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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 50: Why Philadelphia Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins Doesn’t Need a High Batting Average to be a Top-50 Player

Sun, Feb 20, 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.

Jimmy Rollins is an enigma. In 2007, his 139/30/94/41/.296 line was one of the greatest fantasy baseball seasons in recent memory. In 2008, Rollins’ power (11 HRs) and batting average (.277) dropped drastically while he battled a lingering ankle injury.

His 2009 line included the rare power/speed combo (21 HRs, 31 SBs) that fantasy managers wanted to see, but it came with an unusually low .250 batting average. Most people (myself included), chalked this up to a lowly .251 BABIP, and predicted a 2010 batting average closer to his career mark in the .270 range.

Unfortunately for Rollins’ fantasy managers, not only did his batting average bottom out again (.243) but his BABIP (.246) appeared to hold him back while he battled through calf and hamstring injuries that limited him to just 88 games. He also underwent surgery in December to remove cysts from his wrist.

Assuming 100 percent health in 2011, Rollins is the fourth best player at a thin shortstop position, even with a low batting average.

Although he’s entering his age-32 season, Rollins has maintained exceptional stolen base percentages in recent years:

  • 2008: 94 percent (47-of-50)
  • 2009: 79 percent (31-of-39)
  • 2010: 94 percent (17-of-18)

It’s possible that the .251 and .246 BABIP totals over the last two seasons aren’t entirely the fault of bad luck injuries, but they’ve definitely factored in. If we’re assuming only 130-140 games this season and an average amount of luck, the Phillies’ leadoff man will trump the likes of Jeter, Ramirez, Drew and Andrus at the shortstop position.

2010 stats 394 48 8 41 17 .243
3-year average 581 75 13 59 32 .258
2011 FBI Forecast 600 90 15 60 25 .267


Image courtesy of: Michael G. Baron

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