep pretty good hitters in left field, the Reds have managed to keep pace with and even top the league in left for the better part of the last decade.  And while the Dunn and Vaughn years aren't really a surprise, take a look at the 2000 season.  Who knew that the left field combo of Dmitri Young, Alex Ochoa, and Michael Tucker could bust out the whoopin' sticks like that.  Of course, none of the guys that have been manning left field for the last decade will be confused for a gold glover, but that's often the case with the position, so it's nice to see that at least the bats have been lively.  

The average season by Reds left fielders over this period is:

        AB   R    H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO  HBP  SH  SF  ROE  GDP  SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
Reds  617  99  165  33   3  32   95  84  148    7   2   4    7   13  15   5  .267  .360  .486
LgAvg 624  96  172  35   4  27   94  76  122    7   2   5    7   14  12   5  .276  .358  .474

Have we gotten spoiled by the type of offensive production that we get from left field?  Will it take the loss of Dunn for many to realize how important it is to get offense from that position and that defense, while it would be nice, isn't a necessity?  I hope not.

Here are the projections for Dunn for next season:

           AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
James    .242  .382  .523  .905
CHONE    .250  .383  .540  .923
Marcel   .254  .378  .528  .906
ZiPS     .259  .382  .536  .918

These projections were generated before Dunn came to camp "in the best shape of his life."  So, you can double all of the number. ;)  Seriously though, Dunn should be riped for a rebound from last season's decline.  Let's hope he's not stuck doing it all on his own though, because I think we all know that he's not that kind of player.  If the supporting cast can step up, though, look out.

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