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10/11/1977 (39 y, 4 m, 11 d)
1998 June Amateur Draft - Round: 17, Pick: 21, Overall: 514, Team: New York Mets
$5M / 2 Years (2013 - 2014)
Wigginton was released by the Marlins on Tuesday. (3/25/2014)
A Brief History of Non-Star All-Stars
Miles Wray (FanGraphs)
Cardinals Infield: Depth Chart Discussions
Howard Bender (RotoGraphs)
A Very Jonny Venters Sequence of Events
Carson Cistulli (NotGraphs)
2012 First Base Tiers: May
Mike Axisa (RotoGraphs)
2012 First Base Tiers: Preseason
Mike Axisa (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
You wouldn't call Wiggington "mercurial" exactly – that somehow doesn't seem like an appropriate term for someone shaped vaguely like a beach ball. There must be some word, though, for a guy who one year (2008) is worth 3.1 WAR and the next is worth -0.3 in almost the exact same number of PAs (429 in 2008, 436 in 2009). Wigginton's production was down across the board: his batting average declined, his walk rate declined, his ISO declined – all to a greater degree than a mere change of leagues would explain. Nor was BABIP the culprit: his .295 in 2009 was almost the same exact number (.296) that he posted in his excellent 2008 with Houston. So it remains to be seen what the exact explanation is. Age? Bad luck? Crabs? (The delicious soft shell variety from the Chesapeake Bay, that is.)
The Year Ahead:
Much of Wigginton's value – fantasy and actual – is tied up in his ability to play many positions. In 2009, for example, he saw time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop (yes, actually), and left field. Here's the weird thing, though: with the exception of 2008 (when he played a lot of left field), Wigginton has never posted even an average UZR. That's a good thing fantasy-wise: Wigginton has clearly preserved a decent defensive reputation despite what the numbers tell us. He underperformed his career averages in 2009, but at 32 years old, he's not exactly ancient yet. Look for him to rebound offensively and somehow come away with 400+ PAs despite the lack of a real positional home. And if he qualifies at shortstop (where he appeared in nine games last year) in your league, consider him as a clever draft possibility. (Carson Cistulli)
Wigginton hit at least 20 homers from 2006 to 2008, but something happened in 2009 and he had trouble getting the ball out of the yard. He brought his boomstick back in 2010, and once again surpassed the 20 home-run mark. While he’s past his prime, he can still hit for some power without killing your average. His strikeout rate rose last year, but his contact skills actually improved. Moving out of the AL East and into the NL West should help his cause. Wigginton’s value has usually come from his ability to fill multiple positions on your fantasy roster while maintaining regular playing time. He’ll be eligible at quite a few positions, and while we can never be quite sure what the Rockies will do, it doesn’t look like he will be playing every day in Colorado. However, Wigginton is an injury away from getting on the field, and if he plays he is worth an add in NL-only and deeper standard leagues. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Wigginton still has decent power and won't kill your batting average, but he needs playing time. If he sees the field regularly, Wigginton will be worth a pick-up in deeper standard leagues.
Wigginton’s value, both to the Phillies and to most fantasy owners, is his versatility. He’ll retain first base, third base and outfield eligibility next year no matter where the Phillies decide to play him, which makes him a nice injury replacement to have stashed on the bench. Extended use can lead to unhappy consequences, though. Wigginton has never failed to hit double-digit home runs in a season in which he played at least 100 games, which is a nice bonus, but he doesn’t really have much foundation. He hit below .250 both of the last two seasons despite being a career .265 hitter, and when the power bursts are so infrequent, there just isn’t much incentive to actively roster him. If you’re faced with a short-term hole at a corner position, you’d do well to check in on Wigginton’s recent form, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be worth a roster spot over the full season. (Dan Wade)
The Quick Opinion:
He’s streakier than a naked man in a trench coat, but if he’s available when his bat is clicking, he’ll earn his keep for a while. Beware, though: when it comes to Wigginton, the other shoe always drops.
Wigginton is one of those rare utility men that could actually hit. However, that offensive ability appears to be in decline for the 34-year old. His isolated slugging percentage dropped to the second lowest mark of his career and a move to Busch Stadium won't do him any favors on the power front. His strikeout rate suddenly jumped last season, which is a concern for an aging veteran who might be losing bat speed. Having typically posted a below-average batting average on balls in play, the added strikeouts mean that contributing a favorable batting average is going to be a long shot. The one piece of good news is that Wigginton will be backing up a group of brittle bodies, so he could easily reach 400 at-bats once again. (
The Quick Opinion:
The 34-year old corner man still has some pop, but a sudden inability to make contact will hamper his batting average. Now a St. Louis Cardinal, he'll play backup to a group of injury-prone players, giving him an opportunity to exceed his at-bat total from last year.
As of this writing, Wigginton was a free agent. After signing him to a two-year deal prior to the 2013 season, the Cardinals released him on July 9, 2013. Considering that Wigginton has not produced an above-replacement season since 2008, it would be a surprise if he landed a job anywhere. (
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Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:35 AM ET
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