New Nationals manager Manny Acta wants to field a good defensive team. With that goal in mind, he has named CF Nook (Rhymes with Book) Logan as the starting centerfielder entering Spring Training 2007:
Can Nook Logan continue the long tradition of no-hit SB CF begun with Peter Bergeron, then Endy Chavez and now Nook Logan. Bergeron had been a SB tease since I began playing Rotisserie baseball in 1999. In 1998 in AA, he stole 41 bases with 78 BBs. In 2000, he began a string of double digit steals (barely) that left Roto teams drafting him as a SB sleeper. By 2003, Bergeron's baseball skill set was clear. He had none.
As Bergeron faded, Endy Chavez took his place with a similar skill set - SB with no power and minimal plate discipline. In 2002, he stole 3 bases with a .296 AVG for the Expos - beginning a run as a cheap source of steals. 2003 brought an 18-steal season with a .251 AVG and a sub .300 OBP. Shades of Bergeron were everywhere. However, Endy had a wonderful 2004 Roto season stealing 32 and hitting .277. The OBP was an awful .318 in 502 ABs, and in 2005, he turned into a pumpkin hitting a bit over .200 and stealing only two in 116 ABs.
Now Nook Logan looks to take the mantle so gloriously held by Peter Bergeron and Endy Chavez. Logan stole 38 bases in AA Toledo in 2004 and was called up to the Tigers and swiped 8 more in 133 ABs. This made him a good source of cheap steals in 2005. He did not disappoint his Roto owners as his stole 23. However, he disappeared in September and failed to make the team out of the spring this year.
Now he is in Washington, and the team apparently loves his hustle. Given its willingness to stick with SB/low OBP CFs, expect Logan to get evey benefit of the doubt in the competition for the full-time gig.
I have a hard time believing Nook will do well enough to keep a starting job all year, but Chavez and Bergeron did log seasons of full-time ABs playing with the Natspos. At a buck or two now, Nook Logan could provide cheap steals in 2007.