by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofesso)
At 36-years old (he will turn 37 prior to the start of the 2017 season), it would be easy to write off Matt Holliday. It’s especially true after he struggled to hit .246 in 2016, a year after he mustered 4 HR in an abbreviated 73 game 2015 campaign. Even moving his act to New York, where he will benefit from seeing the bulk of his AB as the designated hitter, is there any reason to hold out hope for a rebound campaign?
Obviously the power isn’t the big concern, as he hit 20 HR in 2016 and moves to a hitter’s haven. He hasn’t hit over 30 HR since 2007, when he was still a member of the Colorado Rockies, but there’s little reason to think that he won’t at least reach the 20-24 range once again.
He also should hit in the middle of the lineup, helping to take the pressure off the youngsters like Gary Sanchez and Austin Judge. That means RBI potential as well, so right now there seems like a lot to like.
But what about the average?
There’s no reason to be concerned with his command of the strike zone/strikeout rate:
- SwStr% – 9.2%
- O-Swing% – 30.6%
- Strikeout Rate – 16.7%
The problem was his BABIP of .253, which came due to a poor 14.1% line drive rate. Considering he was at 16.6% back in a full 2014 it’s possible that he isn’t going to be able to rebound…
That said his Hard% last season was 38.5%, which would’ve placed him in the Top 25 if he had enough AB to qualify. That alone signifies a potential improvement is on the horizon, as does his career track record (.333 BABIP).
Then you have an interesting home/road split as well:
- Home – .203
- Road – .297
That hasn’t necessarily been the norm, but some additional power coming from Yankee Stadium is certainly going to help. Maybe he’s not a .300 hitter at this stage of his career, but .260+ isn’t asking too much.
There is the risk of injury, and he likely will get routine days off (while he could man first base, you know the Yankees are going to use Gary Sanchez at DH to keep his bat in the lineup). That said, writing him off would be just as big of a mistake. He should be able to hit .260ish with 20+ HR and 80+ RBI. They aren’t sexy numbers, but they are safe and come at little cost. That’s the type of mix that helps you to win fantasy titles.
Source – Fangraphs
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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:
|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|