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Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: JUSTIN BOUR BECOMING EVEN MORE INTERESTING WITH EVERYDAY AT-BATS ON TAP

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly met with reporters as the team opened up spring training activities on Monday and one of the items that has relevancy in fantasy baseball circles was his plan to play first baseman Justin Bour on a firm everyday basis to begin 2017.  Having often been sat against lefties both in 2015 and 2016, the additional at-bats will make Bour even more of an interesting and very affordable fantasy baseball sleeper for the upcoming season.  Anyone who has been a follower of yours truly knows that I have been a big booster of Bour who is now a younger version of Adam Lind who made a career our of being an annually cheap 25-home run source who also was a liability against lefties.  While never considered a big prospect, Bour has developed nicely the last two years, with the fun beginning in 2015 when he slammed 23 home runs in just 446 at-bats. Standing a hulking 6-3 and 265, Bour certainly has the slugger look down pat.  While his .262 average was nothing to write home about, Bour seemed to be on an upward swing heading into 2016.

Now while Bour did miss a whole bunch of games last season due to injury, he still more than did his job from an offensive standpoint when he did play as he hit 15 home runs in just 321 at-bats but again with a shoddy .264 average.  Bour's problem is a clear struggle against lefties (.223 for his career) and playing against them consistently in 2017 means another .260 average is likely.  However 25 home runs and 80 RBI seems certain if Bour can just stay healthy and his drat price is ridiculously cheap with an ADP in the 200's.  Bour would be a perfect UTIL or CI bat in deeper leagues and a top backup first baseman in more shallow setups.  Either way Bour's value gets a slight boost.


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