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2011 Fantasy Projections No. 17: Luck May Not Excuse Mark Teixeira's Low Average

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:  Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees hits a broken bat ground out to the shortstop in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Nick KappelAnalyst IIIJanuary 24, 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.

 

Mark Teixeira has displayed impressive consistency and durability over the last three seasons, posting no less than 100 runs, 30 HRs and 100 RBI each year while missing a total of just 15 games.

Normally a .300 hitter (.306, .308, .292 from 2007 to 2009), the Yankees first baseman hit a career-low .256 in 2010. Most will point to his “unlucky” .268 BABIP to explain his 2010 shortcoming, and while that may be partially to blame, there may be other factors involved as well.

Teixeira has seemingly changed his swing in recent years, as a noticeable trend has surfaced in his batted ball rates:

Fly-Ball Rate

  • 2008: 36.5 percent
  • 2009: 43.8 percent
  • 2010: 45.5 percent
  • Career: 40.3 percent

 

Likewise, his line-drive rate has decreased in recent seasons:

Line-Drive Rate

  • 2008: 20.7 percent
  • 2009: 19.8 percent
  • 2010: 19.0 percent
  • Career: 21.2 percent

High fly-ball rates in addition to low line-drive rates generally yield below-average (supposedly “unlucky”) batting averages on balls in play, and thus, low batting averages. This case is an example of that.

 

Even his above-average plate discipline has declined in recent seasons, judging by the increase in his strikeout rate:

Strikeout Rate

  • 2008: 16.2 percent
  • 2009: 18.7 percent
  • 2010: 20.3 percent

While it’s reasonable to expect a bounce-back 2011 in terms of batting average, these patterns are especially discouraging. Teixeira is entering next season at age 31; draft with caution.

 PARHRRBISBAVG
2010 stats712113331080.256
Three-year average701106351171.285
2011 FBI Forecast690105341151.270

 

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