Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/19/13
If I had one word to describe Ben Zobrist it would be patient. Now, I don’t know him personally so he could be the most hot-headed man on the planet, but at the plate he is cool as a cucumber.His 37.4% swing rate was tied for second lowest with Kevin Youkilis (Joe Mauer was first with 35.4%), but Zobrist didn’t swing for good reason; he walked 14.5% of the time. Not surprisingly, his swing percentage on pitches outside the strike zone was 10th-best in the majors at 23.0%.This patience makes him a great fit for the third slot in the Rays’ lineup and he’s coming off his second-best offensive season in his career. Last year, when he did swing his bat he hit the ball hard as he posted a career-high 21.8% line drive rate. His .270 batting average doesn’t reflect this stat and that is evidenced by his .296 xBA.At a GlanceStrengths: R, RBI, HR/SB, BB, K, OBPNeutral: BA, SLGWeaknesses: NonePlayer ComparisonBest-case scenario: Chase Headley (SD)Likely scenario: Yoenis Cespedes (OAK), Shin-Soo Choo (CIN), Austin Jackson (DET)Worst-case scenario: Dexter Fowler (COL)Ben Zobrist 2013 Fantasy ProjectionBelieve it or not, Zobrist’s biggest strength in fantasy baseball is his defense. No, I’m not talking about those wacky leagues that count for errors and assists, I’m talking about the fact that Zobrist qualifies at second base, outfield and, depending on what site you use, shortstop too.Of course, position eligibility isn’t enough to make a player valuable and luckily Zobrist has the skills to go along. His Yahoo! ADP is currently 71.2 , which is probably higher than other sites because on Yahoo! he qualifies at shortstop.The fact that he bats third for the Rays means he should post 80+ R and RBI once again with potential for more. His power seems to have peaked at 20 as he hasn’t shown flashes of his breakout 27-homer season in three years. Still he’s solid across the board and while that has more value in deeper leagues his position-eligibility makes him desirable in all types of leagues.
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