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.
Since his major-league debut in 2006, Dan Uggla has made a living off of hitting home runs. In fact, over the last five seasons, Uggla has the most HRs among second baseman, with 154. (Chase Utley is a distant second with 134.) Over the same time frame, Uggla ranks 12th in HRs among all position players (second among non-first basemen).
While Uggla’s 30-HR campaigns have come attached with a batting average no better than .260 in recent seasons, the slugging second baseman posted a career-high .287 average in 2010. He also reached 100 runs and 100 RBI for the first time in his career last season, making him just the third different second baseman to record a 30/100/100/.280 line since 2004 (Aaron Hill, 2009, Chase Utley, 2006 & 2008).
While his unusually high batting average was likely the result of an elevated BABIP (.330), it’s important to note Uggla’s change in scenery for the 2011 season. Opposed to hitting in Sun Life Stadium (a park which generally favors pitchers, especially in terms of home runs), Uggla will now play half his games at Turner Field (a park which offered a slight advantage to hitters last season, according to MLB park factors).
Given his surroundings in the Braves lineup (Martin Prado, Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann), Uggla could be in for a career year entering his age-31 season. While he’s unlikely to post a .287 batting average again, we’re predicting only a slight regression in that category. His home run and RBI totals, however, will make him one of the most valuable assets in fantasy baseball.
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Image courtesy of: Dennis Adair
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