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Friday, May 13, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: BEN ZOBRIST 2B CHICAGO CUBS

There is hot and there is the flaming bat of Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist who just finished up going 4-for-4 Tuesday night which continued a ridiculous string of games with a boatload of hits since the beginning of May.  Zobrist of course was the big fish prize the Cubs inked in free agency due to his veteran leadership and low-K/high walk batting approach that fits in well on the team.  Despite aging at 35 on May 26th, Zobrist has shown that he is far from done as he already has smacked 5 home runs and even stolen a base while hitting .305.  So far the Cubs are getting their money's worth out of Zobrist and his fantasy baseball owners are as well.  The latter is somewhat surprising as the narrative on Zobrist has been that he is now more of a better real-life player then fantasy baseball one after his power/speed days that included a few near 20/20 campaigns fell by the wayside as he aged.  Be that as it may, Zobrist is no doubt swinging a hot bat and is showing he can still man an everyday second base spot while the going is good.  When digging into the numbers, we can see the usual Zobrist traits at work in terms of his low K rate (9.8 percent) and high walk rate (17.3 percent).  Now Zobrist is above his career norms in both categories so a regression is coming there but his .300 BABIP shows his average is legit.  Now Zobrist has not hit even .280 since 2009 so it is best to assume he will fall back below that number before too long but now in a hitter's park in Chicago with the Cubs after playing his entire career in pitcher's ballparks, the power could easily inch up from his recent totals the last few years.  15-18 home runs is very possible with good counting statistics in runs and RBI as well.  As I said before, the steals are pretty much gone for good as a consequence of age but Zobrist still is holding his own as a starting second base option. 

 

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