There are many speed first options for fantasy owners to choose from on draft day. You can focus on Juan Pierre or Michael Bourn or Brett Gardner. However, someone who is often overlooked is Jose Tabata, who has the potential to bring more to the table than just stolen bases, leading to today’s Wild Prediction (remember, these predictions are expected to happen no more than 20% of the time):
Jose Tabata will score at least 100 runs
One of the things that may make this a little bit crazier is that the only Pirate to score more than 75 runs over the past two seasons is Andrew McCutchen, who had 94 runs in 2010. The last Pirate to score 100 runs was Nate McLouth, who scored 110 in 2008 (the only other player to do it in the past five years is Jason Bay, who had 101 runs in 2006).
So, what makes Tabata different? First of all, he looked impressive in his rookie year. In 405 AB (102 games), he scored 61 runs. If you take that rate and project it over 150 games, Tabata would’ve scored 89 runs. That comes from an inexperienced 22-year old rookie. With more experience, you have to like his potential upside.
Those numbers also came primarily in the second spot of the order (40 runs in 259 AB). In 2011, he could find himself hitting atop the order significantly more often (if not exclusively). The Pirates lineup is certainly in flux, but when you look at things it certainly makes sense for them to move Andrew McCutchen down to the third spot. Look at this projected lineup:
- Jose Tabata
- Neil Walker
- Andrew McCutchen
- Garrett Jones
- Pedro Alvarez
- Lyle Overbay
If the team opted to keep McCutchen hitting leadoff, who would actually hit third? Overbay? Really? It only makes sense for Tabata to be slotted at the top, which means increased opportunities to score runs.
Granted, the Pirates offense is not going to be among the elite in the league, but McCutchen proved last season that you could score runs regardless. He scored 94 out of the Pirates 587 runs (second worst in the league). You have to think that the Pirates will improve on that number, especially with a full season of Alvarez in the lineup and McCutchen continuing to develop.
Is it likely that he scores 100+ runs on a poor offensive team? No, but he certainly will have an opportunity to do so.
Chance of Happening: 12%
What are your thoughts on this? Is there any chance Tabata scores this many runs? How many would you think his upside is?
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Make sure to check out our previous Wild Predictions:
- Jay Bruce & Colby Rasmus Will Combine For At Least 65 HR
- Jayson Werth will have less than 160 runs scored and RBI combined
- Ryan Zimmerman will outperform Evan Longoria in 2011
- James Shields will post a sub-3.40 ERA and sub-1.20 WHIP
- Austin Jackson will struggle so badly that by June 15 that he will have spent time at Triple-A
- Matt LaPorta will hit at least 30 HR in 2011
- Brett Anderson will be a Top 3 AL-Only fantasy pitcher in 2011