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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 75: Will There Be Enough At-Bats for Texas Rangers’ Michael Young?

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.

While the trade rumors have dissolved and Michael Young’s trade request has gone unfulfilled, there remains a lot of uncertainty in Texas this season. After handing Adrian Beltre a fat contract and dealing for Mike Napoli this offseason, the Rangers created a logjam of five players (Mitch Moreland, Yorvit Torrealba, Young, Beltre and Napoli) competing for at-bats at four positions (catcher, first base, third base and designated hitter).

Fortunately, Young’s versatility will allow him to spell Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Beltre if needed. Otherwise, he’ll DH most days, and should get plenty of at-bats presumably batting second behind Andrus and in front of Josh Hamilton. This should work in Young’s favor, as there’s nothing in his advanced stats to suggest a setback in 2011.

In fact, Young’s 2010 BABIP (.311) was 24 points below his career average, and his line-drive rate (18.5 percent) was under 22.0 for the first time since batted ball stats were first recorded in 2002. His fly-ball rate (34.1 percent) was slightly elevated (by his standards), so it’s possible Young has adjusted his swing to hit for more power. Even so, nearly 20 HRs and a .280-.290 batting average with the run-scoring and run-producing totals that come with the No. 2 hole in that lineup are sure to make Michael Young worth a shot at a thin third base position.

Although it’s unlikely, there’s always the possibility of Young gaining second-base eligibility when Kinsler hits the DL at some point, making him even more valuable. Draft him as the seventh third baseman, 75th overall.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 718 99 21 91 4 .284
3-year average 673 92 18 80 7 .295
2011 FBI Forecast 650 95 18 85 5 .293

 

Image courtesy of: Michael G. Baron

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