Tuesday, February 2, 2016


                         Charlie Blackmon

When going back to the 2014 fantasy baseball season, one of the better "value plays" or breakout seasons came from Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon.  Pretty much an unknown previously despite being a former 2008 second round pick, Blackmon was nothing but a bench /part-time player during his first two MLB seasons in 2011 and 2012.  However Blackmon first made headway into being a regular when filling in for an injured Carlos Gonzalez in 2013 and in just 246 at-bats, Blackmon hit 6 home runs, stole 7 bases, and batted .309.  That earned Blackmon a starting outfielder spot for the 2014 season and the rest as they say is history.  It was during the 2014 season where Blackmon fully broke out to the tune of 19 home runs, 28 stolen bases, and a .288 average.  The late bloomer caught many by surprise in the fantasy baseball community but at the same time there was some doubt about whether or not Blackmon could repeat those numbers.  As a result of the hedging, Blackmon was still somewhat affordable for 2015 drafts, especially when it was pointed out that once he went through a scorching April the season prior, the numbers fell off to more honest levels. 

Fast forward to the end of the 2015 season and the result was that Blackmon not only validated his 2014 haul but he posted even BETTER numbers that placed him in the outfielder 1 tier for fantasy baseball purposes.  While Blackmon lost two home runs from the season prior with 17, he drastically upped his stolen bases out of the precious leadoff spot by swiping a massive 43 bags.  Combine that with 93 runs scored, 58 RBI, and another good batting average at .287 and Blackmon was the definition of a five category stud.  So now as the 2016 fantasy baseball season gets set to launch, let's dig in and find out where Blackmon is heading.

When looking more closely at Blackmon, we first have to realize that he will be 30 in July which means he is already in his prime years.  Yes Blackmon was a late bloomer but the safe bet is to bank on a repeat of 2016 and not expect anything more.  That means no 20 home runs season or an average going well over .300 if it even gets there.  Also 30 is an age when steals begin to erode so Blackmon is more likely to go under 40 then over it again.  However in Coors Field for half his game and with a five category skill-set, Blackmon absolutely should be drafted as an outfielder anchor in fantasy baseball this season.

Blackmon helps himself with very solid K rates (14.8 and 16.4 the last two seasons), not to mention having very good speed to post BABIP's in the more lucky range.  This will keep Blackmon as a .280-.290 hitter and a lock for 90-plus runs.  In addition, Blackmon has settled into the 16-20 range in home runs and 50-60 RBI which is very impressive from a leadoff batter.  Finally, the speed is the best attribute here which should allow Blackmon to easily go over 30 steals and approach 40. 

When you put it all together, Charlie Blackmon is a guy we feel fully invested in and supportive of now after admittedly being a bit skeptical of him prior to last season.  Our rule is once a player repeats or improves his original breakout numbers the following season, he is now stamped as a stable investment.  This certainly applies to Charlie Blackmon this season.

2016 PROJECTION:  .290 19 HR 59 RBI 97 R 39 SB


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