A Healthy Carlos Quentin

Charlie SaponaraContributor IJanuary 13, 2010

SEATTLE - AUGUST 12:  Carlos Quentin #20 of the Chicago White Sox bats during the game against the Seattle Mariners on August 12, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

In 2008, Carlos Quentin broke onto the fantasy scene hitting .288/.394/.571 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 96 runs scored. He also broke his wrist in September. When draft season came around last year, the reports were good on the surgically-repaired wrist, but fantasy owners had to wonder how or if it would sap some of his power. So much for those worries. Quentin slugged eight homers in April. 

However, a new problem arose. In mid-May, a case of Plantar Fasciitis in his left foot sent Quentin to the bench and eventually the DL, where he would miss all of June and most of July. Injuries have been present for Quentin throughout his career, but reports are that he should be 100 percent heading into spring training this year. The injuries and consequently low numbers have held Quentin's average draft position down so far, something we should all take advantage of on draft day 2010.

Despite only playing in 99 games, Quentin still hit 21 home runs in 351 at-bats. That AB/HR rate of 16.7 would translate to about 33 home runs over 550 at-bats. In 2008, when he hit 36 dingers, Quentin hit one home run every 13.3 at-bats. Clearly, the power was still there in 2009 and may even have room to improve in 2010. His batting average fell to a dismal .236 last season, but injury and an extremely low .223 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) can explain some of that away. 

Part of the problem when it comes to his batting average is that Quentin is not much of a line-drive hitter. For his Major League career, only about 16 percent of his balls in play have been registered as line drives. Because of that, it is hard to expect a high average, but .275-.280 is certainly not out of the question.
The good thing is that his power is unquestioned. As shown above, even a hurt Quentin has the ability to hit home runs at a 30-plus pace. His ISO (Isolated Power ) was .219 last season, which ranked higher than Dan Uggla, Aaron Hill, and Paul Konerko in that category. At 100 percent healthy, Quentin is about as good a bet as any to crack 30-plus home runs and drive in close to 100 runners, especially in the great hitters park on the south side of Chicago.

When it comes to Quentin's value, health is the main concern. He has yet to accumulate over 500 at-bats in a Major League season, or play in over 130 games. Of course, we are really only talking about two Major League seasons, since 2008 was his first shot at regular playing time. The major injury over that time span was the broken wrist in September of 2008. That injury was self-imposed when Quentin smacked his bat with his right fist after fouling off a Cliff Lee pitch. As a result, we can't really suggest that it was an injury that had anything to do with Quentin's "frailty," but rather his intense demeanor. The foot injury last season is a bit more worrisome, but is also something that has been fully healed, according to reports. 

While there is some injury risk when it comes to Carlos Quentin, he should be 100 percent heading into spring training. Even at less than 100 percent, Quentin has shown the ability to hit for well above average power. Combine all of the above factors with his age (28 in late August) and you have a recipe for success. On top of that, his current ADP is at round eight, and you get good value for cost on draft day.
A healthy Carlos Quentin is one that will do massive damage to opposing pitchers and add valuable production to your fantasy team. Don't be shy about drafting him in 2010.


Charlie Saponara is the owner/author of fantasybaseball365.com and can be contacted at cs.fb365@gmail.com