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Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: CHRIS COGHLAN INFIELDER OAKLAND A'S

The Oakland A's continued with their never-ending pursuit of cheap veteran players on Thursday as they picked up infielder Chris Coghlan from the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Aaron Brooks.  The deal worked for the Cubs as well since it cleared up a crowded infield and for Coghlan, it gives him more of a chance to be an every day player for the A's.  So with the ink still wet on the deal, let's dig in more on Coghlan and take a look at what he could provide his fantasy baseball owners this season.

What is really interesting about Coghlan is that he has almost had two careers as a Major Leaguer.  Coghlan was named the NL Rookie of the Year for the Florida Marlins in 2009 when he had a smashing debut when he batted .321 with 9 home runs and 8 stolen bases.  However that represented the high point of his tenure with the Marlins as he began a string of ugly seasons for the team that actually got him sent back to the minors leagues.  It appeared as though Coghlan's career was toast but a trade prior to 2014 to the Chicago Cubs would serve as a lifesaver for the veteran.  As a result, Coghlan got a chance to show he was not finished on a Cubs team filled with young players and who went through a long period of struggles as a club.  Just like his rookie year with Florida, Coghlan did a little bit of everything in hitting .283 with 9 home runs and stole 7 bases while manning the outfield and third base.  That earned Coghlan a firm Major League spot on the Cubs for 2015 where he would serve as an adviser to the young infielders on the team and also play on a semi-regular basis.  Now while the average was ugly at .250, Coghlan put up a career-best both in home runs with 16 and in steals with 11.  In fantasy baseball circles, Coghlan held some solid outfielder 3 value and even more as a bench guy you can stick in the lineup on light days.  However it was a bit annoying that Coghlan didn't play on a daily basis and you had to wonder how much better his numbers would look if he did. 

Enter the trade with the A's and now Coghlan all of a sudden is expected to be an every day player in the lineup for the team either at third base or more likely in the outfield.  While it seems like Coghlan has been around forever, he turns only 31 in June and is still in his prime.  Clearly he has some solid power/speed ability, with more of an emphasis on the home runs.  In fact Coghlan's ugly .250 average should have even been higher in 2015 as it was dragged down by an unlucky .284 BABIP.  With a solid K rate at 18.7 percent and a high walk rate at 11.5, Coghlan could hit .280 or better in 2016.  Add in increased at-bats and he also could pop a few more home runs and collect some additional numbers in the other three categories. 

When you really get to the bottom of it, Chris Coghlan carries some decent value as a late round veteran grab who is not at the stage of his career where he will decline just yet.  This is a proven guy who can help in all five standard categories and who will not cost much at all at the draft table.  Overall the guy should be primed for possibly his best season yet despite all he has been through in his career. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .277 17 HR 74 RBI 65 R 9 SB 

 

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