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Hot Pickup: Chris Coghlan

Gotta pick him up. Chris Coghlan won a rookie of the year, y’all. And he’s got a job. Sort of — a platoon with Justin Ruggiano — but he’s got a job in center field in Florida and he’s a former ROY winner and he hit .321 once.

If you take Coghlan’s rookie of the year season and extrapolate it out to 700 plate appearances, he had a .321/11/10 season. And that was when he was pre-peak. He’s now 27 and likely to be the fastest and strongest he’ll ever be.

And now his career is on the line. Justin Ruggiano strikes out too much to be an impediment. Expect Coghlan to take this job and run with it, hitting .300 with 15 home runs and 15 steals. That would make him one of the better values of the season, considering he’s owned in zero percent of leagues. Zero percent, guys, what’s going on here. He was the rookie of the year!

I thought I could keep this up longer, but I can’t. Happy opening day and april fools and all that.

Honestly, I do own Chris Coghlan once, in my 20-teamer 40-man rosters league. I bought him when I saw his spring stats and remembered how old Ruggiano was (31) and figured you never knew with those kooky Marlins. But it is hard to get excited about an outfielder who’s never put up league average power and has a seasonal career high of ten stolen bases. If he could get the power up and keep his new contact rates, he might be able to add a good batting average again, but of course his .321 average in 565 plate appearances in 2009 — supported by a .365 batting average on balls in play — is not super relevant.

In fact, since he’s been unusable in ever season since he put up that plus BABIP, it’s worth pointing out just how important BABIP is to his value (BABIP on the left, wOBA on the right):


The best thing about Chris Coghlan is that he’s a lefty. That means he gets the big side of the platoon. So far in his career, he’s been bad against lefties, too, showing offense that’s 30% worse than league average with a southpaw on the mound. Against righties, he’s above-average (107 wRC+) and his isolated power actually creeps close to the league average (.139 career, average is .145 most years). Maybe he could steal a few more bags if he was only seeing righties, too.

But no, you can’t pencil him in for a good batting average, you can’t just take the peak year of the population and use that to dreamcast him into a 20/20 season, and you can’t over-rate 2009.

Here, in 2013, Chris Coghlan is left-handed, and a center fielder. Those are some of the best things you can say about him.