Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/1/13
Josh Willingham has played for three different teams in the last three years. Chances are he’s also made the rounds in your fantasy league as well. And that’s because Willingham has proven himself to be a borderline top-100 player (or better), yet no one really has any intention of valuing him that highly. You could even say we’re guilty of that with our 2013 projection (.261, 28 HR, 93 RBI). To reach those marks in the projected 145 games played, Willingham could finish with a lower HR/FB rate than he’s posted in either of the last two years while performing slightly above average as a clean-up hitter. The problem with projecting (and drafting) Willingham is that his last two years are far and away better than what he’d done in the prior five. Before 2011, his two best seasons in homers were 26 and 24, and his two best seasons in RBI were 89 and 74. While it’s much more likely that he continues being the player we’ve seen in his last 281 games, I still think it’s prudent to be cautiously optimistic. Besides, the 2013 line we project would still be right up there with 2011 and 2012 and far better than anything else he’d done from 2006-2011. At a Glance Strengths: HR, RBI, BB, OBP, SLG, OPS Neutral: R, BA Weaknesses: SB, K Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Jay Bruce (CIN) Likely scenario: Nelson Cruz (TEX), Ike Davis (NYM), Mark Trumbo (LAA) Worst-case scenario: Alfonso Soriano (CHC) Josh Willingham 2013 Fantasy Projection Last year Willingham saw his HR/FB rate jump all the way to 21.2% from his previous career high of 17.5% in 2011. Given how Oakland (where he played in 2011) has a park factor for home runs of 89 to right-handed batters and Minnesota checks in at 103, it’s not surprising that Willingham’s HR/FB rate increased, but is he really a perennial 20%+ guy in a league-average park? I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I’d like to see him do it one more time before I’m willing to draft him for it. That’s especially true because Willingham won’t provide a good average or steal many bases. He’s a true 2.5-category contributor (HR, RBI, half-contributor in R), so if the homers aren’t piling up then he’s more like the 200th-best player in fantasy and not borderline top-100. One place you can count on Willingham contributing is OBP/OPS leagues. Last year he walked 12.4% of the time and posted a .366 OBP compared to a .260 batting average, one of the widest gaps in the league. He also has a career .361 OBP and slugged over .500 last year for the first time (.524), so he’s also a great player to target in OPS leagues. Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Laremy Tunsil admits taking money from Ole Miss staffers

Report: NFL concussion settlement being held up by nine former players wanting more

WATCH: TJ Oshie completes hat trick with OT goal

Joey Bosa: ‘I have to show teams that I’ve changed’

Photo: Johnny Manziel at Ohio bar watching NFL Draft

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Alabama assistant reportedly leaving program due to potential recruiting violations

Carmelo Anthony: It would be ‘a problem’ if Knicks coaching search is not extensive

Is this it for Ducks' Bruce Boudreau?

Evgeny Medvedev arrested for suspicion of DUI

Report: Fitzpatrick would rather not play than accept Jets' offer

Van Gundy open to Drummond shooting FTs underhanded

Justin Verlander goes off on PED rules after Dee Gordon news announced

Top 10 takeaways from Day 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft

Report: ‘Nothing going on’ with Colin Kaepernick trade to Broncos

Patriots make statement with Instagram post of Tom Brady

Ezekiel Elliott wears his signature crop top on red carpet

DirecTV eliminates extra charge to NFL Sunday Ticket customers to stream games online

The return of Joe Mauer

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

Leicester’s 5000-to-1 odds to win Premier League have bookmakers crying

Mike Kensil, reported Deflategate instigator, is no longer with NFL football ops

How Pens-Caps can determine if Crosby or Ovechkin is better

So far, Chicago is baseball’s epicenter in 2016

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Capitals vs. Penguins

10 bold predictions for the first round of the NFL Draft

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Lightning vs. Islanders

Four surprises from Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

QUIZ: Name every MLB player to hit four home runs in one game

The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs' 'road ice advantage'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker