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2011 Fantasy Projections No. 9: Why Carl Crawford Is Better Than Carlos Gonzalez

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 11:  Carl Crawford answers questions during a press conference to announce his joining the Boston Red Sox on December 11,  2010 at the Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Nick KappelAnalyst IIIJanuary 20, 2011

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Carl Crawford has always had below-average power (13 HRs per in eight full seasons), and top-flight speed (50 steals per season). However, Crawford hit a career-high 19 bombs in 2010 while also posting a personal-best .188 ISO power (slugging percentage minus batting average).

After signing a monster seven-year, $142 million contract last month with the Boston Red Sox, the 29-year-old will likely bat second or third in a lineup featuring Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Given his lineup surroundings and Fenway’s short fence in right field, the left-handed hitting Crawford may finally surpass 20 home runs in 2011.

This, in addition to his history of durability (150-plus games in six of the last eight seasons), his ability to maintain a .300 batting average (something he’s done in five of the last six seasons), and his potential to swipe 50-plus bases give Crawford the nod over Carlos Gonzalez as our second-ranked outfielder heading into 2011.

If Crawford does indeed reach the 20-HR, 50-steal, .300 batting average plateau, he’ll be the first player to do so since Hanley Ramirez posted a ridiculous 29/51/.332 line in 2007.

 PARHRRBISBAVG
2010 Stats663110199047.307
Three-Year Average60692147244.297
2011 FBI Forecast6751202110045.309

 

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