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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 17: Why New York Yankees’ Mark Teixeira May Be The Victim of More Than Just Bad Luck

Mon, Jan 24, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Mark Teixeira has displayed impressive consistency and durability over the last three seasons, posting no less than 100 runs, 30 HRs and 100 RBI each year while missing a total of just 15 games.

Normally a .300 hitter (.306, .308, .292 from 2007 to 2009), the Yankees’ first baseman hit a career-low .256 in 2010. Most will point to his “unlucky” .268 BABIP to explain his 2010 shortcoming, and while that may be partially to blame, there may be other factors involved as well.

Teixeira has seemingly changed his swing in recent years, as a noticeable trend has surfaced in his batted ball rates:

Fly Ball Rate

  • 2008: 36.5%
  • 2009: 43.8%
  • 2010: 45.5%
  • Career: 40.3%

Likewise, his line drive rate has decreased in recent seasons:

Line Drive Rate

  • 2008: 20.7%
  • 2009: 19.8%
  • 2010: 19.0%
  • Career: 21.2%

High fly ball rates in addition to low line drive rates generally yield below-average (supposedly “unlucky”) batting averages on balls in play, and thus, low batting averages. This case is an example of that.

Even his above-average plate discipline has declined in recent seasons, judging by the increase in his strikeout rate:

Strikeout Rate

  • 2008: 16.2%
  • 2009: 18.7%
  • 2010: 20.3%

While it’s reasonable to expect a bounce-back 2011 in terms of batting average, these patterns are especially discouraging. Teixeira is entering his age 31 season; draft with caution.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 712 113 33 108 0 .256
3-year average 701 106 35 117 1 .285
2011 FBI Forecast 690 105 34 115 1 .270

 

Image courtesy of: Dennis Adair

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