You know what I keep finding? No, not lint in body areas that I need Google to identify. Though, I do feel bad for the guy that keeps asking on Yahoo! Answers, “How do you stop lint from accumulating in your philtrum?” What I keep finding is sleepers that really weren’t that bad last year. Let’s throw out runs and RBIs, because those are a product of lineup placement and team offense, and let’s look at the all important HRs, batting average and SBs. One guy had 16 HRs, 6 SBs and a .261 average; another guy had 21 HRs, 2 SBs and .287 average. One guy is 33 years old; one guy is 21 years old. One guy is obviously Rougned Odor and one guy is Robinson Cano. For those that just skim think pieces and daydream during the offseason, I’m gonna give you the most succinct knowledge you will find outside of “Don’t sleep with a girl who has a blister on her lip and scratches herself in public.” That knowledge: 33 years old is on the wrong side of a hitter’s bell curve for production, and 21 years old is on the right side. If you have an X-axis labeled “Age,” and a Y-axis labeled “Production,” Odor’s going up and Cano’s going down. I.e., in 2016, I’d want Odor over Cano. Now, even a jury member that found Robert Durst innocent can tell you Cano will be drafted before Odor in all leagues, so I think we’ve found some value. Anyway, what can we expect from Rougned Odor for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
I just told you what made him a sleeper, don’t make me go back there! What to expect is a little trickier. The big question for Odor is not “What is that smell?” but can we expect 16 homers or more again after he maxed out at 10 homers in any one season of the minors. Due to his relatively crazy young age, we should throw out his maximum power output in the minors. Sure, he hit only ten homers one year in 109 games in Single-A, but he was also 18 years old at the time. When you were eighteen, you were farting into Ziplock bags seeing if it would last until your brother came home from school. Let’s assume Odor’s gotten better since 18; Rougned Odor, not your odor. Last year, he had a 11.8% homer per fly ball rate. That’s really not crazy high for him. He hits a lot of fly balls, and gets into a few of them. Some guys that his fly ball rate compares to is Trevor Plouffe, Mark Trumbo, Bryce Harper and Stephen Vogt. He’s not quite these players, as you can imagine, but his fly balls do bode well for him hitting for some power (say 17-22 HRs). More regarding his batted ball profile: he hits no line drives. Like, “Dude Where’s My Line Drives?” bad. In fact (Grey’s got more!), in 400 plate appearances, he had the third worst line drive rate, Jose Bautista, Juan Lagares and then him (followed by Mike Napoli, Ian Desmond and Stephen Drew). Did any of those guys hit above .260? Yes, Odor, that’s it. That, Odor, stinks. As for his steals, six steals last year will be his all-time low in ten years. I don’t even know how he stole so few. He had a 27-steal season once in the minors and I think once he figures out how to run, he could steal 25 bases a season. For 2016, Steamer projects Odor for 17 HRs, 12 SBs and .273. The power seems about right, but everything else feels like a toss up. A good toss up though, not a bad tossup like sitting on a plane next to a juggling mime. For 2016, I’ll give Odor the projections of 81/19/69/.253/15 and is a huge sleeper.