Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 10/29/14
Minnesota_twins_denard_806f
It’s simple baseball logic. Batters who lead off will step up to the plate more and therefore have more opportunities to score runs. Last year leadoff hitters averaged 79 runs per 600 plate appearances, and only three players scored more than 79 runs and ranked outside of the top 200. That’s because those three players – Dan Uggla, Adam Dunn, and JJ Hardy – combined to hit .229.Denard Span is leading off for the Nationals, one of the best teams in baseball, yet is owned in only 17% of Yahoo! leagues and 10% of ESPN leagues.However, while hitting atop one of the best lineups in the game is a huge plus, it’s not the only reason you should pick up Span. He also has above average speed — his 6.3 speed score over the last three years ranks 26th out of 230 qualified players — but despite having wheels, he only stole 17 bases last season due to his hesitance to run (he only ran on 10% of opportunities in 2012). If Span can find the confidence he had in his rookie year (18 SB in 411 PA with...
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