Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Teixeira: Evaluating 1B’s 2014 Fantasy Value

Alright, there’s no doubt that we took a big swing-and-miss with our 2013 Draft Kit Projections for Mark Teixeira

Split
AB
Runs
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG
2013 (Actual)5353120.151.270.340
2013 (Projections)55786311021.250.333.478
Pretty much everyone missed that one. There’s really no way to project that someone will suffer multiple injuries and play only 15 games.

But if you have a look at what he’d done over the previous four seasons, you can’t help but notice a massive decline from the 2009 season, when he was second in AL MVP voting and was an integral part in the New York Yankees last (to date) World Series championship. 

Mark Teixeira: 2009-2012

Split
AB
Runs
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG
2009609103391222.292.383.565
2010601113331080.256.365.481
201158990391114.248.341.494
20124516624842.251.332.475

The power really never went away. Heck, even in a cameo appearance in 2013, Teixeira still had decent power splits. But when someone goes from .292 in one season to hitting .252 over the next three never topping .256 in a given year, you can’t help but jump to the conclusion that he’s in a state of decline. When that person candidly says that he’s overpaid (which I applaud him for), you really can’t help but think that he’s in a state of decline.

But we’re not talking about him being overpaid or really whether he’s on the decline or not. No, we’re just trying to see what kind of fantasy value he might have in 2014. So, let’s do it.

 

What You’ll Need to Work Around

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Teixeira won’t steal any bases. Now, that’s not something you’re going to get from many first basemen, but it’s still something to note. As for the rest of the categories…

Bounce-back seasons are always possible, but obviously we’re dealing with a guy who has been right around a .250 hitter in each of his last three full seasons. As potential fantasy owners, we just can’t predict that he’ll be much better than in that range.

When you realize that guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Chris Davis, Edwin Encarnacion, Prince Fielder, Freddie Freeman, Albert Pujols and several others will be at Teixeira’s power level (or better) and likely way better in batting average, it Player Profile Hitterbecomes pretty clear that Teixeira’s fantasy value will likely be in deeper leagues, or in a UT/CI spot in more normal-sized leagues.

Also, you have to account for the possibility that he’s going to miss some time during the season. Certainly 2013 was a lost season, but he also missed 39 games in 2012 and will turn 34 early in next season. Yes, the designated hitter can help him stay in the lineup, but it’s a lineup that’s already going to include Derek Jeter, Brian McCann, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Beltran, an injury prone Jacoby Ellsbury, and possibly Alex Rodriguez. So, the DH will often be spoken for.

Teixeira can certainly give you some good runs, but don’t plan on him being in the Yankees lineup for more than about 120 games.

 

What You’ll Get 

You always want to be careful when looking at small sample sizes and in 2013, we’re talking about a really small sample size for Teixeira. Still, his power splits in 2013 were really right at the same rate that we saw from 2009-2012. 

Split
AB
HR
HR per AB
2009-2012225013516.7
201353317.7

If Teixeira gets 450 at-bats and hits at that rate, you’re looking at somewhere between 25 and 26 home runs. Does anyone out there really think that’s overly optimistic? If we were dealing with a player in Teixeira’s situation whose value was based around steals, then I’d say that we were being optimistic. But power can usually stay with guys into their mid-late 30′s, and that’s where he is right now.

On top of that, Yankee Stadium is paradise for left-handed power hitters. Teixeira is a switch-hitter and actually better in terms of average from the right side. But at Yankee Stadium, it’s so much easier to hit the long-ball from the left side. So, it’s a good thing that most of Teixeira’s at-bats will come against right-handed pitchers, meaning more often than not, he’ll be taking at that short right field porch in the Bronx.

Something else to like about Teixeira? He gets on base. Certainly, he’ll be more valuable in a league that counts OBP and/or walks, but getting on base is the first step to scoring a run. The Yankees lineup could go a number of ways right now, but he’s probably going have guys like Soriano, Beltran and McCann hitting behind him, which should lead to plenty of runs scored. Similarly, hitting behind guys like Jeter, Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner will provide plenty of RBI chances.

 

Final (Early Verdict)

It’s with guys like Mark Teixeira that I’m especially glad we’ve partnered with Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball. Given Teixeira’s age, injury history, apparent decline in some areas and relative consistency in others, he’s not an easy guy to project. Still, the computer and I are of similar minds here.

Mark Teixeira: Early 2014 Projections

 
AB
Runs
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG
BB
K
Mark Teixeira3824823712.254.350.4915472

Realistically, I think the run and RBI projections are on the conservative side, but you can’t really afford to be anything other than that if you’re thinking of rostering Teixeira. It’s clear that his best days are behind him, so you have to be realistic in areas like that, especially since they rely on a handful of teammates whose best days are also behind them.

Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if his totals in those areas were significantly better. In general, I’d look for a comeback season from Teixeira and in reasonably deep to very deep formats, I wouldn’t advise against putting him on your roster.

Tags: 1B Mark Teixeira New York Yankees

comments powered by Disqus