Baseball HQ: Batters - Lottery Tickets

by BaseballHQ.com on March 19, 2013 @ 09:46:19 PDT

 

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This name should surprise no one because Tyler Colvin (OF, COL) is on the list above of 2012's breakout end gamers. Colvin's atrocious plate discipline makes him prone to inconsistent results and will prevent him from repeating last year's BA, but owners shouldn't ignore his intriguing PX/Spd combination. His power production is helped by the fact that he hits half the time in Colorado, and while his .694 career OPS vL is rough, he's trending in the right direction by posting a .752 OPS against southpaws in 100 ABs last season. Combine his power with the fact that both his SBO & SB% spiked in the 2H and it's not hard to see 25 HR/10+SB upside.

Seattle Mariners 2B Dustin Ackley
Picking Ackley not wacky

It's not hard to figure out why it took Justin Maxwell (OF, HOU) so long to earn regular MLB at bats -- he doesn't put the ball in play enough. Yet the Astros were forced to run Maxwell out there virtually every day down the stretch in 2012, and he offset his ct% issues with excellent PX, plus Spd and above-average bb%. Maxwell is set to begin the season as a starter for the first time at age 29, and while his poor ct% continues to loom large, he has the tools to deliver a 20/20 season if he can keep his BA acceptable.

Though he didn't make a big impact upon debuting in Milwaukee last season, the future is bright for Jean Segura (SS, MIL). The BPI headliners are plenty of ct% paired with terrific Spd. These skills keep his BA floor high, but maintaining (or growing) his bb% is critical to boosting his OBP to the point that he can reach his full SB potential. The good news in that regard is that while he showed very little patience in the minors, his bb% actually improved to league average after reaching the big leagues. He has the starting job and his skills profile very well at the SS position, which means he can deliver immediate value to his owners.

There's a lot to like about Starling Marte (OF, PIT), but his lack of plate discipline leaves much to be desired. While his lack of bb% is likely to remain a weakness, he has at least shown better ct% in the high minors giving hope for improvement in this area. For these reasons, he's likely to be BA challenged in the short term, yet his solid PX and elite Spd made the trip with him Pittsburgh. His GB% caps his power upside for now, but he runs often so if he can retain his SB% gains then he has 15/30 HR/SB upside in 2013.

A hip injury and spotty PT all but ruined his 2012, but owners shouldn't forget how effective Peter Bourjos (OF, LAA) was in 2011. That season, Bourjos showed surprising PX growth that complemented his exceptional Spd. The hip injury sapped his power last season, but he's proven he'll deliver double digit HRs when healthy. And while Bourjos has contact issues, his bb% and Eye have both shown modest improvement for two straight seasons. Owners are best to keep BA expectations realistic, but Bourjos is a strong bounceback candidate that can deliver 10+ HRs while swiping 20+ bags.

While Dustin Ackley (2B, SEA) was a disappointment last season, the talent that excited many owners is still present. Specifically, Ackley takes walks and makes enough contact to fuel an OBP boost that will allow him to utilize his strong Spd on the bases. And though his PX did not develop as expected, he still delivered 12 HRs hitting half the time in an oppressive ballpark. Ackley is 25 years old and has already delivered a season of double digit HRs/SBs even amidst an otherwise brutal season. His combination of skills suggest that better production is ahead.

For definitions and benchmarks of BaseballHQ.com's most-used terms, see our Glossary Primer.

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