Don’t Give Up On…Nolan Reimold

The Baltimore Orioles are off to a rough start at the plate. The O’s currently have a .308 team wOBA, ranking 11th in the American League. Baltimore batters have hacked at 30 percent of pitches thrown off the plate, a mark topped only by the Blue Jays and Royals. In particular, the outfielders have made outs at a dizzying clip: Orioles’ fly catchers have a collective .300 wOBA, besting only the Athletics among Junior Circuit clubs.

Expect that mark to improve in the weeks and months to come. Matt Klaassen recently discussed the poor luck on balls put in play endured by OF/DH Luke Scott, but Scott isn’t the only O’s hitter whose underlying performance is better than the ugly line that he currently holds. Nolan Reimold sits at the Mendoza Line, but he and his fantasy owners should expect that to soon change.

Reimold, 26, is a 2005 second-round pick out of Bowling Green State who compiled a .286/.383/.521 triple-slash in the minors. Though he showed quality secondary skills (12.5 percent walk rate, .235 Isolated Power), Reimold’s ascent to the majors was slowed by a series of injuries: foot and back problems in 2006 and a strained oblique in 2007.

Reaching Baltimore in May of 2009, Reimold put up a .279/.365/.466 line in 411 plate appearances during his rookie season. He popped 15 home runs with a .187 ISO, walking in 11.4 percent of his PA while posting a .365 wOBA. Injuries again crept into the conversation, as Reimold was shut down in mid-September with a left Achilles ailment that required surgery.

In 2010, the hulking 6-4 hitter was expected to be an offensive asset by ZiPS, CHONE and (especially) the FANS:

ZiPS: .273/.345/.440, .346 wOBA
CHONE: .275/.355/.477, .362 wOBA
FANS: .281/.370/.484, .372 wOBA

However, even after going deep off of David Robertson on Cinco de Mayo, Reimold owns a .200/.305/.357 line in 82 PA (.299 wOBA). The former Falcon’s Yahoo ownership has taken a dive to 26 percent. Look a little deeper, though, and it appears that there’s not much to worry about.

Reimold’s rate of free passes taken is 12.2%, up from last season. His K rate is slightly higher (24.3% in ’10, 21.5% in ’09) and his power is down a bit (.157 ISO). But neither of those changes are drastic, and given the sample size, they’re hardly alarming.

The biggest difference between Reimold’s debut and his 2010 season to date is his BABIP: .316 in 2009, and just .231 this year. Nothing in his batted ball profile has altered dramatically. He’s hitting more fly balls (which do have a lower BABIP than grounders), but those extra flys are in place of infield fly balls, the closest thing to a gimme out on a ball put in play. Point to the line drive rate if you’d like, but one person’s line drive can be another’s fly ball.

ZiPS projects Reimold for a .265/.338/.434 (.341 wOBA) performance for the rest of 2010. Personally, I’d take the over on that line if he has no further injury problems. Reimold’s misfortune provides fantasy owners with the chance to pick up a good hitter at a discount price.




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A recent graduate of Duquesne University, David Golebiewski is a contributing writer for Fangraphs, The Pittsburgh Sports Report and Baseball Analytics. His work for Inside Edge Scouting Services has appeared on ESPN.com and Yahoo.com, and he was a fantasy baseball columnist for Rotoworld from 2009-2010. He recently contributed an article on Mike Stanton's slugging to The Hardball Times Annual 2012. Contact David at david.golebiewski@gmail.com and check out his work at Journalist For Hire.


11 Responses to “Don’t Give Up On…Nolan Reimold”

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  1. rotofan says:

    A few observations:

    (1) Reimold this year is swing at much fewer strikes, just 50%, compared to last year’s mark of nearly 64%. His out-of-zone swing percentage has barely dropped. So the percentage of swing that are at pitches out-of-the-zone have gone up. His contact and swing strike numbers haven’t changed much, but perhaps when he makes contact he too often isn’t squaring that bat to the ball.

    (2) The change if LD% is not significant but his LD% both this year and last year are below ML average.

    rotofan (Jonathan Sher)

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  2. Whats reimold’s xBABIP?

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  3. The A Team says:

    Achillies injuries are tough to recover from and take time. He still seems just a tiny bit hobbled and that probably affects his BABIP to an extent (and possibly his swing).

    While I wouldn’t flat out give up on him, if I saw a name like Travis Snider floating around on the wire, I would happily cut Reimold.

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    • Chad says:

      Not sure why you’d prefer Snider. He has shown more power thus far but he still strikes out way too much and hasn’t hit higher than 8th in that lineup so his counting stats are pretty limited. He has played better lately than he started but he’ll really have to go on a tear to move up in that lineup.

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      • Paul says:

        I like them both and don’t own either because they were taken too high for me. I was all set to protect Reimold in my deep league, but kept digging on the achilles and determined I just wouldn’t get much value from him at least in the first half. Long-term bullish, moreso than Snider actually due to the plate discipline and he I like his swing a lot. But A-Team is exactly right, the main culprit here is probably the achilles, an injury that greatly affects mere mortals whose name does not rhyme with Balbert Bujols.

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      • The A Team says:

        I prefer Snider almost exclusively due to the nebulous concept of upside. When healthy, Reimold is a guy who should put up solid and fairly consistent production. Snider on the other hand has the potential to completely explode into a mashing monster at any moment. Once you toss Reimold’s Achilles into the equation, the inequality favors Snider (for me).

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  4. Chris says:

    Just picked up Jeremy Hermida (BOS) for the next’s weeks games (week 6) and then I was going to grab Reimold, who has been getting no love in our deep fantasy league.
    Do you think this is a decent move…I need RBI’s and some HR…thanks?

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    • ZLS says:

      Without knowing how else is available its tough to say, but I like Reimold more than Hermida. If you can get somebody like Austin Kearns or Aubrey Huff who hits in the middle of the lineup your better off with them IMO.

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      • Chris Pollard says:

        Yeah OF is really line…Drew Stubbs was just dropped other than that we have Jim Edmonds(who seems to be a bit old but playing with some pretty powerful bats), Thames and Winn (NYY) who might help every other game or so..
        Jonny Gomes and Jerry Haiston Jr. (who seem to be the only other fulltime players worth a bench spot….)
        I Likes Gomes and Stubbs power and speed but not big on CIN…or their cold spells..
        I have Maybin as well but looks like he need sto start hittin or he’ll end up sent down on on the bench…
        oh yeah GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. cole0271 says:

    I am with A-Team here; I like Reimold’s long-term outlook, but I don’t think he’s entirely healthy, and I strongly suspect that the Achilles’ is affecting the BABIP.

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  6. JdawG says:

    Is it fair to say it’s time to give up on Reimold?

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