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Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: CHRIS JOHNSON 3B ATLANTA BRAVES

                                                                  Chris Johnson

In looking at the batting title race last season in the National League, one had to be surprised by a certain Atlanta Braves third baseman being firmly in the running as summer turned to fall.  Of course I am referring to Chris Johnson who in his first season with the Braves, hit a terrific .321 with 12 home runs and 68 RBI.  No one would argue the Braves turned a profit on their investment of Johnson and even his 2013 fantasy baseball owners did as well since he was plucked off waivers in almost all formats.  However since we don't live in the past, we can argue concretely that Johnson is shaping up as a sizable bust in 2014 fantasy baseball. 

The most obvious argument against Johnson for the upcoming season is that glowing .327 average that we just talked about.  While that number on the surface is very good indeed, looking under the hood would reveal that Johnson was THE most lucky hitter in baseball in 2013 as his BABIP came it at an insane .394.  When you consider .300 is a neutral BABIP number, it is obvious the extreme amount of luck Johnson received last season.  There is no chance in hell Johnson will be able to come even remotely close to repeating such a number and the regression that is as certain as death and taxes in 2014 will rip into that .321 average.  Count on Johnson sliding down quite a bit and it could go as low as the .281 he hit in 2012.  Once you move past the batting average, there really is not much else to talk about in positive terms for Johnson.  Hitting only 12 home runs in 514 at-bats is horrible for any corner hitter and the 68 RBI is another rough number as well.  Also how Johnson scored only 54 runs despite all those hits is a massive mystery and he doesn't even help in the stolen base category as he swiped not one base all of last season. 

When you put things all together, there is really nothing for me to recommend when it comes to Chris Johnson for the 2014 season.  The average in 2013 was a fluke and he does nothing else remotely well.  He is a bench guy at best and not even an impressive guy under that scenario.  Your best option is to leave him be and let Johnson be someone else's bust.

2014 PROJECTION:  .284 11 HR 67 RBI 61 R 1 SB

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