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Chris Coghlan has gone from Rookie of the Year winner to afterthought with Marlins

Nov 2, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

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Chris Coghlan hit .321 to win the Rookie of the Year award in 2009, but has batted just .252 with a .695 OPS in two seasons since then and spent the final three months of this year in the minors.

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post asked Marlins president Larry Beinfest where Coghlan fits into the team’s 2012 plans and the answer seemed to indicate that he doesn’t figure prominently:

It’s been disappointing, really, the last two years. I think this is an important offseason and certainly spring training for Chris to get back to where he was when he won the Rookie of the Year. We still see him coming back as an outfielder and in center field.  He needs to re-establish himself healthy which we anticipate he will be with the knee or knees and come in and compete. We already know he can be an offensive force, a great left-handed hitter.

“Great left-handed hitter” is obviously a stretch and based on his minor-league track record Coghlan was playing over his head quite a bit as a rookie, but he’s also still just 27 years old and at the very least would seem to have a future somewhere as a utility man. Whether that future will be with the Marlins is unclear, because Capozzi writes that they’ll be looking for a new center fielder this offseason and speculates that Coghlan will begin 2012 back in the minors unless he’s traded.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Mutts fans may remember a terrific rookie outfielder named Mike Vail, who blew out his achilles tendon (or some other connective tissue) playing offseason basketball and fell off the radar after a couple more years of minor league purgatory. Coghlan and his star-crossed knees sadly recalls that episode.

    • paperlions - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Well, in fairness to Coghlan’s knees….he was NEVER projected as an impact player while in the minors and in 2009 he benefitted greatly from an unsustainable .365 BABIP, his 2010 numbers were much closer to his true talent level (below average regular).

      • Old Gator - Nov 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        We’ll probably never know now. Guys learn and mature, and Coghlan definitely was learning to hit before he started getting hurt. He proved to be pretty fragile – if you can blow out your leg while getting hit in the face with shaving cream chances are you’re not in the direct genetic lineage of Iron Man McGinnity.

  2. scatterbrian - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Oh, batting average…. You can be so shiny, and yet so deceiving.

    • Kyle - Nov 2, 2011 at 2:01 PM

      Amen, brother.

  3. SmackSaw - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    “Super Joe” Charboneau redux. Look him up kiddies.

    • thefalcon123 - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      I don’t remember any awesome Chis Coglhan songs or anecdotes about doing his own dental work. I’d peg home more in the Bob Hamlin/Jerome Walton type. At least Joe was memorable.

      • SmackSaw - Nov 2, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        “Go Joe Charboneau” was awesome!

  4. David Kaleida - Nov 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Even at the time, Coghlan was a weak choice for RoY. McCutchen was robbed.

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