As we move toward the 2016 season, let us take a look at each player on the roster and what a reasonably successful season would look like. We started with Aaron Nola. Our most recent entry was Jerad Eickhoff.
Name: Peter Bourjos
Age: 29 in March
Number: (unknown; 8 in St. Louis)
Experience: 590 games
What we saw in 2015Last season saw Peter Bourjos continue to struggle, as he has seen since his impressive 2011 campaign. That year, he hit .271/.327/.438 with 22 stolen bases, 12 home runs and a league leading 11 triples. At 24, he had a 5.4 WAR.
Since then, he's had a below average OPS in four of five seasons. Last season, he hit a .200/.290/.333. A sparkling defender with a lot of speed, he misused his talents last year. He was caught in eight of 13 stolen base attempts and struck out three times for every walk. On a positive note, he walked at a career-best 8.4 percent rate.
One would think his problem was a fluke batting average on balls in play. That he only hit .200 because he was unlucky. But that's not it, or at least not all of it. He hit .263 on balls in play. That's low, but not terribly so. It was the second season in a row he struck out at a 26% or worse rate.
Important goals for 2016Put the ball in play: Bourjos is pretty fast and that tool gets wasted when he whiffs in a quarter of his at-bats. It's sounds Little League-esque, but he should spend the season trying to reinvent his approach at the plate. He's proven he can walk more. If he can get better at putting the ball in play when he swings, his average and on-base percentage will go up.
Run, Peter Rabbit, run: When Bourjos gets on base, he has to be a better threat to swipe a bag. He not only has a less than 70 percent stolen base percentage, but he doesn't run enough overall. If Pete Mackanin is going to play Bourjos, he's gotta provide reasons to play.
AnalysisI'm often an optimist, but I can't bring myself to be one on Bourjos' behalf. He's hit .231/.301/.344 in the past four years.
Maybe there's a chance playing every day again can bring out the player we saw in 2011. If that's the case, maybe the Phillies did find a bargain.