Key Stats: Carlos Gonzalez played in only 127 games last season (the equivalent of missing more than a month) and still managed more than 90 runs and RBI, and got at least 20 steals and home runs. He is an all-around fantathlete, and at the age of 26 let’s not say that he’s injury proned. He ran into a wall at full speed last year and that eventually caused him to miss much of the action that he did miss.
Skeptics Say: If he’s not injury proned, he’s an injury risk. Even in 2010 when Cargo was the best player in all of fantasy baseball, he missed 17 games. In 2011 he missed 20 games as a result of that collision with the wall, but in 2010 he missed games as a result of several bumps and bruises (though he never needed to be placed on the DL). Perhaps it’s pain tolerance or perhaps it’s the way he plays the game, but in any case it’s not good for the risk-averse.
Peer Comparison: Usually I’m not a Talented Mr. Roto fan, but I have dabbled in the podcast and read his 100 Facts to Know. I really like the points he make on #18 & #19 in this article:
“Last season, only four players in baseball hit .295 or better and had at least 25 home runs, 20 stolen bases, 90 runs scored and 90 RBIs. They are: Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Gonzalez.
Only one player in baseball has achieved those marks for two straight seasons: Carlos Gonzalez
Kemp, Braun and Ellsbury are all being drafted among the first eight picks overall.
CarGo is being drafted at the end of the second round.
Oh yeah, and CarGo is just 26 years old.”
I highlighted this with a little more boring stats in my peer comparison of Ellsbury and CarGo.
Lineup Outlook: The Rockies lineup got some upgrades in the offseason with Michael Cuddyer and Marco Scutaro. Dexter Fowler had an .880 OPS in the second half and of course the Rockies have the best fantasy shortstop in Troy Tulowitzki. Given that Cargo is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of all of that, I really like his chances to top 100 runs and RBI for the second time in three years (and 90+ for three straight seasons).
What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #6 Outfielder; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #6 Outfielder & #18 Overall; Yahoo: #5 Outfielder & #11 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #5 Outfielder & #13 Overall; RotoChamp: #13 Overall
Projection: If this guy was healthy last season, he is right there with Matt Kemp, Curtis Granderson, and Jacoby Ellsbury as the best outfielder in fantasy. He was the best overall player in 2010, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was that good again.
105 R 30 HR 103 RBI 27 SB .310 AVG .915 OPS in 600 at-bats