Because Casey Kotchman is most noteworthy (in my eyes) for having the longest known case of mononucleosis, it makes sense he’d be considered a sleeper. Only, not necessarily, a fantasy baseball sleeper. More like a Prince Valium one. After the trade to the Braves last year, Casey Kotchman hit 2/20/.237. “Write him off as a once interesting prospect that never reached his potential,” says some random crotchety old baseball scout. I hear ya, random old baseball crotchety scout, but I find something making me keep come back to him. Sorta like my man-wood for Alex J. Gordon. Maybe I can’t let a bad thing die. This would explain every previous relationship that I’ve ever been in prior to the current one. So what is it that excites me about Casey Kotchman in 2009 fantasy baseball?
In 373 ABs for the Angels last year, Kotchman hit 12/54/.287 before taking a dump with the Tomahawks. Now whether his numbers plunged with the Braves because he wasn’t happy with the trade or because he wasn’t familiar with the NL pitchers, I’m not sure. For someone who lost nine months of his life to a kissing disease that high schoolers rebound from after two weeks, anything is possible. Either way, he is more of the hitter we saw pre-All-Star Break with the Angels than he was on the Braves. He had a .325 average in the minors with Jason Kendall-esque power. Kotchman pounds the ball into the ground way too much to be any sort of real power threat. (And he doesn’t have the speed to make all of those grounders worthwhile.) I’d put Kotchman’s 2009 projections being near 70/16/85/.285/2. Numbers that make him very comparable to James Loney or other first baseman sleeper Kendry Morales. I know, it’s not a ringing endorsement, but considering Loney is near the top 20 for 1st basemen and Kotchman is being drafted with the likes of Kevin Millar and Lyle Overbay, Kotchman has sleeper potential. So, let’s qualify how excited I am about Casey Kotchman. Not really that excited. If Mark Grace and Sean Casey had a baby, it’d look like Casey Kotchman. How’s that for the least enthusiastic sleeper post ever? You’re welcome!