Carlos Quentin and the Dreaded Wrist Injury

Carlos Quentin was one of the front runners to win the MVP Award last year before his season ended in September with a broken wrist. All indications are that his recovery has gone without a hitch and he is expected ready for Spring Training. Yet fantasy players are treating him cautiously, as Quentin’s ADP according to the latest Mock Draft Central rankings is 37.

After two unimpressive stints with the Diamondbacks, Quentin flourished last year in his first full season. Most significant was his 36 home runs in 480 at-bats. Wrist injuries frequently sap power, which is undoubtedly the main reason Quentin is slipping into the fourth and sometimes even fifth round in early mocks.

Quentin is an unusual hitter in that he rarely hits line drives. His 15.4 percent LD mark was the third lowest in the majors and contributed to his .280 BABIP. But his low-strikeout and high-HR numbers resulted in an AVG of .288, or eight points above his BABIP.

The move to Chicago agreed with Quentin last year. He hit 21 of his 36 homers at Comiskey Park. But he did well on the road, too, where he notched a .950 OPS.

Because he struggled in his first two seasons in the majors, it’s easy to forget the Quentin was a top prospect. What he did last season was better, but not out of line with what he produced in the minors. Following his 2005 season at Tucson, prospect maven John Sickels ranked him as the sixth-best position player in baseball and Baseball America had him 20th overall, one spot above Nick Markakis.

But it all comes back to the wrist injury. And before you point to Evan Longoria, here’s what Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll had to say: “Here’s the key on Longoria — he broke his ARM (distal tip of ulna), not his wrist. If you pointed to the area, we’d all use the common term of ‘wrist’ but it’s not anatomically so.”

So, caution is justified with Quentin. He will still be a worthwhile player to own, but he’s not a top three-round guy. And before you draft him in the fourth round, ask yourself if you wouldn’t be better off with Curtis Granderson, who will be a full year removed from a non-displaced fracture in his right middle finger.




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16 Responses to “Carlos Quentin and the Dreaded Wrist Injury”

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  1. cubapologist says:

    D-Lee got to use that excuse too…

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  2. Tyler says:

    Interesting stuff…mostly because I have Granderson, Quentin, and Big Papi to decide between for my final two keepers in my main fantasy league (already keeping Reyes and M. Cabrera).

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  3. shoewizard says:

    “”Because he struggled in his first two seasons in the majors”"

    An .872 OPS, 115 OPS+ in a rookie callup of 191 PA’s is struggling ? Every player should “struggle” so badly.

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  4. Brian Joura says:

    Hi shoewizard – thanks for reading and commenting. I enjoy your posts over at BBTF.

    Quentin’s 2006 numbers look solid because of his Chase Field boosted numbers. It’s dangerous to make any conclusions based on 191 plate appearances and it’s even more so to look at splits off such a small number. But Quentin’s road numbers that year were .188/.301/.438 which at the time should have been at least a warning sign and in hindsight combined with his 2007 numbers (where the splits were just as bad) add up to struggle.

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    • Jim says:

      If conclusions could not be made based on 191 plate appearances, then how could you call his 2006 callup a struggle based on the even smaller sample size of his road splits? Plus, if he slugged .438 despite a .188 batting average, he must have friggin pummeled the ball when he did hit it! Plus plus, his BABIP was .268 that year. Adjust his line and you get a more respectable average, and an even better SLG. Just one funny tidbit, his ISO was higher than his BABIP. Now that should tell you something. Not saying I foresaw his 36 homer year, but I don’t see how anyone could consider his debut in 2006 a struggle.

      Just one other thing: Chase field boosts batting average and OBP as well as power output? Because his power output was damn good on the road….his slg was only brought down by his avg.

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  5. Jesus says:

    Please do not confuse Comiskey field with U.S. Cellular. That’s like drafting Ryan Z. Braun, when you meant to draft Ryan. J. Braun. Show Joan Cusack some love.

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    • Steve Shane says:

      Jesus,

      Techinically they still called the new ball park Comiskey, and later sold the naming rights to US Cellular. Give the guy a break, its not like he said he hit well at Wrigley.

      Many ppl refuse to call some stadiums by the sponsors name, instead opting for the old name. If you ask 100 sports fans where do the Broncos play, 95 would say Mile High, and not Invesco Field.

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  6. Jesus says:

    Jesus forgives.

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  7. west21 says:

    He broke the wrist on his top hand(right) punching his bat, all of the other players mentioned broke/injured their bottom hands. Any one who has ever picked up a baseball bat knows the bottom hand is more important than the top, especially with his swing. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

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  8. Ed Nelson says:

    I think the point isn’t if he is effective when he’s healthy. That much is obvious. The question is whether he actually has the chance to stay healthy. Will Carroll is also famous for saying “Health is a repeatable skill” (well famous in my mind at least). Quentin has had shoulder surgery, plantar fasciitis, sprained ankles, a broken wrist, and an assortment of other bumps and bruises that have taken him out from game to game.

    Some of this is bad luck, but you have to begin to wonder if his body is really up to 500+ ABs year to year, or whether he is a new JD Drew in training.

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  9. Ed Nelson says:

    Whoa. I totally didn’t notice this was a year old thread. That’s it no more drinking on week nights.

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  10. Shelley B says:

    Hi Everyone!, First time poster and looking forward to being a part of the threaded

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