Lock this guy up. Just do it. He's on the brink of "Pierredom." Make that "Crawfordom." And you can get him cheap! Julio Borbon is set to bat leadoff for the Texas Rangers, and he will be a big reason why the Rangers will take the AL West in 2010.
Borbon played 46 games with Texas last year. He managed 19 SBs while getting caught just four times. Prior to his call up, he stole 40 bags in Triple-A Oklahoma City. That's 59 bases in 2010 to go along with the 53 bags he stole in 2008. The guy is a thief. All he has to do is get to first base.
Now stick Borbon atop the Texas lineup and place Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, and Nelson Cruz behind him. That's a recipe for 100+ runs. Bill James has Borbonat .308/.358/404 for 2010 with seven homers and 42 stolen bases. Baseball Prospectus is less optimistic and has Borbon at .279/.329/388 with eight homers and 29 stolen bases. Take the over on BP's slightly pessimistic projection.
Borbon turns 24 next week and looks a lot more like Carl Crawford or Kenny Lofton than Juan Pierre or Michael Bourn. When Texas chose not to re-sign Marlon Byrd, they had already decided that Borbon was ready to play center field on an everyday basis. Let other owners pay for Crawford and Jose Reyes in the first two rounds, while you draft Borbon late and reap the benefits and lack of risk.
In keeper leagues, draft Borbon while your league mates select fellow young outfielders like Drew Stubbs, Brett Gardner, and Dexter Fowler.
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