Monday, August 13, 2012

#208 Dan Meyer - Oakland A's

Dan Meyer's ninth Topps issue is way too bright which is compounded by the neon borders.  The electric green border matches his hat in the inset while the action photo shows Meyer in dark green helmet.
He is listed as DH-1st BASE, but it should be the other way around as he played 1B in 58 games, opposed to 38 as a DH.

Player: Dan Meyer spent 12 seasons in the major leagues as a corner IF/OF.  He was drafted by the Tigers in the fourth round in '72 and showed potential by hitting .396 with 14 home runs in 65 games in rookie ball in '72.  He broke in with the Tigers in September of '74 and hit two home runs in his first start. 

The Tigers had hopes that Meyer would infuse the team with some young talent as aging nucleus was in decline.  He was given a chance in '75 and '76 but failed to deliver.  In 818 plate appearances he hit just .242/.283/.332 and was a victim of his overly aggressive approach.   He didn't exactly work the count as he walked just 43 times with 47 K's over the two seasons.

Meyer was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was nabbed by the Mariners.  He was the franchise's everyday first baseman and batted batted 273/.320/.442 with 22 HR and 90 RBI.  He slipped to .227/.264/.327 in '78 and lost his starting job.  He moved to third base in '79 and rebounded with a .278 average with 20 HR.  His defensive flexibility was a plus, but Meyer was a poor defender wherever he played as he finished with -10.2 career dWAR. 

Meyer spent '80 and '81 playing third, first, and left field.  His power waned as his hit just 14 HR over these two seasons.  He was then traded the A's who evidently over valued Meyer's ability.

With the A's, Meyer started against righthanders in '82 and hit .240/.270/.363 with 8 HR.  He played a reserve role in '83 and batted an abysmal .189 in 69 games.  He spent most of '84 in the minors but went 7 for 22 in a September call up, which impressed them enough to keep on him on the team to start the '85 season.  After going hitless in 12 at bats, Oakland released Meyer which spelled the end of his major league career. 

Flipside:   Even Meyer's two best seasons, '77 and '79, don't measure up when compared to other first basemen in the league.  Baseball Reference lists his Wins Above Average those seasons as -1.3 for each season.

Oddball:  Meyer was the last remaining original Mariner when he was traded to the A's.

History:  Meyer had a 12 year career with a .253/.293/.379 batting line and finished with -8.2 WAR.  He was a player who had no real definable strengths.  He didn't hit for high average and although he topped 20 HR twice the power was inconsistent throughout his career. 

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