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11/8/1977 (39 y, 3 m, 20 d)
1998 June Amateur Draft - Round: 21, Pick: 1, Overall: 614, Team: Philadelphia Phillies
$0.5M / 1 Years (2015)
Punto has decided to retire, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. (2/18/2016)
The Death Of Head-First Sliding, Hopefully
Mike Petriello (FanGraphs)
Daily Notes: Most Improved Hitters So Far, Per ZiP»
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
Understanding Nick Punto
Navin Vaswani (NotGraphs)
... And Nick Punto
Mike Axisa (FanGraphs)
Nick Punto to Sign with Boston
Steve Slowinski (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Nick Punto had another poor year at the plate; he joined just 21 other players with more than 400 plate appearances and a wOBA under .300. His .295 mark was solidly in line with his career average of .294. His BABIP took a dive down to .281 and, as a result, he posted an ugly .228 batting average, but he walked at his highest rate ever (13.9%), which kept his OBP respectable (.337). His power, on the other hand, was not respectable. He had just one homer, one triple, and 15 doubles, and thus his .056 ISO bested only Luis Castillo’s and Wily Taveras’ among batters with more than 400 plate appearances. Punto saw time at both short and second (about 500 inning at each position) and played solid defense at both.
The Year Ahead:
Punto will shift over to third base with the Twins’ acquisitions of veteran middle infielders Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy. So once he plays enough games there he will qualify at second, third, and short – but his fantasy value does not extend far beyond his positional flexibility. Given about 450 plate appearances he should hit around .240 with just one or two homers, 50 runs, 35 RBI, and 15 steals. Maybe the increase in walks was for real and his BABIP will rebound so he could get on base at a higher rate and get a few more runs. But his upside is severely limited. Outside of very deep AL-only leagues, he should only be considered if you are desperate for cheap steals or for a backup infield guy who can slot into a number of positions. (Dave Allen)
No reasonable excuse exists for having Punto on your fantasy baseball team. He cannot hit for average, with a lifetime .247 average, and no power (13 home runs in a 10-year career). He also has quickly declining speed (six stolen bases in each of the past two years). It is not like he is going to get any better/faster at age 33. Punto's only value as a MLB baseball player is his superb infield defense and being qualified at three positions. You may be interested in using him as a super-sub your team. Don't. There are many other players that are qualified at several positions that are better fantasy assets. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Though a great fielder, Punto has no fantasy value at all.
Punto's bat showed up in a big way for the Cardinals in 2011, as he posted a .388 OBP and, in a total shocker, a .421 SLG as part of the title run. Don't get used to it, though -- it was the first time in his entire career he posted a slugging percentage over .400. Look for him to slip back to his Twins-era production in Boston. He'll post a solid on-base percentage, but the Red Sox will get far more utility out of his glove than fantasy owners out of his bat. With Scutaro out of town, he should get more burn, but it's unclear how the playing time with shake down with Mike Aviles, and if he has the bat upside to really matter in fantasy leagues. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Punto will help hold down the shortstop position in Boston this season, providing a great glove and a bat devoid of power.
Nick Punto was, somewhat unfairly, the bane of "smart fans'' during his runs with the Twins in the early aughts. While it was true that Punto's offensive value was restricted by an utter lack of power, he actually always managed to have a pretty good walk rate to make up for it, and added in good baserunning. More significantly, he was a good defensive infielder. Teams have done worse, much worse, in selecting middle infielders, even starting ones. However, the things that made Punto valuable to major league teams did not really translate to fantasy (other than in leagues where steals were an especially scarce commodity), and as he has aged into a definite bench role, that is more true than ever. During each of the last two seasons, Punto has received fewer than 200 plate appearances, so even if he does have a surprisingly good year (as he did in 2011) with the stick, it will not translate to much value. He is pretty far down the Dodgers' depth chart as of this moment, and even if he gets moved, it probably will not be in a situation in which he can start. Even if he somehow did land a starting gig, he would only be a low-end fantasy option in deep leagues. At the moment, he really is not an option at all. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Nick Punto may have been underrated earlier in his career, but not in ways that really mattered to fantasy owners. He might have been an low-end option for steals a few years ago, but those days are probably behind him now.
Every team needs a Nick Punto. While a guy who can play solid defense at three positions and walk 10 percent of the time might not seem all that valuable, you'll be glad you have him when you need him, as the Dodgers found out when Hanley Ramirez couldn't stay healthy and backups Dee Gordon & Justin Sellers flopped badly. In 2014, it will be Oakland reaping the benefits of Punto behind the oft-injured Jed Lowrie and friends, but there's one exception to the "every team needs a Nick Punto" rule: Your fantasy team, which probably doesn't have a lot of use for a 36-year-old with zero power, few steals, and a .248 career batting average.
The Quick Opinion:
Nick Punto has made a nice career out of versatility, walks, and defense -- all attributes that make him far more valuable in the real world than in the fantasy game.
Despite his age, Nick Punto continues to find himself on major league rosters. The 37-year-old has owned a league average bat just once in the past four years; just once in his career for that matter. Given his offensive shortcomings — even when factoring in his double digit walk rate — it is hard to imagine Punto posting a fantasy relevant season. (David Wiers)
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Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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