If it weren’t for the massive strikeout rate (28.7 K%), we would be talking about Danny Espinosa a lot later in this countdown. He provides a nice combination of power and speed as he’s had two near-20/20 seasons in a row now. His power dipped in his sophomore campaign, but his .155 ISO still ranked eighth among second basemen.
Unfortunately his strikeouts don’t just have a negative impact on his batting average; Espinosa has very little chance at batting near the top of the order, which will impact his run totals. Last season, Espinosa spent 66% of his at-bats batting 6th or lower and scored 62% of his runs while doing so. MLBDepthCharts.com currently has him slotted at 7th in the order and until he corrects his plate discipline (decreased BB%, increased K%) that’s where he’ll stay.
At a Glance
Strengths: HR, SB
Neutral: R, OBP, SLG, OPS
Weaknesses: BA, RBI, K
Best-case scenario: Ian Kinsler (TEX) without 100+ R
Likely scenario: Rickie Weeks (MIL), Jimmy Rollins (PHI), Zack Cozart (CIN)
Worst-case scenario: Jed Lowrie (HOU)
Danny Espinosa 2013 Fantasy Projection
We have Espinosa projected to barely miss another 20/20 season, but unfortunately the good news stops there. He increased his strikeout rate from 25.2% to 28.7% and decreased his walk rate from 8.7% to 7.0% in his sophomore campaign, making it difficult for us to project a better batting average. On top of that his swinging strike rate rose from 11.5% to 15.2% and he made contact just 70.6% of the time (79.7% MLB average).
A low batting average paired with bad plate discipline means he will be buried in the order yet again in 2013, which is why we pegged him for 77 R and 66 RBI. There’s a lot of potential in this bat of his, but he needs to finely tune his approach before it is fully realized.