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Peter Bourjos Examined

The Angels called up center fielder Peter Bourjos on August 3rd, with Torii Hunter moving to right field to accommodate the rookie.  Serving as the Angels' ninth-place hitter, Bourjos has started all seven Angels games since his promotion.

28 big league plate appearances isn't much of a sample, though Bourjos has scored four runs and swiped two bags in that brief time.  At Triple A this year he hit .314/.364/.498 in 455 PAs (102 games).  He hit 13 home runs with 12 triples and 27 stolen bases in 32 attempts.

Bourjos' game is all about speed.  His wheels enable him to play plus center field defense, so that should keep him in the lineup even if his offensive numbers don't sparkle.  Playing time is not an issue, but can fantasy leaguers expect tons of steals?  In the minors Bourjos attempted to steal 27.6% of the time when he singled or walked (a rate that drops if we include Bourjos' ten HBPs).  I'd like to see more - the game's top thieves typically attempt to steal around 40% of the time.

Using the MLE calculator at MinorLeagueSplits.com, here's how Bourjos profiles over 550 ABs: .256-12-47-78-29.  It's a line worth about $6, similar to the value provided by Alex Rios or Vernon Wells last year.  It's nothing to write home about; you might do just as well grabbing Corey Patterson, Will Venable, or Coco Crisp off a mixed league waiver wire if you're desperate for steals.  We don't know if Bourjos' 12 home run type power will translate to the Majors, especially over the next two months as a rookie.

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