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A tale of two Chris Carters.

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The Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox both own players named Chris Carter.

The A’s Carter is black and the Red Sox’s Carter is white. The A’s Carter plays infield and the Red Sox’s Carter plays outfield. The A’s Carter bats and throws right and the Red Sox’s Carter bats and throws left. The A’s Carter is 22 and Boston’s Carter is 26.

But that’s pretty much where the differences end.

Both Chris Carters have been dumped. In 2007, now-Athletic Chris Carter was traded twice in one month-from Chicago to Arizona to Oakland. That same year, now-Red Sox Chris Carter was traded from Arizona to Boston. At one point in 2007, Arizona owned both Chris Carters.

Both Chris Carters have made a name for themselves as a special breed of big-bat, little-defense sluggers. At each stop in the minor league ladder, they have absolutely crushed the competition, moon shotting balls out of the park at an advanced level.

In 2008, Oakland’s Carter crushed a league leading 39 homeruns with 104 RBI in high-A ball as part of Oakland’s Stockton Ports. In 2007, he led all White Sox farmhands with 25 homers in low-A.

In 2008, Boston’s Carter hit 24 homeruns with a team-high 81 RBI in AAA as part of the Pawtucket Red Sox. His performance earned him his first cup of tea with the big league club. In 2007, he led Arizona’s Tuscon Sidewinders with 18 homeruns.

Both Chris Carters have a long road ahead.

Oakland's Chris Carter.Boston's Chris Carter.

Even though Oakland’s Carter is on the fast track to the major leagues, he’ll need to prove he can play the field before he becomes a part of Oakland’s immediate future.

The team has tried him at nearly every position and he’s yet to show proficiency anywhere and seems destined to be a designated hitter or corner outfielder. Unfortunately, those positions are held by Oakland’s few star players. Matt Holliday has a lock on left field, Jack Cust plays right when he’s not DH’ing, and Jason Giambi’s bat will work its way into the lineup at first or DH. As of right now, Carter’s rise to the MLB will have to wait until he improves his defense or until Giambi leaves the team.

Even though Boston’s Carter broke camp with the big league team, he will struggle to get at-bats.

Through Monday, Carter had 5 AB’s, four of those ending in strikeouts.

Carter is blocked at his natural positions by Jason Bay, Kevin Youkilis, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz. With names like that, Carter appears to be destined for a one-way ticket out of Boston.

Carter has spent parts of four seasons at AAA and has nothing really left to prove. He could be a valuable player for a team with less bench depth than Boston and while it’s doubtful that he is an everyday player, Carter appears to be more than a quadruple-A hitter. Throughout every stop, he has shown a keen eye and the ability to wear out the gaps. His glove isn’t desirable, but should be serviceable.

Carter versus Carter should happen sometime in 2011.


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