Whichever team decides to take a chance on Cory Sullivan will be grateful that they did. I'm not saying that Sullivan can be a starting outfielder, but there is no reason why Sullivan, 29, cannot at least compete for a starting job or be an effective fourth outfielder. Take into account that Sullivan was the starting outfielder for the Rockies in 2005 and 2006 before losing his spot after the Rockies traded for Wily Taveras. Sullivan was demoted before the 2007 season and unfortunately, never had another significant opportunity to gain his job back. Sullivan was granted free agency at the end of the 2008 season.
So what does Sullivan offer teams? Sullivan's game centers around line drives, high batting average, speed, and great defense. In the minors this season, Sullivan hit .320 with 7 HR, 43 RBI, and 13 SB for AAA Colorado Springs. Those are some fantastic statistics, but in addition, Sullivan has hit well in the majors before. In 2005, Sullivan hit .294 in 378 ABs and in 2006, Sullivan hit a respectable .267 in 386 ABs for the Rockies. However, Sullivan struggled to maintain a high OBP with the Rockies in 2005 and 2006, but it is encouraging to note that Sullivan managed a .373 OBP this season in AAA. In addition, by all accounts, Sullivan plays a fantastic center field. Known for his phenomenal range and ability to patrol center field, Sullivan would be a perfect fit in large stadiums (hello Marlins and Astros). Sullivan is not exceptional in any aspect of the game, but he has many attributes to offer any franchise.
Sullivan will never be confused for Matt Holliday, or even Brad Hawpe for that matter, but what he can offer a team is a solid lefty bat and tremendous defense. Hey, if Endy Chavez can have a job with the Mets because of his great defense and mediocre bat, then there is no reason why Sullivan should not have a job with a major league club. At worst, he provides the organization with valuable depth at a premium position.
All he needs is the chance, you'll thank me later.
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