Obviously, a player like Juan Pierre isnt going to be intriguing to all fantasy owners. He’s more or less a one trick pony, filling a specific need and little else.
However, even at 35-years old (he will turn 36 during the season), he performs that trick extremely well. Last season Pierre was supposed to be a bit player for the Phillies. Instead he ended up with nearly 400 AB and stole 37 bases. Now imagine if he had even more freedom to run out of the leadoff spot (he spent 254 AB hitting second in 2012)?
Obviously Pierre is not a complete player. He has never hit more than three home runs in a season, nor has he had more 55 RBI (and that came over a decade ago in 2001). That alone tells you he is going to fit a specific niche. If your team is already short on power, he obviously would be a poor selection.
However, now that he is in Miami once again with regular AB at the top of the order awaiting him, you have to wonder what could be possible. Just look at his stolen bases totals from the past five years:
- 2008 – 40 (375 AB)
- 2009 – 30 (380 AB)
- 2010 – 68 (651 AB)
- 2011 – 27 (639 AB)
- 2012 – 37 (394 AB)
There as been a big fluctuation in both his stolen base totals and his at bats, though given the fire sale in Miami one would think 450+ AB is a lock, and 600+ is actually not out of the question. In a lineup that is going to have to generate runs through other avenues (outside of Giancarlo Stanton and maybe Logan Morrison, what exactly is left), that is going to mean running, running and running some more.
A career .297 average with a .346 OBP, 40+ stolen bases would appear to be a near certainty. Last season there were only four players to reach that mark. In 2010 and 2011 it was eight players per year. In other words, a player with that type of potential instantly gives an owner an edge in the category.
Yes, we would like a higher average, but even if he hits .280 he isn’t going to kill you there. We also would love for him to have more runs scored potential, but with the lineup he is in it is impossible to predict a huge number. Would 90 be a surprise? No, but I wouldn’t go in expecting more than that.
Is Pierre a player I am deliberately targeting? Not likely, but as the rounds go by and he offers a cheap price and an advantage over my opponents, it becomes harder to ignore. As a cheap source of stolen bases, there may be no one better in 2013.
What are your thoughts of Pierre? Is he a player you would target for 2013? Why or why not?
Make sure to check out all of our extremely early 2013 rankings: