2012 Projection: Why Drew Stubbs Could Prove To Be A Major Bust

Drew Stubbs is a player that has become rather polarizing.  Many people point to him as a potential stud outfielder that you can get at a reasonable price.  He brings power and speed to the table and, if you just looked at that, you would think that the upside was unlimited.

Unfortunately that isn’t exactly the case.  I am already on record as falling on the other side of the debate, believing that he just doesn’t bring enough to the table to justify selecting him early on draft day.  First of all, let’s look at the numbers he posted in 2011:

604 At Bats
.243 Batting Average (147 Hits)
15 Home Runs
44 RBI
92 Runs
40 Stolen Bases
.321 On Base Percentage
.364 Slugging Percentage
.343 Batting Average on Balls in Play

While you want to believe that Stubbs can produce in all offensive categories, the fact of the matter is that stolen bases are about the only thing that you can count on.  Of course, where he hits in the lineup could ultimately influence that as well.  If he isn’t going to be hitting atop the order, can we really say for certain that he’s going to steal 40+ bases once again?

Last season he did hit atop the order for 408 AB, which led to 26 of his SB.  The problem is, he just hasn’t been able to consistently make contact and, despite his speed, if he isn’t getting on base he isn’t an ideal fit leading off.  Last season he posted a 30.1% strikeout rate, up slightly from his 28.8% mark in his breakout 2010 campaign.  He was also consistently poor in 2011:

  • April – 26.3%
  • May – 28.9%
  • June – 36.6%
  • July – 24.8%
  • August – 34.2%
  • September – 30.0%

Can we really expect him to suddenly make contact on a regular basis?  Considering how bad he has been (including 23.4% mark in the minor leagues), the answer is pretty simple.  With that major negative come repercussions across his stat line.

The fact that he’s not getting on base and hitting for a poor average could easily lead to him hitting sixth or seventh in the order.  Forget about the fact that he doesn’t get on base enough, with the drop in the order comes a potentially significant decrease in his ability to score runs.  He’s not going to have Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and company looking to drive him in.  Instead it could be Chris Heisey and the pitcher.  Instead of a 90 R performance, could we see him score around 75?

I know what everyone is thinking, since he’s hitting lower in the lineup behind the big boys he is a lock to drive in a significant number of runs, right?  Well, not so fast honestly.  Maybe if he was someone who consistently put the ball in play I would give that to you.  Unfortunately, that’s not Stubbs.  Sure, he is going to get more opportunities to drive in runs, but if he isn’t going to hit the ball he can’t drive in runs.  Thinking that hitting lower in the order is going to mean a certain 90 RBI would be a major mistake.

Yes, he does bring power potential, but the 22 he hit in 2010 doesn’t quite jive with what he did throughout his career.  Over his minor league career (1,588 AB) he managed just 28 HR.  Yes, he clearly could’ve added power and playing in Cincinnati helps, but I would consider his ’10 performance more of a ceiling not a floor.

Given his history I can’t go into the season thinking that he’s going to be a 30 HR hitter.  I can go in thinking he’ll hit 15-20, with anything over that being a bonus.

So, at the end of the day, what would I head into 2012 expecting from Stubbs?  Let’s take a look at the projection:

.255 (153-600), 18 HR, 65 RBI, 80 R, 34 SB, .345 BABIP, .329 OBP, .402 SLG

Just for reference I have him with a 29.02% strikeout rate.  Are the numbers usable?  Sure, but they are far from what some people are expecting him to produce.  There is potential there, but there also is a significant amount of risk.  What if he isn’t as lucky and hits for a lower average?  What if the power isn’t there?  What if, hitting lower in the order, he doesn’t get that many opportunities to run?

With a current ADP of 80.23 (according to Mock Draft Central), there is little chance of me selecting him.  There is simply way too much downside risk to invest that highly in him.

What are your thoughts of Stubbs?  What type of production do you think he will give you?  Is he someone you will be targeting on draft day?

***** Order the Rotoprofessor 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, complete with updates from January through the start of the season, for just $6! As an added bonus, if you purchase by 3/15 you will be entered to win a Michael Pineda autographed baseball! To place your order click here. *****

4 comments

  1. Nick Tenaglia says:

    If you are looking for an OF with SB potential and a high k-rate, why don’t you just draft Austin Jackson, who is being taken about 90 picks AFTER Stubbs…

    Sure you might lose out on 5-7 HR and 5-10 SB using Jackson as a direct replacement for Stubbs, but at the #80 slot you can instead draft Adam Jones, Corey Hart or Ben Zobrist

  2. Will says:

    Stubbs = Cameron Maybin with worse BA and less upside

  3. loaf3295@yahoo.com says:

    His SB/AB is actually higher last year when not leading off (1/14 ab) versus batting first in the order (1/15.69 ab) using the numbers quoted above.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      That is true, but it is also a smaller sample size. How many players batting towards the bottom of the order get the opportunities to steal 40 bases?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>