After batting a .186 for the first half of the season, he want on the improbable 33-game hitting streak, belting 21 home runs and hitting nearly .300 along the way. He finished with 36 home runs, 84 runs scored and 90 runs batted in, all in line with his last four years’ production. Any time you can acquire 30-plus home runs from the second baseman position, you’re going to have a leg up on your competition. So why no love for 2012?
Uggla was one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball during 2011 with a whopping 61-point differential between his actual Batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .253 and his expected BABIP (his expected BABIP based on his hitter profile) of .314. That bodes well for him in 2012, right? Maybe, but what it did was push his average draft position into the stratosphere.
It’s not that we don’t like Uggla – we do, just not at the price you have to pay to get him which is going to be at least mid-Round 5. He is on a couple of Scott’s keeper teams and he’s a very valuable asset to his roster. Scott also acquired him at a much cheaper rate than you have to pay to acquire him now. From our experience it is exceedingly difficult to win drafting batting average liabilities that early on. When selecting later-round fliers, most of them have batting average issues, and those issues can be offset if you’ve developed a core without many batting average liabilities. If you already have a weak expected team average, it could mean the difference between first place and second place.
He’ll help you once again in 2012 in the home run and runs batted in categories (expect 30 home runs and 90 runs batted in), but his batting average will always be a drain on your roster and he doesn’t run. Imagine how bad his average would have been had it not been for that improbable hitting streak? Even with it, he still only hit .233 for the year. In the end he’s a $17 5×5 valued player being drafted like a $23 player. Let someone else take Uggla at his going price, wait four or so rounds and take Howie Kendrick in which you’ll get a few more dollars of 5×5 value and at a much cheaper price. There are much better options available at the same spot required to get Uggla. We’ll go into more of those guys
later. Stay tuned …