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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: CHARLIE BLACKMON OUTFIELDER COLORADO ROCKIES

You can search far and wide but you are unlikely to find a player who has had such drastic but at the same time extremely productive numbers over the last five seasons than Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon.  While he has maintained the team’s leadoff spot since becoming a regular back in 2014, what Blackmon has done with his offensive numbers has been nothing short of incredible.  When Blackmon first grabbed hold of a regular major league gig with the Rockies and eventually the leadoff spot, he showcased tremendous speed and decent power.  The 2015 season was the high point of this kind of statistical achievement as Blackmon set a career-best in steals with 43, while also swatting 17 home runs.  It was at the end of that season however where the shift we referred to earlier began to take shape.  With most of Blackmon’s fantasy baseball owners expecting around the same type of numbers the following year, the guy instead upped the power quotient to 27 home runs but then declined sharply in steals with just 17.  It was more of the same in 2017 as well but at an even more sharper divide as Blackmon set his career-high in home runs with a massive 37 but declined yet again in steals with just 14.  In between, Blackmon also recorded personal bests in runs (137), RBI (104), and batting average (.331) to put himself in the running for fantasy baseball MVP.  It was a beyond spectacular year for Blackmon and with two seasons of high-power/moderate-stolen bases to his name, those are the new norms we should expect going forward.  Now the 37 homers were clearly in outlier territory but 30 is entirely within the realm of possibility here given the home ballpark in Coors Field and for the fact Blackmon has grown into more power as he ages (turning 32 in July).  In actuality, Blackmon’s numbers are worthy of late first round consideration since five-category monsters like this are very rare in today’s fantasy baseball.  So while you can price in a slight regression in numbers, Blackmon will still be worth whatever the cost at the draft table this season. 

2018 PROJECTION:  .317 29 HR 100 RBI 119 R 15 SB  

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