Tim keeps on slippin’ slippin’ into the future. And Tim Anderson keeps on bein’ bein’ a sleeper. This is the pompatus of love. Member The Pompatus of Love was a movie with Jon Cryer? Now Jon Cryer is a host for a true crime podcast. 2017, you’re weird. What does 2018 hold? Well, you know how children of crazy parents are super normal to make up for their parents, and children of normal parents are super crazy in a vice versa sorta way? My guess is 2018 will be completely normal. A backlash against 2017. This is how these things work. Also, 2018 can’t get weirder, so there’s that. I had a dream the other night, it was an erotic dream with Giancarlo, but he wasn’t MVP, so that’s how I knew it was a dream. In this dream, I was a giant tongue. Tim Anderson didn’t participate in my dream, but I can see a scenario where Anderson does enter my dreams in 2018. Last year, he went 17/15/.257 in 587 ABs, i.e. a full season. On its surface, this is solid, if unspectacular season. Solid but unspectacular for a guy that will be barely drafted in 12 team mixed leagues, raises my antennas… Antennae? Antennyay? Anelevena? Just making up words now? So, what can we expect from Tim Anderson for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
He will only be 24 years old for the better part of the 2018 season, so 17 homers was by far his best power year, yet I don’t think it’s his peak. His HR/FB% was 14.4% and his career rate is 13.6%. Granted, that’s heavily weighted by his 2017 percentage, but his home run distance averaged 405 feet, bullying one out at 445 feet. He didn’t hit many, but he also didn’t hit wall scrapers. Paul Goldschmidt’s homers averaged 406 feet; Ryan Zimmerman averaged 405. Tim Anderson isn’t Giancarlo, but he’s also not Daniel Descarlo, a hybrid made in a lab with Daniel Descalso and the sperm from me thinking about Giancarlo. Anderson hits a ton of ground balls, which will hurt his power numbers. Last year, he hit only 28% fly balls, but he’s had years over 30% before in his career. Last year, he hit 118 fly balls. If he hits 33% fly balls, he’ll hit around 138 fly balls. If he hits 15% of those for homers, he’s going to hit around 21 homers. These are not huge extrapolations to get him over 20 homers. I’m being conservative here. *dons bow tie* Now do you believe I’m being conservative? Good. Next up, his speed. He stole 49 bags in Double-A in 2015. Sure, stealing in Double-A is like having a 55-foot lead against a catcher who is wearing Opti-Grab glasses. Not a ton (palindrome!) of skill involved in stealing in Double-A, but there is speed. No matter how awful minor league catchers might be, you’re not stealing 49 bags unless you’re fast. Last year in 15 steals, he was only caught once. I think Anderson can steal 30 bags pretty easily. Rick Renteria doesn’t seem to want to steal a lot (White Sox were 21st worst for steals; Ron LeFlore is rolling over in his crack den). Surprised that Renteria doesn’t want to run since his name sounds like a condition identified by diarrhea. So, Anderson has the speed, we’ll see if he uses it. His average? Well, it’s not going to be pretty without some BABIP help — helBIP? He swings too much, and doesn’t walk at all. Still, for the draft day price, Tim Anderson is going to be a solid sleeper. For 2018, I’ll give him the projections of 83/21/68/.260/25 in 593 ABs with the thought that he’ll be batting 2nd vs. 6th or lower for most of the season.