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.
Josh Hamilton’s 2010 campaign was arguably more impressive than his 2008 season, despite missing 29 games (including most of September) with a rib injury. In 2009, Hamilton missed a total of 73 games (including more than a week in each of April, May and July, as well as all of June and nearly all of September) with a partially torn abdominal muscle and a pinched nerve in his back.
Hamilton’s history of injuries must be considered before drafting him this season, and is at least part of the reason he’s not higher on our 2011 big board. The other part has to do with the great amount of luck Hamilton experienced in 2010, judging by his whopping .390 BABIP (second-highest in the majors).
A big part of his 2010 success also had to do with his improvement against not only fastballs, but off-speed pitches as well:
- Fastballs: 8.6 runs above average
- Sliders: 0.8 runs below average
- Curveballs: 3.5 runs below average
- Changeups: 4.9 runs below average
- Fastballs: 31.5 runs above average
- Sliders: 5.7 runs above average
- Curveballs: 5.0 runs above average
- Changeups: 9.7 runs above average
Despite his aggressive nature (Hamilton swung at 80.7 percent of pitches across the plate, MLB average was 64.4 percent), Hamilton was able to make significant improvements in his pitch-recognition skills last season. Or maybe he just got really lucky. Or maybe it was a little bit of both.
Either way, Hamilton has monster potential given an entire season without injury. His .359 batting average is unrepeatable, but a .300-plus mark is within reason.
One of the most obvious high-risk/high-reward picks in the draft, Hamilton checks in on our 2011 big board as the sixth-ranked outfielder, No. 25 overall.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: FANTASY BASEBALL INSIDERS
Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:
- Nos. 1-10 Is Pujols Still the Top Pick?
- Nos. 11-20 Where Do Votto, A-Rod and Halladay Fit In?
- No. 21: Dustin Pedroia
- No. 22: Chase Utley
- No. 23: Ryan Zimmerman
- No. 24: Jose Reyes
MLB Trades: Fantasy Impact:
- Frank Francisco Traded to the Blue Jays, Who Will Be the Team’s Closer?
- Mike Napoli Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
- Vernon Wells Traded to the Los Angeles Angels: Fantasy Impact
- Adrian Beltre Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders: