Nick Markakis disappointed owners last year by hitting only 12 HR and 60 RBI. Heading into 2011 he is no longer considered a top option in the outfield meaning you could snatch yourself a strong player for cheap. After failing to become the 30 HR guy some had hoped of him he is going to be underrated in a lot of people's minds after the sub-par 2010. His skills remain intact and the offseason moves by the Orioles should help his production. There is a lot of reason to think the Greek can return to being one of fantasy's better producers in the outfield. Find out why I think so after the jump.
60 RBI won't happen again and 12 HR is unlikely as well. His AVG has been stable and he still provides a touch of speed so the 5 category stud from a few years ago is still there, somewhat. His HR/FB% is half what it was a couple years ago so if he can bring that number back up around the league average 10% he should hit near 20 HR. Brian Roberts will be back at the top of the order providing RBI opportunities for Markakis and the offseason additions made by the Orioles should also provide extra RBI chances.
With actual run producers hitting behind him he will finally have some protection in the Orioles lineup. More of those doubles he hits will turn into runs compared to past years with Derek Lee and Mark Reynolds driving him in. He has a good chance to score 90+ runs and the added protection could help his power numbers as well.
A .300 18 HR 90 RBI 8 SB 90 R season isn't out of the question. He is one of the game's most durable players so he should be drafted with confidence as he's going to give you 600+ ABs of good AVG, moderate power and strong run production. There are few better candidates for a return to old form so wise owners will take advantage of the blip in production to obtain a #2 OF for a good deal.