2009 Recap: Kosuke Fukudome
With the bat in his hand, there's one thing Kosuke can do extremely well: the guy knows how to take a pitch. In 2009, Kosuke only swung at 17.8% of the pitches he saw outside the strike zone (compared to a league average of 25.1%). That ability got him to first pretty frequently, as he walked 93 times in 603 plate appearances.
His power was about the same as league average; his SLG was .421 for 2009, compared to .418 across the game. Combine that, and his .260 batting average, with his walkability, and you get an OPS+ of 104 -- just slightly above average, but for all intents and purposes a league average hitter.
In the field, you get a solid right fielder, or a below average -- but certainly useable -- center fielder. For me, Kosuke in center passes the eye exam; he looks like he can do the job. But numbers don't lie, do they?
Slightly above average bat, slightly above average glove for an outfielder -- combine the two for a guy worth about $10 million a year. In other words, he more or less earned his wages last season.
Next year, projections make it seem like he'll be worth almost precisely the same value, making him slightly overpaid. Now THAT'S more like it!