Jason Bartlett had a breakout season last year and many will pay for his 2009 stats in the hope that he improves on those numbers. The Rays shortstop hit .320 with 29 doubles, seven triples, 90 runs, 14 home runs, 66 RBIs and stole 30 bases in 37 attempts. He had a .389 on-base percentage and an .879 OPS.
The most surprising stat was the home runs. Bartlett had just 11 home runs in his first 1,533 at-bats prior to last season. He had just one home run in 454 at-bats in 2008.
Bartlett had the highest walk rate of his career at 9.5 percent. That helped him have a career-high .389 OBP after a .339 mark in 2007 and a .329 mark in 2008. The batting average of .320 was also a career high after a .265 average in 2007 and .286 in 2008.
Bartlett was certainly aided by a .368 BABIP. His career mark is .330, so his average should decline. Bartlett also had a very high line drive rate of 26 percent. It was 20 percent in 2007 and 2008.
Bartlett will help your team in the stolen base category, but he’s likely going to regress in average and might hit around 10 home runs. I just don’t see Bartlett matching last season’s numbers. He currently has an average draft position (ADP) of 102 on mockdraftcentral.com and that puts him as the sixth shortstop off the board. I see several similar shortstops going way later that will produce similar numbers to Bartlett or better. Asdrubal Cabrera (152), Elvis Andrus (161), Erick Aybar (205), Everth Cabrera (231) and Alcides Escobar (254) are better values.
Bartlett is 30 years old and it’s possible he has made adjustments and is coming into his own. But based on his skill set, I wouldn’t bet on it. He’s going to see some regression and will be overvalued in drafts.
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