by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The Marlins’ Justin Bour was among the bigger “breakouts” a year ago, putting his power potential on display and complimenting it with a strong average:
377 At Bats
.289 Batting Average (109 Hits)
25 Home Runs
1 Stolen Bases
.366 On Base Percentage
.536 Slugging Percentage
.322 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Obviously there are questions about his supporting cast, after the Marlins traded away a lot of their top players in the offseason, and consistent injury issues further cloud his overall outlook (he’s never had more than 409 AB in the Majors). Assuming he’s healthy what can we expect from him?
While a 26.0% HR/FB may seem a little bit bloated, it’s not that far above his previous two seasons (21.5% and 19.2%). At 29-years old adding a little bit of power isn’t a stretch and he was consistent last season, when he was healthy:
- First Half – 26.7%
- Second Half – 23.8%
Even if he “regresses” back to his previous seasons, he was averaging a home run every 18.1 AB. If he could stay healthy for a 600 AB season, that prorates out to a 33 HR campaign. The power is for real.
Bour is a career .280 hitter against right-handed pitchers, with a 19.2% strikeout rate and .300 BABIP. There has never been a question in that regard, instead it was whether or not he’d be able to produce enough against southpaws to be more than a platoon player and keep his overall numbers strong. Last season he did that, hitting .253 against LHP, though the underlying marks are concerning:
|Line Drive Rate||25.1%||15.3%|
While he should still be able to hit .260ish overall, the numbers make it clear that he could ultimately sit against tougher left-handed pitchers (or maybe most of them). Don’t overlook that.
Granted the newest imports aren’t going to match Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon, but Bour isn’t going to be the only productive player in Miami. J.T. Realmuto is among the best catchers in the league, Starlin Castro offers a solid veteran presence and Lewis Brinson is one of the brightest young players in the game. As long as Bour is healthy he should continue to have the ability to contribute both RBI and R.
.272 (143-525), 30 HR, 90 RBI, 75 R, 1 SB, .316 BABIP, .357 OBP, .499 SLG
Bour isn’t going to be an elite first baseman, but he’s a viable one and a strong play as a corner infielder. He’s also a viable starter, especially for those in deeper formats. There is risk that he falls into a platoon or misses time once again, but the upside is too high to ignore. While others may be looking for a reason to overlook him, don’t make that mistake.
Source – Fangraphs
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|Starting Pitchers||1-20: 03/24/18|