(kinda) Hidden Gem- Dexter Fowler




If you’ve ever read this blog which, let’s face it, is a big ‘if’, you know I have a bit of a man crush on Dexter Fowler (and all of his triples).  Just to make one thing very clear- Dexter Fowler runs like a gazelle.  He’s BUILT like an athlete (6’4” 200) and moves like a freak.  The facts:  He stole 13 bases, had 20 doubles, 14 triples, and 6 homers in just over 500 plate appearances, hitting .260 with a still-developing swing.  The math: that equates to a steal every 38 plate appearances, a triple every 36 times he came up to the plate, a double every 25 PA’s, and an extra base hit every 12.625 he stepped in the box.  These are delightful numbers to me.  A young player, still re-tooling his swing, AT SPACIOUS COORS FIELD, capable of hitting the gap and flying around the bases?  I’m hyperventilating just imagining him gracefully loping from first to third.

But am I alone in my infatuation?  It would not be the first time this has happened.  But hark!  What say you Bill James?  And you Dan Szymborski (he does ZiPs projections)?

_________     G          PA            H             2B         3B           HR        RBI      SB         AVG

JAMES          145        575        144           32          12           7            46         18           .285

ZiPs                150       591         141            30         13           7            49         21           .271



Even ZiPs, which I generally think undersells projections has similar numbers to James’.  I am pretty pleased with Mr. James’ predictions here.   He has Fowler at an extra base hit every 11.27 plate appearances.  My only question is why no one, Bill James included, seems to think Fowler will improve his stealing ability with further at bats.  This seems illogical to me.  He stole 27 in 500+ PA in 2009, and had much better steal ratios in the minors (here).  Players like Fowler tend to be raw on the bases for a few years before settling into a more comfortable SB/CS ratio.  Fowler is easily capable of stealing 25-30 bases, making him an immensely interesting fantasy commodity rather than a marginally interesting one.   Add that to what I’m guessing above are low estimates on the extra base hits, and baby, you got a stew goin’!

Look for how the Rockies are using him to start the year as I forsee him settling in with regular at bats into a very useful extra base hit machine.





Filed under offseason, Opinion, Pickups, Posted, Random Thoughts, Sleepers

6 responses to “(kinda) Hidden Gem- Dexter Fowler

  1. Chris

    Came over from the link you left in a CarGo article on fangraphs. The only thing I can say about the SB’s is that the more extra base hits Fowler gets, the fewer SB opportunities he’ll have. James sees him as more than doubling his 2B totals from last year, which means that a SB is worth less for him when he’s got guys like Gonzalez and Tulo batting right behind him (assuming an EY leadoff based lineup, otherwise you’re looking at a Fowler, Herrera, Gonzalez 1-2-3).

    Fowler has to drop his K% (23% seems high for his skill set) before he truly becomes the leadoff threat that we all know he can be.

  2. excellent points. my real concern was the number or caught stealings versus the number of steals. He definately can steal 25 bases, regardless, but I just thought he might be better than getting caught 10 times.

    Thank you so much for the comment!


  3. Chris

    Another thing to remember about Fowler (and you touched on this a little) is that he’s not the best in a 90 foot dash, but he’s a gazelle rounding first for extra bases. His true talent is making what would normally be a long base hit into a double and stretching many doubles into triples, which is always great to have in a lead off man.

    If you’re looking for straight SB gems in the Rockies then Nelson and EY are the guys to look for (CarGo is certainly no longer a sleeper and if his power continues to develop he won’t have many SB opportunities). Fowler though, is the only one of the three who should get regular playing time. He also doesn’t strike me as being a smart base runner. He’s more instinct and speed, since his speed isn’t explosive like EY’s his SB/CS rates will never be the prettiest.

    While I love Fowler, I just don’t ever see him as being a top fantasy player, ever. He’s a good guy to keep on your bench for those weeks you need a few more SB’s or when one of your OF’s get hurt, but I just don’t see him getting past a third OF pickup. Maybe, if you’re IF is amazing and you managed to get a lot of quality arms on the cheap and your OF is otherwise neglected.

  4. boy am I glad I started posting this stuff on Fangraphs

    great stuff. I agree that strictly SB-speaking EY’s the way to go, but mancrushes are mancrushes

    so how do you feel about another player I’m going to write up, Cameron Maybin? I feel like the gaps in PETCO are ideal for someone like him if he gets his swing together…


    • Chris

      Certainly everyone is entitled to their own man crushes, fantasy and actual player crushes are to be expected (I’m seriously stoked for guys like Carrasco, Santana, and Brantley from the Indians, and Hammel and Smith from the Rockies).

      As far as Maybin goes, it’s harder for me to say, all I can really go on is articles that others have written about him and his numbers. Frankly though I’m about ready to jump off the bandwagon. Fantasy-wise I think he takes a hit, PetCo’s huge outfield means that he may hit more gaps, but his HR power will vanish. Having more OF to wander may lead him to higher injury risk. His sole upside as of right now seems to lie in his ability run whether it’s 1B – 3B, stealing or roaming the OF.

      I like him defensively, I think that he has a chance to really show off what he can do in the OF if he gets regular time at CF, as long as his 2010 UZR was more fluke than true ability. I don’t like that he’s never hit 20 2B in a season and he’s never seen double digit triples either. I liked him as a possible 15/30 guy before, but now he’s more like a 7/30 tops.

      Then again, perhaps a change of coaches and scenery is just what he needed, or maybe I’m right and he’s a AAAA hitter.

  5. Pingback: Cheap Thrills, Speed Kills | Ducks on the Pond

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