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Casey Kotchman: Bad Fantasy 1B

Casey Kotchman has been a nice surprise for the Rays this season by generating 2.4 WAR. The Rays have gotten little production from the 1B in recent years. Even with his breakout/comeback this season, he should get little consideration when creating a roster next season.

A few large warts bring down his fantasy value. First he is slow. He has only stolen 10 bases since 2004 while getting caught 9 times.

Second and more important, he has no power for a 1B. On average, he hits half as many HR/PA (1.7%) than the average 1B (3.4%). The lack of home run power can be seen by the low number of RBIs (45) and Runs (41) he has created for a player with 509 PA. He has never exhibited much power (1.7% HR/PA is his career average), so I don’t expect much out of him in the future. His power is acceptable for most positions, but not at 1B where he is below average.

Casey is able to put up a decent average, if the BABIP fairies are looking down on him. First of all, his AVG this season is a career high of 0.311 and supported by a 0.338 BABIP. Looking at his career and season batted ball profiles, they are similar:

2011 vs Career
LD%: 19 % vs 18%
GB%: 55% vs 54%
FB%: 26% vs 28%

He is getting a few more line drives and ground balls which lead to more hits. Using these values, here are his 2011 and Career BABIPs and xBABIPs:

2011: 0.338
Career: 0.280

2011: 0.327
Career: 0.306

Using the formula AVG = BABIP – 2*K% and a career K% of 10%, his AVG should project to be near 0.285. Not good enough for a weak hitter.

He does get some additional value in OBP leagues. He has an OK walk rate of 8% which will help his OBP.

Kasey can’t hit for power, run for steals or have a good AVG. That is not good for a player at a premium production position in fantasy baseball. I see no reason to keep him in any league. His only real value is as an injury replacement for one of the many 1B better than him.