2013 Projection: Can Mark Teixeira Return To Elite Status? Not Likely…

Once one of the dominant first baseman in the league, Teixeira’s stock has taken a major hit in recent years. The real question is if his 2012 line was rock bottom, or if a renaissance could happen?  Let’s first take a look at the numbers:

451 At Bats
.251 Batting Average (113 Hits)
24 Home Runs
84 RBI
66 Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.332 On Base Percentage
.475 Slugging Percentage
.250 BABIP

There were injuries at play, which certainly factored into his struggles. It also would be easy to point to his BABIP as the reason for some of his other poor statistics, but unfortunately is type of number is indicative of his recent time in Yankee pinstripes:

  • 2010 – .268
  • 2011 – .239

The problem isn’t a inability to make contact (15.8% strikeout rate in 2012). What had happened prior to 2012 was that he simply had been swinging for the fences, with fly ball rates of 45.5% and 46.8% in the previous two seasons. What actually is lost in the numbers is that he reduced his fly ball rate back down to 39.5% in 2012.

The thing is, the fly balls did not turn into line drives. Instead, Teixeira posted the second highest groundball rate of his career (41.1%). With a lack of speed, it’s hard to say that the lower BABIP is unreasonable. It’s not like we can consistently expect him to beat out balls in the hole, healthy or not.

Reality is, however, that his average is the only number that is really troubling. Hitting 24 HR in 451 AB would put him right on pace to be in the mid-30s over a full season.

He still had 84 RBI, again meaning in a full year he likely would’ve eclipsed 100.

Maybe the runs are concerning, but remember he was moved all around the lineup last season. Even in a deeper lineup, spending roughly half your AB (226) hitting fifth is going to limit your upside in runs scored. While we don’t yet know what the offseason will bring, we do know that Alex Rodriguez is no longer viewed as a major cog in the Yankees machine. He’s a bit part, meaning Teixeira and Robinson Cano, as it stands now, will likely enter the year hitting in the three and four holes.

Maybe he doesn’t score 100, based on the average concerns, but 90 is reasonable.

You put it all together and you get the following projection:

.258 (155-600), 34 HR, 105 RBI, 95 R, 2 SB, .262 BABIP, .350 OBP, .490 SLG

So, what exactly are we concerned about? Yes, Teixeira is no longer a .300 hitter (though I wouldn’t call it impossible, it’s a very, very long shot), but you have a player who should once again go in the neighborhood of 35/100/90. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, so while others in your league shy away based on perception, i wouldn’t hesitate grabbing him at a potential discount.  It gives you a strong, trustworthy option at a deep position, while strengthening your squad elsewhere.

What are your thoughts of Teixeira?  Is he a player you would be willing to draft?  Why or why not?

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  1. Tony Jaramillo says:

    I believe the counting numbers are way off. Starting with the number of @bats. You got an aging player that missed nearly all of September (only 4 @bats) due to a calf injury. Also, you have mentioned that he will bat 5th in the lineup giving more credit that he will NOT reach 600 @bats; therefore, he will NOT reach the projected numbers.

  2. Darin says:

    I have Teixeira in a keeper league (12-team AL Only) for $30. Pujols went for $48 last year and Fielder for $45. I was very pleased to get Tex for #30 last year. Thoughts on keeping Tex at that price?

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