Ever since he emerged onto the scene in 2006, Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick has been overhyped.
However as we enter the 2014, Kendrick may actually turn into a bargain or Fantasy Baseball owners on draft day.
Kendrick is going on average in the late 16th and early 17th rounds in 12-team leagues, with an ADP of 203.0. I have him as my 13th ranked 2B, which even I admit may be a bit high compared to some other rankings.
However there is a lot I like about Kendrick this season.
Kendrick’s 2013 stats were hampered by a lengthy stay on the DL, but he still posted a solid .297/.335/.439 slash line, with 13 HR and 54 RBI.
In addition, his .340 BABIP was right in line with his career number, which indicates that his average should be sustainable. His HR total was inflated by a 15.7% HR/FB rate (5% higher than his career number), so it is probably not realistic to expect 20 HR power from Kendrick, but, assuming he is able to stay healthy for a full season, something along the lines of 15 HR and 70 RBI should be easily attainable while hitting around .290.
Kendrick is a perfect example of how batting average doesn’t tell the entire story about a player. While posting pretty consistent numbers in terms of batting average throughout his career, Kendrick really doesn’t offer fantasy owners much in terms of power or speed.
However, his line drive percentage was well up to 27.1, his HR/FB was nearly what it had been in 2011 when he hit 18 homers, and his K% dropped to 17.3, which is partially why he got a bit of a batting average bump without a change in his BABIP.
Kendrick is 30 now and there is no reason to believe that those doubles he hits will start turning into home runs.
But you no longer have to draft him as such a guy, hoping he can help carry you to the playoffs.
But in rounds 16-18, Kendrick is a pretty safe pick, one that will likely end up providing more value than where he gets drafted.
If you don’t get one of the top handful of second basemen on draft day, it may make some sense to target Kendrick late as he will likely turn out to be a bargain compared to some guys drafted well ahead of him.