Nolan Reimold: A Solid Option, But Not A 2010 Fantasy Sleeper

The Orioles Nolan Reimold is a player who burst onto the Major League scene in 2009, causing quite a few people to have lofty expectations.  That’s what 15 home runs in just 358 at bats can do for you.  Can he maintain that type of production?  Could he be a must use option in all formats?  Let’s look at the numbers and take a look:

358 At Bats
.279 Batting Average (100 Hits)
15 Home Runs
45 RBI
49 Runs
8 Stolen Bases
.365 On Base Percentage
.466 Slugging Percentage
.320 Batting Average on Balls in Play

He’ll be 26-years old entering 2010 and last year’s power came courtesy of a flyball rate of 37.3% and a HR/FB of 14.2%.  Over his minor league career he posted a flyball rate of 49.0%, so there certainly is the potential for the power to continue to evolve, though don’t bank on it.

He’s had some huge swings in flyball rates over the past three seasons:

  • 2007 (Rookie & Double-A) – 42.6%
  • 2008 (Double-A) – 50.6%
  • 2009 (Triple-A) – 36.5%

That type of variation makes it impossible to think that he will absolutely put the ball in the air on a more consistent basis (especially since the lower numbers came in the Majors and at Triple-A), though he has shown the type of power he did last season.  He hit 79 home runs in 1,512 at bats over his minor league career, about a home run every 19 at bats.  Last season he was at about a home run every 24 at bats.  The diminished flyballs certainly help to justify the drop.

I wouldn’t expect his power to diminish from 2009, but I wouldn’t expect him to increase significantly either.

While he strikes out his fair share, it isn’t an outrageous number either.  He struck out 21.5% of the time, compared to a walk rate of 11.6%.  That good eye helped him post a realistic BABIP of .320, meaning his average was very realistic.

The Orioles lineup is improving, with the additions of Reimold and Matt Wieters, joining Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts.  Last season he hit primarily in the fifth spot of the order, which should give him a good chance to drive in plenty of runs.

The 45 last season could easily be 90+ in 2010 if he maintains that spot in the order, which he should.

The runs scored, however, could falloff a little bit.  While the Orioles are strong in the top five spots, the rest of the order is likely to be mediocre in the early part of the season.  Could Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Garrett Atkins produce?  Yes, it’s possible, but it’s certainly no guarantee.  He gave the impression of being a solid source of runs scored last season, but you certainly shouldn’t count on that.

So, let’s take a look at what I have him projected at for 2010:

.270 (135-500), 22 HR, 90 RBI, 80 R, 10 SB, .311 BABIP, .353 OBP, .480 SLG

As you can see, I’m expecting Reimold to produce at a similar pace as he did last season.  That’s solid, though not spectacular.  For those in shallower formats he’s a bench option with upside, but nothing more than that.  If he can get the flyball rate up, the power is going to be more impressive, so keep that in mind, but his huge swings make it difficult to anticipate.

As for those in five outfielder formats, he’s a solid option in the late rounds to fill out your roster.  His current ADP is around 230, making him the 54th outfielder off the board.  That fits right in with my projection.

What are your thoughts?  Do you expect more from him?  How many home runs are you expecting?

Make sure to check out some more of our 2010 projections, including:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

3 comments

  1. Nate says:

    What do you think of Wade Leblanc as an SP sleeper? Seems like he gets written off because of one bad cup of coffee in ’08, but he is in a great park and looked strong in the second half last season.

  2. Aaron says:

    Seems like the type of guy you draft as a sleeper and use him when he is hot. I think he could put up 80 rbi / runs and 20 homers, but i bet he is streaky, so don’t count on him.

  3. jon says:

    I am surprised at the projections I am seeing on reimold. Look closely at his splits. He hit, .299 in the second half as a rook. I think u are right on the power for this season. However, I believe he will hot to a higher average. His walk rate was over 11% as a rook and was 14% in one of hos minor league seasons so I think he will improve walk rate. He also swung at only 20% at balls outside of zone and his contact rate on balls inside zone was 87%. This was better than shin so choo and less than Braun. Brain was over 90%. He is also an 80% base Stealer last year at the higher levels. Also, remember he was playing through a 25% tear in his Achilles. Trembley was also looking at him in the cleanup spot in August and Sept. Choo’s babip was 370 vs. 320 for reimold so I think you can make case reimold was unlucky. I think your close on the power. I say 22-25 HR this year depending on AB. I do believe he can develop 30 HR in the next couple seasons. I see him closer to. 290. 73r. 24hr 90rbi and 17 sb. I think he could be a 20/20 Guy next year putting his value on par with choo’s. His minor league numbers are similar to brains but with a lower slugging. I think Braun has 40 HR vs. 25-30 from reimold

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