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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: MIKE NAPOLI 1B TEXAS RANGERS

It took until a week before spring training kicks off but slugging first baseman Mike Napoli finally found a home on Tuesday when he signed a one-year deal worth $8.5 million with the Texas Rangers.  For Napoli, his signing with Texas is a homecoming two times over as this is now his third stint with the club but overall he didn't cash in during free agency as he likely anticipated after smacking 34 home runs and driving in 101 batters in 2016 for the Cleveland Indians.  Now 35 years of age, Napoli will likely be the Rangers' everyday DH or first baseman and at the very least, he makes a good ballpark move from a neutral one in Cleveland to a power-packed on in Texas.  Now in terms of the numbers, Napoli is a pretty easy guy to forecast as he will only help in the power categories (home runs and RBI), and his 92 runs scored last season was an impressive figure (but by far an outlier career-high).  Having struck out in an obscene 30.1 percent of his at-bats last season in terms of K/9 rate, Napoli will have a tough time hitting above .240 no matter where he calls his home park.  So in terms of what his position is for 2017 fantasy baseball, Napoli should be drafted only as your UTIL or CI bat as long as you have good batting averages elsewhere.  If you can snag him as your backup power bat for the bench, even better.

2017 PROJECTION:  .242 26 HR 95 RBI 88 R 1 SB   


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