Over the weekend owners in two-catcher formats got a new name to ponder, the Brewers Jonathan Lucroy. With Greg Zaun going on the DL, the Brewers recalled Lucroy, who Baseball America ranked their fifth best prospect heading into the season.
Splitting time between Double and Triple-A, he posted the following line in 2010:
122 At Bats
.311 Batting Average (38 Hits)
2 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.349 On Base Percentage
.418 Slugging Percentage
.350 Batting Average on Balls in Play
For a player with little speed and power, it’s hard to imagine being able to maintain that lofty of a BABIP. Right off the bat, you would have to think that the batting average, which is his one redeeming quality for fantasy owners, is unrealistic.
There is a little bit of an upside, however. He has a tremendous eye at the plate. The 2007 third round draft choice has an 11.3% walk rate over his minor league career, compared to a 16.3% strikeout rate. Those numbers helped lead to a .298 career minor league average, but again, with a .334 BABIP, it’s unlikely that he can maintain that type of average in the major leagues.
The power appears to be nonexistent. For his minor league career he had just a 39.1% fly ball rate. While he hit 20 HR between two levels of Single-A in 2008, he hit just 9 at Double-A in 2009 and again was showing little power at the upper levels in 2010.
Baseball America described him prior to the season by saying:
“He has a good approach and a short swing, squares the ball up and has solid gap power. He has a career .380 on-base percentage and walked more than he struck out in 2009.”
Gap power… That’s just not what you say about a player who possesses a lot of power.
Without the power and with a likely increased strikeout rate (it wouldn’t be a shocking to see it jump to around 20%), seeing him hit .300 would be a huge surprise. Even if he were to hit .275 or so, he’s not likely to have the power or run production, should he stay in the lineup, to be anything more then a low-end fantasy option.
As it is, once Zaun returns, it would be surprising to see Lucray stay with the major league club considering their are concerns surrounding his defense. Even if he were to stay, the other names I discussed when talking about Jorge Posada (click here to view) appears much more appealing at this point.
What about you? Is Lucroy someone who you would consider? Why or why not?
Make sure to check out other recent Scouting Reports: