Few people benefitted more from this offseason (indirectly) than Erick Aybar. Assuming he holds down the second spot in the Angels stacked lineup like MLBDepthCharts.com projects, it’s virtually impossible for him to score fewer than the 85 runs we project. Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols might be baseball’s best 3-4 duo, and if they’re not it’s only because Detroit has the reigning Triple Crown winner and a 28-year-old slugger who’s already hit 45+ homers twice in his career.
Aybar makes good contact, steals bases, and looks like your prototypical number two hitter. Surprisingly, he’s ranked inside the top 125 in each of the last two years, so an argument could be made that ranking him 134 before the 2013 season is a bit too conservative, but for what it’s worth we project his overall PSR Rating to be a hair better than last year.
At a Glance
Strengths: R, SB, net SB, CS
Neutral: BA, OBP, OPS
Weaknesses: HR, RBI, SLG
Best-case scenario: Jose Altuve (HOU)
Likely scenario: Jean Segura (MIL), Alcides Escobar (KC), Ichiro Suzuki (NYY)
Worst-case scenario: Rafael Furcal (STL)
Erick Aybar 2013 Fantasy Projection
Aybar’s slot in the Angels lineup is beyond cushy. If he can play well enough to keep it, there’s almost no way he doesn’t knock on the door of the top 100, and he probably will end 2013 as one of the best draft values.
He doesn’t walk much so while I would still target Aybar in OBP leagues, it’s important to note that he’s probably not going to have an OBP much better than .325. More leagues nowadays are counting caught stealing or net steals, and this is one area where Aybar has some added value. Last year he was 20-for-24 in steal chances (80.0%), and in 2011 he was 30-for-36 (also 80.0%). I’d guess he ends up around there this year again.