Chris Johnson 2011 MLB Breakout Candidate

By on March 2, 2011



How many of you remember how the Houston Astros did in the second half of the 2010 MLB season? I’ll give ya a minute.

Ok, time’s up! They did pretty well finishing 40-33 and a lot of that had to do with the emergence of third baseman Chris Johnson.

Who, you ask?

Well don’t feel bad because you can’t even find this guy on most fantasy baseball owner’s maps right now, and that’s a really good thing.

But let’s evaluate him first and don’t forget to cross reference this analysis with our more in-depth analysis from our FREE fantasy baseball draft kit.

Among first-year players with at least 200 plate appearances, Johnson ranked third behind Jason Heyward (131) and Buster Posey (129) in adjusted OPS (123). Johnson did that hitting .316 and slugging at a .510 mark in the second half.

But this is a guy who is as consistent as they come. In five seasons in the minors, Johnson was a .277/.315/.429 hitter with 49 homeruns, 259 RBI, 18 pilfered bags to eight denied in 1,681 AB.

Let’s go a bit deeper.

Assets:

  • Played so well that he has now solidified himself as the everyday man at the hot corner.
  • Excellent power bat that should be good for 20 taters in 2011, easily.
  • Hit .300 everywhere he played last year, including spring training, the minor leagues, and the major leagues.

Flaws:

  • Is subject to strikeouts (316 in 1,681 AB over 5 seasons as a minor) and needs to work on the ratio between them and his walks.
  • Not the fastest guy in the world, so not a lot of SB value.
  • Some growing pains are sure to come with Johnson.

ADP: 356.54 / 3B Rank: 20 / OV Rank: 294 / Round: 20/21

2010 Stat Line:

AB R H DBL TRPL HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
341 40 105 22 2 11 52 15 91 3 0 .308 .337 .481


2011 Projected Stat Line

AB R H DBL TRPL HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
504 55 158 28 2 20 82 39 148 6 3 .315 .348 .500

Fantasy Outlook: I don’t think I need to tell anyone that this guy is currently NOT a fantasy stud, but with so much damn consistency, Chris Johnson has the ability to defy normal fantasy peripherals…a feat not commonly found in ANYONE!

One of the players we have touched on, at the somewhat thin position of third base, has been Pedro Alvarez, and with good reason.

But Alvarez is going a lot earlier than even we thought, so securing a solid player at third for your bench will be extremely difficult towards the back end of your draft.

That’s precisely where you’ll find this guy.

The next three guys ABOVE Johnson at third is Casey Blake, Neil freaking Walker, and Chase Headley…three players who WILL NOT come close to Johnson’s performance in the 2011 fantasy baseball season.

Take the backdoor in your draft and scoop this guy up if you are in need of a Utility roster guy, or an additional player at third and thank me in October.

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