by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
To an extent the Padres’ Manuel Margot doesn’t appear to be getting the attention that other young outfielders are receiving as we head into 2017. Just look at some of the recent ADP numbers:
It’s interesting, especially given the hype and potential impact he can make for fantasy owners. Is it the perceived lack of a guaranteed starting spot? Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine Margot not breaking camp with team as a member of the starting outfield and the skill set he brings holds significant value.
Margot’s best asset may be his ability to steal bases, after swiping 30 bases in 124 games at Triple-A in ’16 (and stealing as many as 42 bases in a minor league season). Rich Wilson of Prospect 361 described his base running by saying:
“He’s an above-average runner with times of 4.12 to 4.17 from home to first but the speed plays up on the base paths as he gets great jumps on pitchers and can steal bases in bunches.”
While speed is nice, when you couple it with an ability to make consistent contact (11.3% strikeout rate at Triple-A) it plays up that much more. Of course the skeptics can point to a relative lack of walks (6.4%), but that’s splitting hairs. When you combine his speed with his contact rate you get a player who should maintain an elevated BABIP, and with it a solid average. A career .288 hitter in the minors, he’s coming off a year where he hit .304 and should be able to routinely hit .280+.
The obvious “negative” would be Margot’s lack of power at this point in his career. Playing in Petco Park will help to deflate it further, but he only hit 6 HR while playing the year in the Pacific Coast League. He is expected to add some thump as he develops and matures (he added 21 doubles and 12 triples), but when we are looking at 2017 he will likely finish in the single digits (even at his best Margot may not hit more than 12-14 HR).
Considering the lack of speed around the game, and the power that can be found relatively cheap, Margot is the type of player you want to target late in your draft. His defense alone should keep him in the lineup, but his offensive skill set is strong as well. Hitting near the top of the order he could be a three category contributor, hitting .280 with 25+ SB and the potential to score 80+ R. While other young outfielders are garnering more attention in your drafts, Margot has the potential to be a difference maker.
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com, Prospect 361, STATS
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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:
|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17