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Brandon Belt is poised to emerge as a big-time player
There was a huge amount of hype surrounding Brandon Belt at this time last year. He was expected to be the next young star in the Giants' organization. Unfortunately, Belt struggled at the plate, lost confidence and found himself on the bus between San Francisco and Fresno more times than he would care to remember.
Belt is 6'5" and has a long, loopy swing. He had major problems hitting the inside fastball and just couldn't get around on the pitch in on his hands. As he cheated to cover that pitch, he then became susceptible to off-speed pitches down and away.
Belt played winter ball in the Dominican Republic in an effort to regain his stroke. He focused on shortening his swing and becoming quicker to the ball. He had an even 100 at-bats and hit .300, with three home runs and 11 RBI. His consistency improved and he looks ready to have a big year.
In 2011, Belt hit only .225 with nine home runs and 18 RBI, in 187 at-bats. Belt can play first base and both corner outfield positions. I fully expect Belt to see somewhere closer to 300-350 at-bats in 2012.
Belt is flying under the radar this year and the lowered expectations should help him. I expect him to hit around .275, with 16-18 home runs and close to 50 RBI.
You should be able to get Belt for below $10 in an NL only league. If you're playing in a mixed league, I would consider him as my fifth outfielder only and spend no more than $4 for him.