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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Underrated Player Alert - Garrett Atkins

Garrett Atkins is one of my favorite players this year. People say third base this year is very deep. I tend to disagree. There are a lot of sleepers, but not a lot of positive value 3B who are already consistent producers - something we value very highly at the Saberoticians.

Where should I start with Atkins? He has a Contact Rate of 87% and a Line Drive Percentage of 23%. He rarely Ks for a guy who hits as many Home Runs as he does. And his HRs are not Coors inflated... we checked. His power is legitimate. Last year only 3 of his longballs wouldn't have been HRs in an average park with normal atmospheric conditions. Atkins is a beast. He has good plate discipline, 3.81 P/PA and a BB/TPA of 12% (which there is a decent chance will increase this year). This adds up to a batting average of roughly .330 and an On-Base Percentage of about .395 (We're beginning to think our Batting Averages are a bit on the high side across the board, but that's a subject for another time).

I've already mentioned his power as part of his average analysis, but let me reiterate. He's a good power hitter poised to become a great one. He hit 49 2Bs and 3Bs last year in addition to his 26 True Home Runs. His True Home Run total should easily surpass 30 and could get up to 35. His good On-Base skills, power, and decent lineup around him should make him a 4 category contributor and one of the top players in the game. Expect him to be a consensus first round pick next year.

Last but not least, Atkins is entering his age 27 season. Age 27 is the most likely age for a player to break out. 27 is the age when young men hit their peak physical form.

Add it all up, and you have one of the top dozen players in baseball. Take him in the second or third round and reap the rewards all season long.

Batted Ball stats came from The Hardball Times
True HRs were derived from information at Hit Tracker
The Age 27 stuff has been talked about by CBS Sportsline for years.


Anonymous said...

It's May and Atkins is not showing anything. You guys might be wrong about him.

Derek Carty said...

It's possible, but it looks a lot like Atkins is getting unlucky. Both of his HRs have been hit pretty far, so he should have hit a few that haven't been as far. He hasn't yet, but I still expect him to hit 30-35 this year, or at least at that rate the rest of the way. His Contact Percentage is down, but 83% is still pretty good. His 11% BB rate shows his selectivity is still good, and a 20% LD rate isn't bad. His Contact hitting peripherals are down from the last two years, but not by much. He is still under performing his new ones, and if he can make the small jump back to his previous numbers he should be a star the rest of the season.