Atlanta Braves first baseman Casey Kotchman is a Stealthy Ninja, even though he hasn’t made the cut so far.
Over the last three Stealthy Ninja updates, Kotchman has been dropped for a number of reasons: His percent owned has been either too high or too low. For the record, he’s now rostered on only 10% of Yahoo leagues. Or his numbers just were not impressive enough.
Funny how a little two-homer streak can make a player’s stats look better. Over his last four games Kotchman is 7-for-17 (.412) with 2 HRs and 8 RBIs.
And while those dingers are his only two, he’s been cranking some good numbers for most of the season. He hit .385 in the last week, .323 in the last month and .312 over the entire season.
Kotchman’s not a 5×5 1B stud, but he’s no single-trick side salad and is really heating up. If you play in a more comprehensive fantasy baseball league, he’s a keeper.
This season: Only 13 Ks and 9 walks while piling up 53 total bases, and 13 doubles. Despite only two homers, he’s got an .856 OPS.
Will he continue:
To hit homers?: Not two per week, but could finish with 20. Kotchman only has had two seasons with more than 137 or more games played in his career — the last two — and hit 11 and 14 homers. He got hot in a cup of coffee in 2005 and hit 7 homers and drove in 22 runs in just 126 at-bats. That’s a near 30-homer, 80-RBI pace.
To hit doubles?: If there’s one stat that is a lock for Kotchman it’s the double. He’s already got 91 in his career, 37 in 2007, 28 in 2008 and 13 (65-double pace) already this season.
To hit for average?: Kotchman will hit between .290 and .300. He hit .272 last year and .296 the year before, so previous evidence suggests he won’t. But a look at his minor league stats tells a different story. He hit .325 in six seasons, including .371 between a short stint in AA and 200 AAA at-bats in 2004. Over three AAA seasons, he racked up a Major-League like 569 at-bats and hit .315.
He’s also shown great plate discipline over his career, walking about as many times as he strikes out. That bodes well for Major League success.
- In his Daily Notes piece over at www.razzball.com, Grey reiterates his Friday suggestion that Kotchman is breaking out, and I have to agree.
What do you think? Are you going to pick up Kotchman? Let us know in the comments, or go start a conversation on our message boards.