As a fantasy baseball player, it can be extremely difficult to keep a level head early in the year.
We know guys like Albert Pujols aren’t going to finish the year hitting .200, but what do you make of the players like Arizona Diamondbacks utility man Willie Bloomquist?
If you’re speculating for speed, it would be best to keep an eye on how much playing time the 33-year-old receives.
Bloomquist stole 25 bases in 2009 with the Kansas City Royals and has a 79.7 percent success rate on stolen base attempts over his career; that compares favorably to other base stealers like Matt Kemp (73.5) and Nyjer Morgan (68.9).
Don’t let yourself get too excited about the former Mariner, Royal and Red as Bloomquist is a .266 hitter who has slugged just 14 home runs in over 2,000 plate appearances.
Bloomquist isn’t likely to hammer down an everyday position for the D-Backs, so you shouldn’t expect him to be a viable everyday fantasy player, either. With so many holes in the Arizona lineup, however, he is likely to see plenty of playing time.
I wouldn’t be surprised if rookie manager Kirk Gibson favors the “gritty” veteran over younger, more inconsistent players.
Here’s what Gibson told MLB.com about Bloomquist’s role:
“I'm going to try and play him as much as I can. I don't want to do too much to where he might get hurt. You know, he's not a young guy. But he deserves to play right now and I think the team needs him."
So far, Bloomquist has filled in at shortstop five games and played four in left field. He's 15-for 43 (.349) with six steals in seven attempts.
Considering his speed and position eligibility, Bloomquist should be a valuable bench player in daily leagues.
He’s the kind of guy you could sneak in on the weekend.