Prior to the season I wrote an article entitled “Nolan Reimold: A Solid Option, But Not A 2010 Fantasy Sleeper” (click here to view). The piece was in response to the many people who were considering Reimold a great sleeper selection to fill out their outfield after hitting 15 HR in 358 AB in ’09.
Over the season’s first month, Reimold has looked even worse then “solid”, for all intents and purposes losing his everyday job. He’s made the most skeptical preseason owners look like they overvalued him, as no one could have expected this type of early season production:
49 At Bats
.184 Batting Average (9 Hits)
1 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.298 On Base Percentage
.327 Slugging Percentage
.235 Batting Average on Balls in Play
So, should we all abandon ship, like many owners have, or is Reimold worth continuing to stash?
First of all, you can tell right off the bat that the average is based on some terrible luck. However, there are two other numbers that do bring cause for concern:
- His strikeout rate ballooned to 28.6%
- His flyball rate was 48.6%
It’s a small sample size, but still, these are two numbers that need to be addressed.
The flyball rate is not an unrealistic number, despite his 37.3% mark in 2009. For his minor league career he was at 49.0%, which tells me that it’s not that he was trying to muscle up and hit more home runs. Instead, he appears to just be getting comfortable with major league pitching.
Granted, flyballs aren’t going to find quite as many holes as line drives, but they should lead to more home runs. Considering his 14.2% HR/FB in ’09, it’s hard to imagine him continuing his 5.9% mark from early on this season. In other words, as his luck turns, I’d expect his average to rise and for him to display more power.
The strikeouts are a concern, but again something that I would expect him to be able to improve upon. Last season he had a 21.5% mark and in his minor league career he was at 22.3% (22.9% at Triple-A in 109 AB). While an increase from that is possible, nearly 29% is a bit much, especially when you take his eye at the plate into account.
He showed an above average eye last season, with a BB% of 11.4%. In the early going this season he actually improved on that, with a 12.3% mark. Needless to say, that’s an encouraging number.
The moral of the story? Reimold’s struggles have been mostly due to bad luck and nothing more. The average will come around. The power, though never his biggest asset, will come around as well. Once he starts to turn the corner, he’ll find his way back into the Orioles lineup.
With that said, if you have room on your bench in a five-outfielder format, I certainly would keep stashed away. The value is there. He’s not a star, like I said prior to the season, but he’s not as bad as this either.
What are your thoughts? Is Reimold worth stashing away or do you think there’s little hope of a rebound?
To read the previous article, click here.