The eighth in a non-alphabetical and irregularly updated series of review pieces for each(?) of the players we predicted last spring.
LL/USSM Community: .253/.340/.441
Actual Line: .232/.348/.304 with Seattle, .220/.308/.326 overall
In his rookie season, Brad Wilkerson batted .205/.304/.325. Last year, he batted .220/.308/.326. I'm not saying his career is totally finished, but we are a people who yearn for symmetry, so it wouldn't really come as a shock. That's pretty much the perfect bookend.
I'm not sure what there is to say about Wilkerson. He was here for a month, he sucked, and he went away to suck somewhere else. It's not like we didn't all know from the beginning what we were getting ourselves into. Wilkerson was a low-reward/medium-risk free agent at whom Bavasi only looked because he was one of the last right fielders left on the market when the team had a need. His upside was as a league-average corner guy with decent power and patience, and his downside was as a $3m doorstop. After 68 trips to the plate, it became apparent that he was a doorstop, so he was sent off on his doorstoppy way, never to be thought of again. His only legacies are the expression "Bradtastic!" and a confirmation that Seattle is where careers go to die.
Wilkerson was advertised as a guy with two tools, but when a broken-down body sapped him of his power, only the ability to draw a walk remained, and even that started to disappear down the stretch as pitchers came to realize he no longer posed a threat. If he is to find another Major League job, it'll be because his agent pitched him to the Braves as a pinch-hitting alternative to Jeff Francoeur should he ever come up in a clutch situation against Barry Zito. Other than that, I just can't picture an organizational meeting where everyone's kind of sitting around the table quietly and looking at each other and then the assistant GM perks up and says "I know! Brad Wilkerson!" Unless they're playing No-Talent Pile Of Crap Trivial Pursuit. Sometimes meetings are fun.
Brad, you had a nice little run there for a few seasons, but unless something crazy takes place, it would appear that your time as a useful player in the Major Leagues has come to an end. We shall remember you only as a warning for what could befall Russell Branyan. Come 2010, you will mean nothing to us.