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A Closer Look: Giants First Baseman Aubrey Huff

The Giants were in the market for a first baseman last offseason and signed Aubrey Huff who was coming off a mediocre season in 2009, where he went 15-85-.241-.310-.384. Not good.

Coming into 2010 drafts, Huff may not have been drafted in mixed leagues, and was probably drafted very late in NL-only league drafts based on his mediocre 2009 season, and the fact he was moving to a pitchers park in 2010.

Well, Huff has made many fantasy owners look good this season as he is hitting .309-.397-.550 with 20 HRs and 65 RBIs. For comparison purposes, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols is hitting .300-.399-.562 with 26 HRs and 75 RBIs. Stunning! Huff has hit almost as good as King Albert in 2010. Can Huff continue hitting like this?

Well, if you look at how Huff has performed in even years-2006, 2008 and this season-he was due to bounce back from his 2009 season. His BABIP is league average at .307, but his ISO is a tremendous .241. In 2009, his BABIP was .260 and his ISO was just .144. So why the big jump in power in 2010?

Well, he is striking out less this year-13% vs 16% in 2009, and he is walking more-12% vs 9%. His batted ball data-LD/GB/FB- is right around his career average of 18%.45%/37%, but his HR/FB rate of 16.5% is his highest since 2003.

His plate discipline leaves alot to be desired though. He is swinging at more than 28% of balls outside the zone vs. 27% in 2009, but is making more contact when swinging at those balls outside the zone-74% vs 61% in 2009. Its just a matter of time before pitchers catch on and he will begin missing those balls outside the zone.

Huff has had an outstanding season, but I am not sure he can sustain it. His HR/FB rate is higher than his career average, and his plate discipline can be exposed over the last two months of the season.