We’re back for another edition of SQUINT Projections. Today we’ll focus on the hot corner in Miami. Before we jump into our alternate universe, I’d like to extend a thank you to site manager, Pete Rogers, for offering me a writing opportunity on FakeTeams.
Secondly, if you find yourself asking, what are SQUINT Projections and why is this guy talking about an alternate universe, I’d recommend checking out the first two articles in this series.
Back to the topic at hand.
The Miami Marlins are currently in yet another rebuild. Personal thoughts aside on their recent trades, the fact is their actions and potential future actions have fantasy ramifications. While there’s no doubt that the 2018 Miami Marlins will look much different than the 2017 opening day roster , it’s also fairly safe to say that the roster on paper as of today will also have a handful of changes before March 29th, 2018 - Opening Day.
Our current baseball universe discloses another conflicting situation depending on which roster site you refer to. Using RosterResource, we see that corner infield prospect Brian Anderson is already penciled in at third base for the Marlins in 2018. This leaves highly paid (and more than likely soon to be shipped out of town), Martin Prado to play left field according to RosterResource.
Like with our Ryan McMahon universes however, FanGraphs & the Steamer/Depth Chart Projections currently have Martin Prado receiving 490 plate appearances while at the hot corner in 2018. This leaves Brian Anderson with 175 plate appearances at third base, with a projected plate appearance total of 230-250 (58-60 games).
Here’s what we know:
- Missed the majority of 2017 with injury (hamstring & knee)
- Power has essentially dried up
- Since a 17 stolen base season in 2012, has a combined nine stolen bases since.
- An empty batting average asset in fantasy baseball, with that skill starting to come into question as well.
Here’s what we know:
- Was ranked as the Marlin’s No. 2 Prospect prior to 2017 by Eric Longenhagen.
- Performed well at both AA (129 wRC+) & AAA (160 wRC+) in 2017.
- Received a 95 plate appearance cup of coffee with the Marlins in 2017.
- Walk rate held, however, strike out rate jumped and power disappeared during his call-up.
- Is currently projected by Steamer for the following:
231 PA | 7 HR | 23 R | 26 RBI | 1 SB | .250/.315/.403
Brian Anderson enjoyed the best season of his pro career in 2017, setting a new high in home runs (22 between two levels). Anderson has displayed a strong eye at the plate and has shown the ability to hit breaking balls during his time in the minor leagues.
Anderson is also a strong defender at third base. With the ability to range deep in the hole and a throwing arm to match. Anderson’s defense will not be a reason to remove his potentially intriguing bat from the lineup.
Jumping now to our SQUINT UNIVERSE, let’s assume that the Marlin’s continue to do what they do best - trade away expensive players - and Brian Anderson is the opening day third baseman. Yes, in this case, we’re going to project Brian Anderson for nearly full time plate appearances in 2018.
To build our SQUINT Projection, we must determine certain inputs, such as:
- Plate Appearances
- SB% - success rate
- BB% - walk rate
- IBB% - intentional walk rate
- K% - strike out rate
- BABIP - batting average on balls in play
- GB% - number of balls in play hit on the ground
- LD% - number of balls in play that are line drives
- FB% - number of balls in play hit in the air
- HR/FB - number of fly balls that leave the park
Among some other secret sauce inputs that make the Pip Turpin’s Projections and SQUINT Projections super powerful fantasy baseball tools.
2018 SQUINT Projection: Brian Anderson
580 PA | 16 HR | 68 R | 75 RBI | 2 SB | .251/.326/.405/.731 | 0.154 ISO | 0.320 wOBA
This projection reminds me somewhat of Pittsburgh Pirate’s first baseman, Josh Bell. While the home run total and overall batting line doesn’t scream fantasy gold, nor should it, the value is in the details. Like with Bell, assuming Brian Anderson receives nearly full time plate appearances on what should be a stripped down Marlin’s team, he should see plenty of time near the middle of the order. Middle of the order hitters, even on bad teams, can be productive, with their combination of both runs and RBI.
Fantasy owners in National League only formats will certainly be looking towards Anderson as either a back-end third baseman, or upper-tier corner infielder. For owners in 15-team mixed leagues, Anderson represents a cheaper alternative at corner infield. Someone to plug in and receive say, 70% of an injury star at either your first base or third base position.
One last thing, you might recall that in the Jake Bauers edition of SQUINT Projections, I withheld the final projection, with a hope that I’d land a writing gig here at FakeTeams. Now that I’m officially writing for the site, it’s time to make good on that tease as well.