KFFL answers important fantasy baseball questions about each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the Pittsburgh Pirates?
How strong is Andrew McCutchen's case for the first round?
Burnett fits in 'Burgh
It slightly resembles Mike Trout's power-speed combo. If you take him in the top three or so, you're pushing it. He's more attractive toward the stanza's middle and especially so near the end. Often in early mocks, he's going as a top-five grab, though, which may backfire.
His career highs in homers (31) and batting average (.327) came at the same time. It's bold to think both will improve on or hover near each level. The clip is the likelier point of sacrifice because he swung more often and took fewer walks, which contributed to his contact rate collapse. The taters will come back a bit, too, because he actually hit fewer flies.
The drawbacks won't necessarily make his line B.J. Uptonian, and base thefts always supplement dollar returns, but a potential 20-plus-point downward BA swing strips away tangible bucks. He hasn't reached his apex yet, but for the immediate future, too many stars have to align for it to happen in his age-26 year.
Where do Pedro Alvarez and A.J. Burnett go from here?
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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