628 At Bats
.277 Batting Average (174 Hits)
29 Home Runs
6 Stolen Bases
.327 On Base Percentage
.481 Slugging Percentage
.297 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Talk about a renaissance. Once thought to be one-hit wonder, Cantu came back in full force. It was his first useful fantasy season since 2005, when he hit .286 with 28 HR and 117 RBI for the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Since then he struggled with the Rays, ending up back at Triple-A, before an unspectacular stint with the Reds. Then, he landed back in Florida and everything suddenly just clicked again.
His FB% was significantly increased, even from his 2005 campaign. Last season he hit the ball in the air 44.8%, compared to 36.8% in ’05. In fact, 2008 was the first time in his career where his ratio was over 38.4%. Believable? I think not, and a regression is likely in order.
His average could rebound, however, as the BABIP was a bit on the lower side. It placed him 108th in the league, so needless to say a little bit more luck could be in his future. Of course, his strikeout rate was the best of his career, so an increase could offset any improved luck.
.277 (162-585), 20 HR, 85 RBI, 71 R, 4 SB, .310 BABIP, .325 OBP, .441 SLG
With Hanley Ramirez likely moving down in the line-up, that means Cantu is likely to hit fifth, at best. That will mean fewer chances for runs scored, leading to a significant drop from last season. Additionally, with his decreased power, a lower RBI total is likely in his future as well.
The Marlins chose to keep him over Mike Jacobs, though that may have been the wrong decision. While Cantu has the potential to contribute, there seems to be little chance in my mind that he even comes close to the numbers he produced last season. He’s shown the ability to produce, and then disappear in the past. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but in this case, they may be wrong.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh?