Monday, December 27, 2010

2004 Topps Total, Alberto Callaspo

#784 Alberto Callaspo

Here is the second of three Alberto Callaspo cards that I got signed by the Royals parking lot in 2009. If I remember correctly, I got these cards signed on the day I drove three hours to Kansas City just to stand around the parking lot for another three hours before realizing that it was too cold to go to the game that night. Sadly, that was not the last time I did that. But the next time I did, I had no intention of staying for the game.

I mentioned in my first Callaspo post that he is a great hitter, but he really struggles defensively. He spent most of 2009 playing second base and he had 17 errors at that position. In 2010, he primarliy played third base and he recorded only 10 errors there. But, his fielding percentage was worse at third than at second the previous year because he had fewer chances.

If Alberto is going to stick in a Major League infield, it is going to have to be at third base. For a small and wirey guy, Alberto is slow. He is not going to steal any bases and he has horrible range in the middle infield. Another problem he had at second was turning double plays. He would catch the ball fine and make a great turn, and then the ball would fly behind him when he was transferring it to his throwing hand. This had to have happened at least ten times in 2009, and since the out is recorded and double-plays are not automatic, an error is not awarded on the play. But, he still cost his defense outs by not being able to turn a routine double-play. Ultimately, if Alberto expects to be in a Major League lineup constently, it is going to have to happen as a third baseman or maybe even as a left fielder.

I was surprised to see that Topps used this photo on this card. This photo is an airbrushed version of Bert's (as Trey Hillman loved to call him) 2003 Cedar Rapids Kernals minor league card. I had no idea that Topps did that before. I always thought they used their own pictures.

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