Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 1/12/13
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Last year, Howie Kendrick reverted back to the player he has been for his entire career; good batting average, with decent number of runs/RBI and a good amount of steals. It’s clear that his power in 2011 (18 HR) was a fluke solely based on his 16.5% HR/FB rate, which is almost double his career rate of 8.9%. He seems to have shaken the injury bug as he’s averaged a solid 148 games over the last three years and he’s probably a safe bet for double digit steals and home runs if he can continue that trend. Remember, you’re drafting Kendrick for his safety, not upside. At a Glance Strengths: BA Neutral: SB, R, RBI, OBP Weaknesses: HR, SLG, OPS Player Comparison Best-case scenario: Brandon Phillips (CIN) Likely scenario: Derek Jeter (NYY), Dustin Ackley (SEA), Neil Walker (PIT) Worst-case scenario: Darwin Barney (CHC) Howie Kendrick 2013 Fantasy Projection We have Kendrick projected for another ho-hum season as we don’t see his power ever coming back again without a major change in his approach or some major luck. He hits too many ground balls (58.6% last year; 54.1% career) and his HR/FB rate has only eclipsed double digits twice in his career. Also for those in OBP leagues, while Kendrick can hit for a high batting average, his plate discipline is horrible (0.25 BB/K) and it’s because he doesn’t draw walks very well (career 4.3 BB%). Also, he’s slated to bat 6th in the stacked Angels’ lineup, which probably means more RBI opportunities, but with Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo ahead of him in the lineup, he could have a lot of empty-base at-bats.
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