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Aaron Rowand: Overrated?

One of this winter's biggest free agent winners was CF Aaron Rowand, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies now current mantle holder of Most Expensive San Francisco Giant.  In his walk year, Rowand put up career high power numbers with 27 HRs and 89 RBIs while batting 5th behind All-Stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

Depsite maintaining his spot in the heart of the Giants' line-up, Rowand is showing up as one a player likely to be over-valued in upcoming fantasy baseball drafts.  I agree to an extent.  I strongly doubt he can match his HR totals away from the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park.  Afterall, he hit 17 or his 27 bombs in those confines.  Is an expectation of 20 fair?  

His AVG may suffer without .400 OBP players like Utley and Howard in front of him, but I am not so sure on the RBIs.  While he won't have a pair like them in front of him, he could get as many opportunities because no one in front of him on the Giants is likely top be as effective driving in runs.  I don't see too much of a drop.  80 RBis is not unreasonable.

As for SB, Rowand just stopped running last season.  According to Ron Shandler's stolen base opportunity stat (SBO), Rowand plunged from 19%, 15% and 16% the previous three seasons to just  5% last year.   I'm unaware of health reasons for this as he lodged a career high 612 ABs last season, so why not believe he will run more for the Giants?  He'd only need another five or six bases to make-up for the drop in HRs.  As Giants' manager Bruce Bochy did in San Diego in 2006, his Giants team was above-average in SBO in 2007.  The conclusion that Rowand will run more is reasonable.

My guess is Aaron Rowand will produce in the negihborhood of 20/80/12/.290.  That isn't 27/89/6/.309, but it certainly not so much of a drop that he'd be amongst the most over-rated draftees in 2008.


Is Aaron Rowand going to be one of the most over-rated players in 2008?

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