In praise of Hector Luna
Hector Luna is truly a confounding player in a lot of ways; he’s a difficult player to assess. Because the Cardinals selected him as a fairly raw player in the Rule 5 Draft, the notion existed that he might develop into a star. Luna’s already 26, though, so it’s more like he’s entering his prime than in his early developmental years.
He’s performed poorly at Memphis, and he’s had some rough Spring Training showings, and it’s frustrating to think of a guy who "turns it on" for the regular season — especially a guy who hasn’t established himself as a star. But then he does turn it on, hitting well in his exposure in the Majors.
Luna’s a tough guy to get a read on, in a lot of ways. But even with all that, and even with the lack of game-in, game-out consistency and hard-nosed-ness, he was a productive hitter in 2005, and his early showings in 2006 have been more of the same. Luna, in 2005, his .285/.344/.409. Admittedly it was in 137 at-bats, but that’s a pretty fine offensive line for a second baseman.
For his career — and remember, this is a guy who jumped from AA to the Majors, so there was a definite adjustment period at first — he’s hit .271/.326/.396. If he’s a legitimate 270/330/400 hitter, that’s a guy who won’t hurt you in 400 at-bats at second base. If he’s, say, a 280/340/430 hitter, that’s pretty tasty at second base.
I hope we get to see what Luna can do in 400 at-bats, because I think he would be an offensive asset.