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Friday, March 9, 2007

Sleeper Alert - Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson is known throughout the league as an injury risk, and he will begin 2007 on the DL. I've heard from various sources that he should be out through most of June. And because Johnson is a slow healer, he may not be at full strength until July.

Despite these obvious drawbacks, I recommend draft Nick Johnson in one of the last few rounds of your draft and stashing him in one of your DL spots (assuming your leagues gives you at least one or two).

An 80% Contact and 21% Line Drive Percentage make Johnson a good bet for a high average to begin with, but throw in his tendency to draw more walks than almost any other player in the game and Johnson is a great bet for a .285 to .290 average. His good, developing power helps as well. He hit 23 Home Runs and 21 True Home Runs last year, in addition to 46 2Bs and 3Bs. He Ks a decent amount, about 20%, but if his power continues to improve this shouldn't be a problem. He still has some decent players in the lineup, and his great walking ability will help him score a good amount of runs. His injury to his leg may hinder some of his opportunities, but hopefully not too many.

His injury and the loss of Alfonso Soriano will keep some people away from him; don't be one of these people. Nick Johnson is the real deal and if he were playing a full season this year would be a lock for a second or third round pick come 2008 in a good lineup.

Make sure to draft one of of our top 1B (like Jason Giambi), and if your league uses a CI spot a second good 1B (like Adam LaRoche or Nomar Garciaparra) because Johnson could miss half the season. But by the time he has proven he is healthy, the stock of Giambi or LaRoche or Garciaparra should be up enough to warrant a trade for a position of need. Then slot Johnson in that guy's spot and you should be good to go.

As always, Batted Ball Data comes from The Hardball Times

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