Quick 2010 Projection: Brian Roberts

Once considered one of the best second baseman in baseball, Brian Roberts has seen his value steadily decrease in recent years.  The problem is that the bulk of his value has been tied to his legs and his stolen base total has gone from 50 to 40 to 30 over the past three years.  That certainly isn’t a good sign, now is it?

Let’s take a look at his statistics from 2009:

632 At Bats
.283 Batting Average (179 Hits)
16 Home Runs
79 RBI
110 Runs
30 Stolen Bases
.356 On Base Percentage
.451 Slugging Percentage
.323 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Thoughts:

  • He only attempted 37 stolen bases last season, after attempting 57 and 50 the previous two seasons.  His OBP also dipped from the .377 & .378 the previous two years.  If he’s not on base as much, he’s not going to get as many opportunities to run.  If he’s not going to have as many opportunities to run, he’s going to steal fewer bases.  It’s just that simple.
  • The Orioles have a good young offense coming together, but it’s still hard to imagine Roberts replicating his career high in runs scored from a year ago.  He’s still going to be good, but not 110 runs scored good.
  • The prior three seasons Roberts had posted HR totals of 10, 12 and 9.  He had posted RBI marks of 55, 57 and 59.  Does anyone believe the mini explosion he showed in 2009?  Look for a regression in both categories in 2010.
  • The average was right in line with is career mark (.284) as was his BABIP (.320).  He’s been between .283 and .296 for the past four seasons and should continue to be in that range.
  • At 32-years old, what kind of upside potential does he have?  You have to think that we’ve seen the best he has to offer at this point.

2010 Projection:
.285 (177-620), 13 HR, 60 RBI, 100 R, 26 SB, .327 BABIP, .356 OBP, .435 SLG

Closing Thoughts:
As I said, a vast majority of Roberts’ value is tied to his ability to steal a base.  Unless he makes a huge rebound there, or duplicates his surprise year in home runs and RBI, he’s not going to be among the top 2B in the league.  Take him for his runs and potential to steal some bases, but don’t look for much else. 

That puts him in the same range as an Aaron Hill, though I would still select Hill before Roberts.

What are your thoughts?  Am I too critical of Roberts?  What do you expect from him in 2010?

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13 comments

  1. NoPepperGames says:

    I think those numbers look accurate. And he’s the perfect example of why not to draft Utley – the bottom of the draftable 2Bs are all very serviceable, adding value in all 5 categories. Roberts isn’t exactly who I’d target (a 32 year old MI is a risk), but he’ll have value that won’t be available on the wire. Any OF taken that late will be easily replaced.

  2. TY says:

    would anyone take brian roberts before reynolds or zimmerman when you dont have a 3B yet?

    I’m gonna guess not, well check the latest espn mock because matthew berry did just that…

  3. Scott says:

    Well if you’re relying on Matthew Berry for fantasy advice you deserve to lose. He may write some interesting articles, but he’s an idiot when it comes to actually winning any fantasy sports.

  4. fiji.siv says:

    Roberts’ jump in HRs can be attributed to two factors: his increased flyball rate and increased HR/FB ratio. In 2008, 36% of his hits were flyballs. In 2009 it was 42%. Roberts had a similar flyball rate once before, in 2007. However that was paired with a modest 5.2% HR/FB. In 2009, the increased flyball rate was also accompanied by a huge jump in HR/FB. Over his career, Roberts has averaged a HR/FB ratio of 4.9% but that number soared to 7.3% in 2009! I think 12-13 HRs sounds about right.

  5. MDS says:

    espn is good for soap opera sports. nothing else
    if i join a poetry slam contest, ill holler at stuart scott
    boo yeah boo

  6. TY says:

    hahah ESPN is crap for fantasy advice, jsut dont tell everyone you know…

  7. BLAZE says:

    Whatever, Stu Scott is cooler then the other side of the pillow.

  8. JJT says:

    Berry is easily the worst fantasy analyst alive.

  9. kldub4life says:

    One thing about Roberts is he has been consistently very good for sometime now. The Aaron Hill’s and Ben Zobrist’s are much riskier.

    The only second baseman I unquestionably take before him is Utley. I like Kinsler more but I can see a risk for him loosing you money in 2010, whereas I still expect Roberts to outperform his cost. And to me that is the most important thing in the leagues I play.

  10. Aaron says:

    I think Roberts maintains last years numbers, but he could hit a few more homers and get a few more stolen bases. I really don’t understand why some people are down on him this year.

  11. Rotoprofessor says:

    Aaron, it’s not that I’m down on him, per se, but the steady decrease in speed needs to be taken into consideration. He’s clearly not at the level he was when he stole 50 bases a few years back and that has to be taken into account.

    He’s still a solid option, but he’s not what he was in ’07.

  12. Sam says:

    Some interesting stats you leave out:

    Robert’s stole 3rd base more than ANYONE last year. 14 times.

    He led the league in doubles last year with 56.

    He’s averaged 605 ABs (690 PAs) in the last 6 years.

    Everyone seems to think Roberts is declining. That may be so, but he still had an excellent season in 2009 and he is remarkably durable and consistent.

  13. Brian says:

    My big concern with Roberts is the revelation he has a bulging disc in his back. That malady can end a season and I have him as a keeper on one team without any alternative. I will try and back him up but it is a deep, 20 team league. The O’s could be a surprising team this year. I hope so and hope Roberts stays healthy. I will take 15/30 from him any year.

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