Fantasy Baseball: Charlie Blackmon Is an Elite Asset
It was his third full season as the Rockies' everyday center fielder, and boy, did he do some damage. He put up a career high fWAR of 3.9 (his previous best was 2.1), hit .324 (5th-best among qualified players), had an on-base percentage of .381 (16th in MLB) and a slugging percentage of .552 (8th-best).
Among MLB outfielders, his wRC+ of 130 was tied for 8th-best, his 111 runs scored was 5th, and his 17 stolen bases were tied for 11th. He hit 29 homers (tied for 14th) and knocked in 82.
Simply put, in his age-29 season, the dude filled up the stat line like he never had before, and there's no reason to believe he won't be even better in 2017.
In fact, numberFire's MLB projections have Blackmon as the third-best outfielder in fantasy this season, ahead of guys like Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, and Nelson Cruz. Mike Trout and Mookie Betts were the obvious choices to occupy the first two spots in the rankings, but yes, there sits Blackmon third among outfielders, gently waving hello.
The rankings are based on numberFire's "nF" metric, which takes a player's projected statistics and adjusts for the players' ability to score across five different categories evenly (runs, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases and batting average). That score is then adjusted based on position and position scarcity.
|Mookie Betts||Red Sox||8.84||100||23||94||23||.312||.887|
The nF number signifies the number of runs per game that player would be expected to contribute over a league-average player per game (27 plate appearances). That means, over the course of a full game, a lineup full of Blackmons would score 8.3 runs per game more than a lineup full of league-average players.
Blackmon's value lies in his ability to do a multitude of things well. We project he will score more than 100 runs, slug 25 dingers, knock in a fair amount of runs, steal a bunch of bags and hit for a relatively high average.
He doesn't blow the doors off of any one statistic, and he's probably not going to lead the league in any category, but he contributes a great deal in every single category. And that beard of his has to be worth a few extra nF runs, right?
Last year, Blackmon batted leadoff, which limited his RBI opportunities. But if the Rockies decide to switch it up and move him further back in the lineup, you can expect those RBI numbers to increase, as 26 of his 29 dingers last season were hit with no runners on base. Not only that, manager Bud Black said last month that Blackmon's legs weren't 100% last season, and that he expects his stolen base totals to increase.
In our recent MLB 14-team mock draft, Blackmon went No. 14 overall and was the fourth outfielder snagged off the board. And according to FantasyPros, Blackmon is currently getting drafted 15th overall as the 6th outfielder taken.
While Bryant and Harper are the bigger names, our numbers suggest Blackmon will give you more fantasy production in 2017.