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Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Beltre to BeantownPosted by Josh Shepardson at 11:22pm
Adrian Beltre's move from Seattle to Boston should be one that benefits both he, and his fantasy owners in 2010. Adrian Beltre recently inked a one year deal with the Boston Red Sox with a player option for 2011, which means he will no longer be playing half his games in the nightmare for right-handed power hitters that is known as Safeco Field. Safeco Field is amongst the most difficult ballparks for right-handed power hitters to hit home runs in, and Beltre was no exception. Beyond home runs being limited to right-handed hitters in Safeco Field, doubles and batting average in general are according to Bill James' park indices which can be found in The 2010 Bill James Handbook. Just taking a peak at Beltre's triple slash lines from 2007-2009 at Safeco, .252/.304/.399, and on the road, .287/.331/.488, as compiled by Dan Budreika at Fangraphs, it is next to impossible to argue that Safeco Field didn't severely hamper Beltre's ability to produce as a batter. Couple Beltre's move away from the unfriendly confines of Safeco Field with a move to Fenway Park and you are likely looking at a recipe for success. Fenway Park is the most favorable home ballpark for slugging doubles in all of Major League Baseball since 2007 according to Bill James park indices. On top of being the best doubles park from 2007-2009, Fenway Park was also slightly better then neutral for right-handed batters in batting average and home runs in 2009.
While it is likely Beltre won't hit in the heart of the order as he did in Seattle, the move from Safeco Field should more then offset a drop in the order. It is also possible that being slotted lower in Boston's lineup may still result in more runs batted in for Beltre then he had in Seattle, as he may hit shortly after high on-base percentage sluggers Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew. Overall, Beltre's move from Seattle to Boston via free agency should go noted by fantasy gamers when it comes time to put together draft rankings and cheat sheets, as well as for those deciding on keepers in deep keeper or dynasty leagues, AL-Only leagues or deep leagues in general. It is possible that Beltre may crack the back end of the top ten third baseman for the 2010 fantasy season in 5x5 mixed leagues with his move to Boston. It seems entirely possible Beltre could post a 5x5 line of 80-28-90 .285 with 11 stolen bases, which would make for quite the useful fantasy line at a top heavy position.
Feel free to reach me at my e-mail, JoshShep50 AT Yahoo DOT com with any questions, feedback, or any other general inquiries.
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