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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 25: Why Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton Is Due For A Regression

Wed, Feb 2, 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.

Josh Hamilton’s 2010 campaign was arguably more impressive than his 2008 season, despite missing 29 games (including most of September) with a rib injury. In 2009, Hamilton missed a total of 73 games (including more than a week in each of April, May and July, as well as all of June and nearly all of September) with a partially torn abdominal muscle and a pinched nerve in his back.

Hamilton’s history of injuries must be considered before drafting him this season, and is at least part of the reason he’s not higher on our 2011 big board. The other part has to do with the great amount of luck Hamilton experienced in 2010, judging by his whopping .390 BABIP (second-highest in the majors).

A big part of his 2010 success also had to do with his improvement against not only fastballs, but off-speed pitches as well:

2009:

  • Fastballs: 8.6 runs above average
  • Sliders: 0.8 runs below average
  • Curveballs: 3.5 runs below average
  • Change-ups: 4.9 runs below average

2010:

  • Fastballs: 31.5 runs above average
  • Sliders: 5.7 runs above average
  • Curveballs: 5.0 runs above average
  • Change-ups: 9.7 runs above average

Despite his aggressive nature (Hamilton swung at 80.7 percent of pitches across the plate, MLB average was 64.4 percent), Hamilton was able to make significant improvements in his pitch-recognition skills last season. Or maybe he just got really lucky. Or maybe it was a little bit of both.

Either way, Hamilton has monster potential given an entire season without injury. His .359 batting average is unrepeatable, but a .300-plus mark is within reason.

One of the most obvious high-risk/high-reward picks in the draft, Hamilton checks in on our 2011 big board as the sixth-ranked outfielder, No. 25 overall.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 571 95 32 100 8 .359
3-year average 546 79 25 95 8 .315
2011 FBI Forecast 600 95 28 100 7 .315

 

Image courtesy of: jbeescrazy

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