Fantasy Baseball Bounceback Players – Middle Infielders

Feb 24, 2009
Here’s a look at Middle Infielders who should bounce back from 2008 seasons that didn’t meet their standards.

Derek Jeter
– I don’t see a huge jump for Jeter, but I expect him to score 100 runs and collect 200 hits, which is something he didn’t do in ’08 (88 & 179).  His .300 is below his .316 career mark, and I expect that to increase to around .310.  I don’t see much movement for Jeter in HRs, RBI, or SBs.

Rafael Furcal – He only played in 36 games last year, so he will easily surpass his 2008 numbers.  Assuming he stays healthy he should hit around .300 with 100 Runs, 175 Hits, 27 Doubles, 6 Triples, 10 HRs, 60 RBI, and 30 SBs.  Furcal hit .357 and was one of the best players in the league in April so don’t expect to get him at a bargain. 
Édgar Rentería
– So Rentería moves on to his sixth team.  Say what you want about him, the guy can hit.  Like most Tigers, Rentería had a down year hitting .270 with 69 Runs, 136 Hits, and 22 Doubles.  His RBIs were at 55, but he only had 57 the year before in Atlanta while hitting a career high .332.  From 2002-2007 he averaged 90.7 Runs, 173.2 Hits, 37.7 Doubles, and hit .303.  I expect he’ll produce somewhere in between last year’s stats and those averages.  That would put him at .287, 80 R, 155 H, and 30 Doubles.

Khalil Greene
– He’s not much of a hitter, but clearly a move to St. Louis from San Diego has to help the paltry .213, 30 R, 83 H, 15 2B, 10 HR, 35 RBI he produced in 2008.  I don’t expect him to reach his 2007 numbers (89 R, 155 H, 44 2B, 27 HR, 97 RBI), but something more in line with what he did from 2004-2006 when he averaged .257, 58 R, 29 2B, 15 HR, and 63.3 RBI.

Robinson Canó
– Canó digressed in 2008 hitting a career low .271.  He’s traditionally a slow starter with April (.237) and May (.271) being his worst two months.  Though he did hit .307 after the All-Star break, he never quite recovered from the .151 he hit in April.  His average wasn’t the only thing that suffered though.  He stats were down across the board.  He’s too good of a hitter in too good of an Offense to struggle again next year.  Hopefully the World Baseball Classic well allow him to hit the ground running on Opening Day.  
Freddy Sánchez
– After hitting .315 in his first three years with the Pirates, Sánchez saw his average drop to .271. In 2006 & 2007 he averaged 191.5 Hits, 47.5 Doubles, 83 RBI.  Last year he had 154, 26, and 52.

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7 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. wassup471
    March 2nd, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Really, the only one of these I’d want on my team is Cano, and Furcal wouldn’t be bad I suppose. Jeter and Renteria are wild-cards, and the others have never been that high on a draft list, anyway. Of course, when playing head-to-head, it’s all about what categories you target…..

  2. LestersLegends
    March 2nd, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    I like Cano. He always starts slow so if you don’t get him in the draft, he may be available via trade. It all depends on where the other guys fall, but if it’s low enough, I’d be willing to take a small risk on them.

  3. VagabondGuru
    March 2nd, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Jeter suffered two hand injuries in games against the Orioles and wild heat thrower, 6’7″ Daniel Cabrera (that sigh you heard was every AL East RH hitter who won’t have to face Cabrera and Edwin Jackson of TB, youngsters with 97-98MPH heat…and Rays kept Sonnanstine?). Take away the 4-49 after the first one that blew his hand up like a melon and the 0-5 after the final weekend replay to the same hand….317, he’s good for the average and the SB’s will be up over 25 again. His RISP average is always amongst league leaders, so his RBI totals in the #2 hole are heavily dependent upon what goes on in the bottom of the order…last year, with Melky slumping and Molina the bases were not filled and his HR power has dipped. Teixeira is a bigger power threat than Abreu was and a switchhitter so that should help Derek.

    Still, he was the AL Silver Slugger and SS is a huge dropoff…Reyes, Hanley, Alexei are the only ones I’d take over Jeter.

    As for Cano. He could win a batting title and hit 35 HR’in any given year, his ‘bad’ year of 14/72 is still productive for 2B and difficult to imagine a repeat of the down numbers. .297, .342, .306 is a pretty solid fallback and the 19/97 from ’07 after .525 Slugging in ’06 demonstrates the power. He got a scare last season being benched and the MUCH needed change to the stance, where he isn’t moving in the box should keep him from long slumps.

    I looked at Renteria, and he is part of what I mean at SS…there isn’t a lot of depth and good luck with Furcal playing 140 Games.

    Good work.


  4. LestersLegends
    March 2nd, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    Excellent breakdown Matt. I wouldn’t mind having either Yankee. I’d take Renteria, but much later. Furcal’s going to be gone before I’d be ready to commit.

  5. Marc Edelman
    March 2nd, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    Nice work with this entire series–not just with middle infielders, but in covering all the positions. I think your one “miss” however was leaving Howie Kendrick off the list. Kendrick perennially put up big numbers in the minor leagues, and his pro numbers have been tempered only by a series of nagging injuries. I believe he has more upside, and is less of an injury risk, in ’09 that K. Greene, F. Sanchez, and others on your list.

    I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

  6. LestersLegends
    March 2nd, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    Marc – I have him pegged for a future series…Breakout players

  7. RaveyDavey
    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    How about Rickie Weeks or Kelly Johnson–ready to take it to the next level?

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