Late bloomers can be found pretty much anywhere you look. Do you remember that Jose Altuve-like kid in junior high who was at least six inches shorter than the next tallest boy in the class? I know I do. That kid is 6’5″ now. (Apologies to the real Altuve who might never experience the thrill of riding a roller coaster). If you’re a film buff, you’re probably aware that Harrison Ford was toiling away in obscurity until his mid-30s when Star Wars hit it big, and Sandra Bullock followed a similar career path with Demolition Man and Speed. In the sports world, there are several post-hype and un-hyped players who break out each year, such as Josh Donaldson, JD Martinez, and Charlie Blackmon over the last few years. Is Chris Coghlan one of those players this season?

Let’s take a look at Coghlan’s career statistics to see how he’s evolved offensively over the years:

Season Team G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2009 Marlins 128 565 9 84 47 8 9.40% 13.60% 0.321 0.39 0.46 0.374
2010 Marlins 91 400 5 60 28 10 8.30% 21.00% 0.268 0.335 0.383 0.32
2011 Marlins 65 298 5 33 22 7 7.40% 16.40% 0.23 0.296 0.368 0.291
2012 Marlins 39 105 1 10 10 0 8.60% 11.40% 0.14 0.212 0.183 0.18
2013 Marlins 70 214 1 10 10 2 7.90% 20.10% 0.256 0.318 0.354 0.298
2014 Cubs 125 432 9 50 41 7 9.00% 18.80% 0.283 0.352 0.452 0.353
2015 Cubs 113 379 14 43 32 11 10.80% 17.70% 0.251 0.336 0.442 0.335

Coghlan is a former first round draft pick of the Marlins in 2006 and earned the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2009, so there is some pedigree here. After a solid start to his MLB career, injuries and inconsistency caused him to be demoted to the minor leagues in 2012, and he became merely a part-time player until leaving the Marlins following the 2013 season.

Since joining the Cubs last season, it’s been a different story. Coghlan has received semi-regular playing time in Chicago thanks to his above average power, speed, and on-base skills. But how has that diverse skillset translated into on-field production?

Let’s take a look at the list of players who have displayed those same power, speed, and on-base skills this season. Here are the search parameters that were used for this exercise:

• 10+ home runs

• 10+ stolen bases

• BB% of 10% or higher

The results can be seen in the following table:

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Paul Goldschmidt 524 22 75 89 19 17.60% 20.40% 0.231 0.333 0.447 0.564 0.421
Mike Trout 503 33 79 71 10 12.30% 23.30% 0.29 0.295 0.392 0.585 0.41
Anthony Rizzo 514 23 66 70 15 11.30% 13.20% 0.242 0.291 0.401 0.533 0.399
Kris Bryant 472 17 63 68 12 13.30% 30.50% 0.202 0.259 0.367 0.461 0.36
George Springer 324 13 43 29 14 13.00% 26.90% 0.192 0.264 0.365 0.457 0.36
Brett Gardner 491 11 76 52 16 10.60% 20.00% 0.148 0.28 0.364 0.428 0.347
Justin Upton 475 20 65 64 18 11.40% 24.80% 0.189 0.255 0.342 0.444 0.34
Dexter Fowler 513 13 79 35 17 12.50% 21.20% 0.166 0.252 0.348 0.417 0.336
Chris Coghlan 379 14 43 32 11 10.80% 17.70% 0.191 0.251 0.336 0.442 0.335
Steven Souza 348 15 47 34 10 10.10% 35.10% 0.188 0.214 0.303 0.403 0.311

Ten players fit the search criteria, including some of the top fantasy players, as you might expect. Goldy, Trout, and Rizzo are first rounds locks next season, and Upton, Springer, and Bryant aren’t too far behind. Four Cubs qualified for this list, while no other team had more than one player do so. Maybe that elusive ring isn’t too far off after all.

Let’s see what happens to the list of qualifiers when each player is required to produce a .170+ ISO and a .5 BB/K ratio:

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Paul Goldschmidt 524 22 75 89 19 17.60% 20.40% 0.231 0.333 0.447 0.564 0.421
Mike Trout 503 33 79 71 10 12.30% 23.30% 0.29 0.295 0.392 0.585 0.41
Anthony Rizzo 514 23 66 70 15 11.30% 13.20% 0.242 0.291 0.401 0.533 0.399
Chris Coghlan 379 14 43 32 11 10.80% 17.70% 0.191 0.251 0.336 0.442 0.335

Pretty select list. I think I’ll refer to this list as “Coghlan and the three other guys.” Has a nice ring to it.

So… Coghlan’s a 2nd round pick next season, right? Sure, in 15 team NL Central fantasy leagues. Coghlan still has one glaring weakness to his offensive game – his inability to hit left-handed pitching. In fact, he only has 4 hits in 40 plate appearances against southpaws this season, and is currently sporting a .378 OPS against them (.637 career). He usually finds himself on the bench when a lefty is on the opposing mound, and rightfully so. Fortunately, the Cubs are scheduled to face seven straight RHPs over the next week, so Coghlan should be pretty busy. Did I mention the fact that he just gained 2B eligibility to go along with his OF eligibility? Well there you go. A potential 20/15 player with dual 2B/OF eligibility would be a nice cog to add to your fake team down the stretch, I would imagine. He’s currently available in 92.3% of ESPN leagues.

Final Verdict:

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  1. J-FOH says:
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    From a creeper to a bull like a choo you sit against lefties….well done senor holmes

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @J-FOH: That’s funny – I’ve been planning to write about Choo for a few weeks now. The recommendation would likely be the same. I’m leaning towards focusing on the roster bubble types of players now that most trade deadlines have passed.

      • J-FOH says:
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        all my creepers will be like last week’s ROS. got to change the game to keep up with the times.

  2. Scott says:
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    I anticipated picking up Cogs at some point. You’re forcing my hand, man! :)

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: Go for it! This is a good week to grab him.

  3. Scott says:
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    Tucker’s been kind of meh lately. Drop him for Cogs?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: Yup, I’d take Coghlan over Tucker. Similar power, but Coghlan steals bases and has 2B eligibility now.

  4. Scott says:
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    3 men and a Coghlan?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: S3? Careful, Gareth might call you out for gimmick infringement!

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Big Magoo: but scott actually did the three in a row.

  5. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
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    Ha, you and I have been playing a mean game of “Pass the Coghlan” all season long in ECFBL Magoo. Look through his transaction history and it’s a lesson in the opportunities the RCL format presents with these platoon players, short benches, and daily moves. Love the added MI eligibility too. The last time I dropped him and you scooped him up was right before the Rockies came back home and I decided I’d rather ride the Coors wave for a bit. That and stashing Olivera which may or may not prove to be a smart move, we’ll see. I’ve been enjoying Cogs in the Razzball Dynasty league as well. He plays well there too, being a deep league with good sized benches. Good stuff as always my man.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @MattTruss: Thanks, Matt! We’ve passed him around quite a bit, haven’t we? I think he’s one of those players who’ll be like a 12th rounder next year and will be held by that owner for his positional versatility. Definitely an under the radar option this season.

  6. Gordon shumway says:
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    Would you pick him up over buxton to replace hicks? Obp/slg league. Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Gordon shumway: If it’s a redraft league, I’d take Coghlan over Buxton. Coghlan should outperform Buxton in OBP and SLG. Buxton has more steals upside, but even that’s no guarantee over the next few weeks.

  7. Scott says:
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    Chris didn’t waste any time. 1st at-bat today and HR!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: Nice! Gotta hit those righties while he can.

Comments are closed.