Can we Count on Chris Coghlan?

If you can’t tell already the letter of the day is “C”.

Chris Coghlan came up in 2009 and cranked out hit after hit (lead MLB in post all-star break hits), helping him win Rookie of the Year honors as well as a spot in the hearts offantasy owners cleaver enough to snag him off the free agent wire. After such a tremendous rookie campaign Coghlan has put himself on the fantasy radar, but with only outfield eligibility is he worth a pick in 2010 drafts?

Coming up through the Marlins system Coghlan was used mostly at second base. With Dan Uggla holding down theposition in Florida, left field became his new home.As left fielders go, Coghlan’s numbers lacked power and RBI production. His.321 AVG helped to hold his value.Without that high AVG, Coghlan’s numbers look a lot less desirable. Therehave been rumors this offseason about a possibletrade ofDan Uggla, which would free up second for Coghlan. As it stands nownothing is eminent and Ugglalooks to once again start the season as the Marlins’ second baseman. There isa chance that Coghlan sees some time at third should Emilio Bonifacio struggle once again (likely). However, there are fewer outfield options for the Marlins than at the infieldcorners, which makes it more likely that Coghlanstarts the season in left.

Assuming that left field is hisonly fantasy eligible positionin 2010, there are a few issues when it comes to a draft day selection. Coghlan’s .321 AVG came way of an inflated .366 BABIP. That is not to say that we should expect a huge regression, as Coghlan figures to be able to hit around .300 from year to year with his excellent plate discipline skills and line drive approach, but to expect a repeat of his post all-star numbers is wishful thinking. Though Coghlan has some stolen base potential, he is not exactly a speedster. At no point in his career has he had a stolen base success rate of over 80-percent. That makes his stolen base projections tough to peg heading into 2010. Does he have the potential for 20-plus steals? Yes, but if he is caught stealing early this season, he may not have a green light for long.

Hitting at the top of the Marlins order is the key to Coghlan’s fantasy value in 2010 (again, assuming OF only eligibility). While their lineup doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers,(Hanley Ramirez aside) the potential for 90-100 runs is there. Getting on base is probably Coghlan’s best skill at the plate, so he should put himself in position to be driven in quite often.

In conclusion Chris Coghlan makes for a decent late round pick in 2010. He should score plenty of runs while hitting around .300 with 20-plus steal potential. By no means is he a star and by no means should you reach to get him on draft day. If he can somehow conjure up playing time at second or third his value would climb higher, but for the time being play it conservative when it comes to clicking Coghlan’s name in your draft cue.

This concludes the compulsive use of the letter “C”.