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A Closer Look: Astros Outfielder Carlos Lee

I drafted Carlos Lee in the UBA NL-Only auction league, and traded for him in my big money NL-only league earlier this year. Many had him being drafted in the first six rounds of mixed league drafts, and he was drafted in the third round in both of my NL-only league drafts. But he has been a huge disappointment to date. Can he turn his season around?

Coming into Tuesday's action, Lee is hitting .196-.236-.325 with 5 HRs and 17 RBIs. In his career, he has hit .257-.319-.465 in April and .290-.334-.508 in May. In 2009, he hit .253-.299-.506 in April with 5 HRs and 17 RBIs, and .349-.402-.509 with 3 HRs and 12 RBIs in May. To say that he has underperformed this season is an understatement.

Looking at his peripheral stats for 2010 suggests there is some reason for optimism. In 2009, Lee had a BABIP of .290, and he has a career BABIP of .288. So far this season, his BABIP is just .197. Lee has never walked much in his career as reflected in his career BB% of around 7%, but this year it is around. 4.6%. And, he has never struck out alot but this year his K% is up to 14.1% vs a career K% of around 13%.

A few other batted ball stats in his favor are that his line drive percentage is sitting at 12% this year vs a career LD% of around 20%, and his HR/FB% is a low 7.2% vs a career HR/FB% of 13%. Another positive is that he FB% is up this year from 44% in 2009 to 29% this year.

With all that said, Lee is not getting younger and is on the downside of his career. But, over the last two weeks, Lee has hit 3 HRs, but with a BA under .200. I could be wrong, and overly optimistic on Lee, but I don't see his BA or BABIP staying under .200, and with that the power should come.