Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fantasy Focus: 2016 Impact Rookies- Mallex Smith

With the Hot Stove so cold it's practically frozen over, we'll just keep plodding along with anther Fantasy Focus here. 

Most fantasy baseball leagues have SB's as one of 5 offensive categories in their scoring which means it counts for 20% of your potential offensive score and 10% of your overall score.  Last season was a bit stronger for SB's than 2014, but it was still a weak category.  There were no players with as many as 60 SB's last year, just 2 with 50 or more(Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton), 3 with 40 or more and 7 with 30 or more.  Out of 30 players with 20 or more SB's, just 4 had as many as 20 HR's.  With the virtual disappearance of the 20/20 player, winning the SB category almost impossible without sacrificing the power categories.  Last season, I overpaid in the draft for both Gordon and Hamilton which cornered the market on 50 SB guys and enabled me to ignore SB's from my other offensive players.

If you don't dig overspending for SB's, or if someone else outbids you or beats you to Gordon or Hamilton, I have a sleeper prospect you might want to tuck away in your back pocket out of the Braves organization.  Here's his profile:

Mallex Smith, OF.  B-L, T-R.  23 yo for 2016 season.  5'9", 160 lbs.  

2015 AA:  .340/.418/.413, 23 SB, 11.3 BB%, 17.1 K%, 240 PA.
2015 AAA:  .281/.339/.367, 34 SB, 7.8 BB%, 14.3 K%, 307 PA.

That's 57 totals SB's in the 5 month minor league season.  He had 88 in 2014 and 64 in 2013 at lower levels.  Despite a lack of power, he's managed to maintain a BB% double digits at all levels prior to AAA while keeping his K% below 20.  Best comp in MLB is probably Ben Revere.  Opportunity is critical when it comes to fantasy baseball.  You may love Andrew Susac as a catching prospect, but he is never going to play much as long as he's in the same organization as Buster Posey.  Mallex Smith may not be a premium prospect, but there is not much standing in the way of playing time in Atlanta.  The Braves may keep him down for a couple of months to delay his arbitration clock, but he is almost certainly going to get his chance to start in the OF and lead off for the Braves in 2016.  Monitor him closely.  When he gets the callup, he'll be a nice, cheap source of SB's.  Oh, and he has a great name!

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