If you’ve been following the blog at all (and I have to believe more than 2 people are reading this regularly), you know we’ve been on a kick of talking about players who you can get on the cheap who are likely to bring you a great return on investment. Tyler Colvin might not be flying under too many radars as a person -not due to his play, but rather because he was impaled by a bat in a Marlins-Cubs game last summer. That’s all well and good and I’m happy to say he recovered and is looking to play in 2011 yadda yadda yadda. What I want to talk about is how this guy could be an absolute steal for you in your 2011 outfield.
The kid as some pop in his bat. Let us start out with that fact. In 395 major league plate appearances, he slugged 20 homers, good for one every 19.75 times he stepped up. Add to that 5 triples and 18 doubles and you’ve got an extra base hit every 9.18 plate appearances, an excellent ratio. Now the average isn’t great, but his BABIP was under .300, so if that rises, his average should fall in the .260-.270 range, a totally acceptable average for what he brings to the table. He also suffered the common rookie fault of getting tired/ getting recognized (see the splits for yourself). As the season wore on, pitchers learned the book on him and he likely tired. Look for him to make an adjustment this year. Did I mention he hit 20 homers as a rookie? That’s kind of enough for me to put him on a watch list going into 2011. The way he projects, he should have 30 homer potential. So let’s talk projections. Given full at bats (as Bill James is willing to do in this case, oddly), James has Colvin hitting 24 homers (in 549 PA), with 25 doubles and 6 triples to boot, good for a ratio of an XBH every 9.98 plate appearances simply outstanding. CAIRO has him hitting 16 in 100 fewer AB. Everyone agrees the guy can mash.
If you’re in the later rounds and need some pop, I suggest you take a look at Mr. Colvin. He’ll be adjusting to the league and growing into his body (he’s pretty stringy)- the power upside is immense.