Vital Stats: MDC Rank: 322, 84th OF picked, drafted in 5.5% of leagues
Nolan Reimold’s major league career is a perfect example of non-linear progression. He showed plenty of promise in his 2009 debut but an assortment of factors made 2010 a season to forget. He earned his way back to Baltimore in 2011 and his stats display some growth from those of 2009, almost like 2010 never happened.
The outfield preview in our excellent (and free) Fantasy Baseball Magazine contains the following nugget: “Of the over 100 outfielders with 400 at-bats only 10 hit 20 home runs and stole 20 bases”. Reimold has a chance join that group, although he is likely to fall a few steals short.
Felix Pie and Luke Scott left Baltimore and Reimold’s only competition in left field is Endy Chavez and Matt Angle. Recently both Buck Showalter and GM Dan Duquette expressed confidence in Reimold, and he is the team’s clear favorite to start every day.
Reimold has a 18.9% strikeout rate in 847 MLB plate appearances. He has not exceeded 20% in any year and his plate discipline stats show strong command of the strike zone. His greatest area of growth was raw power, his ISO improved to .206. Among qualified batters that places between Aramis Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. 23 full time outfielders had ISOs over .200 last year and all but three hit at least 22 home runs. Should Reimold maintain this skill that is a conservative projection.
Reimold had a .264 BABIP in 2011. He does not put the ball in the air so much that it should harm his average, as his career GB/FB ratio is 1.21. An extremely low 13.7% line drive rate could be to blame. Line drives can be tricky to classify, however, and he could easily trend towards league average. In 2011 his speed score jumped to 5.9. He has a 79% career success rate in SB, although he does not have more than fifteen steals in any professional season.
Reimold will be 28 in the 2012 season so, as the scouts say, he does not have much projection left. That is fine because he does not have to exceed his established skill levels to return positive value. Baseball Reference scores Jeromy Burnitz as Reimold’s most similar comparison, and he had some fine fantasy seasons in his prime. Draft him without hesitation instead of Bryan LaHair (MDC Rank 243), John Mayberry (263), Domonic Brown (269), or Chris Heisey (292).
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